Bauer BBQ 1987 Update 2015 Reblog

September 24, 2017

I haven’t done any updating here, but in honor of my attending the real life Bauer BBQ next month, I’m going to be reposting my Bauer BBQ posts.

Bauer BBQ 1987 Update 2015

This is the Bauer BBQ in 1987. It’s a very special year because this was the 50th Anniversary of Guiding Light being on the air. They took a week centered around the Bauer BBQ to celebrate. It was also the 50th anniversary of the “Springfield Journal.” They used the 50th anniversary issue as a touchstone to mention many major stories of the past from the background of Warren Andrews to the fact Jim Reardon is living in Colorado to remembering the Quola wedding. They also asked for viewers to vote for what past scenes they wanted re-aired and took 5 minutes or so at the end of each episode to do things like pay tribute to Bert Bauer and to replay part of the Four Musketeer prom. If you have the Soap Classics DVDs, this week (specifically July 2-3, 1987) are among the handful of back to back episodes included in the set, although they are in two different DVD sets.

Michelle and Rick Bauer BBQ 1987

Michelle and Rick Bauer BBQ 1987

This is one of the more famous Bauer BBQs because Alan-Michael Spaulding parachute jumps in. In fact, Alan, although he wasn’t there, specifically mentions this being a memorable event at Bauer BBQs to Natalia at the one in 2008. This was A-M’s reintroduction after the being SORAS-ed and away from town for many years living with his mother, Hope Bauer Spaulding in New York and other major Eastern cities.

See for a refresher on Hope and Alan and their relationship with Manny.

This makes A-M Ed’s great-nephew, Alan’s son, Phillip’s adoptive half-brother,  and Michelle’s second cousin (he’s older than her, but a generation younger).

Jeva are actually together and happy in 1987. This must be one of those times they won the 3-Legged Race they mention in 2009. Rusty Shayne, Reva’s brother, the one Jeva’s kids are always packed off to when they are inconvenient, is back. He lives on a ranch “near Tulsa” as they always add. I always liked him with Mindy, but they sadly they never got a real shot. SIGH! Never will now. Anyway Rusty quite frequently came back for the BBQ so keep an eye out for him the rest of the week. That’s more than can be said for sister Roxie who disappears into a mental institution and is never heard from again.

The group A-M is talking to on the right includes Dinah Marler and Cameron (who’s last name I never bother to remember). They formed a triangle that became a square when a joke A-M played turned serious when they discovered Harley Davidson was the name of more than a motorcycle after all and Harley Davidson Cooper jumps onto our screens for the first time as part of this quad.

Ed and Maureen are in full BBQ mode, especially love Maureen’s then state of the art video camera which paired with Mindy’s Polaroid makes it very much of its time. They actually had much better sound and picture quality than many we have today. The structure made them more stable and less likely to have that handheld shake. NOTE that Ed is wearing the HAT.  Phillip runs the grill, too.

Phillip is currently dating the youngest Reardon sister, Chelsea. Her older sisters include Maureen Bauer and Nola Chamberlain. Chelsea is a professional singer (and in real life the actress still does concert dates with a divas of daytime group). Chelsea and Phillip were quite serious for awhile (no couple code I’ve found yet though). In fact, one Christmas Eve, following up on a conversation with Santa Nick, Phillip decides that life is for the living and thinking Beth is dead at this point, decides to let her go. Forget that huge trunk of stuff Pheth finds in the Spaulding attic in 1997, all that stuff was at Phillip’s house when it burned and all he had left was a little piece of lace and ribbon. He leaves it on Beth’s headstone, but Chelsea has already given him up as a lost cause and moves out of town to follow her singing career and on to a pivotal role on another soap.

Love Henry’s boater. Isn’t that great! And H.B. in a cowboy hat. H.B. & Henry were great friends. I love it when they are together. They are in-laws thru Vanessa & Billy. “His 2 grandfathers are fighting over him.”

In part 2, Maureen carries Michelle across the screen & then Vanessa carries Bill over to Ross & Henry. I loved Roxie Shayne, wish she hadn’t disappeared.  Will really isn’t Josh’s friend and will cause a lot of trouble. Josh was still fighting with H.B. over independence issues.

Alan was still Chris! Alan already had major heart issues in 1987. It’s amazing he lived as long as he did. Sorry I don’t remember what’s behind the cable guy’s beef with Alan or how Alan gets out of it. If anyone else does, chime in.

Mindy should know A-M, he’s her ex-brother-in-law. At least Mindy should know it before Reva. Mindy has a Polaroid. Remember those? Actually we still have one.

Ross and Vanessa are back together after she split from Billy. One of the few times when they played that they had ever had a more than a friendship.

I want a copy of the 50th anniversary issue of the Springfield Journal and one of those Springfield Journal T-shirts. I’m not sure who the pre-teen is who is in training for the Olympics. Anybody else remember?

Once again Rick shows that he knows Phillip better than anybody else and can read him through his good front. Love Mindy’s dress and Dinah’s outfit. HATE Phillip’s hat.  OK I know there are other people wearing the hats there, but he wears his the longest.

One of the things that I think they did a great job cutting back and forth between the studio and true exterior shots. I especially find the two cuts of the balloon release are especially well done.

June 30 and July 1 are prep days. The actual BBQ is July 2-4, 1987.

June 30, 1987

We open on some of the great Mindy-Rusty stuff. They were keeping Marah a few more days after they released Reva after she gave birth. Ed and Maureen are just back from Chicago where they went to watch Johnny’s little sister Lacey perform her gymnastic routine. Vanessa is in full mogul mode and looking great doing it. Alan shows back up at the office. After Vanessa leaves, Alan has a cardiac episode. Lacey shows up at Company on her own. She asks if Roxie is a waitress even though she’s not doing anything or wearing anything even in the slightest way related to waitressing. Lacey seems to be quickly developing a crush on Cameron Stewart. 17:03 “Q” John de Lancie is in Safeguard commercial. Lancie took off rather than face Johnny.” Alan ignores Ed’s medical advice for being admitted and given further tests, but does agree to go to clinic that specializes in rest. Alan always did favor Phillip above Alan-Michael and his other children. By the way, Alan continues to have heart issues and it ultimately is what kills him. 35:00 Maureen brings little Michelle in. AWWWW! Rick and Maureen think maybe someone has been in the Bauer house. Alan calls Alex to let her know that he won’t be able to make the trip to Europe to return the stolen art. Alex is truly upset by Alan’s attack, but when he insists the only help he needs is for her to return the art she agrees to do that. Alan’s clinic is in Oregon. H.B. shares with Rusty an experience of a Texas Ranger friend. I just love how H.B. always calls Mindy “Mindy Darlin’.” Billy calls her Melinda Sue.

July 1, 1987

Everyone is practically running into each other at the Springfield Journal newsroom as the hurry to get out the special 50th Anniversary edition full of stories of Springfield’s past (and tell me again WHY they didn’t offer that for sale? Even as a insert in a soap magazine or something?) 1:50 in note the gorgeous wall of family photos behind Reva. Lacie Bauer, Johnny’s little sister and an aspiring Olympic gymnast, arrives for a visit by breaking into the house. The Folgers commercial around 5:30 features the former Annabelle Simms Reardon. Lacie is close enough that Ed and Maureen went to St. Louis to see her perform, but not so close that Rick has any name recognition or to recognize her. Ed moves the Bauer BBQ-er to the flight school and takes 100 pounds of charcoal. Chelsea gets an offer to go work for rival paper the Springfield Mirror. Reva asks Roxie to be Marah’s godmother. Phillip is also working at the Journal as a writer. 36:00 Josh brings in the Lewis family christening gown for Marah and Miss Martha’s wedding gown for Reva because “she loved you like a daughter” which would be more sweet than nauseating if only Reva hadn’t married Miss Martha’s husband. Balloon releases used to be huge. They were used for celebrations and to find penpals by people who would release them with a note attached. Public opinion turned against them because they felt they were endangering wildlife.

Maeve’s Speech: “I would like to dedicate this special edition of the Journal to 50 years of life in our wonderful city and to our founding editor Irna Phillips and may her vision of Springfield be a Guiding Light to us all.” About 41:00

At 48:00 Montage of the articles that appeared in that 50th anniversary issue of Springfield Journal which makes me want to read it more than ever. At 50:00 Josh and Reva anniversary tribute, first fountain scene.

