Why is the Bauer BBQ important?

People who came to this blog as Manny fans first or following Paul Anthony Stewart, Joie Lenz, and Nancy St. Albans’s careers backwards might not get just from the Manny highlight clips just how much community was a part of Guiding Light. Although there were other get togethers and events throughout the year, the Bauer BBQ was the time when pretty much everybody on canvas even people the Bauers didn’t like would show up in one place and there were always more sparks between the people than there were at the Fireworks at the end.

The Bauer BBQ provided:

  • Eye candy – lots of the beautiful cast members had excuses to wear skimpy swimwear or other summer gear.
  • Drama – Oh, what is X going to say when they see Y showed up? Enemies and rivals always ended up rubbing elbows at the BBQ. Plus things happened A-M parachuted in, a Marler twin almost drowned, Reva’s clone showed up at the same party as Reva, Drew donated Jesse’s nude drawings of Michelle to a fundraising auction, Lacey stole Johnny’s balloon. You never knew what was going to happen.
  • Comedy – there is something about food that brings out the humor in people and whether it was Nola making Amanda Spaulding handle raw meat, Billy spiking Buzz’s chili and watching Gus get it instead, or Danny catching a grill full of meat on fire something hilarious always happened at the BBQ. Plus you got Rick acting as drill sergeant getting things ready which was always a treat.
  • Romance – Whether it was one of the Manny weddings (they married twice on the 4th), the Maeve/Fletcher wedding, Johnny asking Roxie to marry him, Lucy rekindling Alan-Michael’s interest, or Rabby sneaking away to make love there was always romance.
  • Family – But most importantly there was family. You got the feeling that the entire town was one big extended family and that you were part of it. The Four Musketeers speech at the 2009 BBQ said it best. They were all connected and we were connected to them. We shared our lives and our troubles with them and they were always right there sharing their lives with us. An online friend recently told me that when she met Grant Aleksander she told him she felt like he was one of her best friends even though they’d never met and even though we know that was the characters not them, that bond was there. Springfield was unusually connected even for a soap and that’s why the Bauer BBQ was always tops in the ratings and why it remains important to Guiding Light fans to this day.
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