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Rec Park statue planned for Binghamton’s native son Rod Serling

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- One of Binghamton's cultural icons could soon be getting a statue in his hometown.

The Rod Serling Memorial Foundation told 12 News Tuesday it plans to build a statue in the writer's honor; the group's president, Nicholas Parisi, said the creator of the Twilight Zone was always proud to be from Binghamton.

His love for Recreation Park, the intended site of the statue, inspired an iconic episode of the show, 'Walking Distance'.

"He grew up in Binghamton and he wasn't ashamed of professing his love for Binghamton even after he became a successful Holywood writer," said Parisi. "He moved to Hollywood, he would come back to Binghamton, every year. Every summer he would drive through Binghamton and take a look at his old boyhood home and the park he played in and just reminisce."

The foundation has gotten permission from the city to go ahead with the project, and Deputy Mayor Jared Kraham told 12 News the city will also be contributing financially once the plans are finalized.

Parisi said tentatively, the idea is to build a six-foot statue on top of a base, and behind Rod Serling will be a door, slightly ajar. He said written on the doorframe will be quote, "Unlock this door with the key of imagination", a fitting enscription Parisi said for a man who challenged his audiences to think.

The announcement comes ahead of the fifth annual Serling Fest this weekend, Oct. 15-17. Parisi said the foundation is excited to return to holding the event in-person again.

For more information on the festival, and how to help make the statue a reality, click here.

Josh Rosenblatt

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