July 2, 1987 – BBQ Proper Begins

Isn’t Little Billy darling? Normally a Bauer BBQ is 100% chance of great weather.  Of course after a pretty big pop up storm it clears off completely by the time the BBQ hits full steam. This is the only year I can think of where it actually rained on the day of. Mindy is being a little overprotective and Rusty and H.B. have some nice what it means to be a man conversation. I think the best thing Dinah could do to make sure Vanessa and Ross don’t keep dumping her is to have other plans. That means that the Chamberlain House is 6 miles away from the Bauer House and the Spaulding Mansion next door. Jackson was a music producer who mostly caused trouble. (The most interesting thing about him is that the actor who played him was Elizabeth Taylor’s stepson in real life.) I don’t remember who Jackson is calling in London. Anyone? Add a comment. Aww. Henry and Little Billy are swinging by to pick up H.B. on the way to the BBQ. Johnny shows Roxie called his plane “New Beginnings” and proposed. Roxie brought Rusty a care package from the Bauer BBQ including a Bauer Burger. Michael O’Leary came back especially for the 50th Anniversary week. His character was currently living in Chicago. Great advice Rick “what matters is what YOU think about it, not Phillip.” Ed: “There’s not a tent to be had in all of Springfield.” Ed was also shocked about the cost of tents so they probably haven’t thought about renting one before. Nice Bert-Rick moment at 39:00. How did they miss the obvious Blue Skies mention by making it Clear Skies instead? Cropduster plane buzzed before jump 47:00 Parachute Jump at 50:00 It’s funny how many times in the next couple of episodes they repeat things like Alan-Michael is Alan’s son, Phillip’s brother, Ed’s nephew, “he’s half Bauer” etc. The Four Musketeers clip is Michael O’Leary and Grant Aleksander talking. There was a lot of irritation at the time because what was actually voted for was The Four Musketeer Prom. I doubt very many people had this fight scene in mind rather than say Phillip and Beth getting crowned. I’m sad to say both Rick and Phillip are half right. Phillip really is in love with her, but Rick is right Phillip will hurt her again and again.

July 3, 1987  Day After the Jump

The first link below is the full episode the second set patch the episode together from clips from a couple of channels. Things have perked up at the Bauer BBQ and things are definitely taking off. 11:30 more darling little Michelle. More Springfield Journal. 12:00 Darling Little Billy – who has been in invisible mud. This first episode sets up Alan-Michael’s life long quest to gain his father’s approval. Actually Josh is being a jerk. Who wouldn’t respect their own opinion over almost anyone else’s, particularly someone who is a young buck that tends to make rash decisions? That was a nice character moment of Dinah being interested in news. She’s never the photographer Reva is (who is a professional for awhile), but Dinah does later become a television producer so she does have a visual eye and an eye for the important. Miss Sarah should have recognized both Miss Martha’s wedding dress and the Lewis christening gown. 30:00 The Eli Simms Annabelle flashback 5 fishermen storyline mentions the police never discovered who the killer was, the audience did it was Eli Simms. Will Jeffries was truly insane, so why he seems to be Josh’s friend now he actually just doctored Marah’s records to make sure it looked like someone else was Marah’s father to hurt Josh. At 50:00 they do a tribute to Bert and much of it is replayed over the years when they talked about Bert. At 53:00 approximately is the scene where Bert first finds out Bill is alive. That’s an amazing scene and one that isn’t repeated very much. Jump) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)  (Part 4)

July 3rd was a Friday that year, just like it is in 2015 🙂 , so the story with the hotair balloon, Alan being shot and left for dead, etc. should pick up again on Monday, July 6, 1987, but I have not yet found the episode.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Bauer BBQ 1984 Reblog

September 21, 2017

I haven’t done any updating here, but in honor of my attending the real life Bauer BBQ next month, I’m going to be reposting my Bauer BBQ posts.

Bauer BBQ 1984

Bauer BBQ 1984 is the only entry that I have in the 1980s for this year. I’m still looking for more. Let me know if you come across any on YouTube. This same channel has a couple of days of episodes before the BBQ. I’m sure I’ll get back to them sooner or later, but feel free to watch them now.I also want to make VERY clear that the Tony I’ll be talking about and loving on in this episode is my beloved Tony Reardon, not my much later, but also beloved Tony Santos or my severely hated Tattoo Tony Santos. Also, good heavens taste in earrings was AWFUL in 1984. Shudders!

The episode opens at the Reardon Boarding House with everyone getting ready for the BBQ (Maureen is a Reardon). Tony and Annabelle Reardon (who I adored as a couple before they just suddenly up and left on vacation one day and never came back – Tony started Company) are at the table. Tony and Annabelle are talking to Tony’s mother, Bea Reardon, who is also Maureen and Nola’s mother and Michelle’s grandmother. The guy with the beard was Jim Reardon – another brother of Maureen’s and a doctor who is currently dating nurse Hillary Bauer. (I liked Hillary – who was best friends with Katie Parker, but never warmed up to Jim except the one moment when they resolved the Tony-Annabelle-Jim triangle – which involved past lives flashbacks – by giving him their blessing, they go off and he says “Next lifetime she’s mine.”)

July 4, 1984 episode

Great early romantic Ed-Maureen stuff. However, that top on Maureen ought to be burned– seriously. Ed was chief of staff at Cedars and Maureen was a hospital administrator at this point. Soon Ed would start to chafe at not being the one with the most important job. Note the opening credits. I love that the real Laurel Falls is in there. (The falls are really in Connecticut. Anybody know where that version of Company was filmed?) (Part 1)

Ed and Maureen have been trying to create a baby for a long time. Sadly they never have a biological child together, although Maureen thought of Michelle as her own. Michelle comes along the next year. Jim Reardon had been doing secret research taking on his former – now deceased – boss’ name to keep the funding coming. He’s now been outed and foisted from the hospital as a result. Quola is one of my all time favorite couples. The crates are part of an odd storyline that screamed the writers were wildly groping for a Quola storyline. A teenage computer genius comes to town and moves in with them. The boxes are from him. (Part 2)

H.B. and Reva got married, basically as friends although she eventually gets pregnant by H.B. Josh reacted badly to the news and crashes his car. He’s temporarily paralyzed which eventually leads to two of Josh’s most famous scenes, Bert telling him not to feel sorry for himself, and the original Reva in the fountain scene. Reva wants Josh to stay with them while he recuperates, which he eventually does, but it doesn’t go smoothly. Fletcher attends with Claire (Michelle’s biological mother).  Sadly they aren’t together right now, just good friends. I loved them as a couple and after Fletch broke my heart along with Claire’s when he broke up with her, I never was able to support any other couple he was in. I knew eventually he’s always walk away and he always did except for Mauve (who died before he got the chance). Ross seems to be dating Trish, they were always close. Don’t miss Bert’s arrival at the end. Her leg had been amputated in real life and written into the storyline, with some powerful results. The line with the heavy empasis on patient and advocate was because Bert – before her surgery – was a full time patient advocate volunteer at Cedars. (Part 3)

I adore Bert, she was truly the heart of the show, even years after she died she was still effecting characters and stories. Tony and Annabelle’s cottage was one of my favorite places in Springfield ever. They are talking about that as their new house. Sadly Carrie Piper, real estate agent, was also a psychotic killer and became an infamous Guiding Light villan. The actress sadly returned years latter in the I can’t tell you how AWFUL Carrie Carruthers storyline. I didn’t know Mike Bauer was in the naval reserve. I’m with Josh though, Josh’s accident was a pretty much H.B.’s and Reva’s fault. True, he was the one who got drunk and drove into a tree, but they HAD to know he was going to take it that badly and should have had someone like Billy there to take care of him when they told him. I loved Trish – except for her affair with Alan. 😦 Sadly she will disappear without even a mention all too soon, but the early Josh-Billy-Trish stuff like this rocked. Both Billy and Josh had Daddy issues. (Part 4)

A nice example of everyday life with Quola. (Part 5)

I don’t want Lillian and Mike Bauer together. That seems like a terrible fit. Although, as Lillian says, we like him very much. Mike dating Alexandra? That’s something. He was giving her flying lessons? That’s totally awesome. (Part 6)

Reva’s Oklahoma accent was a lot stronger in these early days. Love Reva’s yellow satin top. I loved it when Ross got all unclely with Phillip especially when he was a teenager when they found out. Here’s a hint Hillary, hugging another man ISN’T going to cheer Jim up. Louie asks Katie to marry him. It’s out of the blue and she’s taken aback, but I think he’s serious. (Part 7)

End Credits (Part 8)

July 5, 1984 episode

More happy Ed and Maureen. Ed says it’s his favorite holiday. Maureen’s reference to Valentine’s Day is because that’s their wedding anniversary. I guess Ed is right in the mid-2000s when he says the Bauer BBQ started out small. Almost no one is there. In later years, everybody comes. Phillip and Beth have broken up and she’s with his cousin Lujack now. As you can see Phillip didn’t take it well. (Part 1)

No wonder Phillip could be so much help to Annie when he helped her get sober. He went down pretty far, pretty quickly. “Hey, Beth, I need you.” If Phillip had remembered that in later life, his life would be much smoother. Hillary was really the only one I liked with Jim. I still hate that they killed her, especially in such a dumb way that also took out one of my favorite places in Springfield. Jim’s a better bet than Fletcher anyway. When Fletcher is in a relationship eventually you make one mistake and he walks out. More foreshadowing. As much as I love the cottage Tony and Annabelle, give it up. It isn’t worth your leaving town and Hillary’s life. Lillian you should remember that gratitude. More Bert right at the end (Part 2)

More Bert right at the beginning. That group was Lujack’s gang, in their “hangout.” This time the cops are just shaking them down without much reason, but normally they are pretty thuggy criminals. The girl who throws the firework later wrote a book about her life and some interesting antics on set at Guiding Light among other things (read about it). (Part 3)

More of Lujack’s gang the Galahads, Company, and Phillip’s problems. (Part 4)

