Poems and Quotes Under the Sun

BRAILLE

A slate world is easily erased.
Nothing remains long.
Measuring time by the curvature of a cheek
we reach for faces creased by memory.
But the old is gone.
New tales replace old constantly.
As if truth can be told,
an essence from fragments.
RIDDLE

Quarreling, the first gull flies.
The surging surf has swallowed down the beach.
Without its claw a sand crab dies,
Grappling out of reach.

For no tide the sea rocks wait.
The summer moon has dwindled from the sun.
A severing fog the damp earth makes:
Trackless, hushed, undone.
Muse
  • Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.
  • People who wait for changes to occur on the outside will never make changes on the inside.
  • Growing older has one invaluable compensation: things you couldn’t own when you were young you no longer want.
  • Once you have learned how to love you will know how to live.
  • Thinkers think and doers do, but until thinkers do and doers think there can be no real progress.
  • Want to know how to judge a man’s character? Watch how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
  • The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
  • Life isn’t about finding yourself but creating yourself.
  • The road to excellence and progress is always under construction.
  • Whoever said sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.
  • Whatever your past has been, your future is spotless.
  • Facing your fear equals courage. Repeating your mistakes equals insanity.
  • If you have never failed, you have never tried.
  • Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth: a sense of humor.

Bridges or Walls?

Tea Krulos’s latest non-fiction book is titled Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers. He has also been published in a wide variety of other publications including the New York Press, The Guardian, Boston Phoenix, Scandinavian Traveler, Doctor Who Magazine, The Onion, and Pop Mythology. Some of his favorite subjects to explore and write about include unique subcultures, people, and places, as well as art, music, and pop culture.

Jonathan Lowe) In The Purge, on one night anyone can “even the score” with those they hate as a group or individually. Is there a desire for revenge among preppers and monster hunters, or is it mostly defensive fear?

Tea Krulos) I think for preppers it’s really a defensive fear, a fear of mankind gone mad because they haven’t properly prepared and so they will attack people for food and supplies. “The haves and the have nots” is how one prepper described the breakdown of society in an catastrophic event. Most monster hunters and paranormal investigators are mostly in it because they are curious and hoping to prove that a mystery exists. 

JL) Have never understood zombies. The books are usually better than the movies and TV series. The movie Z was ridiculous from a credible standpoint, although visually stunning as escapism. Thoughts on the metaphors at work at Zombie Con and Zombie Squad, and why the pop attraction to animated brain dead flesh? What was your involvement like?

TK) Zombie Squad is a fun organization that uses a zombie apocalypse as a metaphor to prepare for disasters. The idea is if you can train to survive zombies, you’ll learn basic survival skills. They also like to watch zombie movies and have an annual camping trip called Zombie Con. I joined them for Zombie Con a couple years ago in Missouri. It was a fun and interesting weekend. I think the attraction to zombies is that they’re classic and often a metaphor for a braindead consumer culture. 

JL) What states and areas have the largest numbers of Supernatural, Big Foot, UFO, and survivalist fans, and why do you think that is?

TK) I’ve found that there’s quite a wide spanning interest in these topics, and I’ve been all over the country to meet people involved. Many survivalists are more rural, but not all, there are urban preppers. Bigfoot sightings have happened in every state but Hawaii and UFOs are seen around the globe. 

JL) Wondering about Hawaii. Over three and a half million of these people in the United States. They spend a lot of money on surviving, yet are worried about money becoming worthless, and hoard gold instead to barter? Seems like the sales industry loves survivalists. Booming business?

TK) Some preppers do stockpile things like gold, silver, and items to barter like bottles of liquor. The idea is that if society crashes and cash becomes worthless, these items will be useful to barter. The prepper business is booming and has been for some time. It’s a niche market, but one that caters to people that are willing to spend money on gear, food, books, and classes. They view it as a sort of insurance policy against disaster. 

JL) It’s both sad and amusing that politics plays a role in gun sales and shelter building. Do the stats swing the both ends of the spectrum?

TK) Traditionally speaking, preppers have leaned conservative, and the prepping industry boomed under the Obama administration. The election of Trump, though, has led to a growing number of liberal preppers. I didn’t see them represented at the expos I went to, it may be that they’ll need to get their own expo going. And I should mention that a good number of preppers probably would identify as Libertarian or no political affiliation. 

JL) What exactly defines a “society-ending event?” Are UFOs ever involved, like the “Heaven’s Gate” group? 

TK) There’s many ideas of what a society ending event might be, including extra-terrestrial invasion, nuclear annihilation, extreme weather, an electro-magnetic pulse attack, angry God, out of control technology, or a pandemic, just to list a few of the major ideas.

JL) Raven Ridge or Raven Rock survival bunker for politicians… Missile silos interest me because I once explored one for a story I wrote for an article. People may not realize how many there are, and also how many are live, not just abandoned, with antique equipment and lax safety standards. Many accidents and near catastrophes have happened, chronicled in books. What has your experience been like? How much does a survival condo cost?

TK) I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the Survival Condos, which were built in a former Atlas missile silo in Kansas. It was an interesting and surreal experience. The former control room for the missile silo is now a hydroponic center and there’s several levels that include a swimming pool, classrooms, a movie theater, and then half or full size condo units priced between 1.5-3 million dollars. 

JL) Why not just stock a boat and sail the ocean like a ghost ship, or set up camp on a garbage island? Will they be playing Pacman or Space Invaders when the big one hits, like it almost did in North Carolina with an H-Bomb?

