Help us keep this worthy tribute shiny and safe! It needs protection, shipping expenses…and continuing maintenance.


The Brand New, Forty-Year-Old Statue

by Tony Albarella

The Concept

Less than a decade after Rod Serling’s passing, the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation was formed to honor the writer, promote his works, and celebrate his unique connections to his hometown of Binghamton, New York. A primary goal from the organization’s inception was to place markers in and around the town to commemorate Serling. Several memorials resulted from these early efforts, including a downtown Walk-of-Fame star, a historical sign in front of Binghamton High School, and a plaque mounted in the bandstand at Recreation Park.

Another lofty objective, unrealized at the time, was creation and placement of the ultimate physical memorial: a statue. The realization of such a project, as it turned out, required more than mere local fundraising, phone calls, and elbow grease. Facing political headwinds, town ordinances, and the daunting prospect of significant financial backing, the RSMF’s band of founders and supporters had to shelve this particular dream for nearly four decades.

Flash-forward to 2020, when current RSMF President Nick Parisi first decided to pull that dream down from the shelf, blow off the dust, and present it to the board of directors. Nick and the board began to investigate options, make connections, and intensify efforts to resurrect the project. The first tangible result manifested in August of 2021, during our annual SerlingFest celebration, when we launched our initial Kickstarter campaign: As Timeless as Infinity – a Rod Serling Monument.

Based on research and cost projections, we set a goal of $90,000 to cover the undertaking. While interest and investment was high among the Serling faithful, we seemed to run into a bit of a headwind ourselves; with the world still shifting and clawing its way back from the COVID-19 Pandemic, funding a statue was not at the top of the personal to-do list for most people. By the end of the campaign, 225 people had pledged just over $45,000 – a respectable figure but one that, while providing a great gauge of interest and support, fell well short of our goal. And since Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition, we received none of those pledged donations. With regret, we hoisted the Serling statue dream back up on the shelf.

Evolution

Thankfully, it didn’t remain there for long. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, long a proponent of Foundation endeavors, noted the unsuccessful campaign and became actively involved in our project. With her help we secured a $50,000 New York State grant, and with that as our new “startup fund,” we ran a second Kickstarter campaign in 2023, this time with a much more manageable goal of $35,000. Interest and backing proved even higher than our first attempt. 273 people supported the project, surpassing our goal and raising a total of $47,765.

Although additional funds will be required to cover the base and other ancillary costs, the money we raised proved enough to pay for all phases of the statue’s development, and we sincerely thank our dedicated supporters.

The statue was created by Statues.com, based out of Utah. The Foundation’s board was closely involved in every step of its design and creation. Anne Serling visited the facility during the process to see and approve the likeness of her father in person. As to the location for permanent placement of the statue, this is a given and was never in doubt. If there’s anywhere on the planet that this eternal effigy of Rod Serling truly belongs, it is nestled within Binghamton’s Recreation Park. A fixture of Serling’s beloved childhood, Recreation Park is the setting that inspired Twilight Zone’s “Walking Distance” and so much more of his nostalgia-tinged work.

At long last, we are nearly there. The statue has been sculpted and cast and welded and bronzed. The base on which the statue will be mounted is being created, and we are currently working with the City of Binghamton and the Parks Department to arrange for installation. Once these tasks are locked down we will be able to announce the date of unveiling. We hope you can be there to enjoy it with us.

This summer, a dream nearly four decades in the making comes to fruition. This summer, our larger-than-life replica of Rod Serling begins a sentinel watch over Recreation Park. This summer, the afternoon sun brings a reflected glint into bronze eyes and the sounds of laughing children blend with calliope music and drift over bronze ears.
It all starts this summer!

Watch the Statue Evolve

Public domain music: Permafrost by Scott Buckley | www.scottbuckley.com.au Music promoted by https://www.chosic.com/free-music/all/ Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


Help us keep this worthy tribute shiny and safe! It needs protection, shipping expenses…and continuing maintenance.


In the Workshop

The Art, Executed

Transformed Into Bronze

When I was young (born in 1966), when my dad and I would hang out and watch Twilight Zone on our box TV with the bunny ear antennas, LOL…. Even as a teen, I found myself captivated by Twilight Zone, eagerly awaiting to see how the stories would unfold. While I can’t recall specific episodes, I’ve always been drawn to the unique style and intriguing plotlines.

As I grew older, my fascination with the unknown has only deepened, and I’m always pondering life’s mysteries, both above and below.

Throughout our 32 years in business, my husband Vasili and I, both Twilight Zone fans (he even watched it while growing up in Greece!), have had the privilege of working on various projects. However, creating the statue of Rod Serling stands out as a highlight in our business career.

While we’ve worked on numerous important and meaningful projects, crafting the statue of Rod Serling will forever hold a special place in our hearts. It’s been an absolute joy and honor to contribute to this public art statue project, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to support it!

Victoria Karpos
Custom Statue Project Coordinator, MARBLECast Products, Inc. www.statues.com

The Door

The Door Frame

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