Beth did have some medical knowledge. She ran a clinic in Clayton. Actually Beth, that it was just like New York City was my first thought when I saw you take money for sketching. I hate Pheth apart. Too bad it happened so often. I’m sorry tug of war didn’t stay on the Bauer BBQ schedule, it sounds fun. We get to see a tiny bit of the cottage. (Part 5)

The inspector is talking to someone who built Company out of lumber that fell of a truck (seriously read about it in my Places of Springfield section). I don’t think this is going to bother him. Tug of WAR! Love a good Nola fantasy. The mustached villain isn’t too much of a stretch when she first came on she unmasked a disguised Roger Thorpe who was living at the Reardon Boarding House. (Part 6)

If Lujack hadn’t died, I think Beth would have eventually gone back to Phillip anyway. Trouble is brewing with the Galahads (aka the worst named gang, like ever). (Part 7)

See that wasn’t an immediate “Yes, I know it.” Lujack you were on the way to being toast. The guy helping get Phillip home is Floyd Parker.  Floyd eventually became a successful singer and was a general good guy around town until a terrible send off. He is the biological father of Nola’s daughter Kelly/Anastasia. (Part 8)

The losers of the Tug of War pay up on their bet. This is wonderful WATCH THIS! (Part 9)

Credits (Part 10)

UPDATED July 9 2017: I rewatched as part of my prep for the real Bauer BBQ 2017 and added a few notes and comments on things I’ve found out since I originally wrote it.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Guiding Light Cast Roundup 79

September 20, 2017

This is the seventy-ninth in an irregular feature where we will report updates on what cast members of Guiding Light are doing now. I’m playing catch up on some soap magazine news. So as a reminder you can buy back issues:

The January 30, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest published the Manny photo from Instagram.

Check out “The Guiding Light” pp 42-44 in Daytime TV Yearbook, no. 5 1974. It includes the cast at the time with individual photos and bios.

The November 4, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest featured an article on the effect of chaos and switching TPTB behind the scenes. They tell about what’s going on behind the scenes on Guiding Light in the mid-1980s.

I’m sure I mentioned this when this first came out, but I just came across the August 1, 2011 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth. In a feature on characters who get back together to characters after they really should know better, Manny get a page and a half and several photos.

The July 31, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest flashes back to what happened on all the soaps, including Guiding Light, in 1998. As any Manny fan knows the most important event that year was that Manny got its start. Also important was Michael Zaslow (the irreplaceable Roger Thorpe) was unceremoniously fired due to his advancing illness, Fiona Hutchinson (Jenna Bradshaw Cooper, Vanessa’s sort of sister, Buzz’s true love), Jay Hammer (long time reporter Fletcher Reade), Lisa Brown (Nola Reardon Chamberlain, of the Quola pairing), all left.

Bethany Joy Lenz (then credited as Joie Lenz) was on the red carpet for the premiere of HBO’s Big Little Lies. See a photo in the April 27, 2017 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Daniel Cosgrove (Bill Lewis #4, part of the wonderful Bizzie pairing) talks about being an introvert in the July 25, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Jane Elliot (Carrie Marler, Ross’ wife) has retired from her iconic soap role on General Hospital. Read more in the April 17, 2017 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Find a photo of Jordi Vilasuso (Tony Santos #1 of Marony fame) is given a full page photo with a discussion of his diet in the July 25, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth. His character’s departure from Days of Our Lives means that there is a feature interview with Vilasuso in the August 7, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest. Since then has done two movies. Vilasuso did a quick short spot talking about what he has learned watching Justin Deas (Buzz Cooper) and A. Martinez on Days. It’s a nice little shot of how Deas worked. Find it in the March 21, 2016 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Laura Bell Bundy (Marah Lewis #5, the one who started Marony) married TBS excecutive Thom Hinkle in Arcadia, CA at the Santa Anita Park racetrack on June 3, 2017. Read about it in the June 26, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Sonia Satra (Lucy Cooper Spaulding, part of terrific LAM pairing, victim of Marian Crane) has a featured interview about her part as Gloria Steinem in a 10 point docuseries American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story in the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Michael Tylo (Quint McCord Chamberlain) was interviewed in the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest when he first came on All My Children. He talks about his time on Guiding Light and his bicoastal marriage.

Find a feature on the play Breathing Under Dirt including Michael O’Leary (Rick Bauer #5, the adult one we know and love),  Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2, adult Phillip), Cynthia Watros (Annie Dutton #1), Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines), and Beth Chamberlain (Beth Raines Spaulding #2) is in the August 8, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth

Chamberlain was also the subject of a feature about her career as a fitness guru in the August 11, 2011 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Find a report on the 2016 Daytime Stars and Strikes event in the July 25, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

There is a where are they now catch up feature with soap stars who’ve gone on to primetime TV success in the February 27, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest. It included is Frank Grillo (the last Hart Jessup) who now stars on Kingdom his real life wife and former Guiding Light love interest Wendy Moniz (Dinah Marler #3) played his love interest in Kingdom‘s second season. In the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest an Ask Us question explained that Moniz appeared in seasons 4 and 5 in House of Cards as Laura Moretti.

Krista Tersreau (Mindy Lewis #1) was quoted in the best quotes feature of April 15, 2013 issue of Soap Opera Digest. The quote was originally published April 10, 1984. About her screen-test experience for the soap, “As soon as I got in the limo, I felt like such a big shot. I was sitting in the back seat and I rolled the windows down, thinking when people pass they’d look in and want to see who is in there.”

Emme Rylan (Lizzie Spaulding Lewis #6, part of the wonderful Bizzie pairing) shared a photo of her family from her latest baby shower in the June 26, 2017 issue of Soap Opera DigestRylan  is having baby #3. Read all about it in the January 30, 2017 issue of Soap Opera DigestRylan and Laura Wright (Cassie Layne Winslow) are both featured in Star Shots of the Week with their children in the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Gina Tognoni (Dinah Marler #4) shared a photo of her summer tip to Graceland in the June 26, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Judi Evans (Beth Raines #1) has previously played two very distinct roles on Days of Our Lives. She had returned awhile ago to her iconic role as Adrienne Johnson, but recently they’ve brought back Bonnie Lockhart. Their runs were on separate times and when Bonnie came on their resemblance was not noticed but will play a major part in current story. Find more in the July 31, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Daniel Hall who is now Scott Granger on The Young and the Restless had several short term roles on Guiding Light including Jack/Jake/Unnamed Pickpocket. Find an interview with him where he includes his time on GL in the April 17, 2017 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth. He also discusses (and is pictured with) Saundra Santiago (Carmen Santos). They didn’t overlap on the soap, but got to know each other later.

Kim Zimmer (Reva Shayne Lewis) attended the opening night of Robert Newman (Josh Lewis)’s new production of Man of La Mancha. Check out a photo in the July 11, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Brittany Snow (Daisy Susan LeMay Cooper #2 – during Susan’s first return) appeared on the red carpet photos in the July 11, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Back in 2011, Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper) announced becoming the host of a NJDiscover show called Earth Treasures. It’s no longer on the air, but there is a photo of him with his family including his daughter Olivia who was Maureen Reardon on the show. See it in the August 11, 2011 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

When Maeve Kinkead was out of Guiding Light on maternity leave she was replaced by Anna Stuart best known as Donna Love on Another World. Read about it in the November 4, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Kassie DePaiva (Chelsea Reardon, Maureen and Nola’s little sister) reported she was now cancer free in the February 27, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

In the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest, a fan writes in and asks about Calla Matthews. The fan wanted to know if Calla still had syphilis. She was cured of the disease, but would no longer be able to have any more kids.

A question in the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest ask if Keith Timmons on Santa Barbara‘s cat was really his actor’s Justin Deas‘s cat. It wasn’t.

In the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest has a great 2 page photo of Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2, adult Phillip) with a couple of cats. It’s worth finding the issue. There’s also a photo of Kimi Packs who played Dorie who India adopted.

Roger Howarth (Jory Andros, Eleni’s brother in 1992) returned to shooting his role of Franco Baldwin on General Hospital in July after a protracted contract neogiation. Read more in the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

JoBeth Williams (Brandy ???) talks about how Guiding Light‘s TPTB were kind and let her out of her contract after she hit the big time in Kramer vs. Kramer. The quote was originally from 2002, but was quoted again in the April 15, 2013 issue of Soap Opera Digest about how nice TPTB were about letting her out of her contract.

The April 4, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest answers a fan question about Simon Hall (the illegitimate son of Alexandra’s first husband who was also the father of Lujack and Nick McHenry). His accent was Canada and was his actor’s (Shawn Thompson) real accent.

Beth Ehlers (Harley Cooper Davidson) was quoted from an interview originally published in the June 8, 1993 issue and republished in the August 7, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest: “Actors are just normal people. I think that disappoints fans more than anything else.” Ehlers was also featured in a round up of siblings paired with Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper).

Check out a casual photo of Laura Wright (Cassie Winslow #1) and her current boyfriend Wes Ramsey (Sam Spencer, Olivia’s brother) in the July 31, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Guiding Light September 18, 2009

September 19, 2017

Looking back at the final day of Guiding Light.

