Live on Amongst the Stars – Nichelle Nichols (1932-2022)

With great regularity, I will share the fact that I’ve been a Trekkie since the age of 3. I’m now closing in on 55 and nothing has changed as I still love Star Trek. In fact, I watched it on MeTV less than 24 hours ago. Just this morning, my memory on Facebook was of pictures of autographs I took 3 years ago, one of which was a Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country cast photo. Little did I know that just a few hours later, I would read the news that Nichelle Nichols, the lovely Lt. Nyota Uhura, had passed away at the age of 89.

I had the honor of meeting Nichelle on two occasions. The first time was in 1993 at a Creation Entertainment convention in Wichita, Kansas. It was my first experience meeting someone from the show that was such a huge part of my life. She was as I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, beautiful and full of grace. She truly loved and appreciated all of the fans. It was a fabulous experience and it set the standard high for future star struck moments that would follow in the decades to come. She was the first to sign that cast photo that is now filled with everyone else’s autograph except for DeForest Kelley, who sadly passed away before I had the chance to meet him.

I missed her when she appeared at Trek Expo in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2002 as that was one of the few years I didn’t attend that memorable convention. However, I would get the chance to see her two more times here in Kansas City and both events were just as amazing as the first. There are many articles flooding the internet about all of her amazing accomplishments. I won’t repeat them here but instead, I’ll guide to an amazing documentary that really is a must see. Go to Paramount + and watch Woman in Motion, a 2021 film that focuses on a previously undetailed story about her involvement with NASA and her role in recruiting scientists, engineers and astronauts to the space program. Follow that up with a classic episode or two of Star Trek before ending your night by listening to her amazing voice as she sings “Beyond Antares”.

Nichelle’s passing has left me a little gutted as she was truly a huge part of my childhood and adulthood. As I grow older, I’m sadly losing more and more pieces of those years gone by. There was a time my Dad would have called me with the news but as he’s been gone for more than six years now, it’s amplifying that feeling of loss. It just hits close to home. However, Nichelle is now at peace after suffering for far too long.  The stars will shine a little brighter tonight as she’s experiencing the galaxy in a way we can’t understand yet. Live Long and Prosper Ms. Nichols.

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