It's been almost 60 years since its first episode aired on October 2, 1959. It has never left television once in all of those 60 years.
True confession. I have blogged about Rod Serling before. I think I even used the Twilight Zone for a Z post before. But this year this deserves all the publicity it can get.
Rod Serling, a very talented...and tormented... man, who wrote amazing TV scripts in the era of the Red Menace with messages so timeless they resonate today, has come home to Binghamton, New York, the city where I work..
Rod Serling once said this:
"Everybody has to have a hometown, Binghamton's mine. In the strangely brittle, terribly sensitive make-up of a human being, there is a need for a place to hang a hat or a kind of geographical womb to crawl back into, or maybe just a place that's familiar because that's where you grew up.
"When I dig back through memory cells, I get one particularly distinctive feeling—and that's one of warmth, comfort and well-being. For whatever else I may have had, or lost, or will find—I've still got a hometown. This, nobody's gonna take away from me."I've blogged about Rod Serling before, but, this month, another revival of The Twilight Zone has hit television, and the original series is once again in the news.
We think we know the man in black and white, smoking a cigarette, who intoned the following every week on the TV sets of the baby boomer generation and their parents:
"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition...."
|Sorry, it wants to be sideways.|
Rod Serling went to West Junior High (now West Middle School) on the West Side of Binghamton.
|West Middle School, April 2019|
I exercise in his old neighborhood frequently.
After Rod Serling graduated Binghamton Central in 1943 he served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II as a paratrooper. The combat service (including, it is said, seeing his best friend die in front of him) created permanent trauma that haunted Serling for the rest of his too short life. A driven individual and a heavy smoker, Rod Serling died at age 50 with an unbelievable legacy few of us could ever aspire to.
Some episodes haunted me for years after I saw them. "It's a Good Life". "The Midnight Sun". "The Hitchhiker". "Nick of Time".
Others were morality plays that still resonate today although as a child I did not know their true meanings. "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" "The Eye of the Beholder". "The Obsolete Man".
And, of course, "Walking Distance".
Now, Jordan Peele takes the helm and my only regret is, if you don't have CBS All Access, you are missing it. I'm missing it. At this point in time I don't want to have to pay for an extra streaming service.
Just remember, it all started in Binghamton, New York.
With that, I end the #AtoZ Challenge. Twenty six letters in thirty days. My theme was "Finding America through Photos".
Did you participate? Did you enjoy it? Would you do it again, if you did participate?