Monday, July 24, 2006

Fans of `Bewitched' charmed in Salem

via The Boston Globe

GLOUCESTER -- When Judy McClelland's cell phone rings, the theme song to television's ``Bewitched" sounds. The ringtone is among the more than 50 pieces of memorabilia from the show she's collected over the years.

And recently the 45-year-old flew -- by plane, not by broom -- from her home in Australia to attend the annual ``Bewitched" convention, held this year in Salem.

``I've always loved the show," she said yesterday, as she dined at a Gloucester restaurant for a convention dinner. ``[The convention] makes it all real."

McClelland says she enjoys the relationships the long-gone show portrayed between Samantha Stephens , her husband Darrin , and Samantha's mother, Endora (played by Agnes Moorehead), who also is a witch.

About 20 adults from Australia, Canada, and the United States gathered yesterday during the second day of the convention to celebrate the sitcom, which aired from 1964 to 1972 and remains in syndication .

The convention at Salem State College includes presentations about the show's nose-twitching star Elizabeth Montgomery and the viewing of episodes that were filmed in Salem.

The organizer, Mark Simpson , 47, of Tacoma, Wash., said the event has evolved and become more formal since it started about six years ago, when only a handful of people attended . ``I kind of felt that `Bewitched' deserved a little more recognition than it had gotten in the past," he said.

Like other participants, Simpson has collected souvenirs from the show including lunchboxes, dolls, games, and photos. ``I like to think I'm the biggest collector in the world," he said.

This year, the convention was held in Salem so participants can view a statue of Samantha Stephens erected last year.

The convention runs through Wednesday.

No comments: