This Weekend in the Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone is difficult to map, being a vast and invisible realm of the imagination:

“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, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call ‘The Twilight Zone.'” – Rod Serling

The capital of the Twilight Zone, however, is the tangible and evident town of Binghamton, NY. That’s where Rod Serling was born in 1924 and where newscasters claim “Binghamton Landmarks Inspire Twilight Zone” – something not every Chamber of Commerce would shout about.

Fifty years ago the first episode of The Twilight Zone aired on CBS. Today Ithaca College, where Serling taught from 1967 to 1975, is home to the Rod Serling Archives extensive collection of television scripts, film screenplays, stage play scripts, films, unpublished works. And over the weekend Ithaca College hosted “Celebrating 50 Years of the Twilight Zone.”

George Clayton Johnson, the keynote speaker, was interviewed on the local news. The clip also shows the town’s preparations for the event, including Rod Serling’s face covering the side of a city bus to advertise the conference.

Also, Binghamton’s Rod Serling Video Festival competition encouraged students from kindergarten through high school to enter.

All kinds of links to anniversary-related events are tracked on the official 50th anniversary website. The site is maintained by Douglas Brode. He co-authored, with Carol Serling, Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone: The 50th Anniversary Tribute. Brode’s personal TZ anniversary celebration was a book-signing outside Disneyworld’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on October 2.

The Binghamton celebration has one more big event to come, when the Bundy Arts & Victorian Museum hosts a Rod Serling Symposium on October 7.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the links.]

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