Glmanny's Blog

Final Episode – Sept. 18, 2009

NOTE: Previously there was a hotlink to the CBS hosted version of the episode at the end of the post. They have since removed the link. It was briefly available on DVD by Soap Classics and can still be found second hand online. You can also find the final episodes on YouTube. The time references are to a full recording of the episode in one part without commercials. Even if you are watching a different way I hope that you will find them helpful. For these daily episode reports I always put the Manny-Bauer stuff first and arranged the rest of the episode by subject rather than by the quick cut order they appeared on the screen. I was rather emotional during these last days and have put in bitter sobs and joyful sniffs. I also pulled out a line of the day with…

View original post 3,065 more words

Bias Towards Ben Warren

September 17, 2017

Looking back at Ben Warren.

Glmanny's Blog

Recently I’ve been watching the 1998 episodes of Guiding Light on Youtube courtesy of Heartbreaker and it was suggested that the core group of commentators have a bias towards Ben Warren in the Ben-Blake-Ross triangle. First, if anybody wants to say anything nice about Ross Marler go ahead. I spent a good part of my life thinking that Ross was wonderful, so please say all the nice stuff you want. However, since I got pulled back into Manny Fandom late last year I’ve reviewed a lot of the last 10 years of the character of Ross and when it was all stacked up like that I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how many Mr. Roger sweaters Ross wore that ambitious, snake of a lawyer that tore into Holly at her martial rape trial was still in there. He hurt a lot of other characters I loved during those…

View original post 462 more words

Restaurants Only on Soaps

September 13, 2017

As part of my on-going creation of a directory for all things soap, I’m adding a list of restaurants. Consider this a mid-point draft that I’ll hope to update. Check out my list and thanks to those who contributed.

Guiding Light

Company was the casual family dining next door to the Reardon Boarding House. It went through several name variations over the year, but it was always popular, especially with hospital staff since it was directly across from Cedars Hospital.

5th Street Diner aka Cooper Diner aka Wheels and Meals Diner was on 5th Street, a mom and pop family place for diner food.

Lakeland Country Club was the fashionable place for big events. You could do casual fine dining in the restaurant, but normally it was a place for special events.

Len’s Ice Cream Parlor aka Murray’s was briefly a popular spot in town for ice cream which was retconned back to Michelle’s childhood.

Little Havana was a Cuban restaurant favored by the Santos family. It was never shown onscreen.

Millennium was a nightclub that also served as a bar close to the new Millennium.

Towers was a fine dinning restaurant located on the top floor of Blakewood Towers. It was known for its view on the city. It did both dining in and had a very active to-go business.

Wired For Sound was a disco restaurant in the early 1980s.

Bauer BBQ mentioned UltraMart supermarket and Grohmans (spelling?) Delecatesent.

As the World Turns

Al’s Diner – Al’s Diner, currently owned by Henry Coleman, has been a major part of the series for years, with many characters having either worked there when they were young or when they were down on their luck. The menu has changed a lot (Carly brought in a line of more healthy foods, Janet brought in some Italian influence, Vienna brought in Scandinavian).

Mona Lisa’s aka Diana’s – Diana McColl was Whit McColl’s daughter, Lisa Miller et al’s step-daughter. During Diana’s unsuccessful time in Oakdale she started a restaurant on a yatcht. It was known as Diana’s. When Diana left town, step-mother Lisa bought the place and renamed it after herself – complete with a painting of herself as Mona Lisa in the foyer.

All My Children

The Serving Spoon was kind of like a gourmet goodie shop. Characters would always go there to pick up food for their picnics.

Thanks to Sadie Soaper for helping with this section.

The Bold and the Beautiful

A fancy restaurant with an outdoor seating area, patronized by the Forresters, is Il Giardino.

Café Russe is another five star restaurant.

Insomnia aka Dayzee’s is a coffee shop. It was run by the Spectra family. Later it reopened as part of Stephanie Forrester’s campaign to help the homeless as they were involved with both the running the cafe and a payment system where you paid what you could. Dayzee, Donna’s biological son’s wife who Stephanie befriended at a homeless shelter, took over after Stephanie’s death and rechristened it Dayzee’s. Maya and Rick later got involved there when she sang there and he was working some volunteer shifts.

Bikini Bar  is an outdoor bar with a pool near the beach. Most people wear swimsuits there.

*Thanks to  and  for help with this section.

Days of Our Lives

Brady Pub is a typical bar with food which is a family business of the Brady family who often end up working there or living above it.

On Days of Our Lives Sonny’s club is called Club TBD. It started as a place filler calling the club To Be Determined, but they eventually grew to like it and kept it. Read more about it in the Oct. 14, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Chez Rouge was Maggie Horton’s fine dining establishment. When Maggie was assumed dead in one of Days everybody’s dead, but not really storylines, the Salem Stalker, Bonnie Lockhart married Maggie’s husband Mickey Horton and took over the restaurant changing it to a country western bar named Alice’s.

Blondie’s – no addition information.

Thanks to Keisha Fishback, Lori Besserer for helping with this section.

General Hospital

Floating Rib aka Jake’s – a bar formerly owned by Luke Spencer.

Gene’s Place  is a bar/restaurant combo that first aired in 2016.

The Haunted Star, originally a Cassadine yacht, is now a nightclub run by Lulu Spencer-Falconeri.

Kelley’s – a bar

Metro Court Restaurant located in the Metro Court hotel and is owned by Carly and Olivia Falconeri. It’s a posh place where they have both business meals and celebrate special occasions. It has an active bar.

Perks is a coffee shop chain.

Ruby’s – no additional information

Triple L – where we first met Lucy.

Thanks to , Lori Besserer and Traci Fenton for helping with this section.

One Life to Live

Bonjour Cafe was in Paris, Texas when Vicki Lord ended up and met future husband Charlie. When the local cafe burnt down Charlie built a replica in Lanview.

Thanks to Priscilla Jeneen Hunt for helping with this section.

Ryan’s Hope

Ryan’s Bar – the central location on soap was this bar run by the titular family.

Young and the Restless

Crimson Lights Coffee Shop – came in when Nick was SORASed and has been a major force and setting on the show ever since. First owners weren’t in story, but then Sharon and Nick bought it. They eventually sold it to Kevin who sold it to Dylan. When Dylan went into witness protection and left town, he returned the coffee house to Sharon. After Sharon and Nick’s daughter Cassie died they named the outdoor patio Cassie’s Corner complete with her portrait. This is now only mentioned when current story involves a reference to Cassie and her painting is normally covered up. It is located in a historic district in town that was once under threat from redevelopment. Previous stories have disagreed over the building is owned by the coffee shop or not.

GCAC aka Genoa City Athletic Club – has a restaurant and bar as part of a club that also includes a hotel, event/conference facility, and gym facilities. It has been run by Gina Roma and Lily and Cane Ashby.

Gina’s – was run by Gina Roma (she anglicized from Romalotti) who was Danny Romalotti’s sister. She served as maitre d and was known for her sensible advice and friendly ear. The specialty of the house was lasagna. Gina also sang at the club. Gina’s was a staple of Geona City for many years until Kevin Fisher burnt it down in an attempt to kill Colleen Carlton (Brad and Traci’s daughter) which proved unsuccessful thanks to Colleen’s boyfriend JT Hellstrom heroically pulling her out of the flames. After it burnt down she managed the restaurant of the Geona City Athletic Club but gradually faded out of the show.

Gloworm – Gloria Fisher and her husband Jeffery Bardwell ran this restaurant named in honor of Gloria. It was sort of a middle of the road restaurant definitely above a diner, but not fine dining.

The Saigon Shack – was a Vietnamese restaurant run by Jack Abbott’s lost love Luan who he married and she later died. It was mentioned on screen in 2017.

The Underground is a bar opened by Nick Newman after one of his defections from Newman. Nick’s son Noah and assorted young people worked at the bar which also featured live music including Noah himself and Reed Halstrom. The bar is literally underground and has a cramped feeling. It never has many customers. When Nick was dating Avery Bailey Clark (Phyllis’s sister), he gave her a reserved booth.

Thanks to Gwen White and Brandi Nicole Anderson for helping with this section.

Thanks to Priscilla Jeneen Hunt for several name suggestions for different soaps.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Odds and Ends Musical 3

September 6, 2017

One of the hardest things to track down later is what song was used with a scene. I try and catch references to specific songs and round them up. I’ve previously published Part 1 and Part 2. Some of these are from old issues. For them find old issues here.

Find a roundup about soap actors who are also musicians in the November 3, 2014 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

In July 2014, Rafe Kovich, Jr. (sadly killing off a legacy character from Port Charles and destroying the character who had been charismatic and likable) died. A song played over the montage. It was called “Reaching” by Daena Jay that was specifically written for ABC’s use. It is now available on iTunes for 99 cents. Read about it in the June 1, 2015 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Karla Mosley (Christina Boudreau) talks about the song she sang when she first caught Rick Forrester’s attention on The Bold and the Beautiful. It was a song Mosley co-wrote inspired by her father’s death. It’s called “Time Travel.” Read all about it in the April 15, 2013 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Frank Cooper and Eleni Andros on Guiding Light danced the first dance at their wedding to “You Are So Beautiful To Me.”

On December 12, 2014 episode of The Young and the Restless Noah and Sharon were talking in the coffeehouse while they played “Dear Santa (Put His Name At The Top Of Your List)” and it was sung by Rhonda Black according to the January 26, 2015 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

In May 2015 Steffy Forrester and Liam Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful had a montage before they reunited after Quinn had him hostage in the cabin set to “The Pieces” performed by Nate Mott. It’s available for purchase on iTunes according to the May 4, 2015 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

On the July 28, 2016 episode of The Bold and the Beautiful was on location in Monte Carlo. The song played was “The Song That Never Played.” It was written for the show by Casey Kasprzyk (supervising producer), Anthony Ferrari (V.P. of International Operations), Bradley Bell (executive producer), and Scott Clifton (actor – Liam Spencer). Clifton sang the song on the show.

In the February 6, 2015 episode of Days of Our Lives a song was played when Melanie and Brady first made love. The song is “I Can Never Lose You.” It’s an original song written by D. Brent Nelson who is a music composer for Days specifically for that scene. It was sung by Vanessa Bryan. Find the song here:

In June 2015, while Nick Newman and Sage were talking about him having hit a reporter on The Young and the Restless they played the song “Tears Won’t Fall” sung by Kati Mac. It’s available on iTunes according to the June 15, 2014 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

In June 2015, while Jake/Jason and Liz on General Hospital made love they played the song “All Comes Down to You” by Tyler Blackburn. It’s available on iTunes. Find about it in the June 22, 2015 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

According to the April 6, 2015 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth the song that played in the bar when Nikki Newman and Neil Winters connected after Neil got back his eyesight just in time to see his son and his wife in bed together was “I’m Still Breathin'” by Brad Wilson. You can find it on iTunes or at

When she left The Young and the Restless Angelina (Diana DeGarmo) left to a beautiful song. “The song in question is called ‘Good Goodbye,’ which DeGarmo and real-life hubby Ace Young created it specifically for the CBS sudser. It’s available for download at both Amazon and iTunes.” It’s according to the August 26, 2013 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

@HeyMisterDJ_ATL reminds us that Beth Raines and Lujack Spaulding’s theme was “Almost Paradise.”

In the March 23, 2015 issue of Soap Opera Digest, the song that played in the February 6, 2015 episode of The Bold and the Beautiful while Ridge Forrester and Caroline Spencer were together in Ridge’s loft. The song is “Mad Chemistry.” It’s preformed by Elsie and you can find it at

Sam McCall and Jason Morgan danced at their wedding to “Love Like This.” It’s an ABC original song and can be purchased on iTunes. Read more about it in the October 10, 2016 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Almost every time Chelsea Lawson and Adam Newman made love it was to the song “The Gray” preformed by Daena Jay and it’s available on iTunes. Read more about it in the November 14, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

When Liam Spencer and Steffy Forrester of The Bold and the Beautiful reunited in early winter 2016 when they made love the first time they played “Standing With You” by soul songwriter according to the Jan. 23, 2017 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

An Australian band called The Drugs had a huge hit with their song “The Bold & The Beautiful.”

Cliff and Nina’s theme music on All My Children is “Words Get in the Way” by The Miami Sound Machine according to the November 4, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

On the July 5, 2017 episode of The Bold and the Beautiful  the two songs that played while R. J. Forrester and Coco Spectra were tooling about in their car were “Wherever You Go” by Rich Andruska and “Catch Me If U Can” by Emily Jaye. Read a little more in the August 7, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

At the MS charity concert Victor Newman organized, Nikki Newman played “Nocturne Adagio No. 3” by Brad Hastfield. She played it despite a MS flair-up. Read more in the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Young Hope Bauer

September 4, 2017

Checking in on any early Hope Bauer whose namesake was Hope Santos.

Glmanny's Blog

I recently got a copy of the Guiding Light 60th Anniversary issue of Soap Opera Digest Jan. 28, 1997. Here’s part of the Where Are They Now section.

Elissa Leeds, who soap-hopped from AW to GL in the 1960s as Hope Bauer is now a successful talent manager….Leeds‘s last soap assignment was playing GH’s Steffi in 1984…..[A] back injury that landed her ‘home and horizontal’ made Leeds rethink her vocation. “I thought it’s be interested to handle actors that way I felt they might want to be handled, ” she explains.”

“A typical week for Leeds includes suggesting clients for roles, reading scripts, meeting studio execs and even turning down work. ‘Occasionally, we’ll pass on a part – either because of the material or because the project is not right for a particular client,’ she says. One role that was ‘not right’ for Leeds herself was…

View original post 349 more words

Guiding Light Finale Speculation

August 31, 2017

Starting to think about the cancellation again this year.

Glmanny's Blog

Updated August 30 2017: It’s the time of year where sad thoughts go back to 2009 when Guiding Light disappeared. Of course some of this didn’t turn out to be right, but some of it was fairly spot on. I thought you might enjoy another read. I added the signature block.

Guiding Light Finale Speculation

TPTB are keeping mum about exactly what will happen in the final episode. We know there will be a flash forward that will show Danny, Michelle, Robbie, and Hope Santos having a picnic among other things. They have tied so many things to Thanksgiving (Natalia’s pregnancy, Bill and Lizzie’s first annual Thanksgiving party/housewarming, etc.) that I think they will flash forward to this Thanksgiving, at least as a montage of images, showing us that life will go on in Springfield. They may even flash forward to some future Thanksgiving, to see a peek in the future when everybody is…

View original post 331 more words

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 8

August 29, 2017

Republisher’s Note: We finally reach the very end so far of the story from The Mob’s Cardinal. I’m sorry there isn’t more.

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 8

“This house seems bigger than the house plans. Do you think the builder misinterpreted the square footage?”

Sipping on his second cup of coffee, Danny had grown accustomed to listening to Michelle with one ear and responding at the right moment to her question. “Michelle, you saw every stage of the house being built. The house hasn’t changed in size from the pouring of the foundation to the time when the moving van moved us back to Springfield. Don’t tell me that you miss the cozy condo in Philly?”

Smiling at her husband’s intuitiveness, “We did out grow the condo but it was very convenient to the hospitals where I worked. It was home away from home to Gabby, Bethany and Pascal. They had a park close by to provide hours of entertainment, the Schuylkill River outside their windows and the ever convenient corner ice cream shop.” Taking the Saturday morning paper out of Danny’s hand, Michelle sat down on his right leg. Stroking the dark curls with one of her fingers, “I miss the city living. Laurel Falls is farther out from Springfield than I would like for the children to be. Saturdays are crazy with our schedules. We have soccer games for the boys, theater rehearsals for Bethany Joy with dance lessons thrown in addition to getting the right son at the right field for a game. Maybe, we made the wrong decision in building the perfect home. The lake house was where we always came back to when we visited Springfield.”

“Michelle, Michelle! the lake house had been remodeled when you and I met, it wasn’t feasible to alter the house again to suit our growing family; besides it gave Ray a sanctuary to escape to when we were in Philly.”

Looking at the view of the waterfalls from his chair at the kitchen table, “You can’t tell me that this view doesn’t take your breath away in the morning sunrise with the light beams bouncing off the water to create a prism. So what is wrong?”

“Danny, it isn’t anything wrong but what is right. My babies are growing up and I miss having a little one to hold in my arms. I never thought I would consider having another baby after Lance Pascal was born. My residency, private practice as short lived as it was; opened the door for me to do pediatric research.”

Kissing Danny on his forehead, “I have had it all, but the job that I liked the best was being the mother to your children. Danny, you are aware that Father Ray and I meet every Thursday.”

“Ray, God bless his soul has listened to me mumble and grumble over a house. Anyway, last week, Ray being the good Catholic Father told me that I should fill it with Santos children.”

Swallowing another sip of the hot coffee, “Ray has good intentions but how do you feel, Michelle?”

Michelle intertwined her fingers in with Danny’s fingers. “Bethany has begged for a sister to even the count and Lance Pascal has joined in the petition in the past. The house has many rooms that are never used and only see me when I give them a dusting and a promise, but it was built for a time in the future when our children have children.”

“I wanted the house to be big to accommodate their visits and a gathering place. Carmen’s house is a cold museum. She spends more time here and at Pilar and Bill’s home in Chicago than she does at Casa Santos. Abuella is content to stay at the villa in Puerto Rico with her arthritis but when she travels back to the USA, this is where she stays.”

“Honey, we have two preteens and another son that are involved in their specific activity that reflects their talents. Having another baby would please me but we would be starting over with wet diapers, breast feeding and lots of sleepy nights for the next two years.”

The banging noise coming from the laundry room turned their attention to Bethany standing with her ballet shoes in her hand. “Mom, I forgot to tell you but I broke the ribbon off my toe shoes. Can we go downtown early this morning? I apologize for listening in the laundry room but my friends love to come to visit me here at Laurel Falls and please get busy and do what ever it is that you do and make a baby sister or brother. I vote for a sister. Uncle Ray is right, this house laughs when we are all here.”

Slipping off Danny’s legs, “Yes, we can go into the city early to buy new toe shoes or get them repaired. The other subject is up for debate, if I become pregnant and that is a big “IF”. The baby will add joy and stress to our already busy lives.  We are all busy.Your father has his offices in Springfield and San Juan. I have a major research project going on with the NIH in Washington, DC and then the normal life of three active children going in multiple directions.”

“Mom, I know that you can do it because we have Mommy Olga to help us. Please, pretty please with sugar on top.”

“Bethany Joy Santos, can you go back upstairs and make sure that your brothers are up and getting showers. Your Daddy has made his special waffle mix and we have fresh strawberries from the garden.”

Bethany banging on Pascal’s door and the quiet pecking on Gabriel’s door followed the clacking sound of feet running up the steps. “Bethany is respectful of how she approaches Gabriel in the morning but with Pascal, she is always ‘Here I am in your face.'”

Laying the paper on the table, Danny stood and walked to the kitchen counter where he turned the waffle iron setting down to medium. “Honey, Gabby and Bethany still have their own special communication. Gabby is the quiet leader and Bethany, well, she is vivacious and isn’t afraid to speak what is on her mind. And Pascal has been playing catch-up since he was born with the twins. It is purely sibling dynamics at work.”

“Gabriel and Pascal were downstairs in the basement late last night building a model airplane. Bethany isn’t interested in the project but she was down there with a new CD pleading with Gabriel to be her dance partner. Thirty minutes later, she is upstairs in her room making plans to go to the mall with her girl friends to see a new Star Wars movie.”

“Danny, I don’t see anything unusual about BJ’s flitting from dancing in the recreation room with Gabby to meeting up with her girlfriends to see the movie.” Pausing to express her thought carefully, “Bethany is going to be the child that is going to require us to be one step ahead of her.”

“So you are telling me that she is like her mother. Maybe Ray can find her a nice convent to live in for the next several years. I’m not ready for Bethany to move to the full-blown teenage scene. When Bethany got home; she went immediately to Gabriel’s room and they talked for hours about the new space characters and special affects. It seems to me that when it is just the two of them, she is on equal footing and when Pascal is added to their mix; Bethany will compete for Gabriel’s attention.” Michelle placed the plates in the warming oven while pondering Danny’s observation.

“They aren’t identical twins, but it appears to be more of a girl-boy development issues. Gabriel has always liked the toy objects for building and anything with wheels. Bethany preferred Barbie Dolls and crafts with art. They are both musical and the three all love to read.” Leaning her head on Danny’s chest, “They have the same love of books as you do.”

“Danny, why don’t you start the waffles and I’ll pour the Orange juice. I think today is a good day for a little mother and daughter talk. Lance Pascal is so accepting of their behavior, but I can see the boys beginning to want to do their thing and Bethany struggling to understand that her twin brother is growing more independent of her.”

“Michelle, the bond between Gabby and Bethany is stronger than ever. Bethany goes to Gabby quicker than she comes to us. They still operate in unison. Bethany and Gabby welcomed Pascal into their world from the beginning. They are all close, which is good; Mick and I were close once, but we didn’t connect like our three children have done.”

In the background, Danny heard the phone ringing. “Can you pick up, Michelle?”

“Good morning, Dr. Bauer-Santos speaking.” Handing the receiver to Danny, “It is your lawyer, Mr. Stewart in Philadelphia.”

“Is this personal or family business?” Listening and lifting a golden brown waffle from the skillet, Danny smiled. “No, it’s not going to be a problem….Consider it a graduation gift to Paul. Maria stays in the lower level of the villa and I will give her a call to warn her of his visit. Better yet, I can get Abuela to come here for a visit while Paul and his buddies take a vacation there…..Has he decided to move to New York City? It is where the acting action is happening…..I hope that he is successful in finding work…. If he needs help finding a job to support himself, I have connections to a few restaurants where the waiters make great tips……Our family is well. Michelle and I were just hashing over the pro and con benefits of living in the country. Bethany Joy has the cultural interests and we are in the city frequently for ballet lessons and theater rehearsals. Gabby and Pascal have soccer and swim practice, which requires flat fields and indoor swimming pools. Here at Laurel Falls, we are on the low end of having any nearby.” Hanging up the phone and resuming the business at hand, Danny loaded the waffles on the five plates.

Pascal was the first to join his parents at the kitchen table. “I could smell the waffles cooking upstairs.” Pouring the warm Vermont maple syrup from the bluestone pitcher, “We have the best breakfasts on Saturday mornings. May I please have the strawberries?”

“Certainly Pascal, and you have the nicest manners.”

“Oh Mom, you always try to embarrass me.”

Reaching over to ruffle his long curls, “I know two boys that are in great need of a visit to the hair salon.”

“Nay, Gabby and I like our hair longer just like Pap.”

“Is it hot when you play soccer?”

“It’s hot either way but it keeps my head warm in the winter. I hate to wear hats, you get the hat rings on the hair. It isn’t cool to wear hats to school here in Springfield.”

Michelle tapped Pascal on his shoulder. “Do the kids tease a lot at school?”

“No, they don’t bother me. Everyone knows that I am Gabby Santos’s baby brother and he will protect me on the playground.”

Sitting down next to Pascal’s chair, Michelle prodded Pascal for more information. “Have the boys been picking fights with you and Gabby?”

“Oh Mom, it goes with the territory when we first moved back and being the new kids at school. There is always a bully, but Gabby was well liked at the school and it doesn’t hurt to have Father Ray as an uncle.”

Michelle smiled at Pascal’s answer. “So Gabby charmed the bully?”

“Yea Mom, something like that and all the boys have crushes on Bethany Joy.”

“Speaking of Gabby, was Gabby out of the shower before you came down the steps?”

“He was packing the soccer bag for the game today….Mom, can I invite RJ and David to come over after the game today for a sleep over? I checked your calendar before asking and I didn’t see any of Bethany or Gabby’s friends written down.”

Glancing up to meet her husband’s eyes, Michelle winked at Danny. “Pascal, do I need to call their parents to verify that the sleep over is OK? We all go to church at 8AM. Mass.”

“Mom, their parents are cool with RJ and David coming out here to our house. Everybody knows and has heard the rumors about Papa’s business. It is no big deal; I told them that Daddy is a secret agent for Interpol.”

Danny almost choked on the bite of waffle in his mouth after hearing Pascal’s version of the crime syndicate business. “Pascal, I appreciate your support but telling the white lie isn’t good. I’m really a secret FBI agent.”

“Pap, that is what Gabby tells his friends. It makes sense to me and his friends aren’t scared to come here to visit. Bethany Joy and Gabby have lots of friends at the middle school. RJ and David are nice and we all are on the same soccer team. Besides, I told them that my Mom makes the best lasagna in the world. Can we have it tonight for dinner?”

“Hum…I’m sure that we can have the family favorite tonight. Why don’t you go and call the boys and tell them to bring their swimming suits when they come. I know that your father and I are glad that you are making friends in Springfield.”

“Honey, can I get you another cup of coffee?” Michelle poured the hot coffee in the almost empty mug. Danny’s arm wrapped around the tiny waist of his wife and with the free hand, he caught Michelle’s hand in his hand. Bringing the hand up to his lips, “You knew this day was coming.”

“I thought you had talked to Gabriel and Bethany Joy about the La Familia.”

“I have but from what I heard from Pascal; Gabby has a safe story to fall back on at school.”

“Danny, my Pascal is too young to hear the truth. I don’t want him to hear the truth till he is old enough to understand both sides of the business. The family was safe in Philadelphia; our last name wasn’t prejudged there. Did we make a mistake by coming back to live in Springfield? Have I put my children in the crosshairs of a society that can harm them?”

With Michelle’s chin locked in his hands, “I promise you that all the business here in Springfield is legit. That is all you need to know. Our children will prove themselves to Springfield’s society. Gabby is charming and Bethany Joy is the rising new society teen that is doomed to break many young men’s heart.” Kissing Michelle on the tip of her nose, “We couldn’t have written a better chapter in their lives. All of our work has bought us to where we are now.”

“Michelle, Carmen raised her family in a close family unit behind walls of security. Yes, we have bodyguards and security, but it is what anyone would do if they are wealthy. Our children attend Catholic schools and are engaged in public activities. We have given them a normal life if there is such a thing as a normal life. The business has never touched their lives.”

“Michelle, I think it is time for me to take the kids down to San Cristobel for a quick trip to pick up Abuela. Mr. Stewart’s oldest son and a few friends are going to use the villa for a couple of weeks. It might be a good time to see what is going on in their heads away from Springfield. Plus, I want to make sure that Paul Stewart takes care of the villa while my grandmother is away. A little face to face meeting won’t hurt to check out the situation.”

“How long will you stay, Danny?”

“It will be an in and out one day trip.”


Three weeks later, Danny sitting in the pilot sit settled the leer jet wheels down on the tarmac at the International Airport in San Juan. In his heart and mind, he felt the surge of warm memories rising up. He was back where he belonged. The fleet of black Mercedes waiting in the parking lot had increased over the years. The family hotel and casino business had multiplied tenfold. The big spenders received all the niceties after dropping their wealth on the gambling tables thus enriching the bank accountants of the Santos Empire in Puerto Rico. At the bottom of the steps stood the five bodyguards with his aging grandmother. The grand matriarch, Maria still insisted on coming to the airport to meet her grandson and his children.

Resting in her wheelchair, she greeted Pascal, Bethany Joy and finally Gabby. “Gabriel Santos, the oldest great grandson and the heir to the Family. I think the Saints of Santos for allowing me to see my great-grandchildren grow up in my old age.”

Danny squatted down to meet the light dancing in the hard old eyes of a woman that he greatly respected. “Abuela, it is good to see you in good health. Michelle sends her love and is happy that you can visit with us in our home in Springfield. Have the guests arrived at the villa?”

Lifting her hand to point up to an imaginary living space being occupied by the young adults, “They are very quiet and the young man was polite and introduced his friends after they arrived. They bought back many memories of a time when you and Mick were the making of many headaches for Miguel and Carmen.” Raising her eyes to scan the steps and as far as she could observe inside the jet, “Michelle didn’t make the trip? This is a first!”

Pascal stepped forward to answer his great- grandmother. “Mom was coming, but at the last minute she decided it was too much. Mom preferred to stay at home and recuperate.”

Danny wrapped his arm around his younger son’s small shoulders, “Maria, you have your answer.”

Checking his gold wristwatch and making the time adjustment, “Let’s get to the villa and see the young Mr. Stewart. He should be up by now.” The lead bodyguard informed Danny that the college crowd had returned to the villa by 4am. “Abuela did you hear them coming in this morning?”

“No, but you must remember that I take my hearing aids out of my ears when I retire for the night.”

Waiting patiently out of respect for the old woman, Santana spoke in Danny’s ear. “They were quiet as a church mouse.”

“Good, the words that I wanted to hear.”

Danny and Maria watched the next generation run down the rocky steps to the white beach below the marble balcony. “Abuela, everything is changing. It use to be, Michelle and me running down the steps; then it was Michelle and me with Gabby and Bethany Joy. Now, I’m here observing with my grandmother.” Sipping the Sangria, Danny placed his tan hand over the crippled hand of a woman that he loved and adored. “Michelle is expecting again! We haven’t told Pascal. Michelle wants to do it at the right time.”

Turning the tiny wheel in her hearing aid to adjust the volume, “Pascal has always been special to Michelle as you were to Carmen. He is very attached to his mother and Michelle to him. It is for all the right reasons. I’ve observed his mannerisms. Pascal has the right mentality and fortitude to be the next leader of the Santos family. I’ve watched Gabriel and Pascal grow up. Gabby is too sensitive and influenced by Bethany. I tell you, Pascal is a natural born leader.”

Bending down to kiss the tips of her now crippled fingers from the progressing arthritis, Danny ignored Maria’s apparent approval and selection of Pascal. “Pascal’s disposition is more like Michelle than any of our children. The business world that you and my grandfather knew is in constant change. Our business is too big for one to handle. When I’m ready to step aside, I want my sons in an equal partnership; there will be plenty to share.”

“But Danny,” Caressing Danny’s hand in hers, “There has to be a go to man and I’m telling you that it is Pascal.”

Rising back up to the standing position, Danny heard the laughing voices of the three below in the water. “I will see which one is ready for the challenge.”

“I see. Michelle still rules your heart and mind. She has influenced your thinking for a long time. I am an old woman and going to die soon, but before my coffin is lowered down to my final resting place; I want to breathe my last breath with the knowledge that the Santos name is respected here and in the USA.” Requesting her promise in Spanish, “Please do me that honor!”

“Abuela, the child that Michelle is carrying might possess your genes and Carmen’s. I think this conversation is over. I want to catch up with Paul Stewart. I want to re-enforce my presence here with the young man.”

Back inside the villa, Danny took the white marble steps two at a time till reaching the landing on the main level. The aroma from the fresh brewing coffee coming from the coffee maker was a good sign. Someone was up and Danny was betting that it was the young Stewart. Walking to the kitchen cabinet that housed the coffee mugs, Danny selected one and reached for the coffee carafe. After pouring the mug full of the hot caffeine beverage, Danny sat down on the high cushioned stool to await the appearance of a living, moving body. Giving the family room a thorough checking with his observant eyes, he was pleased and satisfied at the neatness.

The quietness of the villa was interrupted with the sound of bare feet walking on squeaking clean marble steps. The cordial greeting followed, “Mr. Santos, I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Danny pushed the swivel chair around to face the college graduate. “I’m here on business and to retrieve my grandmother. I thought it might be less stressful for you and your guests if she wasn’t here. Just saying hello and goodbye. We are all leaving by 8PM and the entire villa will be yours to enjoy. Oh, I should warn you that my children are down on the beach taking advantage of the quick trip here. In case you hear the sound of young voices, it will be them.”

Paul smiled a sigh of relief when he comprehended the meaning behind the presence of his father’s boss in the villa. Extending his left hand to Danny, “I want to thank you for your generosity. I promised my father that we would leave the villa cleaner than we found it, but the place was spotless when we arrived. I have a good bunch of my friends here and we are having a blast. We were out late last night in San Juan; so everyone is sleeping in this morning.” Stroking his full head of dark curls, “Where are my manners? Have you had breakfast? I can make a mean cheese omelet.”

For what seemed like an eternity, Paul waited for an answer from his father’s boss. Danny took another long sip of coffee before dumping the remaining coffee in the sink. “Thanks for the coffee, I don’t think that I will see you again before I leave going back to Springfield. Oh to be young again and full of energy. Take care. The young ladies of Puerto Rico are beauties, but you don’t have to wear yourself out in two weeks.”

Paul rolled his head back and chuckled a short giggle, “Yea, I understand there are lots of them from what I have seen out at night at the clubs.” Thanking Danny Santos again for the generosity, Paul walked Danny out the open French doors to the poolside. With the final parting words, Danny Santos left Paul Stewart in charge of the Santos villa.

After Danny left, Paul decided on a quick plunge into the deep end of the pool to refresh his body. Grabbing the suntan lotion, Paul liberally applied the white solution to his body before lying down on the out stretched beach towel. The Caribbean sun beat down on his burning bare chest and face forcing the young college graduate to roll over to the comfort of his stomach. The sound below the pool was the voices of two young boys playing catch with a baseball, the all American summer sport. The splashing sound of someone diving in the pool and the pleasant sudden spray of water falling on his body startled Paul. “What in the hell!” With his startle reflex in high gear, the handsome young man stood up immediately to see which of his college friends had invaded his world. Expecting a male face to surface out of the water, Paul was taken back to see the pretty preteen face of a young girl resurface at the edge of the pool where he stood. “Hey brat, it isn’t cool to scare the sheer-crap out of someone when they are trying to sleep.”

Bethany was shocked at the lecture that she was getting from the young stranger standing above her. Voicing her irritation back, “I’m sorry but I didn’t see anyone before I dove into the pool. I wanted to rinse the salt water off my body before I went inside and took a shower. Besides, this is our villa! Who are you?”

“Ah huh, you are Bethany Joy Santos, I bet. You don’t remember me? We met once about…” counting back the years” years ago in my father’s office in Philly. You and your twin brother had started kindergarten. My father is one of your father’s legal advisers. I’m Paul Stewart.”

Reaching down with both hands, Paul pulled the petite girl from the swimming pool. On the deck of the pool, Paul caught himself staring at the teen girl with the big dark pupils. Bethany felt the intense eyes of the man called Paul resting on her body. “May I use your towel, I can get another one for you out of the laundry closet?”

“Sure”, picking up his towel, Paul handed it to her.

“I’m full of apologizes, but I don’t remember meeting you back then but Pap has mentioned Mr. Stewart often.” Wiping the water from her body, “Pap has loaned the villa to you as a graduation present. He said you are going to be an actor and live in New Your City!”

Smiling at her excitement, “Yes, I’m leaving for NYC after I get back from this trip. I’m going to try my luck in the big apple and see what develops. Are you a young budding actress?”

Taking a deep breath, ” Kind of but my dream is to be a ballet dancer.”

Paul tried to control his eyes while at the same time; his eyes followed the outline of the female figure. The wet turquoise tankini top clearly showed the growth of her youthful breasts with the hardened nipples standing out at full attention. His eyes were drawn to the young face standing innocently in front of him. The picture inside the villa flashed in his mind and he wanted to explain what he felt was inappropriate behavior to Mr. Santos’s daughter. “There is a wedding picture inside the villa of your mother and father. I can’t get over the remarkable resemblance of you to your mother.”

Grinning a broad smile of pride, “I hear that often from Pap and Uncle Bill.”

Bethany handed the wet towel back to Paul. Thank you for the use of the towel but I had better get inside and get a shower. Pap gave us specific instructions to stay in Abuela’s living quarters. I’m the one that has over stepped the boundaries. Good luck in NYC! Maybe I’ll see you someday on Broadway when I finish growing up!”

Clutching the towel in one hand, “I hope it won’t take that long to get a role in a play on Broadway. Keep dancing, I may see you perform with a famous ballet company.”

