Blankets, beach chairs, and flashlights

Chelsea Mercier, Jeremy Mercier, Nicholas Cardoza, and Caleb Hallett.
Flashlights cast an eerie glow on these intrepid people who walked the corn maze at in the dead of night at the FARM Institute in Edgartown last Friday. (From left) Chelsea Mercier, Jeremy Mercier, Nicholas Cardoza, and Caleb Hallett. Photos by Ralph Stewart

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - October 19, 2006

Last Friday night was downright cold. I know because I was sitting on a beach chair, wrapped in two blankets, on the lawn at the FARM Institute in Edgartown, and having a ball. "Twilight at the FARM" brought out more than 150 hardy folks to watch two "Twilight Zone" episodes and a Simpson's Halloween special outside, on a big screen. After the show, most people took their flashlights and ventured into the corn maze. Funds from this event benefited the institute's educational programs.

Richard Paradise of the Martha's Vineyard Film Society provided his expertise to screen the three television shows. He was huddled down behind the digital equipment and wishing he had two blankets to keep himself warm.

Rob Goldfarb opened the evening with an enthusiastic welcome, thanking Island Entertainment of Vineyard Haven and Richard Paradise for their help. Mr. Goldfarb also thanked Island Food Products for the apple cider they donated that was now being gulped down by the gallon.

Amy Bates, Kristin Timmons, and Erica McCarron
(From left) Amy Bates, Kristin Timmons, and Erica McCarron sit under a pile of blankets.

The "Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man" was met with some laughter when the 9-foot, 350-pound Kanamit spaceman came on the screen. All the make-up couldn't disguise actor Richard Kiel who went on to play the wonderful villain Jaws in the 007 film "Moonraker."

The institute held an online ballot for people to vote on which episodes they would like to see. The winning shows were a "Twilight Zone" episode titled "It's a Good Life" with Cloris Leachman and a very young Billy Mumy, who played Will Robinson on "Lost in Space." The other show was one of the Simpson's Halloween specials, which become instant classics every year.

Mittens and gloves, worn by those lucky people who knew it was going to be cold, muffled the applause after each show. The aroma of fresh popcorn filled the air and bags of it were gobbled down throughout the evening.

I made it to the entrance of the corn maze, flashlight in hand and still wearing one blanket, when I heard screams coming from the field. Were they screams of delight or fright? I didn't hang around to find out. After all it was Friday the thirteenth. Why tempt fate?