Friday, September 25, 2015

Tribute to Rod Serling: "Walking Distance" Plaque - Binghamton, NY

Rod Serling 
"Walking Distance" Plaque
Recreation Park
Binghamton, NY

N 42° 05.979 W 075° 55.996

Short Description: 

The Rod Serling "Walking Distance" Plaque is located on the floor of the bandstand in the Recreation Park in Binghamton, NY.

Long Description:

In Recreation Park which was the setting for the Twilight Zone episode "Walking Distance" in which Gig Young plays a 36-year-old burned-out executive. Rod Serling was 36 at the time.

A circular bronze plaque honors native son Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone episode "Walking Distance." The plaque is inscribed:



"Walking Distance" was written by Rod Serling. It is episode five of The Twilight Zone which aired on October 30, 1959 on CBS. The episode is listed as the ninth best episode, of 159, in the history of The Twilight Zone by Time Magazine.

Plot Summary:

A 36 year old, burned-out advertising executive named Martin Sloan stops to have his car serviced at a gas station within walking distance of his hometown. He enters the town to discover it has not changed since his boyhood.

He visits a park which contains a bandstand and a carousel (Recreation Park in Binghamton, NY where Rod Serling grew up) where he sees himself as a young boy. He follows the boy home and and meets his own, now younger, parents. He tries to convince them, and others, who he is to no avail. Eventually the documents and currency in his wallet convince his parents that he is really their son from the future.

As usual, the message of the story is delivered by Rod Serling in his closing narrative:

Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives - trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there'll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then too because he'll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man's mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone."

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