Goodbye, James…

James Doohan, better known to the world as Montgomery Scott or just “Scotty”, passed away on Wednesday.

I actually met the man himself once, although only in passing. It was at a science fiction convention in about 1989, and I think he was “three sheets to the wind” at the time. But no one at the convention really cared- he hugged a few convention goers and told a couple of jokes, and mostly was a real live human- not a character in a movie, but a boisterous and very alive man.

I was surprised today, while doing a bit of digging around, to discover that not only was James Doohan born a Canadian, but he also served in the second world war and took bullets during the D-Day landing. One of them took off his middle finger on his right hand. He was born near where I live now, in Vancouver.

So in addition to being one of my favorite characters from Star Trek, this man was arguably a real-life hero. But I can’t remember ever hearing about his war service before, so it must have been something he didn’t make a big deal about.

Farewell, Scotty. May you always maintain your reputation as a miracle worker…for surely you did in life. You take a piece of my youth with you, and you’ll be missed.

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