$50K New York State Assembly grant to help build Binghamton statue to Rod Serling


(Binghamton, NY) — During last weekend’s SerlingFest’s closing activities on Sunday at Recreation Park, NY State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Binghamton, Union, Vestal) announced a $50,000 grant for the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation to be used, along with additional fundraising, to erect a statue of Rod Serling in the park.

Rod Serling

The Rec Park carousel was famously memorialized in the classic Twilight Zone episode entitled “Walking Distance.” Sterling, creator of the weekly TV series, was born in Syracuse but grew up in Binghamton’s comfortable West Side in a home on Bennett Avenue, just blocks from Recreation Park, and graduated from Binghamton Central High School.

Many of Serling’s stories aired on the Twilight Zone had references to the Binghamton area. In a 1960 episode entitled The Mirror, a young woman is a passenger on a dark, lonely bus with stops in Cortland, Syracuse, Tully and Binghamton — all along Route 11 in central upstate New York. The use of these places in his writing is an homage by Rod Serling to his childhood.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo with Anne Serling

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, “This statue of Rod Serling is long overdue. It will stand in a park he enjoyed, near is boyhood home. I hope this is just the beginning of a much bigger celebration of Rod Serling; one of the most influential figures of our time.” Anne Serling, a regular guest at the yearly SerlingFest, has written a book about her life with her famous father.

Nick Parisi, of the Rod Serling Foundation, said, “Securing this grant will allow us to construct a permanent reminder that one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers called Binghamton home. Thank you to Assemblywoman Lupardo for your strong support and efforts to make this a reality.”