Alan Spaulding and Hope Bauer

Although Alan and Hope were actually my second soap couple, they are the first couple I still love. I’m not going to do a count down, just slowing sharing some of my favorites, but I wanted to start with them. Sadly they were before couple codes and they don’t have one. But if you want an example of true and tortured love, pray Soap Classics releases 1979-1980.

Once upon a time, a long time ago Alan Spaulding, then as now, was a powerful businessman, trapped in his family’s legacy of deceit and cruelty.  His frequent adversary was lawyer Mike Bauer (Ed’s brother) who stood up to Alan and didn’t let him roll over people if he could help it. Mike’s daughter Hope was very much like her younger cousin Michelle, except she was softer and lacked the inner steel that Danny found so appealing in Michelle. Hope had been hired by Alan as a decorator and they were flying back to Springfield in a small plane when it had to detour around a storm,  it crashed anyway, killing the pilot and leaving Alan and Hope stranded on an island far from their recorded course. They worked together to survive, finding food and shelter. Alan developed an infection in his injured leg and Hope nursed him through. They were trapped there alone for months and fell in love. Unfortunately, they were rescued. I think both of them would now, if given the opportunity, stop themselves from flagging down the plane that rescued them.

They returned to Springfield and had to face other people. Alan had to deal with his current wife, the former Jackie Marler (Phillip’s biological mother). Hope had to deal with her father Mike’s disapproval. After many obstacles they married and were incredibly happy for awhile. When their son Alan-Michael (his name chosen to bring their two families together) was born, I remember feeling such happiness and hope for the future and you could see that reflected in Hope and Alan’s faces, as well.

Unfortunately, the Spaulding family legacy was as twisted and devious as ever the Santos family legacy was. Alan soon fell back into the old patterns taught him by his father of ruthlessness, of the importance of destroying your enemies in business in and life, and even that mistresses are an important part of your manhood. Hope forgave Alan again and again. When she was finally forced to admit that Alan had turned his back on her, had  chosen business and his father’s legacy over her, Hope was utterly destroyed. She climbed into a bottle and never came out. She left town.

Alan couldn’t bear to look at Hope anymore, knowing what he had done to her, and had difficulty in dealing with Alan-Michael because every time he saw him, he saw his mother and the blasted hopes from when he was born. Also, Alan followed his father’s example of pitting his children against each other, causing distance between both himself and Alan-Michael and between A-M and his other children. So he kept his distance. I saw Hope and Alan on the island and when they got back and I know that was true love. I know how devastating its destruction was to both of them. I like to think that sometimes Alan still wakes up in the morning and expects Hope to be laying beside him and feels the loss all over again.

There are many parallels between Hope and Alan and the Manny story. They both started out trapped in a situation where they were forced to live in very close proximity with each other and depend on each other for survival, even though there had been mostly animosity between them before. Both men came from powerful families with strong and twisted legacies. Both women (cousins) were sweet heroines on the show (beautiful and innocent and soft and pink) and Bauers. Both couples overcame the differences of their backgrounds to fall in true love and wed. Both couples even choose to name their first child, both a son, a name that deliberately combined their families’s legacies.

The stories diverge at that point. Alan was never able to turn his back on his family legacy or his wicked ways. His utter failure to not love Hope enough to turn his back on that and protect her,  broke her. I think that is what ultimately led to his obsession with controlling and protecting his family ever since. He took it to such an extreme that he willing to shoot favored son Phillip (twice) and that his granddaughter Lizzie felt her child Sarah would be so much safer and happier away from her grandfather, that she let Sarah’s father disappear with her without a word of contact.

Besides the fact that Danny is inherently likable and that Alan could set him up as useful rival to Phillip to flog into Phillip the fact that Danny was a man of action who protected his family and Phillip wasn’t, I think it was the parallels in the love stories that drew Alan to Danny. I think part of Alan, maybe even on a subconscious level, identified with Danny and saw Manny as living his and Hope’s second chance, living the life they might have had, if he had been able to do what Danny had done and break his ties to his family legacy to protect her.

See Hope and Alan together on the island here:

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/hope-and-alan-island

Last Updated January 16, 2016: I added the new signature block.

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.

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3 Responses to “Alan Spaulding and Hope Bauer”

  1. Gina D Says:

    Just could never get into Hope and Alan for some reason.
    However, both of these characters created a character I always loved (through 4 recasts although Rick H is my fave A-M!). Alan-Michael is a great character, both Bauer and Spaulding blood fighting for control of his conscience. Loved A-M!

  2. Christmas 1979 | Glmanny's Blog Says:

    […] of Mike’s attempts to thwart his plans, Alan actually respected Mike. Earlier this summer Alan and Hope (Mike’s daughter) had been marooned on a desert island and fallen in love forming one of the […]

  3. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    Sharing one of my favorite episodes about my beloved Hope and Alan.

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