Posts Tagged ‘One Life To Live’

Yarn To The Left Of Me, Yarn To The Right….

August 22, 2015

Wow, it’s like a new beginning. I really need to get in here more often, but at least I’m making these cameo appearances. Ha, that reminds me of the time one of my high school teachers said that to me in my senior year. I may have told this once before, but I’m telling it again.

In my senior year of high school I was absent for a grand total of 33 days during the course of the year. The greatest number of them centered around the time Karen Wolek exposed herself as a hooker on the witness stand in the murder trial on One Life To Live, still sorely missed by yours truly. But as it goes, the day during that period I went back to class was the explosive episode when the truth came out. But, because I had promise as an exemplary student my teachers of the necessary subjects needed to pass in order to graduate, they offered to count particular tests for multiple ones I’d missed. But they weren’t your ordinary ones, especially in English class. No. I had to recite the soliloquies from both Hamlet and that other one…what was it?…

Well, whichever it was, I had to do them flawlessly and without hesitation and each would be worth 3 test scores. And I did! Anyway, on one day when I returned to class, on of my teachers announced to the class that I was making a cameo appearance…to get back to that train of thought.
Well, here I am, fresh from the doctor’s and some of you on Facebook already know that my blood work came back great, my tumor maker numbers lower than from my last appointment 4 months ago and my doctor didn’t want a PET scan this time. My last one was a year ago this month and now he doesn’t want to see me for another 4 months. He put me on a 4 month visitation because he felt every three months was overdoing it.
As is my ritual when I have my appointments, I bring in some home made goodies for the nurses and now that my span of time has increased between visits, I’ll have to make a stop in at the halfway point and that works out well because I already have an idea for Halloween. Anyway, when the doctor came in, I asked him if he’d been to the kitchen yet, remembering how he joked one time and said, “You should have them page me to get to the kitchen, STAT, when you bring stuff in” and he said no, but he heard I’d brought something. I made blueberry zuchini cake with lemon buttercream frosting, cut inti individual bite size pieces. Then he got all serious sounding and said “I have to be honest with you” and I got a lump in my throat. I figured he’d tell me I shouldn’t be doing that anymore and he continued, “We saw your name on today’s patient list and we all thought, ‘Hooray, Brian’s coming, I wonder what he’s bringing’”.  And he busted out laughing. And then he apologized, that he didn’t want to take it for granted but I told him if he keeps me coming back I’ll keep bringing stuff in.
And I’ve still been busy crocheting my fingers to the bone making baby blankets and putting them on Ebay or making them for private commissions as long as the recipient makes a donation to the American Cancer Society. So far, I’ve figured, since I’ve started this project, I’ve raised in the neighborhood of $2,000 for the ACS. And right now I’m working on another private commission for two blankets for a set of twin girls who are the donor’s great great-and I think one more great-nieces.  An important note: the supplies, the time and work and the shipping are all on me and 100% of the sale goes directly to the American Cancer Society through Ebay’s Giving Works page.
But I have my MACBETH! That was the other Shakespeare soliloquy I had to recite. I knew it would come to me. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, I have my most current baby blanket on Ebay and you can see it here or click the picture below. Like I ask my friends on my Facebook page and the page I created there just for my baby blankets Crochet For The Cure, to please at least look, perhaps bid and just as importantly, share the link.

Even though I’m a lucky cancer survivor, there are so many who we’ve lost or are currently going through their own battle and I hope to be able help raise much more than those $2,000.
So please check it out. And now I have to go back into hiding until my next appearance.  These blankets don’t crochet themselves!


bavarian stitch
Later y’all!

Fourth And Scan!

