Friday, October 30, 2020

Watching The Twilight Zone With My Cousin


 When I think about it, I was the lucky one back when watching The Twilight Zone with my cousin. Those were the days when we lived next door to each other out in the country. Separating us was a field with a pathway that we used to go back and forth. Lining one side of that field was a row of tall, stately poplar trees. To this day I can still hear the leaves in those trees rustle in the wind. When Halloween was approaching that rustling sounded more like witches screeching.

One night most every week for quite awhile my cousin would walk, or run, through the field to my house so that we could watch The Twilight Zone together. It was such a frightening show that watching it alone was never an option. Once she arrived, we'd flick the lights off and turn on CBS to get our 25 minutes of fear and suspense. I will now admit I got the better end of that scenario. I wasn't the one who had to run back home through that field with those poplar leaves moaning in the dark after watching The Twilight Zone. I just had to lock the door and go to bed. Most always I never went right to sleep. I'd replay the episode we'd just watched over and over again in my head.

Now thinking about those scary, cliffhanging, suspenseful weekly episodes, I think it was the voice of Rod Sterling that got me the most. Not that his voice was scary. It was his delivery. He'd grab my attention from the very first word and keep my attention to the very last word-all spoken in a monotone that needed no special effects. Just having Rod Sterling standing there and talking to me without a change in facial expression or inflection in his delivery or fancy backdrops was enough for me. His setting the stage to what was to come only enhanced the storyline that followed. From science fiction to fantasy; suspense to the unexpected, those weekly stories never disappointed. My cousin and I would talk about what we'd watched all weekend long until we were back again in the living room with the lights out, listening to Rod Sterling and watching his Twilight Zone. 

Who can forget him saying to each and everyone of us: "The Twilight Zone is a place that exists at any moment of time, space or of mind-but always when you least expect it. When you find yourself in this realm of unlimited possibility, be careful what you say or do. The right decision may help you find your way back out, sometimes with greater happiness & wealth. The wrong decisions often lead to madness & death, or an eternity trapped in this dimension.
Tread warily past the sign post ahead that says you have entered-The Twilight Zone!"
And my cousin and I entered that zone with our eyes wide open and hearts beating and imaginations awake and ready to go.

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