In addition to my interest in history, I am also a bit of a nerd in other, more traditional ways (shocking, I know). Specifically, I’m a fan of several science fiction shows. Today, I was catching up on a few episodes of the SyFy television show Alphas. For non-nerds, Alphas is a TV show about people who have superhuman abilities. It’s essentially X-Men but with more realistic and believable abilities. Recently, the good Alphas have been trying to track and capture the leader of the bad Alphas. He is a man by the name of Stanton Parish. His Alpha ability is perfect control of his brain which manifests in his ability to slow down his aging process and heal his body. The team was able to find images of him dating back to the Civil War and how old he really is has yet to be determined:
While watching it today, there was a second when the leader of the good Alphas, Dr. Rosen, was flipping through his materials on Stanton Parish. There was a quick shot of an image that looked strangely familiar. I rewound the video (you got to love the “On Demand” feature), and paused it. I could see then that the producers of the show had taken the head of the Stanton Parish character and had Photoshopped it onto the body of the Lincoln assassination conspirator, David Herold:
I had a good chuckle over this strange cameo appearance by Davy Herold. References to the assassination can be found in the most unlikeliest of places.
This isn’t about Davy Herold, but your alertness about spotting the doctored photo on a TV show and rewinding it to see if yu were right reminds me of a story: I was sitting at the computer, where I have an angled view of our TV set. My wife was watching “Sex and the City,” a show that I didn’t ever watch. (Shall I dare say it was beneath me?) Anyway, it was the evening of the day I had gone into lower manhattan very early before heading to work, to be filmed for the new “History Detectives” show (which hadn’t even begun to air, as I recall.) They wanted me bec. they learned from Harold Holzer that I might have some knowledge about Sam Chester’s chats with John Wilkes Booth, and they were doing a piece on Chester’s house at 45 Grove Street in Greenwich Village. The segment’s question was — “Did John Wilkes Booth, as rumored, plot to kill Lincoln in the 45 Grove St. house?” (I subsequently appeared for perh. three mins. on the show. I liked it the first couple of times I viewed it. After that I concluded that the segt. was pretty lame and I was somewhat embarrased by it.) So there I am typing away on the computer that night, when suddenly I overheard a scene on my wif’es show with the sound of groans and the rustling of satin sheets. So I got a little “turned on” and took a look. It was a scene in which a beautiful girl was having sex in bed with her boyfriend. Within five secs., the scene ended, and they cut to the bext scene, of two girls talking to ea. other. However, the camera only showed a red building full frame, and then it quickly zoomed out, after only 3 or 4 secs., and immediately panned away, revealing that the girls were in a restaurant, seated by a window through which that building had been seen. I turned back to my computer screen, but suddenly realized that the brick building, which had only been on screen for a couple of seconds, looked like 45 Grove Street. Fortunately, my wife had been videotaping the program for our daughter (in the days before we had DVR’s). So when the show was over, I immediately rewound it to see if I was correct. Sure enough, I was. And it had, indeed, only been on screen for three seconds! It wasn’t that amazing, really, that I identified it; it was more amazing that I had just spent the morning in connection with that very building!
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