On a Saturday, thirty-nine years ago, my father died unexpectedly three days after open heart surgery. The morning began much like this one—brilliantly sunny, warm---a day he would have loved puttering around the yard, lying in the hammock, looking out at the lake. But he was far from the cottage, far from the water, lying in a hospital, and on that excruciating afternoon, at 2:20, he was inexplicably gone.
Two memorial services were held simultaneously a few days later on both coasts. I share the following from Gene Roddenberry the creator and producer of Star Trek:
“The fact that Rod Serling was a uniquely talented writer with extraordinary imagination is not our real loss. These merely describe his tools and the level of his skill. Our loss is the man, the intelligence and the conscience that used these things for us. No one could know Serling, or view or read his work, without recognizing his deep affection for humanity, his sympathetically enthusiastic curiosity about us, and his determination to enlarge our horizons by giving us a better understanding of ourselves. He cared and, I suspect, perhaps too deeply too much of the time. He dreamed of much for us and demanded much of himself, perhaps more than was possible for either in this time and place. But it is that quality of dreams and demands that makes the ones like Rod Serling rare … and always irreplaceable.”