One year ago, marked by controversy and comedy, a long awaited statue memorializing the late Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stevens was erected in Salem Massachusetts to honor the TV show "Bewitched. The statue was commissioned by TV Land and approved by Salem's city council and then Mayor Stanley J. Usovicz Jr.
Well the controversy has died down, the statue still stands and is loved by many Salem residents and visitors. There's even a tradition starting where people tweak Samantha's nose for good luck.
The three surviving cast members of "Bewitched" gathered around the statue of Montgomery, who died in 1995. The three actors were Erin Murphy, who played baby witch Tabitha Stephens; Kasey Rogers, who portrayed Louise Tate, wife of ad executive Larry Tate; and Bernard Fox, the crazy ''Dr. Bombay."
(This photo was borrowed from the Boston Globe. Staff Photo / John Blanding. I did take the other photos that follow but mine just weren't as good.Â Read the Globe article )
TV Land executives appear with Bewitched director, Bill Asher who was also Elizabeth Montgomery's husband.
Tabitha is all grown up. Actress Erin Murphy played Tabitha on Bewitched.
Calling Dr. Bombay... Bernard Fox, portrayed the beloved and loony Doctor Bombay.
and of course protesters attend the unveiling because we can't do anything in America without protesters. In a quote taken from a Washington Post Article we have the typical sentiment of the protesters.
"It's like TV Land going to Auschwitz and proposing to erect a statue of Colonel Klink," says John Carr, a former member of the Salem Historic District Commission. "Putting this statue in the park near the church where this all happened, it trivializes the execution of 19 people."
On some level I do understand the feelings of the protesters but on the other hand, I love that Salem is a fun place to live and I was a big fan of the Bewitched show. I think it's great that visitors and come to Salem and celebrate Elizabeth Montgomery and her character Samantha.
The innocent lives that were taken in 1692 need to be honored and respected too. Salem's maritime history needs to continue to be celebrated. The area's rich art and achitectural offerings will never be diminished. But, until Salem decides to drive out the wax museums, the witch gift shops, and the boo spooky haunted houses and monster museums, This one piece of salem kitsch will be my favorite. We are, after all, the Halloween capital of the world!