Two years ago this weekend I spoke at the Rod Serling Conference at Ithaca College in upstate New York. The conference proceedings can be found here. As it turned out, the conference was a week before my wedding and an old friend whom I have know for almost forty years made the trip with me. We had watched the Twilight Zone in high school when the show made a comeback in syndication. Twilight Zone seemed like ancient history when we watched it in the early 1980s, but it had gone off the air just twenty years earlier. Chronologically, that is the equivalent of watching Seinfeld today.
In preparation for the conference I bought the TZ boxed set Memorial Day weekend in 2009 and over the summer the woman who became my wife and I watched all one hundred and fifty-six episodes. Speaking at the conference–on the 50th anniversary to the day when TZ first aired–was like entering the Zone myself. My past and present were colliding. A few weeks back the Hayfoot was looking at my high school yearbook and noted that my friend had mentioned Twilight Zone on the dedication page. For me TZ has always been one of those cultural reference points, like the Beatles and Miles Davis, that have always been there. Not something you necessarily think about everyday, but there in the background to pick up and put down as one pleases.
My friend and I saw Twilight Zone: The Movie the night it was released in 1983, which to tell you the truth wasn’t that great. My memories of that night and the period are nonetheless warm. Apparently another film is in the works.
John W. Whitehead at Huffington Post has this appreciation.
(Number 12 Looks Just Like You/Courtesy: Zjschertz)