Rod Serling

The smile. A mood lifting, contagious reaction, free to give, and beautiful to receive, gesture and expression. How we love when babies smile.  It is the one sound or expression they make, that lets us know everything is okay. A natural reaction, it is created with ease. A frown creates tension, and if our Grandmothers are correct, hold on to one long enough, and it will become your permanent expression. Smile, and less an occasion or two,  the person you smiled at, will smile back at you. Smile in the mirror and you will like the person you see. Smile in the morning, and welcome in the new day. Smile when your world is crying and find the strength to see it through. A downside to smiling? I have no idea. I did not search for that answer, for the smile should remain untouchable, free from the trials and tribulations attached to so many of our expressions of emotion.


Keith Mon aka Fiyaman*


We shall never know all the good
that a simple smile can do.
– Mother Teresa

by Kendall F. Person
inspired by Rod Serling

An (*) forever remains by the name of Keith Mon  for his credentials, were since called into question, but the Smile is all his. – Hold Your Head

Republished from 2014, in honor of Keith Mon’s 2017 college graduation

Rod SerlingHis name was Rod Serling and from 1959 – 1964, he created original episodes of the legendary anthology television show, The Twilight Zone. I was born after the series had ended, but I am not alone in claiming it as one of the all time great shows. Each episode is of its own creation. There were no recurring characters, other than his monologue, nor did any story lines continue until the next week. No subplots needed to add complexity.  The foundation was laid, events executed, and our minds were blown. all in less than 30 minutes. He created worlds, time periods and in arguably,  the absolute best episode ever To Serve Manhe introduced humanity on earth to “humanity” from outer space. The shows were tense, compelling, and directed with such skill and finesse, we would always forget how ruthless he could be in flipping the script.  Every episode was a motion picture and Rod Serling was a master of the performance.

On October 16, 1987, 12 years after Serling’s untimely death, a future music producer would be stillborn, pronounced dead at birth. But while the infant displayed no outward signs of life, there lived a fighting spirit inside. When efforts to revive him were successful, there was little hope that a young Keith Montgomery of Baltimore, Maryland would make it through the night. But there was fortitude in that infant child; he would defy the odds and after what must have been for his mother, a long and painful night, his survival gave her reason to smile.smilekeithk

I have much respect for the visionaries, whose legendary status does not define me as yet. I have much love for the arts and individual artistic expression, but I believe it is possible to push the envelope too far. And Rod Sterling flung said envelope, way over the cliff in his creation of The Twilight Zone episode It’s a Good Life. Forced to smile at all times, in the face of death, destruction, and the systematic elimination of all mankind. It did not matter if your loved ones were disintegrated or your emotions were overwhelmed, stop smiling even for a minute, and a little boy would make you disappear. With no silver lining or message to be learned, and the perversion of smiling in the face of unspeakable things, was not entertaining and was the one performance I wish I had missed. Smiles should be untouchable after all.

Keith MonKeith Mon (Montgomery) would win the fight for his life but would not emerge unscathed. The lack of oxygen to his young brain, during the moments he did not breathe, would cause a speech impediment and a learning disability, he would carry for the rest of his life. During elementary school, when young children can be so cruel, his difficult speech made him a target for childhood bullies. But one day he would stand up for himself, and would force his bully to stand down and from that day forth – with the support of his family – he would find a way to live a purpose driven life. He spoke slower, and concentrated on the pronunciation of his words. He would study longer, forcing his brain to catch up with stealth. A lover of literature, who dabbled in the visual arts, but at the young age of 26, we believed he had found his calling in music, but allowed himself to reach for something he did not own, but the smile we still love.

(Bonus Smile)

the story within the story


The Scarlet Virgins available at Amazon


  1. Pingback: HOLD YOUR HEAD UP – The Neighborhood

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  3. My grandson was an ECMO baby, Had to have the blood drained from his body, oxygenated and replaced, suffered early learning disabilities which have been overcome. One of the reasons I wrote my father’s biography which has elicited may smiles. I liked: “It’s good you wished the dog into the corn field, Anthony, it’s real good.” Rod Serling was a genius, whether he wrote the stories or used others (rarely as in: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce). Thanks for the smile-inducing post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is why my first blog post is about smiling! Stop worrying, SMILE…we are all blessed. Love this! 🙂


  5. Reblogged this on DEREK and commented:
    I loved this! Smiling is so important and this reminds me again to try to do it more each day. If you think hard there is always something to smile about. 🙂


  6. i love it , its phantastic , i wish that everybody give birth everyday to their dreams , to our dream !


  7. Holy s***. I went into this article, skimming it, as I do with anyone who “likes” one of my posts, to reciprocate the positive message, if even only with a “like” of my own, or a kind word, or, occasionally a multi- sentence reply to one of their posts. Rarely do I read the post with my full attention. Even more rarely do I actually genuinely enjoy the article.

    There have been only a handful that I have read that was in awe of.

    There has never been one, on WordPress, that I have ever linked to my personal facebook account.

    This one will be the first.

    It is really beautiful.


  8. Reblogged this on and commented:
    i love it , its phantastic , i wish that everybody give birth everyday to their dreams , to our dream !


  9. Serving Man, I remember well and have seen again recently.
    The power of a smile costs nothing but means the world. 😀
    As always, a wonderful post.


  10. Pingback: the untouchable smile – {QP3} | The Benevolent Thou

  11. I love this part: “Smile in the mirror and you will like the person you see. Smile in the morning, and welcome in the new day. Smile when your world is crying and find the strength to see it through.


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