The classic television show The Twilight Zone explored the possibilities inhering in the ordinary. A Twilight Zone episode moved us by being poignant and intimate, rambunctious or thought provoking. But whether it takes place on an asteroid, in a city pool room, or in the backwoods, it will usually convey both a folklorist s eye for detail and the born raconteur s sense of pace. Rod Serling, the show s originator, main scriptwriter, and artistic director, knew how much burden he could place on his rhetorical and dramatic gifts. Deservedly celebrated as a pioneer fiction writer for television, Serling always grounded his work in the human condition: he wrote movingly about history and loyalty, the grip of everyday reality, and the dangers of both forgetting about one s ghosts and giving them the upper hand.