May 20, 2014

Not to belabor this story with the horrors of side affects the Chemo and the shots of Neulasta, the time release shot I was switched to (from Neupogen) after Chemo round #2 brought, I will simply summarize by saying it all went pretty much the same: starting with a blood test to make sure nothing out of the ordinary was going on to prevent me from each treatment, regaling the nurses with the confection of the week, getting set up in my chair away from the TV which seemed fixed on ABC and anyone who knows me knows that since One Life To Live was taken off, I don’t watch ABC and the one time we sat alone in that area, ultimately someone came in and decided to watch that channel and merely hearing those shows that took the soaps’ place was making me sicker than the Chemo was. And of course suffering the nausea and pain afterward.. Sometimes the nausea would set in on the way to the drug store to pick up that infernal Prednisone that would become my enemy for the next five mornings. But I always had my bucket.
There was one incident I had, actually it happened twice on two separate sessions when the infusions had to be temporarily halted. Knowing my system could tolerate the faster drip, (I’m assuming this is the reason) they started me off at a faster rate and it was too much all at once and even though they’d started me out with Benadryl and Zofran (to guard against nausea) the feeling of nausea set in and they had to send for Dr. David to check me out before they could get me started up again. Even with the faster pace of the Chemo drip, I was still the first one in and the last one out of each of my remaining sessions.
I still took my naps during my lunch breaks from work and I looked forward to them. Surprisingly, every once in while, I’d find myself waking up in a more supine position and not in the bolstered up sitting position I started out in. And there was minimal, if any, pain. Ariel suggested starting out that way next time and I could always sit back up if it became uncomfortable. With a little trepidation I did and it was fine. I was able to lay down again and with marked comfort. Bliss!
The true test of all this suffering was yet to come when I would have my first PET scan on Tuesday, October 29, 12 days after Chemo #4. This was to determine how effective the chemotherapy had been up to this point.
Bad news: I had to fast for at least 6 hours for this test. Good news: the test was scheduled for 11am. I was able to have a light breakfast, but before 5 am, so by 4:30, Ariel was downstairs rustling me up some grub: over easy eggs, toast and coffee. Even though I was suffering from a number of side effects from chemotherapy, loss of appetite was not one of them.
The appointment might have been scheduled for 11am, but by the time all the red tape of checking in and preliminary interviews–family history, other maladies I’ve ever suffered, if I have false teeth, what I had for breakfast on June 29 th 1983–and a general orientation had been done, I was glad for those eggs 7 hours prior.
The steps to having the scan were simple. I was to make sure there was no metal on my person (check!), surrender my wallet (check!), my phone (check!), and anything else that might show up in the scan (check!). I was to sit in the QUIET ROOM to relax where a technician would first take a sugar blood test by pricking my finger (that’s relaxing!). Then, they injected a sugar substance via IV (the sugar was radioactive and the cancer is attracted to the sugar..again…relaxing), then gave me a pillow and blanket so I could really unwind in the darkened room for 45 minutes. During those 45 minutes the door to the QUIET ROOM must have opened and slammed at least a dozen times, loud conversations were going on just outside in the corridor and far off slams of doors to other rooms were slamming shut every so often. I was imaging that in the right conditions, I’d be glowing now that I was full of toxic sugar. And, my tummy was growling–the eggs had finally worn off. The QUIET ROOM was not very relaxing and quite frankly, I’d have gotten more rest playing Candy Crush on my phone.
The procedure is pretty much the same as an MRI or a CT scan, you just lay as still as possible on the table that takes you inside the tunnel and it whirs and bangs and clunks for 35 minutes and you ignore that itch that suddenly creeps up in the most unlikliest of places as best you can.
When it was over we were told the results could be ready by 4pm but most likely not for 24 hours. Ariel had other ideas about that and made it his goal to get them as soon as they were hot off the presses.
We stopped for breakfast. Finally! I remember we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some more of their pumpkin filled donuts. Earlier, for my birthday Ariel brought me some and they were filled with real pumpkin filling, like a pie. On this day it was more like a pumpkin flavored custard filled donut which lacked the impact and deliciousness of the first ones, unless it was just that particular store that was faltering but whatever the reason, they were quite dissatisfying.
And once back home the waiting game began. 4 o’clock arrived like a gunshot at a relay race and Ariel was on the phone, calling Dr. David who, as it turned out, had already been sent the results and his take on them was that the tumor had begun to shrink.
When I was diagnosed back on July 31, the mass had measured 15cm x 8.3cm (5 29/32in x 3 17/64in) and after this PET scan it had melted down to 9.1cm x 4.8cm (3 37/64in x 1 57/64in). Good news indeed, and the cancerous activity seemed to be a minimum.
We were happy. But I still had two more treatments to go (at least), so we remained cautiously optimistic for the time being but we had something positive to share on our upcoming first major outing since the end of July.

green ribbon

i-Yi Yi

June 14, 2013

Look at this!  I’m actually blogging.  How long has it been? February. I remember it well. I think it was still snowing on here when I last posted something. It snows automatically during the winter months. I feel bad I didn’t blog more so that you could see the snow. Alas…

I’m here because I came across something totally silly and I’m thinking useless to give Dad for Father’s Day but before I get to that, let me catch you up.

First, I admit, I am going through Jodi Arias trial withdrawals.  After that insult to the justice system that was the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, I swore I would never get attached to another trial until, well, Jodi Arias. Good Lord what a fiasco, but ever so entertaining and thankfully the jury found her guilty of M1 and of extreme cruelty in the manner in which she murdered her ex, Travis Alexander. But dash it all they were hung on the death sentence phase and now in July, the trial resumes anew with a fresh jury to hear the case one more time. And hopefully this one will see fit to put her down. But now the duh-fense (as I’ve seen them referred to) is hoping to delay further proceedings until after Christmas, A) because the attorney has a full plate of other cases and B) to give them time to build a more convincing case of just how wonderful Jodi Arias is.  But I’m like Pavlov’s dog; any mere mention of Jodi Arias and I’m all over it.

Ugh, and now comes the George Zimmerman case and I’m listening to the tedious interviews with prospective jurors. And in between was the little known Brett Seacat trial. He was charged with first degree murder of wife.  God, Helen Keller could have seen that one coming.

Anyway, it’s now June and after seeing my nutritionist recently, discovered that since November I am down a cool 27 pounds.  That’s nearly 6 bags of sugar, something I don’t see myself carrying around at my local ShopRite for any length of time. Phew. I’m loving it. And I’m also loving how my 34 waist jeans even have room to spare.

And One Life to Live and All My Children have returned to the cyber airwaves. The magical date was April 29 and at 5:30 am, before Ariel left for work and the gym, we watched it. Now we watch it like we always did, after dinner in the den on the big TV, through HuluPlus. But there’s more drama than what’s on the screen and I’ll get into that later. But first….

Father’s Day.  I supposed you could give it or get it any time but since I saw it as a gift suggestion for Dad’s day…

You know how tedious it is to do just about everything these days from cooking spaghetti to watering your lawn with a hose that kinks (actually, I’m dying to try that expanding hose that fits in your pocket <insert whatever snide and crude joke you want here….I have!>).  Well now it’s been determined that barbequing and keeping an eye on your meat is just too much, especially if you have guests, like Kip, you know, the one with his sweater tied across his shoulders, the one that compliments the freshly pressed button down Oxford shirt; I just don’t know why he wears white slacks to a barbeque…goof!

It’s called the iGrill.  It’s a blue tooth meat thermometer (sold separately for around 80 bucks) that communicates with an app you download to your phone and it lets you know when your meat is cooked.  I usually use a knife when I’m unsure and continue cooking til it looks like how I like it. Or, at the very best, for those bothersome guests who prefer to walk away from my barbeques botulism-free, I can dust off the trusty meat thermometer to help guarantee their safety. And I’ve never really had a problem carrying on a conversation while my burgers were gilling. And with iGrill, you can connect with other users to keep track of what they are cooking. I say, who cares?

The next thing you know iErection will be available to let you know when… well, you know. And, most assuredly, it will connect with all your friends…

For my money, I think a nice gesture for Dad would be to give him a cold beer and let him watch you wash his car. Then take him out to dinner and let someone else take the rap for undercooked food.

Welcome Back (Part 1)

January 22, 2013

Look! I’m here! Let’s see for how long.

Well, happy new year, y’all’somes. Let’s see, what’s been happening since my words last danced passed your eyes? Hmm, there’s a joke using the catch phrase “passed your eyes”. I’ll clean it up and tell you later.

Well, Christmas came and went and the New Year arrived without much incident. We spent it in Philadelphia, Mummers and all. It was great time.

I think I’ll make this an entertainment report. Let’s start with the most recent. Did anybody see Kelly Clarkson sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” during the inauguration yesterday? What was with her pronunciation of liberty as liberdy… sweet land of liberdy… Kelly, please! And is it just me, or did President Obama sound like he was trying out this Bill Clinton impersonation?

Now to recap…on Christmas we went to see Les Miserables. While it was okay, I don’t get the hype. I hate it when movies have so much hype. After Ann Hathaway’s character died, I felt kind of bored. And then I was choking on popcorn, which might have been fine during Gangster Squad, when it was all loud with gunfire, but during Les Mis, when it’s so somber and quiet, I was “that” guy making noise. Gangster Squad, with Sean Penn turned out to be a bit of a dud for me as well..for as long as I waited for it to finally open. Not enough Sean Penn, the main reason we went to see it. Last weekend we saw Django Unchained and again, while for me (Goodness knows I march to a different drummer) it had potential of being a really good movie, I counted several reasons it fell into an abyss and garnered only a 4 rating from me. First of all, in a story set pre-Civil War, I don’t think Jim Croce’s “I Got A Name” was a proper song choice for the period, nor was the rap music during a massacre. There was the comedy relief involving the KKK and the ‘bags” they wore over their heads. It was just a pointless relentless ongoing gag about how difficult it was to see through the eye holes that got old very quickly.  And while they were bounty hunting someone, Django was reading a wanted poster the German had in his pocket. Django was able to read the name “Bacall” but could not sound out the word “gang”. Ariel argued that perhaps he had heard the name and by association knew what the letters spelled. I’m not so generous.  There were other incidents that didn’t feel right to me, but again, that’s just me.

The last time I was here, I mentioned that One Life To Live is coming back as an online project. The last I read was that deals were made with the necessary unions and guilds and Erika Slezak, (Viki), Robin Strasser (Dorian), Robert S Woods (Bo) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint) have signed on. Oh happy day!

Oh, this blog was going to drag on so I’m splitting it in half. The rest will be tomorrow.

First A Word From Our Sponsor

December 20, 2012

News from the rumor mill is that the production company, Prospect Park, the very one that had planned on leasing the beloved soap operas, One Life to Live and All My Children and airing them online–news that broke last summer, a few months after ABC-TV announced they were canceling them–is renewing their plan on bringing those sudsers back to life. The headline of just three days ago read:

BREAKING NEWS: Prospect Park Officially Renews Plans to Revive All My Children and One Life to Live!

and allegedly PP has inked deals with SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actor’s Guild & American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is looking for writers and hopes to begin production in the first quarter of 2013. Oh, to see Victoria Lord Reilly Burke Reilly Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson Banks Buchanan again. Maybe 13 will be lucky, after all.

Hopefully entertainment execs are getting the idea that soap audiences still want their soaps, to be entertained during the day, to have an escape, to solve someone else’s problems for a little while. Dear Brian Frons, wherever you might be, looks like are just not trainable. I understand the new shows the replaced AMC and OLTL are still wavering while General Hospital, ABC’s only remaining soap opera is climbing in the ratings. I wonder why that is? Hmm.

While we’re on the topic of soap operas, my new favorite, Bajo las riendas del amor, is ending tomorrow. You know how thosebajo Spanish telenovelas are, they run for a finite time. I was bored one morning while I was working (sorry, boss!) and I was flipping through the channels and thought, well, why not? Of course it got better when I turned on the closed captioning because I know enough Spanish and can even conjugate a few verbs, or at least recognize the ones that are.

Then, I got the idea to record it so at night the two of us could watch it, where I could pay closer attention and review what I thought had happened that day and Ariel could fill in the rough spots. Well, that’s all well and good, but sometimes the closed captioning is so screwed up; they actually seem to be typing “live” and it’s all misspelled and back spacing and half of the dialogue is omitted and sometimes there’d be none at all. Ay yi yi. The only drawback is they were showing two episodes back to back and that means a two hour time slot, which equates to 4 hours a day–2 in the morning and then watching it again at night.

But everything is coming to a fine dramatic conclusion and I’m really kind of sad to see it go. So long, Juan Jose & Montserrat (Juanjo & Monse). But, I’ve got another show lined up that starts in January.

So, for now, here’s a little something for you, a regift, as it were. Go ahead, play! It’s Christmas.


One Life To Live…Forever.

January 13, 2012

Today is the final episode of One Life to Live. It’s been an emotional week, and I have been awash in tears, I’m just not ready for this day. Thankfully the terror of one possible ending that began with last Thursday’s episode has been reversed, because losing our heroine would not have been acceptable, but yet we must prepare for an ending nonetheless. And now, as the Kleenex piles up around us all, we must bid farewell to Llanview and to “friends” and “family” we’ve known over 40 years.

Why all the fuss over a soap opera?  If you’re a soap fan you already know the answer. But how do I describe it to those who aren’t in a few short lines? Compare it to the feeling you might get at the end of a really good engaging book. It leaves you wanting more, except this “book” keeps on telling a story. Or like a good friend; there’s a bond between you that exclusively you both understand. Soaps entertain, (with sometimes incredibly far-fetched stories), they inform, and can comfort in a subtle way with mirrored real-life situations, all without talking down to you or making you feel worthless and with words that don’t need to be bleeped out. It’s a moment of escape in a crazy manic world. It’s purely entertainment.

But the battle rages on to keep the shows alive, to find them a home, to get the rights to the shows back to Agnes Nixon. ABC especially, and Prospect Park, since now it’s thought they were nothing more than a smoke screen to keep us quiet, should put their claims to the test, that there is no audience left for the soaps and let Ms Nixon shop them around again to see if anyone bites. Since ABC wants to be out of the soap business what to they have to lose? They don’t want to be wrong and have someone else profit on something they know they could restructure and repackage and keep their audience.

So for now, as the hankies pile up around us all on this last day, all we can really do that would exhibit true homage to One Life to Live is to be thankful at all for the years we had, for the memories it gave us, for the conversations it struck up among friends who also watched, and to thank Agnes Nixon and to hope, perhaps against all odds, One Life to Live will resurface in the not too distant future.


Between One Life to Live & Hell, 1…

January 12, 2012

April 14, 2011, a date that will forever be etched into minds of  One Life to Live and All My Children fans was the day ABC announced the cancellation of both soaps; All My Children went off the air this past September, and One Life to Live, which was slated to “sunset”, as the press release so poetically referred to it, as though that would take the sting out of it, on January 20, 2012.

The reason given was because research showed viewers no longer had time to sit for an hour for fiction, but wanted informational shows instead. The truth was ABC/Disney, wanted out of the soap business and wanted shows that would cost a fraction to produce than the more expensive soaps, with loyal fan bases, both for well over 40 years. But they said that according to Nielsen ratings (an antiquated and useless ticking process since the advent of the VCR) there was no audience for the soaps.

I already stated in a previous blog this week that I was absent for 33 days in my senior year in high school and thankfully for the VCR, I was able to go out into the workforce and keep up with the story. I eventually even started packing the essential items (blank tapes, wires to make necessary connections on hotel room televisions equipt with VCR’s) when on vacations, so I wouldn’t have to wait a week or however long to get back home to play catch up. 

Within seconds of the announcement, which I happened to see as a post on Facebook by a one time Facebook friend, groups were assembled and fans mobilized sending emails of protest to network powers that be, local ABC affiliates, advertisers. A few days after the protests began, Hoover (Vacuum cleaners) Vice-president of marketing, Brian Kirkendall, announced it was pulling its ads from ABC daytime in their alliance with the fans. Finally, we were being heard. The battle raged on through the summer and commercials were beginning to be pop up for All My Children’s replacement, that hour-long talk/cooking show (I’ve never seen it, and will never watch it) helmed by some fat red-headed blowhard in orange Crocs who, when interviewed about the new show amid the objections by outraged soap fans, replied with “Get over it.” That quote came on the heels of the one made by Brian Frons, ABC/Disney Daytime President about the forthcoming shows that the viewers needed to be trained like dogs to accept his vision of the shows. That’s a lovely sentiment from an alleged family-oriented network to legions of loyal long-time fans of nearly half a century.  No audience indeed. They why all the “squawking” all over Facebook and other media outlets, calling the decision nothing less than boneheaded.

On July 7, 2011, a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel appeared. Production company, Prospect Park announced it would be leasing both All My Children and One Life to Live from ABC/D and presenting them in a new format…online. While we were concerned that many older viewers may not have access to a computer or other smart device, they’d be left out in the cold, but soon it was announced that plans were also in the works to bring the shows to a cable television channel and the soap groups’ hunt was on to find the shows a new home, emailing everyone and everyone to please Save Our Soaps. Unfortunately, it was reported that plans for All My Children fell through, citing Susan Lucci as the blame for holding out for more money and less working hours. But over at One Life to Live, 13 actors, including Erika Slezak who was among the first (see?, our heroine!) signed on to continue with Prospect Park and tied up storylines were ordered to be rewritten as cliffhangers to carry through until OLTL.2 made it’s online debut. Prospect Park was even leasing the studio that housed all the soap’s sets.

On November 18, 2011, One Life to Live taped its final episode for ABC which curiously morphed into January 13, a week shy of the original end date. Among those episodes was an homage from One Life to Live to its fans showcasing the  efforts in trying to save the show by canceling their soap within a soap, Fraternity Row and having its loyal viewers pull out all the stops in protest. It would be a touching and serio-comic thank you note to us.

Happy Holidays. On November 23, 2011, one day before Thanksgiving, Prospect Park suspended all its efforts in keeping One Life to Live going. Now, not only are we losing our show for the second time, but that neat little “sunset” ending that might have been, will now most likely keep us all hanging. Add to that the fact that we also got shortchanged by a week.

A real fine thank you to loyal fans, like myself, for the years we’ve invested in watching these iconic shows.

Between Heaven & One Life to Live, 2…

January 11, 2012

The Buchanan’s rode into town in the early ‘80’s with spurs a-jangling and dust rising up behind them and they forever changed the landscape of Llanview. Their history is a rich as One Life to Live itself and their wealth rivaled if not bettered that of the Lords’. They put down stakes and had no intention of ever leaving. And money married money, so to speak when Clint and Viki wed. And though there had been other husbands ever since, I think Viki’s heart was always with Clint.

Another scandal would rock Llanview years after Karen Wolek’s prostitution trial and that was Marty (the party girl) Saybrooke’s gang rape. She was attacked by a group of fraternity brothers the night of a party on campus and the attackers included Zak (a frat brother) Powell (a Lord cousin), Kevin Riley Buchanan (Viki’s son) and Todd Manning, (Viki’s half-brother). Again, in true soap opera fashion, Todd would become the misunderstood character we eventually came to hate and feel sympathy for at the same time, cheering him on when he tried to do good and deservedly booing and hissing him when he exhibited his unwavering unscrupulous ways of getting what he wanted.

But rape and prositution weren’t the only topics the denizens of Llanview tackled on a daily basis. Besides the basic infidelity, death and baby switching plotlines they also covered teenage pregnancy, corporate greed, kidnapping, incest, homosexuality, spousal abuse, child abuse, evangelism, mental illness, AIDS, prejudice, obesity, infertility, social diversity and bias and more recently, bullying. Then on the next day….

I mentioned Kevin above and that brought to mind which actor it was. There were numerous who stepped into Kevin’s shoes. Like in all soaps, actors are changed because the characters are sometimes being led in a different direction as storylines dictate. Other times, of course, actors leave when their contracts expire to move on to other projects.  And sadly replacements are needed when actors die. Some, well, one really, for some other reason that was later revisited in a moment of comic relief. Some changes are for the better making it nearly impossible to believe his or her predecessor could have made the same accomplishments in the role. And some characters we are just plain lucky enough to see grow up on the show.

Here are some of them:





Between Heaven and Hell, 3…

January 10, 2012

On July 26, 1976, a few days after the show’s 8 th year anniversary, One Life to Live was expanded from 30 minutes to 45. It seemed kind of silly, but we got an extra fifteen minutes of storytime. The only thing I can’t readily recall is if it shared the other 45 minutes with All My Children, or with General Hospital. I think it was General Hospital for some reason. I could be wrong.

You might be wondering about the significance of my blog title. Between Heaven and Hell was the original title of One Life to Live, when Agnes Nixon pitched the soap opera to ABC but fearing some controversy over it, the name was changed. She had full ownership of the show until December, 1974 when ABC bought all the stock in her Creative Horizons, Inc. And therein lies the rub. 

On January 16, 1978, One Live to Live was expanded to a full hour.

Life continued as it usually did in Llanview with the usual bumps and bruises along the way.  Like all neighborhoods, people leave and new ones move in bringing with them their own uniqueness and challenges and there have been so many colorful characters to grace the  One Life to Live canvas that it would be difficult to name them all. One of the more enjoyable characters to enter into the picture was Tina. Her initial innocent facade quickly faded when she realized  she stood to gain a fortune from her long lost family, The Lords, and she would stop at nothing to ensure her rightful place among them.  The little vixen pulled out all the stops and wreaked all kinds of havoc, with her greed and pettiness.  Really it was just her misguided way of wanting to be loved and to be somebody. And we loved her even though at times, she didn’t deserve it.

Perhaps the biggest scandal to hit town up to that time was when Karen Wolek quickly found herself in a heat of trouble and it all came to a dramatic head with Judith Light’s magnificent performance on the witness stand during Viki’s murder trial. I’ve told this story a hundred times and I’ll keep on telling it. I was in my senior year of high school and was truant for a total of 33 days. A lot of it revolved around this storyline and the day of all days for me to put in a guest appearance in class was the day of her bravura performance. Now, how do you figure?

I did see a clip of it years later when Reba McEntire hosted a series of best of shows during the O.J. Simpson trial era, and even with that little bit of the scene, it still had me riveted to my seat. Of course there’s this YouTube video as well,  but over New Year’s weekend SoapNet played 14 classic One Life To Live episodes and this was one of them. Once I get it committed to DVD, I’ll have it forever. In the meantime, if you want to watch the entire clip here, mind you it’s 9 and a half minutes long, it’s here for you. Or, you can start at the 4 minute mark until about the 8 minute mark if you want to get to the crux of the scene and you don’t have the time to spare.

Between Heaven and Hell, 4…

January 9, 2012

On July 15, 1968, the inhabitants of Llanview, Pennsylvania: The Riley’s; The Wolek’s; The Craig’s; The Siegels, the town’s first Jewish family; The Grays, the first African-American family in the neighborhood and the Lords, the wealthy newspaper family moved into our living rooms and into our hearts and have remained there for over forty-three years until recently, when they  received an untimely and unwarranted notice of eviction. Of course I’m talking about One Life to Live, the Agnes Nixon creation which emphasized ethnic and socioeconomic diversity which sadly comes to an end this Friday.

I’m not sure exactly when I first started watching but it was sometime before Erika Slezak took over the role of matriarch Victoria (Viki) Lord (Gordon, Riley, Burke, Riley, Buchanan, Buchanan, Carpenter, Davidson, Banks) and that was on March 17, 1971. It might have been the original actress, Gillian Spencer, or Joanne Dorian who took over briefly from late in 1970 until the following March.

What I vividly remember was seeing someone called Niki Smith, a sassy party girl who looked exactly like the proper well-mannered Viki. At times someone would call her Viki and her response was usually a wicked shrill laugh and then exclaim that she’d sent Viki packing. It was because Viki suffered from multiple personality disorder, more recently known as dissociative identity disorder (DID).

Through the years we suffered along with Viki while she battled DID, which was a marvel to witness. In all, there were, oh man, at least 6 personalities (I should know this; Viki, Niki, Tori, Jean, Princess, Tommy) and with just the subtlest change of  facial expression or with overall body language, it was evident which personality was present.   We also held our breath when Viki suffered a brain aneurysm, a stroke, breast cancer, a heart transplant. We felt her pain when she was widowed on several occasions and when she divorced. (Well, I never liked Steve anyway.) She lost siblings, she’s had children kidnaped and she lost a daughter to lupus. And in good old fashioned soap opera style, she had a few siblings waiting in the wings, namely the conniving Tina Clayton and the irascible Todd Manning, neither of whom we could ever get enough of. She became Llanview’s mayor. She was once accused of murder. And, once even committed murder… Actually it was one of her many alternate personalities (alters) who smothered her father decades before, which exonerated Dorian Cramer, who had been his doctor and eventual wife and had long been blamed for the elder Lord’s death. And best of all is that she was Viki’s lifelong archnemesis. And oh, what good times they were when Dorian and Viki went toe to toe on screen over anything Dorian felt like blaming on Viki…anything at all.

The storylines were vast and sometimes downright outrageous (think Eterna), but as long as six-time Daytime Emmy winner Slezak had a part in it, they were believable and enjoyable.

And we always knew Viki would make it through all her adversities. She had to. She was our heroine.  She was our rock. She was, and will always be, One Life to Live.