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Life of Rod Serling/ Haunted Antiques

Date Tuesday - October 16, 2018
Host George Noory
Guests Nicholas ParisiWayne MattoxBill Mumy

In the first half, professional musician advocate for disabled veterans, Nicholas Parisi spoke on his fascination with Rod Serling which began when watching re-runs of The Twilight Zone as a child. He discussed the golden age of television, the climate of the times in the 1950s and how Rod Serling captured the zeitgeist of the era though tales of fantasy and science fiction. Parisi pointed out that Serling "was without question the most prestigious writer in television before the Twilight Zone." He also mentioned Serling’s enlistment as an Army paratrooper in WWII and how his wartime experiences deeply affected his television writing.

In the second half-hour, actor Billy Mumy talked about his multiple appearances on both the original series, as well as a couple of the reboots. Commenting about Serling, Mumy said when he "was on the set, everyone was delighted he was around." Parisi continued that the great majority of Serling’s writing stemmed from his belief that "all evils stemmed from prejudice." His strong stance on racism often got him in trouble with network executives and sponsors who were nervous about any sort of controversy on television, but Parisi said that Serling’s vision of what the Twilight Zone would be has "lasted all this time because of Rod’s messages, and frankly, it [the show] was so good."

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Wayne Mattox is a noted expert in areas of American furniture, folk art, paintings, glass, pottery, ephemera and collectibles. In the second half, he discussed some of the more unusual and paranormal experiences he has had working in the antique trade including haunted items, and the aura around certain objects. A former stock market forecaster, Mattox discovered that he had an aptitude for the antique trade after a career change didn’t work out. He suggested that those wishing to get into the collectible cards business should ignore baseball cards and concentrate on football cards, because "no one’s buying" them now, and that armed with "common sense" and an idea of what people like, almost anyone can be a dealer or at least a skilled buyer of antiques and ephemera.

Mattox said his first big score was a large mahogany banquet table for which he paid $8500. He sold it two weeks later for $17,000. One of his most unusual finds was shrunken heads from the South Pacific. He added that real ones are "worth a fortune" and "about the size of a softball." Mattox also mentioned a pre-Columbian ceramic doll from the southwestern U.S. that he has in his possession that he says looks like the popular depiction of a grey alien. He believes that this is "a depiction of the Star People" from Native American lore. He also mentioned that some of the most valuable collectibles are artifacts related to Abraham Lincoln. Maddox' advice for any aspiring antique collector or dealer is to "buy what you love."

News segment guests: Howard Bloom, ‪Gary Ridenour

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