Slippin’ into the Twilight Zone By Bob Batch

Well here we are in another new year counting the days all over again. This past New Year’s celebration I discovered that the only tradition I have any interest in any more is the Twilight Zone and Honeymooner’s marathons.
Even after all these years I don’t know if I’m celebrating making it through the old year or looking forward with hope and anticipation to the New Year to come. I guess I’m hoping it’s like the ‘Tomorrows another day” scenario where no matter how bad the last one was things are bound to turn around.

Now I don’t have the luxury of being able to sit around for hours watching the television when these marathons are on. If I did, I suppose I’d go out and buy the entire collection on DVD and watch it all the way through the way some people do with these epic programs like: Game of Thrones and such.

Bob Batch

That’s become a thing now, instead of watching shows when they are initially broadcast and waiting for each episode to unravel from week to week you can wait to see if it’s a hit and then buy the whole collection and watch it straight through totally immersing yourself in the essence of it all.

Like I said, I don’t have that luxury, but even if I did, I don’t think I could sit through anything for that long anyway. That’s what I like about these marathons on New Years, they are half hour episodes and you can catch one or two here and there over the course of the day.

This year I happened to tune into the Twilight Zone episode where an over- worked advertising executive tries to escape the pressure by visiting his old home town and finds he has travelled back to the past to the time of his childhood. Everything in town is the way it was when he was a kid complete with the merry go round in the center of town and a Carnival.

Well I don’t mind telling you this is exactly what I’m hoping will happen every time I drive into Edgewater. One of these days I’ll see Rod Serling standing up on Fort Lee hill at the sign post just ahead.

Maybe I’ll come rolling down River Road some Saturday morning and notice that the Friendly Tavern is sitting at the bend in the road again across from my old neighborhood ‘The Colony’, the way it was, with little cottages buried between the trees barely noticeable from the road.

Just past Heyboer’s Tavern and Rock’s Grocery Store on the right is the North End Fire House with its’ big bay doors open and a scale model float of an old paddle wheel liner being prepared for the upcoming town celebration.
There’s the old George Washington School framed by majestic elm trees. You can see decorations in the classroom windows. I can’t make out what they are.

Over on the left now past Sutter’s house; there’s the Von Dohln boat basin. Lots of colorful flags are strung up and there is a Mobil gas sign hanging out front with a flying red horse on it. Out in the river there are lots of motor boats moored past the long dock and old rustic barges.

To the right at Sterling Place there are big old houses with massive yards around them and up the block you can spot the Presbyterian Church steeple.

Just to the left over the rise is the Buena Vista Restaurant, and behind it down on the river aging barges lying in the shallows, linked together by spindly gang planks.

Past the blue stone walls beneath elegant houses that have looked out on the river since the days when Edgewater was called Pleasant Valley is the new Farrell Huber American Legion Post where most of the town will gather for the upcoming celebration.

Out on the Ball Field next door Ray Calantoni is arriving with the bases for a little league game. There are kids milling around the field and people under the willow trees that ring the perimeter of the gravel parking lots.

Back on River Road past the little row of store fronts on the right is a big bar and rooming house at the bottom of State Highway Five. Across the street from that, right next to River Road along the shore line, are mud flats with barges moored along the banks that belong to Willy Ingold and the shad fishermen. They have long shad poles and nets strung along the shore line.

At the place where Route Five and River Road intersect there are two gas stations. The one on the right is in awkward place with the pump right on the sidewalk. That’s Ingold’s garage. Across the street is the Texaco Station where you can pull in and drive over a rubber hose that rings a bell inside to alert the attendant.

About a block down the road is the Town’s only traffic light at the center of all the business and commerce in Edgewater. This is the main bus stop, the location of little luncheonettes, the Ferry Plaza General Store and a major life line of the Edgewater community – Terminal Liquors. This had been the location of the Ferry to 125th Street in days gone by. Now it’s a stopover for travelers along River Road, mostly workers at the factories at the south end of town.

If I could travel back in time I’d go to that corner store at the Ferry Plaza that once had an ice-cream counter when I was a little kid. I’d go on the day my Grandfather drove me there in his old Pontiac and we had ice cream together.

In the Twilight Zone story the protagonist just wants to tell his younger self to enjoy the time he has and chases him creating an ironic twist where the kid sustains an injury brought on by his older self that he carries the rest of his life.

Eventually in the story the time traveler’s Father realizes he is his son from the future and tells him he has no place there. He has to go back to his time and not try to escape into the past. He has to move on into his own future.

I suppose Edgewater is as close to the Twilight Zone as any place could be, though I doubt travel will be in the offing any time soon. Still it is nice to remember. (Twilight Zone music to fade….)

Related posts:

  1. Bob Batch: Getting the Picture
  2. Bob Batch: Monsters Unleashed
  3. Bob Batch: One for the books
  4. Bob Batch: Back to School

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