In Season 1 of the television series The Twilight Zone, (if The Twlight Zone means nothing to you, here is Wiki) a 1960 episode titled The Purple Testament (IMDB) gives us a reminder to live in the present… Hollywood style. And then it was driven home by real life events.
In the episode, an American soldier stationed in the Philippines, has the ability to forecast who will die next. He sees a mysterious purple glow across their face. The purple glow foretells that the soldier will not make it.
Then, the soldier sees the glow around his own face, while looking in the mirror. At the end of the episode, the prophetic soldier rides off in a jeep. Off camera, the TV audience hears the explosion of a landmine. It indicates that the soldier did indeed die in an explosion, on a routine drive, while headed back to his base.
One of the early victims in the episode was named Melvin Levy. That name meant something to the real-life Twiglight Zone writer/narrator, Rod Serling.
While serving in World War II, Serling lost a friend named Melvin Levy. In a letter to his children, he and the other soldiers took cover under nearby trees while boxes of rations for the soldiers were landing around them. The airplane delivered items were a welcomed sight.
According to the letter, an excited Levy did not run for cover under the trees. Instead, he started running and laughing and screaming, “It’s raining chow, boys,”. Moments later, one of the crates hit Levy and killed him. When Sterling wrote the episode of The Purple Testament, he did so with the knowledge of the importance of seizing the moment.
In researching the episode, I also learned of related event. On the same day that the studio was screening The Twilight Zone episode, the man who had directed the episode, Richard Bare, was killed in a plane crash. He was headed to direct another television series.
At the conclusion of our Monday attorney meetings, I always end the meeting with the Latin aphorism “Carpe Diem!”. It is translated “Seize the Day!”.
On a week that we focus on thankfulness as we head toward Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for the present. As Mother Teresa would say, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
And now for a couple of pic o’s. First, a “selfie” of my parents and me at our Sunday breakfast yesterday. We were seizing the day!
And then a reminder from “Charlie” to focus :
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