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Rod Serling’s Legacy is Much More Than ‘The Twilight Zone’

Lee Ann Taylor

I have been a big fan of The Twilight Zone since I was in college. It was the only thing on tv as I fell asleep each night. I would wake up to the test pattern regularly!

Over time I lived life and I focused on other things, then I moved to Binghamton. Rod Serling’s hometown. He is certainly celebrated here, much more than I ever knew. There is the star on the “Sidewalk of Stars”, there is the historical marker, and many other honors for the most unique writer and creative genius television has ever known.

But what is his legacy? His shows, of course, but there is much more that is intangible. Just like in many of his scripts, things aren’t always as they seem. His legacy is inspiring kids to create as he did.

Binghamton High School (then Binghamton Central), which Serling attended, has classes based on his works and encourages the students to use their own talents. They honored him by creating the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts at Binghamton High School.

Then there is the Rod Serling Video Festival. It started in 1995 as a Broome County event but quickly grew to a statewide festival. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade may enter. Can you imagine being given an opportunity like this as a child?

Binghamton Universityis also paying homage to Rod Serling in a unique way with a stage version of The Twilight Zone, as well as a book signing by his daughter Anne. For details, click here.

It is amazing how one life can inspire so many others, even 39 years after his death. That is Rod Serling’s legacy and it will live on and on as long as creativity is allowed to flow freely.

**encourage a child in your life to enter the Video Festival. Deadline is May 1st.

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