TK) I think a boat would not be as confining as a bunker, but might be more vulnerable to attack on the open water. I think both Pac-Man and Space Invaders are good for survival skill reflex training!

JL) I’ve been to Biosphere 2, too, and the movie made there was a comedy. Thoughts on movies related to these subjects?

TK) It just goes to show you how popular the idea of the end days is in pop culture. In addition to thrillers and dramas, there’s popular video games, and quite a few comedic takes on the concept– Biodome and TV shows like The Last Man on Earth. I also attended a fun festival called Wasteland Weekend, where people party like it’s the end of the world out in the Mojave Desert. 

JL) Final thoughts on fear of the “other guy” coming for our guns, our food, like brain dead zombies? 

TK) Our American society is filled with paranoia, fear, anger, distrust, and hatred. I’m not saying that’s what preppers are all about– many of them simply want to be able to survive a disaster. But that level of fear about society and how dangerous it is certainly is a factor. 

The Night Gallery Archive

ANNE SERLING is author of the memoir As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling. She is director of Rod Serling Books. A recent book from the University Press of Mississippi is Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination, by Nicholas Parisi. SCOTT SKELTON is a resident of Eugene, Oregon, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, has written freelance articles for the Eugene Register-Guard and other local publications. Now focused on completing a fiction novel, his first book was Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: A Retrospective. He is also currently working on a coffee-table book reproducing the artwork used on Night Gallery and chronicling its history.In addition, Scott and coauthor Jim Benson have recorded commentaries and provided special feature material for Universal Home Entertainment’s second and third season DVD releases of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. They have, in addition, provided commentaries for Image Entertainment’s high-definition blu-ray releases for The Twilight Zone, seasons two through five.  

Jonathan Lowe)  How did your books come about with Anne Serling in 2013, with Carol and Jodi sharing copyright, and what is it about these stories which resonates with you both today?

Scott Skelton)  Anne got in touch with us when she was writing her memoir, and wanted to reproduce some of our commentary on her father’s work from our companion guide, Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour. We established more of a friendship when she was working on creating the Rod Serling Books imprint and reprinting his old Bantam paperbacks Night Gallery and Night Gallery 2, for which she asked us to write the forewords.As for Serling’s stories, his writing attracted me from the first because of his innate storytelling skill—he spins a damned good yarn—but it has always resonated with me long past the point where I turn the final page or when the film fades to black because of his sympathetic, penetrating humanist viewpoint and his gift for language—in his dramas expressed as dialogue—that is both pithy and lyrical. It’s just a pleasure to listen to.

Anne Serling) We started Rod Serling Books with two goals in mind. To foster my father’s legacy by publishing the eight books he wrote that were then out of print, and to provide writers a platform to publish and gain recognition in a difficult market, something my father would have enthusiastically endorsed. Unfortunately the latter hit a rights issue that we are currently working to resolve as publishing anthologies of promising writers is something that we continue to support wholeheartedly.

JL) Love how you talk about the opening narration in reference to the script as introduction. Was particularly taken by Serling’s writing the story versions prior to the scripts. In Serling’s “The Season to be Wary” collection there’s my favorite of his, “Escape Route,” which has a hellish kind of “Pamela’s Voice” ending, but without the touch of dark humor. Starred Richard Kiley as a Nazi war criminal on the run in South America, who hopes for peace and finds the ultimate twist instead. Of course “Eyes” was the pilot, directed by newcomer Steven Spielberg. What is your favorite episode, outside of these, and why?

SS) Of the stories Serling recast from a script into prose, my favorite would have to be “They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar,” simply because it was obviously such a personal statement and reveals so much of the man he was. But I also love “Clean Kills and Other Trophies,” “Does the Name Grimsby Do Anything to You,” “The Messiah on Mott Street,” and “Lindemann’s Catch”—all prime Serling.

AS) They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar. Like my dad, I am drawn to nostalgic pieces and also, like him, the propensity to want to return to the past. 

JL) The ocean survivor twist, hunting themes, the “first man” on the moon, the themes of ego overwhelming cultures like ours and others, the subtle asides and allusions to other literary works. It’s all applied in the stories with a touch of genius few who haven’t read these books, or the others story books related to The Twilight Zone, may not realize, true?

AS) True. My father was quoted as saying he saw television as a means of bringing theater to everyone and I believe he saw juxtaposing the human condition against everyday events as the ultimate theater drama.

SS) Yes, that’s true. In drama, a writer depends a great deal on the actor to reflect something of the inner life of the character, especially since it’s not possible to tell the whole story, every facet, with dialogue or off-screen narration. But in his prose pieces, Serling reveals an extra dimension that he alone provides about the emotional depth of his characters’ psyches, and that may surprise those who are only used to his dramatic works.

JL) Talk about the Peekaboo Gallery show, as Anne was unable to attend. What has been visitor reaction? 

SS) The show was a great success from what I’ve seen and from what Taylor White has told me. The response has been very positive, and we’ve met a lot of people who came a long way to see the gallery paintings and sculptures up close, to absorb in more intimate surroundings the craft of the painters and sculptors who worked on the series. Tom Wright had a great time seeing his paintings again, rubbing elbows with fans, answering questions, and even bringing some folks he works with now in his current role as a TV director to see what he did in a previous life. 

JL) Surprise guests?

SS) Actor Mark Harmon, who works with Tom on NCIS, and his wife, actress Pam Dawber, visited to check out the paintings on display, and Tom’s daughters, both artists themselves now, showed up, too!

JL) Thanks much. It was, and continues to be, a pleasure to read these stories.