where the writers are
Guiding Light Project: The End of Summer

1:55. How many times have I sat down on the couch, turned on the TV to channel 5, and got ready for Guiding Light? So many times, I've lost track. This will be the last time. Last time I will sit down on the couch and watch the show. Okay. Here we go.

 

2:00: Oh, fantastic beginning. They go from the current opening to the one that started in 1952.

2:02: Dang! Is that Fletcher? He got gray!

2:05: Commerical. Popsicle break.

2:09: Both Daisy and Ashley are going to Berkeley!  They think they can find affordable housing! That's so sweet!

2:10: Ah, Grant Aleksander, him saying "we're not going anywhere" If only that was true, man.

2:11 Commerical break. Time to get Ben and Jerry's.

2:12 Krista Terseau is on! Oh, she looks good.

 

2:17: Okay, who are these people getting married? Remy, oh Remy I know.

2:17: God everything is going so fast! Olivia and Natalia are on. They're holding hands. Are they going to kiss?  If they don't, I know of certain ladies who might be a tad upset about it.

2:18: Reva tells Josh she loves him, but she's not ready yet because her husband just died. On the other hand, did he? I can't keep track anymore.

2:20. Forty minutes to go. The music playing when Josh and Reva talk is irritating. It distracts from the natural chemistry Kim Zimmer and Robert Newman have.

 

 

2:21: Another commercial?!  For the new version of Fame. Is that Bebe Neuwirth? Megan Mullally? I might want to see the movie.

2:24: Show promo. Stay tuned after these messages. Because they have a boatload of them.

2:25: Okay, show' s coming back. Billy is talking to Reva. Always good to see them again. Scene is ruined with song playing in background.

2:26: Matt Reardon! He's always yummy. His daughter is fixing him up with her teacher who has a beautiful patchwork skirt.

2:27: And it's a good-bye party for Daisy and Ashley! Hug hug hug , good bye good bye good bye! Irritating song in the background. This is becoming a trend.

2:29: Oh, Phillip. Beth gives him a blank journal, so he can start writing again. Oh, yes, yes yes! This is why I loved Phillip, because he was a writer. It makes so much sense.

 

2:30: Rick calls. Tells Phillip to come to the park, everyone is there! Who is everyone! We just saw everyone say good-bye to Ashley and Daisy. Did they all run over to the park?

2:33: Commercial for Macy's. Ben and Jerry's break.

2:34: Blake and Frank are meeting on a bridge after setting up a date on a dating website! However they didn't know they were meeting each other!  I saw that coming.

2:36: Some of these people I just don't know. I can't even think of funny quips about them.

2:39: Ah, James and Phillip playing Frisbee again. They're making this a family tradition (They played Frisbee after Alan's funeral) Olivia and Reva holding hands, when did they get to be Best Friends Forever? I always thought they were enemies.

2:40: Another freaking commercial. Was there always this many commercials? Or am I finally noticing it?

2:41: Just got ice cream on my dress, dagnabit!

 

 

2:43: And it's one year later!  People have been busy! There's babies, babies, babies! Rick and Mindy are getting married! Where are Rick's kids?  Rick's kids should be there!

2:47: Josh is at the lighthouse. He told Reva that if she wanted him, he would be at the lighthouse. Reva shows up with her toddler. They're talking, looks like they are going to be together, and thank God! No irritating music!

 

2:50: Josh and Reva kiss. Her toddler just stands there, not wandering away or anything. He must be drugged. Now people are tossing baseballs, holding babies, drinking champagne. Josh and Reva get in his truck. He drives away, with the words The End in fancy script appearing on the screen.

2:54: Now a commercial for Pine-Sol!

2:57: Time for the credits. However, there's no thanking the fans, nothing. Just Katie Couric with a newsbreak.

It's officially over. How do I feel? A little sad.  Not much. Mostly relieved, I watched it and I'm not sobbing, not feeling much at all. For me it's like the end of summer; you're a bit sad that it has ended, but yet you're ready for fall.  You're ready to break in the new shoes, try out the new crayons. You're ready for change, ready to see what's going to come next.

Thirty-two years ago, I started watching a show with my grandmother.  I was five years old, just started kindergarten. I lost my grandmother when I was eight. At thirty-seven, the show is gone too. Yet the memories remain.

I am, in the words of Natalie Merchant, blessed and lucky that I have a job where I can go in and say: “I’m starting a project about Guiding Light and its cancellation,” and the people I work with say: “Sure, go for it.” This is why I am lucky to work with Ivory Madison, Huntington Sharp, Abraham Mertens, Charles Purdy, and Michele Chaboudy.

Thanks also to...

Lynn Liccardo, who told me to go for it.

Patrick Erwin, who said "Tell me how I can help you, I'll do it."

Maria Triviano, who was just as excited as I was about my interview with Grant Aleksander.

Michael Khan, who said: "Anything you do, it will be better than what some of the soap magazines are doing."

Lana Nieves, who has become a friend, and helped me realize a dream in talking with Grant Aleksander.

Roger Newcomb, who has promoted the project from the beginning. 

Robert Reid, who was so gracious to interview me on his radio show.

Liz and Dani on Pancakes and Valium, who are simply amazing.

Meranda Broder, who said: "You better watch out! I'm going to call in and tell people you cut school to watch Guiding Light!"

The people interviewed for the project so far: Tina Sloan, Liz Kiefer, Maeve Kinkhead,and Grant Aleksander.

Of course, the project is not "officially" over; people have been asking me if they can keep writing for the project, and of course, anyone can. For me though, I'm done. I'm ready to move on.  I want to keep on writing about what's going on here at Red Room, the fact that my new cat Felix wants to eat my hair, and whatever I'm reading.  For me, though, this is it.

However, I think I said this last year. So you never know....

Always
Everything went wrong,
And the whole day long
I'd feel so blue.
For the longest while
I'd forget to smile,
Then I met you.
Now that my blue days have passed,
Now that I've found you at last -
{end intro}

I'll be loving you Always
With a love that's true Always.
When the things you've planned
Need a helping hand,
I will understand Always.

Always.

Days may not be fair Always,
That's when I'll be there Always.
Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always.

I'll be loving you, oh Always
With a love that's true Always.
When the things you've planned
Need a helping hand,
I will understand Always.

Always.

Dreams will all come true,
growing old with you,
and time will fly,
caring each day more
than the day before,
till spring rolls by.
Then when the springtime has gone,
Then will my love linger on.

I'll be loving you, oh Always
With a love that's true Always.
When the things you've planned
Need a helping hand,
I will understand Always.

Always.

Days may not be fair Always,
That's when I'll be there Always.
Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always.

Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always.

Irving Berlin

 

 

 

 

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Re: GUIDING LIGHT Project: The End of Summer

Beautiful, Jennifer. I still feel like I've been sucker-punched by this whole thing. I can't believe GL is cancelled. Yes, there was choppy editing & blaring music drowning out the dialogue. Yes, character assassination happened quite frequently over the last 15 years...no matter how lousy & incoherent the writing became, I still had hope for GUIDING LIGHT. I loved watching my favorite actors & now I feel adrift...I don't know what to do at the moment. My sister called to console me; she knew how much this show meant to me. She said, "You'll find a new passion" but I don't know. Twenty-seven years is a long time to invest in something. [Luckily I still have Vincent Irizarry on ALL MY CHILDREN so there is that. When he leaves AMC, I am done.] The one good thing about my GL tenure is the actors I had the amazing opportunity to meet...and the cyberfriends I've made along the way. Thank you for such a lovely piece, Jennifer.