Rod Serling's carousel... in The Twilight Zone
In the small town of Binghamton, New York there spins a 1925 carousel that once inspired Rod Serling and has since become a portal into... the Twilight Zone.
We all have a favorite Twilight Zone episode. (I happen to have about forty.) One of mine is “Walking Distance,” in which an overstressed New York City advertising executive sojourns to his childhood town of Homewood, only to enter a vortex of the past in which he encounters the town – and his boyhood self of age eleven – as they existed twenty-five years earlier.
In the episode’s denouement, the ad man pursues his younger self on a carousel, desperately wanting to urge the boy to cherish this time of youth, with its freedom from careerism and commerce. In “Walking Distance,” the fifth episode from the show’s first season, creator Rod Serling captured his pangs for youthful yesterdays, which the writer associated with his own “Homewood” of Binghamton, New York.
Now, an intrepid young documentarian, Jonathan Napolitano, is preparing to tell the story of the real-life Binghamton carousel that inspired Serling’s vision. The George F. Johnson Recreation Park carousel, built in 1925, not only still stands in Serling’s central New York hometown – but today forms a panoramic memorial to the Twilight Zone creator himself.
In 2011, the carousel was restored with weirdly spectacular panels painted by artist Cortlandt Hull, which highlight images from some of the best-loved Twilight Zone episodes, including “To Serve Man” and “Time Enough at Last.” One panel features Serling standing, narrator-style, before an idealized, small-town gazebo.
Napolitano’s documentary, The Carousel, will track the history and restoration of Serling’s object of inspiration, and feature interviews with the restorers, artist Hull and master carver Bill Finkenstein, as well as Serling’s daughter and biographer Anne Serling.
At the opening of “Walking Distance” Serling intoned: Somewhere up the road he’s looking for sanity. And somewhere up the road he’ll find something else… For Serling, that “something else” was a carousel that anchored him to a time and place beyond the nightmares of the Twilight Zone.
Cable network Sky will not air the episode of the comedy series Urban Myths featuring Joseph Fiennes, who is white, portraying Michael Jackson. The decision came in response to intense criticism from the likes of Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson who tweeted that the trailer (above) “honestly makes me want to vomit.” “We have taken the […]
A 1958 episode of the television western Trackdown features a con artist named Trump who wants to build a wall to protect a town from destruction. From the Classic TV Archive: Walter Trump, a confidence man, puts on a long robe and holds a tent meeting in the town of Talpa. He tells the townspeople […]
In May 1984, George Michael and Morrissey, promoting respectively “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and The Smiths’ “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” appeared on the BBC program Eight Days A Week. They discuss such urgent matters as the film Breakin’ (released as Breakdance outside the US) and Mark Johnson’s book An Ideal for Living: […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]