October 12, 2012 — I have this baseless half-suspicion that Rod Serling is responsible for the modern Men in Black myth. That for a time in the 50s and 60s, during the height of the Men in Black mania and the original Twilight Zone run, nobody could have a strange or paranormal experience without hallucinating an intense man with clipped mannerisms in a neat black suit walking onto the scene and saying cryptic things in an unearthly cadence.
With projects such as the Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and the movie Planet of the Apes on his resume, Rod Serling is absolutely one of the most compelling storytellers in modern media. And the city of Binghamton, New York, where he grew up, obviously agrees because they've done everything they can to commemorate the man and his connection to the city short of renaming itself Twilight Zone, New York.
Which is not at all a bad idea.
|Serling's high school|
|A star on the Binghamton Walk of Fame|
|The local theater has a small exhibit on him in its lobby.|
|The house where he grew up.|
|The park, with its bandstand and indoor carousel that was |
the inspiration for the first season episode,
|...as evidence by this plaque in the floor of the bandstand.|
|They've recently painted the panels of the carousel to be homages to famous Twilight Zone episodes. |
I've included a selection, but you can see the full collection in better quality here.
|Serling's buried in Interlaken, in the Finger Lakes Region.|
Read all about my visit to these sites in The New York Grimpendium: