Rod Serling (twilight Zone) Signed High School Yearbook Binghamton Central 1942 For SaleConsider, if you will… An intelligent boy, coming of age in a working-class, melting-pot American city… at the very dawn of two massive upheavals — the jolting shock of World War II, and the open-ended possibilities for an entirely new medium of mass communications.Submitted for your approval — an original copy of the Binghamton (NY) Central High School Panorama Annual 1942, in which the later-famous Rod Serling appears several times, signing his portrait with what appears to have been a balky pen.Official sources indicate Serling did not graduate from BCHS until 1943. In fact, that ceremony is said to have occurred the very morning of the day he gamely stepped into the second, great, working-class melting pot of his life — as a paratrooper with the U.S. Army. (Note that this possibly would not have left a lot of time or opportunity for signing copies of the senior-year edition of his yearbook.)A year earlier, in June 1942, young Rodman Serling was not so well known, at least not outside of school, when he obligingly penned his name on that year's annual for a pretty female schoolmate. Now, she's ready to pass it on.Serling — the son of a butcher... extroverted... opinionated... and Jewish — is shown on the page of closeup pictures represented as "Seniors' Choices." And he was obviously a stalwart with the "Debate Club" and the "General Organization."Smart, recognizable, and popular — but not yet a senior. Serling must have instead been a junior darling of this senior class.Can we travel back in time to those well-waxed hallways — decked with red, white, and blue, its youthful occupants tingling in preparation for a war stretching across both oceans — and find any glimmer of this young man's future as a break-through spinner of mind-bending yarns for the entertainment of America's post-war masses?Physically, it's true, the blue, front-and-back softcovers look to have been inexpensively made using war-time paper supplies. In fact, they are well-worn and no longer attached to the main body of the book. But all of the inside pages are still bound — though yellowed with age. And, yes, there are signatures, hither and thon, throughout.Symbolically, though, this is a representation of the very time and place when the crystals of Serling's startling imagination first formed...And it can be yours for the offerding... If you keep in mind that there may not be even more than one extant sample of such an artifact — signed by the young man himself — still floating around… out there… somewhere… in the Twilight Zone."It's unlikely that you can understand what kind of bitter-sweet poignance attends the return of a man like myself to this city... this school... this room. In its aged mustiness, in its archaic ugliness, in its depressing sameness... it is nonetheless filled with ghosts and certain haunting memories that conjure up faces and names, sights and sounds, laughter and events — almost too sweet to be bearable."— Rod Serling (returning to the old BCHS building as the graduation speaker in 1968)
On Jun-19-13 at 08:16:48 PDT, seller added the following information:
[In answer to a question coming in on Day One of this sale -- as to whether a letter of provenance will be supplied to the winning buyer. I thought for sure the Q&A text would show for everyone here, but I guess not, so we'll have to do it this way.]That's a good point that I hadn't thought of, prior to posting this sale. Yes, the owner of this yearbook -- a family friend, on whose behalf we are selling -- appears under her maiden name among the June 1942 graduates. And she also marked the front of the book with her name, dated June 11, 1942.She and her memories are still very much sharp and alive, and she'd be more than thrilled to draft of letter of provenance to you, or to any winning buyer, complete with a sampling of her recollections of young Rod Serling. Keep in mind that, at graduation time, she passed around her yearbook widely in order to collect signatures from literally dozens of schoolmates, including Rod. So I cannot guarantee to you that she'll have a very particular memory of the precise circumstances of Rod actually signing.[Come to think of it -- that would make for a helluva nice, black-and-white, flashback scene... We fade back in time and witness -- as a fly on the wall -- such an everyday event in a school hallway, which only later in time may have any larger significance. Yes, yes -- possibly the protagonist is, in fact, *cursed* with such a power! She finds herself blessed with a photographic movie memory -- but it never seems to play back anything she actually *needs* to recall... Only the smallest, most inconsequential clues, through which she must sort out, and muddle through...]Anyway, I thank you for your interest, and for writing in on such a fine, interesting point. Win or lose, I hope you have fun with this sale, which -- as you can see -- has been set up for maximum fun.
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