Gentle Readers, it's been a weird couple of weeks. The economy is wacky, the election is never going to end, and I've had a cold. Also, a couple of deaths have affected the soap opera community.
First off, Irene Dailey died. She was Aunt Liz Matthews on Another World, but she was also well known creating the role of Nettie in the play The Subject was Roses. She lived in a town a hour from me, and if I had known that, maybe I would've tracked her down, talked to her about the old days of soaps. I hope she wouldn't have thought I was a stalker.
Then Eileen Herlie died. She played Myrtle on All My Children. Myrtle was the lady who ran the boarding house where the lost souls of Pine Valley would end up. She always had kind words for them and a warm meal. AMC now lost its heart with her death.
The soap opera death that has shaken me-and I have no idea why-was when it was revealed that James Reilly died on Sunday. In case you don't remember, James Reilly was the creator and head writer of Passions. Yeah, you might remember now. The show I really tore apart last summer. The show that had witches, women getting raped, ghosts, you name it.
Last night when I read about his death, I was sad the rest of the night. Sad that he died, of course. He also died on the anniversary of my grandfather's death, so that was part of it. But I also felt bad because well, let's face it: I wasn't a fan of his writing. And boy, did I say so. I think I also said in the blog that if we based Reilly on his writing, then he would be considered a odd little man. Now I feel like a complete bitch.
Okay, I'm not egocentric to believe that Reilly read my blog, keeled over and died. Give me credit for that. Yet it's hitting me that whoa, I really was a bit mean. More than mean. I was a mean mama. Yet here's the deal; I reread the blog in question. And there was not one word I regretted writing. Not one single word. I needed to say it, needed to just say everything I had to say.
However, here's some other things I know: I do know that James Reilly loved the genre of soap opera. He worked on almost every show as a writer-be it the one who sets up the scenes or writing the dialogue. He won an Emmy as a breakdown writer on Guiding Light. He truly loved his characters. No matter what you thought of his writing, he got soap opera fans talking, discussing, thinking.
Like I said, I don't regret what I wrote. However, I can't forget that James Reilly did leave behind a legacy that is still being talked about-and probably will be talked about-years after he died. And let's face it, isn't that what all writers want?
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries