It was 1970 and “Star Trek” had just ended on TV. Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock, the hybrid human-alien, had a young fan in the freshman girl who was a year behind me at our Chicago high school.
Mr. Nimoy was tall and thin. At 5’10”, so was I. He had a certain Eastern European countenance. My face displayed my Eastern European heritage. He had a Vulcan haircut. My dark hair was longish.
At school, I was in a theater group that rehearsed in the auditorium and band room. One day that spring, the freshman girl walked into the band room (she played French horn and percussion in the school’s concert band) and noticed the boy at the piano who, to her, bore a striking resemblance to Leonard Nimoy. She thought, “I need to find out who that is.” And so, she did. On the last day of school, she tracked me down and struck up a conversation.
Girls did not approach me out of the blue, so I assumed we had been classmates or something. We sat in the park outside the building for a while talking and then went our separate ways. I spent the whole summer trying to figure out who this person was.
When the next school year started, she acted like we were old friends, and gradually, so did I. Her name was Marguerite Hawley. Though I was pursuing other girls, all Jewish, she was the one who was always around—and the only one really interested in me.
After much agonizing on my part over the Jewish girls that didn’t want me, and the slow realization that here was a Christian girl who did, I decided to see where this might go. I went away for July and we corresponded. On August 7, 1971, we had our first actual date and our first kiss.
She felt we were beshert from the moment she saw me in the band room. I obviously took longer, but when I went off to the University of Illinois, I realized that being apart was not sustainable. At Thanksgiving break freshman year, I asked her to marry me.
She accepted and I gave her a ring. We told my parents, and I took the bus back to Champaign. My parents drove after me—to forbid me from marrying her. We sat in the dorm lobby arguing for hours. I literally told them not to make me choose between them and her because I would choose her.
We ended up with a sort of compromise where we weren’t formally engaged; she stopped wearing my ring, but I didn’t take it back. We couldn’t get married right away anyway, because, at the time, Illinois law was that a man had to be 21 to marry without his parents’ permission.
We got formally engaged in the fall of 1974 when I proposed at a campus event where Star Trek’s creator and executive producer, Gene Roddenberry, screened the original pilot episode. Then the law was changed! I was still 20 on our wedding day, January 5, 1975, and didn’t need my parents’ signatures.
Seven years to the day of our first date later, Marguerite gave birth to our first child. Three years after that, she and our daughter became Jewish.
Michael and Marguerite Krause have been married more than 45 years. Mike is a computer programmer and data analyst. Marguerite is a musician, writer, and editor. Their children, Miriam and Matt, have given them the incomparable joys of being doting grandparents of two. They live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota and are members of Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights. Star Trek remains part of their lives.