Unbeknown to either, Danny Santos had watched the entire encounter from the gatehouse security screens. Bethany had handled herself well. What bothered Danny was the new manifestation of watching Bethany Joy with the opposite sex. He uncrossed his arms and walked down the rocky steps to join the two boys on the beach. Halfway down the flight of steps, Danny glanced back up to the lower balcony and swimming pool. Paul wasn’t in sight. The encounter was innocent. Stewart’s twenty-one year old son was only talking to his twelve year old daughter. Danny couldn’t wipe out the image that he saw on the security screen. He saw Paul admiring his daughter’s body.

Stepping off the last step into the sand, Danny signaled the two boys to join him for a swim out to the white anchored sailboat in the cove. “I’ll race you out to the boat and the last one there is a dirty stinking pirate with a bottle of rum.” With a portion of the race completed, Danny felt a hand touching and then tugging at his ankle. Gabby was giving his father a true race, which instantly caused Danny to turn on the afterburners to remain in the lead by less than a half body length. Danny touched the ladder first by edging out Gabby’s hand by inches. Gasping for air to fill his hurting lungs, Danny saw Pascal finish barely a body length behind his father. “Oh Pascal, is the dirty pirate with a bottle of rum! I guess we have to let the dirty pirate go up the ladder first and give us permission to board the “The Santos Cove.” Pascal took the hint and ascended the ladder first followed by Gabby then Danny.

“Don’t tell Michelle that you almost beat your father today! Your mother will be impressed that you have one of her many talents. She is a great swimmer. Did I ever tell you about the night that she was mad at me and wanted to swim across the lake to the lighthouse?”

Pascal laughed at the mention of the night swim. “Mom must have really been mad at you to try swimming that far at night.”

Patting his son on the knee, “Michelle was fit to be tied and I was fortunate enough to remember a hobby of hers. She was a long distant swimmer and if Michelle had gotten away from me that night…our lives would have been…boring to say the least.”

“Gabby, where is your sister?”

“Bethany went back to the villa pool. She preferred meeting the young actor staying at the villa than throwing the baseball with her brothers. It sounded cool to me, she is forever buying the magazines with all the gossip.”

Danny’s voice pitch changed after he heard what he considered a lame excuse from Gabby. “Gabby, how many times do I have to remind you that you must be the voice of reason with Bethany Joy? She reacts and then thinks. Bethany had no business going by herself to evade the privacy of the house guests.”

“But Pap, Bethany dreams of performing on stage one day; it seemed perfectly normal for her to use the occasion to meet “An actor”.

His father’s intense gaze displayed the disappointment. “You and I will talk later in private. Your job now and in the future is to protect your sister until I release you from that obligation. My Bethany isn’t going to get off as easy. We can take a short rest, then we will return to the villa and see precisely how charmed “our princess” is with Mr. Stewart.”

Behind the screen door, Bethany applied the soft lip-gloss to her lips. “Abuela, do you like the shade of lip-gloss with my complexion?”

Pinching her cheeks with her twisted fingers, “You are perfect without the lipstick.”

“Granny, it isn’t lipstick; the term today is lip-gloss. I went shopping with Mom one afternoon and we picked the color out together.”

Holding the young face in her hands, “Are you wearing this with the approval of your father?”

Bethany reached over to kiss Abuela on the cheek, “Pap approves.”

“Approves of what?” came the voice standing inside the villa.

“The lip-gloss.”

“Gabby and Pascal, go ahead and get your showers.”

“The lip-gloss is an approved item but ‘Miss'” interfering with an invited guest isn’t.”

Bethany reacted with stomping her foot. “I have traitors for brothers; my little brother, Pascal ratted on me.”

Lifting his hand to halt Bethany’s tirade, “The problem is a twelve year old pre-teen seeking out a twenty-two year old MAN.” Danny gave the Man a strong pronouncement indicating his displeasure “…because he is a potential actor. Missy, you didn’t respect his privacy and you owe Pascal an apology. I’m going upstairs to get a shower and apologize for your rude behavior. Not that I have to explain but I saw you with my own eyes from the security screen at the gatehouse. Missy, you are the one causing the ruffle in out tranquil trip to Puerto Rico. When we get back home, you and I will be having a “set down” with your mother.”

“Ah, ah…”clearing her throat, Abuela watched the tears forming in Bethany’s eyes. “Stop this, I have an errand for Bethany Joy. My child, can you please go to the gatehouse and ask Ricardo to bring the young potted orchids to the front of the villa?” Removing the lace handkerchief from her pocket, Abeua wiped the tears from her great-granddaughter’s cheeks. “My old mind has a tendency to forget important things. The new orchids will require my attention when I visit your home. The orchids are like you and your beautiful mother.”

Raising her eyes slowly to meet her father’s eyes. “Am I excused?”

Danny motioned with his left hand for her to go ahead with the errand.

“Abuela, I don’t want you interfering when I am correcting my children!”

Shaking her hand at Danny, “Why are you being hard on the girl? She did nothing wrong. I maybe deaf but I can hear with these hearing aids. I heard every word! Bethany is growing into a beautiful young teenager and she was excited with the prospect of seeing the ‘actor on her own turf’. She will go back to Springfield and do a little bragging among her friends. Normal girls do gossip and they love to talk about their favorite subjects-the opposite sex. So Bethany Joy has a temporary crush on your lawyer’s son; they most likely will never meet again.”

Danny shook his head and ran his hand through his thick curly hair. “I need a haircut. After I shower, I’m going into the old city to get a haircut. Tell, Bethany that I want her to accompany me when she returns from your errand.”

“Abuela, the world that you grew up in doesn’t exist anymore. I have an idea of what BJ was doing. She was flirting with Paul and I don’t like it. Bethany started having her periods this spring. Michelle and I aren’t ready to turn her loose on the world.”

“Gee, Daniel, you can’t keep her in a glass house. Flirting isn’t sleeping with a boy.” Mumbling in Spanish to her grandson, Danny smiled at his grandmother’s veracity. “Do you have anything else to add to this conversation?”

“Yes. Be honest Daniel, it isn’t Michelle. You want Bethany Joy to be your little princess forever. A warning Daniel, the day will come when Bethany will choose to fly away from your protective nest. The man that she chooses will most likely be like you. Your harshness will break her spirit.”

Danny left the sunroom without responding to the matriarch.

“I finished moving the pots from back of the Gatehouse.”

“Good, my princess. You remind me of Pilar when she was becoming a young lady. Carmen saw every male as a potential rapist. The last straw that Carmen refused to tolerate from Pilar was climbing out of the windows at night and hitch hiking with her friends into Chicago. The next day, Pilar was packed up and sent to boarding school in Spain.”

Bethany laid her head down on Abuela’s lap where the gentle hands stroked her hair. “Do you think Pap will send me to boarding school in Spain?”

“Never sweet one. You are his only princess and the spitting image of your mother. His great passionate love for Michelle is transferred to you. Your father is fighting a future demon; the man that steals your heart. The day will come when you break his heart for the right reason. God made a man and woman to yearn and desire each other. It is the yeaning that is driving your father crazy. You must save your virginity for the right man; it is the way of the island people. But it will be different for your brothers; they will be encouraged to come to their wedding bed with experience.”

Popping up from the security of Abuela’s lap, “I get it. Pap knew how to make love to my mother and my mother was a virgin when they got married!”

Kissing the top of Bethany’s head, “You ask too many questions. Speak with your mother; she can answer that personal question.” The sparkle in her deep eyes bubbled forth as she hugged Bethany Joy, “Your father is going into the old city of San Juan; he wants you to join him.”

With the small number of bodyguards walking in front of them and behind, Danny clutched his daughter’s hand. They followed the familiar streets where local venders greeted Danny and his daughter. The cobblestone streets still lead to the pastel shops and homes with the many shades of red, purple and yellow flowers blooming in the various sizes of pots sitting on steps and above the wrought iron porches. Danny and Michelle had roamed the same streets in the late afternoon on their way to the San Cristobel Fort to watch the setting sun. Pausing to stop at one of the store windows, Danny saw the tiny reflection of Bethany in the window.

“Pap, what are you looking at in the window? Do you see something that you want to buy for Mom?”

“No, but this is the store that I bought your mother’s pearl necklace and earrings.”

Inside the store, Danny asked to see a pair of pierced cultured pearl earrings. With four pairs displayed on the black velvet tray, Danny held each pair up to Bethany’s ears. “Which pair do you like Bethany?”

Bethany picked the cluster of three tiny pearls. “Are you sure? I’m giving them to you and when you get back to Springfield, you and your mother can make arrangements to do the ear piercing.”

Spontaneously hugging her father’s neck, “I’ll be the first one in my class to have pierced ears. Thank you Pap!”

Holding Bethany tight in his arms, “I overreacted with you today and I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings. It breaks my heart to see you cry. I have to tell you that the next few years are going to be hard on your father. Time is rushing by when I want it to stop. Michelle and I only want the best for all of our children. There is a special bond between fathers and daughters. What I am saying might not make sense to you, but I want to protect and keep you safe. Watching you grow into womanhood will not be easy!”

“Oh Papa, it will be a long time before I fall in love. I don’t like the birds and bees thing.”

Smiling at Bethany’s statement, “Keep it that way for awhile!”

%d bloggers like this: