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Burgers with Rod Serling

In the 1960s, I was an entertainer working in the lounge of the old Daytona Inn in Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Serling had come into town to speak at Antioch College and for some reason, he walked into our small lounge about 1 a.m. My trio was playing there and he sat in a small booth right beside us.

I almost fainted when I saw him. I could not believe this great man was there! He sat very quietly through our last set of the evening, and then allowed us to acknowledge him, and simply asked, "Where could we go for a good hamburger at this hour?"

My husband and I and our guitarist took him in our car to the local best-known, small and insignificant hamburger place in Dayton. We all sat together at the counter, had a burger, and then we drove him back to his hotel. Most of the people in the restaurant did not realize who he was, and at that time I believe he was thankful, for he seemed to be tired, and really just wanted a hamburger, not publicity.

So many years later, and as such a great fan of his show Twilight Zone, I remember it as a high point in my meeting famous people. I will never forget what a quiet, lovely man he was.

Mrs. Jeanne Porreca
Lima, Ohio

[Webmaster: We asked Jeanne to tell us more about her band...]

We were called The Jeanne Clark Trio, and we played every hotel lounge in the city of Dayton. We did soft jazz in the days when the Hammond organ was in vogue. I played piano and organ, my husband played drums, and we had a guitarist.

One of the best compliments we ever got was from the black radio D.J. Johnny Day, out of Dayton. He loved our group and talked about us every evening on his show. That was heady for someone who didn't think she was a "great" jazz musician. We were on the edge of the new wave of stand-up rock show groups, and our style of music was soon going to fade away. Around 1968 I decided that after twenty years, I was ready to try a different life.

I’m happy with that decision, but I remember with fondness all of the places I traveled, and the wonderful "big name" musicians and other famous people, such as Rod Serling, who I was priviledged to meet during those years.