Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In Defense of Bill

Michael Salsbury
Last week Leonard Nimoy passed away.  I never met Mr. Nimoy, but from every account I've ever seen, he was a humble, intelligent, thoughtful, and kind man with a good sense of humor.  Who wouldn't want to meet a man like that?

At the time of Nimoy's funeral, William (Bill) Shatner was honoring a commitment he made to the Red Cross in Florida.  Bill could not make it back to California in time for the funeral. 

Although I never met Leonard Nimoy, I have met Bill Shatner.  I wish I could tell you that he and I are friends, or that we've worked on a book together, or that he's invited me to his house, or... well, anything.  I can't.  It was a simple, brief encounter at a Star Trek convention years ago, but a meeting I will always treasure.  I walked away knowing Bill is a kind, respectful, gracious, and good man.

This was a "no-win scenario" for Mr. Shatner.  Had he broken his commitment to the Red Cross and somehow made it to the funeral in time, I suspect microphones would have been thrust at him as he left, asking how he felt about abandoning the Red Cross.  This would be accompanied by sound bites from angry people complaining that the only reason they'd gone to the event was to meet him.  He'd be painted as a man who doesn't honor his commitments and bails on this fans.

Instead, Bill honored his commitment to the Red Cross and is now being painted as some kind of heartless jerk who wouldn't attend a good friend's funeral.  (In all of this, people assume that Bill could have made it back in time.  I don't know his health, finances, or needs, but I would imagine that at age 83 I won't be traveling as quickly and easily as I did at age 25.  I give him the benefit of the doubt.)

Like I said, he was in a no-win scenario.

About the Author

Michael Salsbury / Author & Editor

In his day job, Michael Salsbury helps administer over 1,800 Windows desktop computers for a Central Ohio non-profit. When he's not working, he's writing, blogging, podcasting, home brewing, or playing "warm furniture" to his two Bengal cats.


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