Lifelong ‘Star Trek’ fan leaves behind huge trove of memories | Top Vip News


Troy Nelson and his younger brother Andrew were almost inseparable.

The two youngest of six siblings, they were born two years apart. They lived together in their childhood home in Bremerton, Washington, for more than half a century. Near their house there is a park bench on which they carved their initials when they were children.

The Nelson brothers never married or had children. They worked together in the same nursing home. They even once dated the same girl at the same time when they were teenagers while working different shifts at the same pizzeria. This lasted a week until they realized it.

“Two parts of one body,” Evan Browne, her older sister, said of their relationship in an interview.

On February 28, Andrew Nelson, who had been treated for cancer for years, went to feed the chickens and ducks that were gifts from Mrs. Browne to his siblings. He had a heart attack and died. He was 55 years old. Just hours later, grief-stricken Troy Nelson took his own life. He was 57 years old.

“I had talked about it before,” Browne, 66, said through tears. “He said, ‘Hey, if Andrew leaves, I’m out of here. I’m checking out.’ Andrew would say the same thing, and then it really happened..”

What Troy Nelson left behind has become a sensation. After his death, his family posted photos on social media from his huge (and really, huge is the key word) collection of “Star Trek” memorabilia, which has now been shared thousands of times.

The items filled two living rooms and a bedroom, all of them filled with shelves, according to Elena Hamel, one of the brothers’ nieces. The centers of the rooms were lined with additional bookshelves, all packed to the brim, to create hallways. There were jewelry cabinets that served as display cases.

The shelves contained action figures. Dolls. Ship models. Posters. Ornaments. Lunchboxes. Laity. Various toy phasers and tricorders. (For non-Trek fans, a phaser is a weapon and a tricorder is essentially a fancy smartphone.) Multiple “Star Trek” lamps. (Yes, there are “Star Trek” lamps.) Collectible cards. Comic books. Trek-themed Geeki Tikis (stylized tiki mugs). Life-size cutouts of famous people. A life-size captain’s chair.

While it is impossible to account for all the private collectors in the world, Troy Nelson’s collection is almost certainly among the largest, if not he larger.

The latest additions to the collection came in the final weeks of his life: stuffed rabbits in “Star Trek” uniforms. “I’ve never seen a collection that size,” said Russ Haslage, president of the International Federation of Hikersa “Star Trek”-themed nonprofit that Haslage founded with Gene Roddenberry, the franchise’s creator.

Haslage’s organization opened a “Star Trek” museum in Sandusky, Ohio, in 2020, which has received donations of property memorabilia. Those collections “pale in comparison” to Nelson’s, she said. (Haslage has contacted the family to ask about donations of the collection.)

The older brother’s love for “Star Trek” began with the original series, which he watched with his brothers.

“It was our dinner,” Mrs. Browne said. “When we had dinner, we were sitting watching ‘Star Trek.’”

Troy Nelson began collecting in the late 1970s. His first acquisition was a model version of the Starship Enterprise. Then came the Star Trek conventions. Why the franchise appealed to him so much remains a mystery to his family.

“I really can’t say. I mean, other than the fact that he was brainwashed at dinnertime,” Browne said, laughing. “That sounds ridiculous. When we grew up, it’s like, ‘Dinner is at this time.’ And if you don’t get here by this time, you won’t have dinner. So it might have been a comfort to him..”

Troy Nelson often monitored sites like eBay for items he didn’t have. On several occasions, he would express his frustration at losing an item before he could bid on it. Until he discovered the reason.

“Andrew already got it for him,” Mrs. Browne recalled.

Obsessive “Star Trek” fandom has long become an indelible part of pop culture, especially since the franchise, which has spawned several television series, films, novels and comics, has been a long-standing institution. There have been documentaries that have studied the topic, like “trekkies” in 1997. It has been satirized on “The Simpsons”, “Saturday night live” and “Family man,” and become a plot in a episode of “The West Wing” Among many others. For dedicated fans, accumulating collectibles is not uncommon.

“When you collect these things, you’re closer to that genre that you enjoy so much,” Haslage said. “When I started in 1979, I took everything I could get because it was cool and it was a part of the whole ‘Star Trek’ mythos. “If you have these pieces, you are part of that universe in some way.”

It turns out that collecting is an activity that runs in the family.

Andrew Nelson collected shopping mall swords, Ryobi brand tools, and statues of female warriors. as Xena, Warrior Princess.

Browne’s house has a wall with thousands of smashed pennies and her living room windows are filled with glass sugar bowls and sugar bowls.

Browne’s father, Bud Peers, collected salt and pepper shakers, guns and knives. Troy and Andrew’s father, Norman Nelson, collected scrap metal and wood.

Hamel has 17 Christmas trees, all completely decorated with different themes.

Browne’s son, Michael, who is 36, collects everything related to black bears.

When you have a collection as big as that and it’s displayed like that,” Hamel said, “and it’s something that’s important to you, it’s often very relaxing to be in a space like that. It’s just all the things you love. It is reconfortable”.

As far as Browne knew, Troy had no history of mental illness or prior suicide attempts. After Andrew’s death, he received a distraught and frantic call from Troy with the news. She told him that she was on her way.

Mrs. Browne said she called him when she arrived at the Tacoma Bridge. Unanswered. And again, on the Manette Bridge. Unanswered. When she arrived at her house, the back door was open. And then she found him. The phone call was the last time they spoke.

Troy Nelson didn’t leave any notes, but he did leave some things meticulously arranged on his computer, including a key to the house, burial plans for the two brothers and invoices.

I really don’t know what I thought,” Ms. Browne said. “The only thing I could do was scream.”

The Nelson family is packing up Troy’s “Star Trek” collection in preparation for auction. Andrew’s ashes will be placed in an urn carved in the likeness of supermodel Bettie Page. She (she was a fan). Troy’s ashes will be placed in a “Star Trek” lunch box.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or visit for a list of additional resources.

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