Archive for the ‘Guiding Light Classic’ Category

Robansuefarm Fanfic Update May 2018

May 23, 2018

I finally had time to go back and update my links to my fanfic. I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it so I’m publishing it as a post too.

I started writing Manny fanfic about the time I started this website. I’ve added this page as an added benefit to myself for doing all the work on the index, I decided to add an easy way to just find mine if you’re interested. My philosophy of fanfic is to make the characters as true to what we found on screen as possible.

  • I had a big gap in publishing fanfic last year. I haven’t given up, but I was just too busy. My main Manny New Year’s Resolution is to return to posting fanfic.
  • I know I need Story Index update.  The good news is I’m still finding some stories and chapters I didn’t have located before,  but I’m about out of places to look. I also need to add most of my republished fanfic chapters. I hope to work on this over the winter, but republishing is going to continue to take precedence over it.
  • More good news is that there is still interest in Manny fanfic. WordPress lets you see what search terms people are using to find your blog and I’m getting a hit based on a Manny fanfic search at least every other day and usually more often as new people find the story index and start to follow the links to Manny fanfic. So if there are any writers reading this, there is still a group of people who want to read your stuff even if it isn’t as large or vocal a group as it once was. If anybody is wavering please publish it or republish it, if it isn’t on my Story Index.
  • I’m still working on my original set of Manny New Year’s Resolutions, to write one for each of my categories. If you anybody out there wants to take it as a challenge and try to do a story for each category or even some of the categories, consider the challenge issued. I’d love some company posting fanfic.

Manny in California

My first series were the all stories about Manny’s life in California between when they left the show and when they came back. These are not supposed to be AU in anyway, but to show what we would have seen on screen, if they’d let us.

A Typical House – My very first fanfic offers a peek inside their lives in California.
Listen to the audio version

Just Another Fundraiser – Manny attends a fundraiser for Ed’s clinic during their time in California.

Springfield Bound – A series of lost scenes in and around the Guiding Light Finale

Happiest Place on Earth – The final Manny in California story.
Audio –

Manny in Springfield….and Others

Stories that take place in timeline past the show’s finale.

Springfield Thanksgiving 2009 – As the show came to an end the storyline was clearing progressing to a climax around Thanksgiving 2009. They dropped mentions of it all summer and then…they skipped over it entirely? It inspired me to a fanfic, but sadly I must admit I only got a couple of bit done and unless a miracle happens so I can watch that year this will probably be it. (Background Info) (Chapter 1)

Bauer BBQ 2014 – Although this story is set at the BBQ, it’s primarily a Manny focused story. (Chapter 1) (Chapter 2) (Chapter 3) (Chapter 4)

Bauer BBQ 2017 – My most ambitious attempt at a Bauer BBQ to date, the whole town gathers for a lot of crossing storylines. This is the year that they had an art auction….


Here is as far as I’ve gotten in my attempt to write a Manny fanfic for each one of my categories.

A Season of New Beginnings: A Continuation


Continued Storyline


Dietz – pass

The Lighthouse Princess – A fairytale based on the marvelous story The Light Princess by George MacDonald.

General A.U. -When I got hung up on Have Manny, Will Travel, I started another continuation for this category, The Journal: A Continuation (Chapter 1) (Chapter 2) (Chapter 3) (Chapter 4) (Chapter 5) (Chapter 6) (Chapter 7) (Chapter 8)

High School

Historicals – (Posted on GLManny – Change Links)
A version of Have Gun, Will Travel – Have Manny, Will Travel now being published a chapter on the Mannyac board. (Background) (Theme Song) (Chapter 1) (Chapter 2) (Chapter 3) (Chapter 4) (Chapter 5) (Chapter 6) (Chapter 7) (Chapter 8) (Chapter 9) (Chapter 10) (Chapter 11)

Lost Scenes
Legend of the Water Glass: A Manny Prequel

Having a Ball: A Manny Prequel

Making Love
French Kiss – It seems to open in a French manor house with Lord Daniel and upstairs maid Michelle, but there is a twist.

Solemn Vows – A variation on the set up from Sacred Vows where Danny pretends to be a priest in training, staying at the rectory with novice Michelle Bauer.

Poems and Song Lyrics
She Kissed Me Back: A Poem in Free Verse

Song Fic
In a Different Light – Taken from the words of a song made popular by Doug Stone, it provided a unique opportunity to have Danny and Michelle in a business setting and the song really set up the story by itself with just a little bit of background.

Fourth Wall Breaking
This one really doesn’t fit in any category. It breaks the 4th Wall in a funny Halloween Horror Story.

Last updated: May 22, 2018

Contact me:

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.


Hello, Michelle Sweetie, It’s Called DENIAL Essay 10

May 21, 2018

Republisher’s Note: Further comment on the scene where Danny puts his hands on Michelle’s neck along with other times when Danny lays hold, shakes, etc. Michelle. I agree with Andrea that bringing out both the best and the worst in each other is a very human and very important part of their relationship. Watch the episode of Danny manhandling Michelle.

From Rustle of the Sheets

“Hello, Michelle Sweetie, It’s Called D-E-N-I-A-L!” 

(Written after the March 11th episode — The one where Michelle packs to leave)

By Tracee

As always being a day behind has it’s advantages and disadvantages. The supreme advantage being, whether or not I should prepare myself to groan or grin at any given episode. And the disadvantage being, anytime I want to talk about something I’ve just seen, you’ve all already rehashed it over and over, so forgive me if this hold’s true about last Wednesday’s show, which I just saw today (or yesterday as the case may be, if you’re on the East Coast.)

Did anyone else just want to biff Michelle in the head, not in a mean way mind you, but in a ‘snap out of it’ sorta way. I was completely struck by her behavior and her tap dance around her feelings. First of all since when does anyone who is supposedly in love with a man, ask the rival for their affections — whose been trying to snare said man away from you forever — if they’re in love with him and actually mean it in a sincere way? Call me wacky, but usually I really wouldn’t care whether or not my ‘rival’s’ feelings were being hurt, but in Michelle’s case, she seemed more concerned with Drew’s standing than her own. First clue that something is mussing around in that brain of hers, that doesn’t include the concept of Michelle and Jesse forever, and ever, amen.

Second little clue, Drew asks her point blank whether she’s in love with TWV. Does Michelle say “of course you, silly fool, I’m doing this all for love, so we can be together?” Does she say “I will always be in love with Jesse, whether we’re together or not?” Not a chance. What does she do? She sputters around for a minute, says nothing in response and then comes up with some lame reasoning about how she won’t deny that when he came into the ER she still felt something. Does she label this something that she felt? Does she ever actually say she’s still in love with him? How many people can walk past their first ‘love’ twenty years later and still feel a flutter of something or other? Does this mean you’re in love with them? I don’t think so!

Then of course, there’s the third, neon-bright clue, that’s practically running buck naked in front of her painted with an arrow. Her whole mission now is to take down Carmen and not have Danny get hurt. Before it was a general take “this family” down, then it was waffling about Danny, now it’s an adamant decision to find a way to do this so that Danny doesn’t get taken down with them in the process, because he’s a swell guy who loves her. Well, slap me with a stupid stick, but if Michelle was so unfeeling toward her husband, would she even care that he did? Again, don’t think so. Would she not deny falling for him, when posed the question point blank? Which she of course, did not do. She never answered the question about possibly having feelings for him either, insisting only on “he’s different.” That Michelle, honey, is not a reasonable answer to the question asked. You know what I mean?

