COUNTRY OF THE BLIND

Published July 10, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Bogota, Columbia.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Thanks to K Rawson and J Hardy Caroll for hosting this irresistible challenge each week.

Unfashionably late to the party this week. In fact I didn’t think I’d be on the guest list at all, but this piece sort of niggled inside my head. I seem to be in a reflective mode lately. I did try a bit of research…Jews in Bogota…”Famous People in Bogota for $50, Alex.” But this one haunted me and begged to be written. Now, if I haven’t bored you with intro…

Genre: Anecdote/Memoir

Word Count: 150

COUNTRY OF THE BLIND

            The 1950’s through the 1960’s is often referred to as the Golden Age of Television. In a day where astounding computer graphics have replaced the salt-in-water special effects of Star Trek’s transporter beam, Millennials might scoff at such presumption.  

            Where are programs such as Playhouse 90 and, my personal favorite, The Twilight Zone? In my opinion, reality shows or over-the-top sitcoms are no match for them.  

            One black and white production of the DuPont Theater etched its stamp on my psyche and gave me nightmares. The play starred Lee Marvin who portrayed Juan De Nuñez, a prospector from the city who seeks wealth in the mountains of Columbia. Instead he finds himself held captive in village where everyone is blind.

            To this day I feel the shock that sizzled through eight-year-old me when the camera zeroed in on an eyeless Marvin who said, “I am the richest man in Bogota.”

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33 comments on “COUNTRY OF THE BLIND

  • Brilliant! And yes, today’s stuff is über slick, wild and over the top. Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the the simpler times (That eyepatch is a sad job but what 8-year-old would notice?) More effort was put into acting than explosions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jan,

      I might have to reword a little bit to clarify. The Richest Man in Bogota was a play presented by DuPont Theater and not the TZ. At any rate, you get the picture. Thank you for commenting, m’love.

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Karen,

      The picture is the only one I could find from the DuPont Theater production of The Richest Man in Bogota. A play I’ve remembered all these years (after a fashion). Thank you for your kind comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • You got my number on those shows, too. Some of those kinescopes have been rescued and restored (which is kind of as feat considering the technology of the day). My dream was to get my hands on the scripts. But, I have read some and I think I’d rather see the completed product being as how everything changes at the last minute. It’s also kind of uninspiring reading a TV script anyway.

    Actually, the transporter effect was really aluminum dust poured from an intense beam of light. The transporter SOUND is actually done by a Wurlitzer organ rebuilt by Jack Cookerly. I have the raw recording of Alexander Courage telling Cookerly to use, ” … that crazy pitch thing that you got, pull it down a half-tone and up again and make it sound like the flutes did before.” Cookerly said, “I can only do it one note at a time.” Courage went: “Ooooh, YEAH!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cuzzin Kent,

      I could’ve sworn I read the salt in water thing somewhere. Thanks for setting me straight. I knew you’d relate to this one. I tried my darndest to find The Richest Man in Bogota online. No dice. 😦 There are negotiations going on. I really couldn’t remember the whole scenario. As an eight year old, those eyeless people really scared me. Now I’d love to go back and watch it for the production value and the story that was actually a statement by HG Wells about the state of humanity…not wanting to see what was right in front or them.
      Thank you for coming by.

      Shalom,

      Cuzzin Shelley

      Like

      • Well, you know, videos are like the weather in Kansas City … just wait. All of a sudden, someone finds something and posts it. A few years ago, Steve Allen wasn’t really represented very well on Youtube, then someone posted a rare clip (and a generously long one) of him from the 1956 Tonight Show, so you never know. Someone invariably has something that was given to them or willed to them or found in a closet somewhere. That’s what happened with Star Trek’s lost color footage of the original pilot— it was found in a vault of old unclaimed materials in a Hollywood film lab, underneath a film rack in a rusty canister in 1987.

        I could go on …

        Anyway, we got to listen to a record of the story of Village of The Blind by H.G. Wells my junior year in high school. Of course, at the time, I wasn’t looking for any big message, but the premise was intriguing.

        Like

    • Dear Joyful,

      I never read the story. The play was called “The Richest Man in Bogota” and I’m guessing was broadcast way before your time. It’s no longer available to watch.

      Oh, do go see Wonder Woman. There really is some wonderful acting in it as well as special effects. 😉

      Thank you and Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wow! never knew such a show existed. Need to hunt for it now. The old shows with their limitations in technology were still impressive because the effects were the garnish to the skillful performances. These days the graphics are there to mask shoddy acting. Example, The Transformers series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Varad,

      I’d say these shows were long before you were born. Some of those old black and whites put today’s technology to shame. Of course, as I said in my story, it’s my opinion. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Lish,

      I’m afraid this isn’t a movie you’ll be able to find. It’s a production of DuPont Theater (TV) from 1961. It was recorded on kinescope and isn’t available. I checked. The play was called The Richest Man in Bogota and was adapted from the HG Wells story The Country of the Blind. Thank you. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I havent seen this show but I have read the story. I can well imagine your shock 🙂 I also used to (actually still do) get completely immersed into the motion picture. Over here we have a popular saying ‘the one-eyed is king among blind’ 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh for God’s sake (any god), “Jews in Bogota”, you slay me! I liked your story. It’s hard to select a favorite Twilight episode, but I think mine is the one with Burgess Meridith when he finds the library.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ted,

      There actually is a congregation in Bogota…nothing to inspire a story, though.

      Actually this story was from the DuPont Theater. However, I do have the definitive box set of TZ. I, too, would be hard pressed to choose a favorite episode. There are the classics like Eye of the Beholder. And who could forget Anthony, the monster played by Billy Mumy. Still a chiller.

      At any rate, I’m glad you liked my story and took the time to say so. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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