As a child in the '80s, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis remembers meeting Leonard Nimoy and being young enough to think the "Star Trek" actor was actually Spock.
Polis's parents remember an inspired poet who loved hiking around the foothills of Boulder and showed his personal side through his work.
Nimoy, who passed away on Friday at the age of 83, is most famously remembered as Spock. The always logical character from Star Trek is often remembered for sharing profound wisdom that will long outlive the show. But when Nimoy was out of his Spock costume, he continued expressing wisdom through poetry.
That poetry is what connected Polis to Nimoy. Polis's parents founded Boulder publishing company Blue Mountain Arts, which published many of Nimoy's work in several books and anthologies.
"He was very creative in many different mediums, and also a very caring and inspirational person. He was a pleasure to work with and we were honored to be his friend," said Susan Polis Schultz.
His poetry books include "We Are All Children Searching for Love," "Come Be With Me," "These Words Are for You," "Warmed By Love" and "A Lifetime of Love/Poems on the Passages of Life."
Polis, a lifelong Trekkie not only remembers Nimoy, he remembers the character who inspired Polis to be himself.
"To me his character Spock was a role model as an ambassador of science and rationality," Polis said. "He helped make science 'cool.' Meeting him at a young age only made me more of a Trekkie and I've followed all the incarnations of Star Trek ever since."
Nimoy also played an important role at the Grey Havens Group in Longmont. Spock's philosophy was at the heart of Grey Haven's ideas of teaching science fiction and fantasy to all those that were interested.
"At the heart of Vulcan philosophy is the mantra, 'Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations,'" said Kelly Cowling, founder of the group. " That is at the heart of Grey Havens YA philosophy, too. As individuals and as a community, we need all aspects of who we are. We need hope and caution, philosophical distance and emotional intimacy."
Cowling said that Star Trek was her first fandom, and it was her love of Spock that inspired her to treat science fiction and fantasy the way scholars treat the so-called classic, serious works of literature.
"Even though, as a woman in her 40s, I realize that it is inevitable that the actors and writers who shaped my childhood will pass away, I am deeply saddened by the passing of Leonard Nimoy," Cowling said. "I am comforted, too, that his legacy will live long in Grey Havens YA and in fandom communities around the world and that it will prosper."