And finally one slight, really unnoticeable moment, when Danny asks her what’s going on and Michelle turns to him and begins to tell him about Drew finding out about her adoption and cuts herself off from him, mid-sentence and generalizes the issue. Why? Well, in my opinion, because it was a little too easy, a little familiar, a little too much like a real marriage, where husband and wife share these things easily, and it was way too much for her to contemplate at the moment, the natural instinct to act like Danny’s wife in every manner.

Dear Michelle, please pick up the white courtesy phone, waiting with that clue on hold!

Tracee — who thought she packed an awful lot for an “overnight” observation at Rick’s house!


Michelle Plays Princess Bride

May 19, 2018

And to finish up our posts on princess style weddings this week in honor of the royal wedding, we of course have to do Manny’s. Although Manny married quite a few times, the most elaborate was the first on-screen which is known to Mannyacs as the Church wedding — even though technically it was held in the Santos Casa rather than in a church – because it was the Catholic ceremony where a priest blessed the marriage. As there was no further action with the church, according to them Manny never divorced at all and this is the one and only Manny wedding with a bunch of vow renewals — so let’s go with that. 🙂

Revisiting the Manny Church Wedding

Tues., Feb. 16, 1999 – Michelle and Drew are talking, when Michelle tells her that she doubts that she will be able to go through with the wedding, much less the wedding night. Drew pushes her to re-marry Danny as planned for all of their sakes. Danny is busy greeting his guests, as his cousin Ray arrives. Ray is Danny’s best man and the two catch up a little. Ray tells his Aunt Carmen “My cousin is a man in love.” Danny asks his mother about Abuela who has been ill since Mick’s death. Carmen and Danny talk and she tells him that she will not stand in his way if Michelle is what he really wants. Meta, Rick and Abby show up looking upset and out of place. They are totally unable to understand Michelle’s recent behavior. Meta reflects on a conversation she once had with Michelle about what kind of wedding Michelle wanted, it was nothing like this. As Rick prepares to walk Michelle down the aisle, he tells her he would do anything for her and that he loves her, and hints if she wants to leave Danny he’ll help her. She tells him it’s time to give her away. He gives her away to Danny and the priest begins. Just then Jesse walks in and stays at the back of the room, hidden. Drew (Michelle’s maid of honor) spots him, but doesn’t say anything. At the moment, when the priest asks, “speak now or forever hold your peace”, Jesse daydreams about saying something and Michelle running to him and out of the house. He comes to, however and the wedding was continuing. As they begin their vows, Michelle nervously drops the note cards with her vows, and Danny after reassuring her to just look in his eyes and she’ll be fine, touching her chin, he offers to go first and says, “You know sometimes people meet each other under very unusual circumstances. We did. Who knows why God puts a particular person into your life? I certainly didn’t expect to meet someone like you and I know you didn’t plan on meeting a guy like me, but by divine providence or fate or just plain luck, we were thrown together and I knew, I knew that you were a treasure to be cherished and to be revered. Michelle, I — I promise to do everything in my power to keep you safe and to make you happy. And what we have between us will grow with you as my wife and I as your husband.” With her vows still tucked in Danny’s pocket, she says simply that she puts her life in his hands. When the minister directs, they kiss, a passionate and very mutual kiss. After the ceremony, Danny can’t quit smiling and Michelle is nearly as bad as they go through all the wedding traditions.
Michelle: You know, you can stop smiling now. (To photographer) We’re on a break. We’re on a break. (overlapping)
Danny: Sorry, I just can’t stop smiling.
Michelle: Hey listen, I want to thank you for kind of saving my vows, that stuff you said about being so devoted and giving of yourself was really good. Thank you.
Danny: You’re welcome. I meant every word.” 
They enjoy the reception and even Rick realizes Michelle is truly happy. After the ceremony, they take photos as Jesse leaves the house. Drew thanks Michelle for saving her life and marrying Danny and not saying anything about her part in Mick’s death, she also promises to be her go between with the FBI. She says she will help her any way she can.

Check other videos. These are the most complete of the wedding, but there are some audio problems.

Wed., Feb. 17, 1999 – As Danny dances with his new bride, Rick admits to Abby that seeing Michelle so happy he now thinks this marriage is for real. He makes a toast, “May my sister’s smile light up her husband’s life, the way it lit up this room today.” Hearing Danny announce their upcoming honeymoon plans, Michelle realizes that she has to go to bed with Danny. Her face shows array of emotions from nervousness to a genuine smile.

Thurs., Feb. 18, 1999 – They newlyweds return to their bedroom and are nervous and awkward together. When Danny asks if there’s anything special Michelle wants to do, she says there is and drops her wedding dress to the floor and steps toward Danny in her underskirt and bodice. Michelle starts to offer herself to Danny, but pulls back once from nerves and guilt. He tells her it’s OK and then leads her to the bed where he gently lets down her hair and starts to massage her back. He talks about his feelings and their relationship. “I won’t do anything to rush you, okay? We’ve all the time in the world, this is just the beginning for us as husband and wife. Hey, remember that … that day when we had to go meet with Father Tomas, for our Pre-Cana, to talk about all the things we want in marriage….You looked so miserable. You practically had your fingers crossed and your toes…. You know, you thought that you hated me, I know. And then you realized that we want the same things, that our dreams are pretty much the same….  You know, I thought, I was starting to think that we were not gonna make it — that together there was no way we were gonna have the kind of marriage we both wanted with us at each other’s throats all the time. I figured we were just doomed, you know, doomed to go through the motions for the rest of our lives. But today — today something changed. We said our vows. I don’t know, I saw something different in you. I felt it, I think you did, too. And when we kissed, you kissed me back and it was real and I thought, you know, maybe we’re gonna be okay. You know, maybe things are gonna work out and maybe our dreams can really come true.” As he slowly massages her and kisses her back, she feels herself responding for real and pulls back with a start. When Michelle stops Danny is confused and hurt, but assures her of his feelings for her but then doesn’t press her to consummate their marriage. Thanks to a call from Drew, the FBI raids the Santos home in an effort to give Michelle the distraction she needs.

Fri., Feb. 19, 1999 – When the FBI interrupts her wedding night, Michelle privately agrees to work with them to bring down the Santos family. Agent Conklin warns her that Carmen already suspects her which could spell even more danger for her. He also warns that if they take out Carmen, they are going to arrest Danny too. Michelle resists, insisting Danny isn’t like his mother, but then decides it’s a case of him or me and she has to save herself.

My Comments:

The whole sequence showed the current administration’s devotion to Manny. A 3 day wedding with all those extras was a big commitment.

Everyone else is wearing white and bright colors and Carmen’s wearing this honking huge black mantilla, showing what she really feels about the marriage. Danny seems so happy. He’s especially thrilled that Ray is there for his wedding. They really seem to have a cousin connection. It kind of makes you wonder what Danny’s life was like before Mick died and Danny fell in love with Michelle. I think pretty empty, but full of activity, trying to show himself that it wasn’t. It’s ironic that Ray thinks it’s Carmen pushing for the marriage at first.  This Abuela is very much in favor of Michelle and understands just how much Danny loves Michelle. I wish she had kept being Abuela. The other Abuela could have been Carmen’s mother if they wanted a more deceitful character. What stands out here is everybody that is missing from Michelle’s side on this wedding, but as I pointed out in my Manny isolation post, they are all involved in their own troubles just now. I guess it balances out because almost no one from Danny’s side attends weddings 4-6.

Church Wedding 1

Drew and Ray really hit it off. I think it’s too bad he was soooo firm in his commitment to God. It would have been nice to see him tempted with Drew. I think he definitely respected her more than Jesse ever does. The flower girl is cute, but it would be nice to have sort of a clue who at least some of these people were supposed to be. Are they distant family? Business associates? People from St. Michael’s? Is that uncle who runs the restaurant in California there with his 4 daughters?

Michelle later brings up this up this moment she has with Rick when Rick’s heart is failing and Danny is trying to show her that whether or not he made it, he would still be an important part of her life. It’s funny they play “Here Comes the Bride.” My grandfather’s family was Catholic, so my grandparents were married in the church and 63 years later, my grandmother is still furious that “The Church” wouldn’t let her have “Here Comes the Bride” because it wasn’t done in the Catholic Church.

Jesse’s fantasy is lame. Legally, the service didn’t matter, Danny and Michelle were already married and running off with Jesse wouldn’t make it untrue. It isn’t like this was legally a wedding. Legally it was a vow renewal. I love Jesse’s answer to Drew why he didn’t really try to stop the marriage. I don’t have the clip, but he says something like, “She was happy and in love.” If Jesse thought she was happy at the wedding, if Rick thought she was happy at the wedding, if Drew thought it was getting too real, I think it’s pretty plain that Michelle was happy about the wedding.  Where Michelle was kind of shell shocked before, when they actually face each other to say their vows, I think Michelle is really there in the moment with Danny and nothing else matters. The kiss is terrific, but then what happens? Danny and Michelle should have walked together up the aisle. Did the director think her skirt was taking up too much room?

Why aren’t Meta, Rick, and Abby in any of the wedding photos? I wish they would have released some taken on set. The ones you saw were against a plain colored background and featured Michelle, Danny, and Carmen. The line about “Smile your secret smile” was a hit with fans and appears in a lot of posts and fanfics.

It’s really too bad Ray wasn’t more conflicted about his vows, Drew and Ray could have been an interesting spoiler and I think Ray treats Drew with more respect than Jesse ever does. “I’ll have you know this is my mysterious look.”

Michelle and Danny look so happy during Rick’s toast and Carmen looks so green. “We’re feeling a little tired….and we’re going to spend some time alone together before we head off to our honeymoon in Marojca.” This is a resort area in Spain, popular with both Spaniards and retreating from their sunless homelands, people from Great Britain and the Nordic countries.

Ray really should have explained his job, but the writers were great at putting lines that make sense from a priest or a gangster. Drew really is quicker on the uptake here about Danny and Michelle than Michelle herself and I love her lines. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think this whole thing was real….You’re laughing and smiling all over the place…. [Did you have to kiss him] like that?”
Did Michelle really expect Drew to call the FBI from the Santos house? Drew said she’d do it once, why keep asking? They sure hang around a long time after Danny says they are going to leave. I’m a little disappointed Danny didn’t get them a hotel room for the night anyway. You usually don’t spend your wedding night in the house with your family, especially with the party continuing downstairs. Notice Michelle’s dress is already unfastened when they enter the bedroom. I don’t think she could really unfasten it herself and they needed it pre-done so she could drop it smoothly. They should have watched the camera angles a little bit though, or put a scene cut in, it’s kind of obvious.
I always thought their first night home from the San Cristobel honeymoon, they should have re-enacted this night with the right ending. What Danny doesn’t get here isn’t that she’s pulling away because she doesn’t feel anything and she doesn’t want him, she pulls away because she DOES feel something for him and she DOES want him and it SCARES her to death. She has no idea how to handle it. Danny lets his fears take over, he won’t listen to what she’s saying.
So much for repulsion, Michelle is hanging all over Danny. Carmen breaks one of the rules of the family when she shows division within the family to the Feds. I guess Gus hadn’t been assigned to the case yet. They don’t really ever mention her offer to the Feds or that she gave them a tip was in the  file once Gus comes on. You’d have thought Gus would have thrown it up in her face. Danny feels so guilty about this intrusion with the FBI, it must make Michelle feel awful. I can’t believe they did an actual bust off her first tip. I mean is this team in the business of burning their sources? The FBI should have watched and photographed from a distance at most this first time, unless they genuinely didn’t believe she’d go through with it and figured this information was a one shot deal.
I wonder if this warning about Danny “not being like the rest of the family…yet” plays in Michelle’s head and later feeds into some of her bad decisions and fears. Maybe that’s why her reaction to seeing Danny hit Tony and to knowing he permitted (didn’t even order, but permitted) a hit to take place on the person he was told killed Carmen. I really don’t see what good the FBI think specifically taking Danny out would do. Tony was waiting in the wings to take over and he wasn’t currently connected with the family’s dealings, so there is no way anything Michelle told them could take him out.
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.

Mindy Plays Princess Bride

May 18, 2018

Continuing with our interest in the royal wedding, I decided to look back at another wedding. This wedding isn’t really royal, no monarchies are involved, Mindy Lewis was always her daddy’s little princess, so when she had a chance a big wedding (after her shotgun wedding with Phillip Spaulding) it was as princess-y as they could make it. I still hold that Mindy and Kurt were a terrible couple (the kind that make your teeth hurt when they are onscreen), but I should note that when I posted about their wedding before I got feedback.

Defense of Mindy and Kurt

I couldn’t disagree with you more, over Kurt and Mindy’s relationship. They were perfectly matched. He brought out the woman in her, she never knew with Rick. When she was the boorish spoiled, self-centered, prone-to-tantrums, vain child. Kurt challenged her to think outside of herself, to give back to the community, and even get involved. Even have a little fun in life. As I recall, she changed a tire, did some painting, and got dirty now and then. And actually loved every minute of it. She’d become a whole other person, because she had fallen in love with the right man.

The Most Beautiful Wedding Ever on a Soap

Mindy Lewis and Kurt Corday were not a great couple. If you ask me, Kurt treated Mindy like dirt, always ignoring and belittling things Mindy thought were important while holding her to a strict standard of what he thought was important. I really couldn’t stand Kurt with either Mindy or her rival for his “affections,” Roxie. I actually was glad when he was killed as part of an evil cartel dealing with Lewis Oil in Venezuela.

Kurt from Mindy wedding

Kurt from Mindy wedding

Flashback to November 1985

That said, I’d have to say that while not the best soap wedding ever, Mindy and Kurt’s was the most beautiful. There are different formulas for a good soap wedding. One of those is the princess fairytale wedding. Soaps have tried it over and over, sometimes even creating real royalty for the event. None of them ever touched this one. It’s gorgeous and perfect first beat to last. Look for yourself and enjoy.

It’s important to point out that while Kurt was penniless and Mindy was n princess, they not only had a relationship they had an entire fantasy built around this plot of land they bought. It made sense to some extent for Kurt, but I didn’t think Mindy ever cared beans about any house. Anyway they had this tediously elaborate plan about getting the land and paying for it and building a house on it. It was really kind of like they only existed as a couple in terms of this house and when Mindy’s justifiable mad fit lead to it being burned to the ground they were kind of done. Kurt took a job with Lewis Oil to try to rebuild, but died soon after.

Best bit of this wedding though, where are Ed and Maureen and Claire? Michelle is being born!

The Wedding Begins!

Mindy Wedding with Kurt

Mindy Wedding with Kurt

Before the ceremony they discover that Mindy and a sound alike name bride Mandy Lewiston were both booked at the church at the same time. Phillip agrees to let Mindy use the Spaulding retreat which is nearby for her wedding. It includes establishing shots via flyover the retreat. Beth and Lujack are supposed to be part of the wedding party, but call at the last minute to say they can’t be there. As far as I can make out from what I can find supposedly this Spaulding Retreat place is near to Springfield. Vanessa had been there before, but I don’t think we ever hear about it again.

Everyone is brought to the ceremony in creative ways. Henry and Bea are in a bicycle rickshaw. A group of people are dancing. Maeve and Fletcher (the most boring, self-satisfied couple ever) are walking arm and arm. The guy on the bicycle was an orderly at the hospital. He was a great guy even though I can’t remember his name. I think the woman with him is a nurse. Apparently one of the men on horseback is a friend of Kurt’s from up where we first met him when he was working for an oil company in Alaska. Lillian, Jesse and Calla arrive in a carriage. Miss Sally, Kyle’s mother apparently not up on the latest news, asks Maeve where Kyle is. He’s coming with Reva. That lovely instrumental behind them is “Claire de Lune.” Reva who is for some unknown reason in a private garden is swept away when Kyle shows up to carry her off to the wedding on horseback.

Kurt, Rick, and Phillip (John Bolger version) get dressed throw things wildly out behind a bush and appear in outfits that could very well be Prince Charming out of the Cinderella ball scene. Even the horse is dressed for a prince. The carriage returns with Roxie, Vanessa et al all royally dressed. (It’s interesting because the people who are standing up for them are reversed – instead of the bride’s friends with the bride, they’re with the groom it’s backward. Roxie is a friend of Kurt’s and Phillip and Rick are friends of Mindy’s). Then Mindy arrives in a white carriage wearing her princess bride dress that was ultimately given to the Smithsonian. (Part 2)

Kurt realizes that he left Mindy’s wedding ring in his other jacket and is now in the pile of clothes Kurt, Rick, and Phillip left where they changed. After swinging up on a white charger to try to get back to where he left the ring, Kurt is cutting it too close. Jessie who apparently hasn’t met anyone in town yet, rushes forward and offers Kurt a ring he can use. The bride’s party arrives with Vanessa as a substitute mother of the bride. Lillian arrives with her sister Calla and her niece Jesse who no one knows yet. Kyle and Reva are all over each other and talking about marrying soon. We cut to where Mindy has a lovely moment with her grandfather H.B. before turning to Billy. (Part 3)

“What’s important darling is your marriage [not the wedding]”Great Billy speech to Mindy about the importance of marriage, but apparently he isn’t going to give her away. Kurt, Rick and Phillip go down the aisle in mass to take their positions. Then the flower girl comes down the aisle followed by the preacher. Roxie and Vanessa take their places and then after giving her a moment alone, Billy walks Mindy down the aisle. (Part 4)

We restart the aisle walk at the beginning of a new episode. On the way down Mindy stops and tells H.B. she loves him before Billy presents her to Kurt and the minister begins. (Part 5)

Big lush music cues underneath as Kurt and Mindy kneel facing each other in front of the minister and go through the traditional vows. “Until death do us part….but even that won’t separate us, Mindy, because we’ll leave our children behind us to who grow up on the land we own and live in the home we build.” (See they were just nuts about building this house.) They complete their vows and go back up the aisle. Vanessa wishes Kurt welcome to the family and we firmly establish Calla and Jessie where Calla wants a marriage for Jessie to land them both on easy street and Jessie wants a great love. (Part 6)

This is after everyone finds out the Miss Sally is really Billy’s mother. Maeve is showing signs. Lillian starts to freak out because Beth is missing. (Part 7)

Musical montage of still images from wedding. These are screen captures quite a few for parts of the wedding that weren’t clipped. Kurt and Mindy take off in a helicopter, Mindy drops her bouquet which Roxie catches. Meanwhile back at Lakeland Country Club, Lujack accuses man he thinks is running criminal cartel David Preston. Suzette (who is frequently mentioned since her actress did very well later) apparently is the key to proving Lujack’s case. (Part 8)

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’s Own Royal Wedding

May 17, 2018

Soap operas might not be ALL about the weddings, but they are an important part of the genre. Especially back in the heyday of soaps, a big splashy wedding was definitely a ratings guarantee. There were many different types of weddings, but one of the favorites were those that made the bride a princess. Often these would just be royal like, but occasionally they actually invented a principality and made them literally a royal wedding.

So I decided in honor of this weekend’s British royal wedding we should revisit Guiding Light‘s royal wedding.

If you want to see photos of the royal wedding, check out this wedding album from Blosslover.

Rassie Reigns

laurawright.jpgPrince Richard Winslow was brought in as part of a “what else happened to Reva while she had amnesia storyline.” It also nicely dovetailed with the Manny story with smuggling, an adventure, and actually shooting on location in Puerto Rico. I thought Richard and Reva really had some killer chemistry, but the show went another direction. They decided to keep Richard around when the Reva story finished (despite the fact that there were many negatives to this, including the impossibility of having a coherent soap opera constantly taking place in two distant locations – how are characters going to interact when they are on separate continents) and moved him into a relationship with Cassie Layne. I never thought the move made a lot of sense and as much as I like Richard I never did care for Cassie much and this pairing didn’t change it.

Rassie Supports Manny

HOWEVER, Rassie fans were nearly as devoted as Manny fans. They teamed up with Manny fans to help fight against the idea of Danny and Cassie having a romantic storyline (their characters on Loving were a major couple there). So Manny fans forever owe Rassie fans a debt.

The Rassie Wedding

Someday I’ll do their complete wedding, but for right now here is Guiding Light‘s royal wedding with a definite Manny slant.

Mon., July 17, 2000 – At Richard and Cassie’s wedding: Drew and Michelle come in together. Danny never came home the night before and Michelle didn’t want to attend a wedding alone. She is distraught without Danny, and laments to Drew how handsome he was on their wedding day. Danny arrives and makes a beeline through the crowd to Michelle and kisses her magnificently. She begs him never to leave her again even for a night and he promises he won’t. Later, Cassie greets Michelle and Danny and tells them to enjoy each other. Then Cassie tells Richard that being in love makes her think the whole world is in love. Richard kisses her. When Danny can get Michelle alone in a room in the palace, he tells her part of why he was later coming to the wedding was that he was arranging a yacht to take them on a second honeymoon because he thinks they need some time alone. She happily agrees and they leave. (Unfortunately we don’t see this glorious week and next find them at home having arrived back in Springfield the night before….SPOILER it was during this wonderful week in all probability that Robbie was conceived.)

The wedding starts at 6:21 into this clip:

This is a condensed version with most of the dialogue and original soundtrack wiped out by another song, but if you want to see more of the Royal Wedding, here is some more: (Part 1) (Part 2)

My Comments: I think Michelle should have said, I’m glad Carmen is dead, but my heart breaks for you to have lost your mother. Even after everything, I think she was wrong to take it out on Danny without apologizing. This is the last real Michelle-Drew friendship bit on screen. Drew was mostly an awful friend, but she tried. I really liked when they were showing a strong friendship, I missed it after Drew left. I just adore the way Danny takes off her hat to kiss her better.

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.

Touched by an Angel Maureen to Michelle

May 16, 2018

GLManny Note: No one canvas knows this year (except Ed), but Maureen’s heart went to Jesse. Jill Farren Phelps was the headwriter who killed Maureen. They are relunctant to say Maureen is a ghost because they brought back Reva as a ghost (which was really one of her best storylines in MNHO) and they had to rewrite it when ratings went up and they arranged to keep her to say she was just a projection from a fever dream. I don’t know that I’d agree that Michelle is trying to find her way, but I’d say that she does have a social life. I think the other duplicate they are teasing is Reva’s clone. They don’t get Maureen back full time, but this is the first of a series of appearences that will last throughout Michelle’s run on the show.

McGarry, Mark. “Touched by an Angel: Michelle Turns to her Mother in a Time of Crisis.” Soap Opera Weekly, vol. 8, no. 21, 27 May 1997, pp. 4-5.

Michelle and Guiding Light fans get a visit from a beloved character this week: Ellen Parker returns as Maureen Bauer. No the character didn’t survive that car crash in 1993 (after all, her heart was donated to someone) Maureen exists in Michelle’s mind during this trying time in her life.

“Maureen is not being brought back as a ghost,” head writer Barbara Esensten stresses. “We would not do that because of what happened before with Reva. We see what’s going on in Michelle’s head. She’s talking to her mom.”

Maureen first appears Friday, May 23. “A big reason for bringing back Maureen – ther than the fact that it helps guide the audience toward the story we are doing with Michelle and her search for her Maureen’s heart – is we think the audience needs closure for Maureen,” head writer James Harmon Brown explains. “It’s no secret that when she died , fans were outraged. There was never an opportunity for the fans to say goodbye, because it happened so suddenly, I think everybody associated with the show has felt that a lot of the allegiance for Guiding Light went in the other direction in terms of the ratings and the audience good will, it may have started right there. This is a way to tell the audience, “Thanks for returning to Springfield'”

Michelle turns to her mother because nothing is going right in her life right now. “Michelle doesn’t have a love life, doesn’t have much of a social life, Rebecca Budig (Michelle) says. “She trying to find herself, and who she is. She doesn’t have a mother figure, and she doesn’t have anyone to talk to.” Maureen will also help Michelle in her search for the person who received her mother’s heart. Esensten continues, “When she finds the person who does have her mother’s heart, it’s not going to be anyone like Maureen.”

Still, by no means will Maureen have all the answers. “She won’t be encouraging Michelle on a path, ” Brown says. “She’s going to be a devil’s advocate on occasion. This is how Michelle knows her mother would have reacted.” Esensten adds, “Deep in Michelle’s heart, she knows that if her mother were alive she wouldn’t tell her what she has to do; she would tell her to figure it out herself. So what we’ve tried to do is delve into the character of Maureen to figure out what she really would have said to Michelle, given this situation.”

Parker says she didn’t hesitate to say yes when GL called to ask if she’d come back for several episodes. Even four years after the character’s death, she still receives letters from fans who miss Maureen and want her back.

“Every once in a while I get a packet from Guiding Light with a whole bunch of letters inside, ” she says. Even now when I walk down the street, someone comes up to me and says, “Oh! How are you? I miss you!’ In fact, everybody says, ‘Oh, they can bring you back.” And I say, “No, they can’t. I’m so dead. So deeply dead.” It’s just very sweet. But you know, life goes on. It was good for me to not be on the show. I spent the past few years raising my daughter and doing a little bit of theater work. It’s been really nice, because my life has been so flexible.”

Brown and Esensten admit that if the audience responds well to these episodes, they’re going to have to figure out a way to bring Parker back permenantly. (Parker will only say she’s “cool” with that prospect.) Rule out a mix-up and Maureen-didn’t-die-after-all story. “When they killed this character, they killed her dead. They took her heart out,” Esensten says. “Ellen is just a remarkably good actress,” Brown interjects. “I mean, she won the Emmy (for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1993, right after she left), and deservedly so.”

“If the show goes up a whole ratings point,” Esensten continues, “believe me, we’ll figure a way. But we want it be within the realm of believavility, because there is going to be another double character on the show. (Editor’s Note: Hmmmmm) At CBS we’re more into reality than other shows. We can’t get away with the things that they can get away with on Days of Our Lives.

“Also,” Esensten adds, “we’ve brought back Reva from the dead. We’ve brought back Vanessa, from the dead, and to bring back yet another female in the same year is hard. We’ve found that as we talk about the Vanessa story and the Reva story, everyone is talking about dead wives coming back. You can’t fill your canvas with that. Although if we can figure out a way…”



Morgan N Englund Music Video Fundraiser

May 14, 2018

Morgan N. Englund was part of one of my all time favorite couples on Guiding Light, Dylan Lewis and Bridget Reardon.

Englund’s Project

This video talks about his project, what he did after he left Guiding Light, and why he is making the move back to music now. It kicked off the project. He’d professionally written the song, but then wanted to shoot a video. He started an Indiegogo project. Sadly he didn’t make his goal of $10,000 though at over $8,000 that was kind of close. Read more about it in his interview in the July 3, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

(Find a fan interview from Paula’s Soapbox. Warning: His video audio track is significantly softer than hers and the video is shot from an odd angle from a laptop camera. Englund talks about his memories of shooting his first scene that was on location in upstate New York. He was supposed to get Marah a kite out of a tree and the branch he stepping on snapped and he fell out of the tree having to make sure neither he, nor the branch hit “Marah” and kept going with the scene. 🙂 Near the end of the video he tells stories of being recognized as Dylan by people he’d showed up to help. Part 2 starts with him talking about coming back at the end. He remembers Michael Zaslow (Roger Thorpe) and Vince Williams (Hampton Speakes) who influenced him greatly. Part 3 talks about problems in his life and then picks up on how his Guiding Light connections and fans are still helping him. Part 4 he’s working with the LA Fire Department Foundation fund for helping raise money with the song. Englund reminds us that famous doesn’t equal rich. Part 5 he talks about his bamboo flutes, Betty White teaching him to knit, and his discovery of Gilligan’s Island lagoon.)

Now What’s Going On?

The project didn’t get funded, but Englund hasn’t given up on his music. He now has snippets from 5 professionally recorded songs on his website and has started doing shows. You can sign up for his e-mail list to catch his schedule. He also makes and sells bamboo flutes.

The Song

Live Performance in concert


A Famous Connection

Englund’s mother is the famous actress Cloris Leachman. Leachman is probably best known for her role as Mary’s neighbor Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and as in her own spinoff (if you know Mary you just HAVE to watch the opening for Phyllis, all the way through it’s the punchline that’s so good). Another prominent role was as the replacement for Mrs. Garrett in the last couple of seasons of The Facts of Life.

Leachman gives a quick (under 2 minute) interview about her reactions to Englund’s career choices.

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 List July 1972

May 10, 2018

Daytime TV posted a cast list as of July 1972 in their October 1972 issue:

  • Adam Thorpe  (Robert Milli)
  • Barbara Norris  (Barbara Berjer)
  • Bertha Bauer  (Charita Bauer)
  • Billy Fletcher (Baby) (James Long)
  • Deborah Mehron (Olivia Cole)
  • Ed Bauer, Dr. (Mart Hulswit)
  • Peggy Fletcher (Fran Myers)
  • Baby Fred later Rick Bauer (Albert Zungalo III)
  • Fredrich “Papa” Bauer (Theo Goetz)
  • Holly Norris (Lynn Deerfield)
  • Hope Bauer  (Elissa Leeds)
  • Janet Mason (Caroline McWilliams)
  • Johnny Fletcher (Erik Howell)
  • Ken Norris (Roger Newman)
  • Kit Vestid  (Nancy Addison)
  • Leslie Bauer Norris  (Barbara Rodell)
  • Melinda Fee  (Charlotte Bauer)
  • Meta Bauer  (Ellen Demming)
  • Michael Bauer (Don Stewart)
  • Peter Wexler  (Mike Durrell)
  • Roger Thorpe  (Michael Zaslow)
  • Sarah Werner, Dr. (Millette Alexander)
  • Stephen Jackson, Dr. (Stefan Schnabel)
  • Mrs. Herbert  (Rosetta LeNoire)


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.


Where in the World is Saundra Santiago?

May 7, 2018

O’Neil, Jerry. “Where in the World is Saundra Santiago?: She’s Alive and Well and Making Lots of Trouble in Springfield, USA.” Soap Opera Weekly, vol. 11, no. 6, Feb. 8, 2000, pp. 14-16.

Belying the popular belief, crime clearly IS paying off for Saundra Santiago – in the realm of televised fiction, of course. During the last year, the raven-haired, seasoned trouper has put her stamp on a pair of diameteric roles that have combined to put her back in the viewing spotlight in a manner she hasn’t enjoyed since the heady days of Miami Vice in the 1980s.

On daytimes she’s created quite a stir as Guiding Light‘s Carmen Santos, the “Godmadre,” if you will, of the Santos crime family. Since debuting on the the soap in January 1999 on a recurring basiss (she signed a 3 year contract late last fall), Santiago and her larger than life character have elicited a slew of strong responses. Love her or hate her, it’s virtually impossible and often deadly gaze on a putative Santos enemy.

Meanwhile, at night on HBO, she plays a “normal” woman in the hit series The Sopranos, now in its second season. Santiago portrays an upper-middle class Italian neighbor of the lead character, Tony Soprano. On the day we meet at her West Greenwich Village digs and walk to a neighborhood breakfast nook, she’d recently completed some long days on the set of The Sopranos. Not that she’s complaining mind you.

“I worked 16 hours one day,” says Santiago, ordering a much-desired morning cup of coffee. “They work long hours on that show. I play Jeannie Cusimano and [this season] her twin sister, Joan, as well. What’s funny is that David Chase, the creator and producer, didn’t know about my being on Guiding Light. David and the crew were shooting on location in Naples, Italy, a while back, and were in some villa owned by a detective in town. There were television monitors everywhere, and guns, too, which they found fascinating. They glanced at the TV monitors and all of a sudden realized, “That’s Saundra!’ If figured it had to be some old Miami Vice reruns they saw, but they said it was the soap opera. Of course, Carmen was speaking perfect Italian. They were blown away seeing me on Guiding Light over in Italy.”

Sitting across from Santiago, who looks quite alluring despite an absence of makeup, it’s easy to see why GL co-star Paul Anthony Stewart (Danny) has called her “the antithesis of Carmen.” Laughing heartily, she agrees with the assessment. “It’s true, we are nothing alike. It’s a creative thing. I’m creating this role, and I have the instrument to be able to do it. But just think of it this way: Carmen Santos would never eat in a place like this. This is very much Saundra, especially with the roach and all.” She’s referring to a critter that had crawled on the wall behind her a few minutes beforehand, which she coolly dispatched with a napkin and an absence of fuss. “If I’m anything, I’m a true New Yorker.”

The change of the millennium happens to be a harmonious and happy time in Santiago‘s life, both professionally and personally. She was actually so busy working that she had a difficult time planning and carrying out her November wedding to her mate of almost three years, musician Roger Squirtero. She me the well-regarded percussionist years ago, when both were part of the musical Chronicle of a Death Foretold. “When we first did the workshop of the play, I was happily married, a year later, when we brought the project to Broadway, I was unhappily married,” Santiago says pithily, explaining that her husband of five years was an unsuccessful actor from Greece. “He didn’t work much and that took its toll on our marriage. Also, he was very macho, and I suspect there’s a little insanity in his family. I had the support of some very good friends who helped me throught a very tough time. When the breakup started I was in Los Angeles, but I left immediately for New York. If it’s no fun going through a divorce normally, it’s even less fun going through it in LA.”

Having weathered a stormy marriage, what makes Santiago inclined to give it another go with this particular man? “Roger is very special,” everyone says that about the person they’re with, but if you talk to Roger’s friends you’ll discover they all adore him. My friends would say about me, “Oh, she’s so difficult, she’s so impatient’, they love me despite myself. With Roger, it’s unanimous. Everyone thinks he’s a great guy. He’s done a lot of work on himself, which a lot of men don’t do, and he’s had lots of different experiences. About the only flaw he has is that he can be mean to my dog, Prince. He’s not used to sharing an apartment with a lapdog.”

When told it seemed she had dropped of the TV screen since her days as Detective Gina Calabrese on Miami Vice, Santiago looks amusedly resigned. “I was married to that lunatic, but I was also doing tons of theater and living in New York. The plays I did were very interesting for an actor. I worked a lot of off-Broadway in lots of challenging roles, with talented, interesting actors. I kept active. Once in a while, to makes some money, I’d do occasional television movie of the week, or show pilots.”

When insisting that she fancied being part of an earlier telvision phenomenon, Santiago says she harbored no illustions that Miami Vice would launch her career into the stratosphere. “No, not at all. As a matter of fact, when I was on the show, a lot of opportunties went by the wayside. I couldn’t do much because I was under contract. At the time, I really didn’t want to do a series, but Bonnie Timmerman, who cast the show, sold me on doing it. This was right after I played the ingeue in the early ’80s Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge (which earned Santiago early acclaim). I thought for sure I was going to get into movies, but Bonnie wanted me for this project, which was initially called Gold Coast. It was meant to be During the course of the show’s run. I don’t think I was utilized very well. Like I said, a lot of other opportunities came and went because Michael Mann (Vice‘s creator and producer) wouldn’t let me off to do movies. What are you going to? I’m proud of being on the show, regardless.”

Oddly, one genre within the industry that she failed to take a stab at over the years was daytime. She was once offered an ongoing role on One Life to Live and was faced with a decision: “It was either do the soap or do a play with Kevin Bacon called Spike Heels.” she explains. “Off-Broadway wond out at the time. The call for [Carmen] came from Glenn Daniels (former GL casting director), whom I’ve known since 1981, when he brought me in to read for a movie he was casting. I respect Glenn.”

Intent on maintaining some freedom and career latitude, Santiago was perfectly content with her recurring status and held off signing on as a contract player for many months. But GL was amendable to her continuing to work on The Sopranos, and so she took the plunge. “There’s a sense of security, that’s for sure,” she says. However, “I wish I had more friends at work. I’m used to a more collegial environment, with more camaraderie, in the theater. I think people here are very concerned at all times with their own storyline, whether they admit it or not. More story means more days of work. I don’t blame anyone for that. I’m perfectly happy with two or three days. Your brain is not as fried at the end of the week, and the fans see less of you so they hate you less,” she says with a caustic chortle.

When she discussed the character with GL executive producer Paul Rauch, whom she calls “complex and fascinating,” he used Greek tragedy as a metaphor for Carmen’s life. The notion appealed to Santiago, who says, “This is not a regular family in Springfield: they are not the Bauers or the Spaulding. We really are like a family out of a Greek tragedy. I think now, based on the feedback I’m getting, the Santos family puts off certain people. They just don’t get it. Maybe if fans clicked into that notion” – that this is not your typical soap family – “I think they’d understand us, and Carmen, better.”

Conveying Carmen’s focused intensity is no easy feat, either. “Sometimes I just want to relax, but I can’t with this woman,” she says with a laugh. “That’s why it was so much fun working with Hunt (Block, ex-Ben Warren). We got to a point where we were able to relax with each other, because Carmen could be most relaxed with Ben. Hunt was a lot of fun to work with, and I wish he were still around. He turned into a great friend.”

Make no mistake, Santiago enjoys portraying Mama Santos. “I like the idea of being the boss, though I am getting some flak from people because they think she’s a negative stereotype of Latinos,” she says, “I just think of her as pure villainess. I can understand some of those feelings. I’ve tried to shy away from playing those kinds of characters. I’ve never considered myself as an ethnic actress; I can be anything I want, though because of my looks I’m not going to get to play a Danish woman. I never considered myself a beauty. Even when I was young and an ingenue, I was a character ingenue. As I’ve gotten older I look at myself as a character actor.”

“I do feel a responsibility as a Latina,” she adds, “to work and to let people know that we’re a group to contend with. America is going to have to face up to the fact that we’re out there in huge numbers. We come in all sizes and shapes and colors, and you can’t pigeonhole us. We’re not all fiery.”

Funny thing is, Santiago admits her spoken Spanish is “terrible. I can sing very well in Spanish, but I can’t carry on a conversation.” The daughter of a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother (now deceased), Santiago and her older brother, Jeffery, attended Catholic school in the Bronx, NY, before the family moved to Homestead, Florida when she was 13. “My mom made sure we learned and spoke the best English we could. She was concerned we become Americanized, and she neglected to have us learn Spanish as well. But if I got to a Latin island or country I can get by.”

En route to becoming a special-education teacher, Santiago turned her attention to acting, went on to earn her master’s of fine arts at Southern Methodist University near Dallas, arrived in New York to start her career, and has never looked back. Her father, Louis, always tells people, “With Saundra, what you see is what you get,” while she herself shrugs and says, “I’d like to think that even after all these years of being in the business, and having survived, that the nice girl with confirmation dress still exists.”

The Happiest Place on Earth by Robansuefarm

May 2, 2018

As part of my project of copying over my fanfic into Word I realized that I hadn’t published this story on the blog, I had just linked to it on the Discussion Group page. Time to remedy that.

This story is part of my Manny in California series. It was a brief series of stories that answered the question what did Manny do between the time we saw them leave for Louisiana and they moved back from California. They are mostly day in the life sketches, except for Springfield Bound which filled in some places left very noticeably blank in the show. This particular story involves a weekend when Ed has agreed to take the kids to Disneyland….or is that another story altogether???

The Happiest Place on Earth by Robansuefarm

The young woman stared at herself in the large mirror. Her thoughts ran quickly. It was so large and so clear you could tell it could only be hanging in the emperor’s palace. She was dressed in a short skirted toga and a golden circlet around her head. She looked every inch what she was, a subject of the Roman Empire. She’d been selected by her city-state of Springfield to be a virginal offering, a tribute to serve the needs of the Emperor. Now she was to meet him.

Her heart quickened as she turned the corner and entered the lavish room. Columns ringed the space. Large pieces of overstuffed Romanesque furniture and Roman vases filled the room. To one side was a fountain continually pouring into a large square fountain whose water bubbled. Michelle could see things on the other side, a king size bed with a column on each corner, forming a four poster bed.

But more breathtaking still was the gorgeous man reclining on the overstuffed chaise lounge, crowned by a head of chocolate curls. He was beautiful than she ever imagined a man could be.  Clearly by his regal bearing he was the Emperor. She felt her breath quicken at the thought that he was to take her
virginity. That she was to become physically one with this man took her breath and for the first time with excitement as much as fear.

Then he opened his eyes and he saw her and he smiled. A tingle of excitement ran through her. Those eyes, those eyes seemed to pierce into her very soul. Then he smiled at her and she felt her knees grow weak. She swallowed hard and weakly smiled back.

“Hello, there.” His voice was beautiful. Quite possibly the most beautiful thing she’d ever heard. His smile reflected his own excitement. This time he had been sent an angel. He didn’t want to do anything to frighten her. He reached over and patted the ornate stool right beside his lounge. “Come here.”

Michelle crossed the room that felt somehow as if she was crossing a coliseum it seemed so far. She was tense with fear and anticipation.

He saw the tension in her body and he knew to take it slowly. “Feed me some fruit.” He gestured at a carefully prepared attractive fruit tray. She looked for silverware. He caught her wrist and shook his head. “With your fingers,” he said.

Michelle picked up a piece of pineapple and feed it to him. He let her feed him for awhile as she began to relax. When he decided she’d relaxed enough he began to feed her as well.

“I want some grapes.”

Michelle tried to feed him a grape. He again stopped her. “Peel them.”

“How?” she asked puzzled.

“With your teeth.” He demonstrated and then popped the peeled grape into his mouth. “Now you.”

Michelle did as he had instructed and he seemed captivated by her movements as if he was imagining other things that her pearly white teeth could slide over. His breathing picked up pace and after only a few grapes he again caught her hand as she feed him a grape, but this time he pulled her hand forward into mouth. He gently began to suck on her fingers as his talented tongue caressed her fingers seeking every bit of juice from her fingers.
She involuntarily moved closer to him. She slide over onto the longue. She moved ever closer her mouth approaching his as a wave of anticipation shudder through them both . Closer….closer…..close…so close

Just then a loud chirrup, chirrup like a British phone ripped through the room.  The pair fell apart
and closed eyes for a moment as they both felt frustration. Michelle moved back to sit on the end of lounge as Danny pulled himself into a more upright position.

NOTE: In case you couldn’t figure this out, Danny and Michelle are on a weekend alone. They are at a theme hotel where each suite is decorated to a different theme. This one has a Roman theme. The square fountain is a hot tub, a common feature in many of these suites. I’ll let Danny explain what they are doing there in the next section.

“It’s home,” he said unnecessarily, she knew the ring tone he had programmed into his cell for their home phone as well as he did. He reached over to the covered box on the table near the lounge. He lifted the lid and fished among a handful of 21st century items they’d hidden there to better play the fantasy until he pulled his cell phone out of the hiding place.

“Hello?” he said into the phone. “Good Morning, Mrs. Jenkins. Is something wrong with the kids?”

(Mrs. Jenkins was a mature woman who served as one of their most frequent babysitters.)

“No?” he repeated aloud for Michelle’s benefit.” They’re both good?”  He nodded and the tension eased
back out of Michelle when she realized the children were fine as Danny continued to listen and process Mrs. Jenkin’s information. “Isn’t Ed there yet?”  He took the phone away from his ear and checked the time.

“Not yet? OK, let me talk to Robbie.”  Danny paused as he waited to hear his son’s voice. “Hey, Tiger, what’s the matter?….I’m sure Hope didn’t mean to break your truck. Look, Grandpa Ed will be there soon to take you to Disneyland. If he can’t fix your truck, I’m sure I’ll be able to when your mom and I get back.”
Danny took a moment to bless the wonders of mass production and the miracle that was Ebay that gave him the ability to replace toys with an identical one when they weren’t fixable. “Now take a deep breath and go enjoy your day. Oh, Grandpa Ed is there now? Let me talk to him.”

Again, Danny waited this time for his father-in-law’s voice.
“Ed, Hope broke one of Robbie’s toys. See if you can fix it.”

“OK Danny, I’ll see what I can do.”


“So are you guys enjoying your weekend away?”

“Yeah, we’re having a great time. Thanks again for taking the kids for the day.”

“Taking my favorite grandkids to Disneyland is definitely a hardship. Really I’m glad to get some one on one , well one on two anyway, time with them.”

“Well, I hope you’re still saying that AFTER the weekend.”
Danny had relaxed once Ed got on the phone and Michelle, having realized things were fine with the kids, was quickly growing impatient to continue their game. She innocently kept her eyes on her husband’s face, but slowly she reached out her right hand and started to trace circles on the inner ankle of her husband’s left leg.

Ed was saying, “I hear there are some great antique shops up there.”

“Yeah, Michelle was reading to me all about them out of the guidebook on the drive up. Maybe we’ll find something really unique for the house.”

Michelle slowly began to creep her circles higher up his leg.

Ed continued, “I hear they have some great restaurants, too.”

“Yeah, the food has been great.” Danny thought about the fruit that Michelle had been feeding him earlier and the now empty whipped cream containers out of sight in the bathroom waste basket from a previous game.
Michelle’s fingers had almost reached the hem of his toga and Danny’s need to get off the phone was rapidly increasing before he made a noise that would leave his father-in-law with no doubt to what was happening on this side of the phone. Danny was quickly growing desperate for a graceful way to end the call.

Suddenly Ed broke into his frenzied thoughts. “You two haven’t set foot out of the hotel room yet, have you?”

“Ed, do you seriously want an honest answer to that?”

Ed could almost hear his son-in-law’s eyebrow cock. “I guess not. I’ll see you when you get back.”

Michelle’s hand was now completely under his toga skirt.
“Hmmm-Mmmm” and then a hurried, “See you Ed” was the best he could do before hitting the off button and letting out the moan that had been building up in his throat.

Michelle withdrew her hand and gave him her best innocent smile. “So do you want to pick up where we left off or take it from the top?”

“Take it from the top.”

She smiled at her handsome husband. “All right.” She smiled again got up, went back to the bathroom door, and began to repeat her narration, to begin this particular game again.

While his appreciative eyes never left her form, this time he tuned out her narration.  Each time they
took a theme suite they took turns picking out which theme and coming up with three different scenarios that fit with it. He’d really loved the Indiana Jones inspired archeologist costume Michelle had worn for Scenario #1 this time and he knew whichever theme they picked next time he’d have to find a way to tie an archeologist into it to see that little number on her again. Scenario #3 Michelle had previewed for him was going to have him as a eunuch with Michelle attempting to “cure” him. She told him to practice self-control because if he “healed” too quickly they’d miss out on a lot of good stuff she had planned.

Michelle had reached the edge of the overstuffed chaise lounge and he leaned back as the current game began in earnest.


Ed, Robbie, and Hope were spending their day out at the happiest place on Earth. Robbie had put aside his earlier irritation with his sister over his broken toy, but as the day went on and both children got more tired. It started to come out again. They’d gone through Hope’s choices for rides, “It’s a Small World” and “Peter Pan’s Flight” and Robbie’s favorites “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Haunted Mansion,” and “Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlaster.”

Hope was walking through one of her favorite places at Disneyland, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. While Hope was admiring herself in a mirrored surface, she was pretending that she was a princess with ladies in waiting to do her homework. She could see herself in a sparkly tiara and long silken gown. Hope lost herself in fantasy. After all nothing romantic or exciting ever happened to her family.

Ed pulled Robbie back, letting Hope float along in her fantasy. “So what was all this fuss with your sister about this morning, Robbie? It isn’t like you.”

“Nothing.” Robbie muttered, barely audible. Robbie looked down and shuffled non-existent dirt on the spotless Disney-esque floor.

Ed looked over at Hope and smiled, she had lost herself deep into a fantasy world, just as Michelle used to. She looked a lot like Michelle did when she was that age Ed thought. He sent a prayer up that Maureen and Eve were looking down on his family and that their lives would never fall apart as
his had.

A bench had opened up in the hallway and not letting Hope out of his sight, Ed could never be unmindful of who his grandchildren were on both sides of their family. Both families had extraordinary enemies. Ed looked at Hope, but only mindlessly monitored her movements. “Robbie….Robbie your Mom and Dad’s families, the Bauer family and the Santos family were very different when they were growing up in some ways. In other ways they were too much alike.” Ed sighed and Robbie looked up at his grandfather. “Both families have a tendency to keep things bottled up and the histories of both show just how badly that can end up. I’m hoping that you and Hope can learn not to do that. Now, what’s the matter?”

Robbie hesitated and then spoke. “I had a nightmare last night.”

Ed waited for Robbie to continue.

“Mom and Papa weren’t there.” Again Robbie hesitated, “I dreamed Mommy lost her memory again and she didn’t know me. She didn’t know me.” He let out a slight sob. “Tony came back and he was pulling her away and Marina had a hold of me and Papa and she wouldn’t let go and I couldn’t get Hope. I woke up, but it made me afraid it would happen for real. I wanted Mommy and she wasn’t there.” Robbie followed it up with a full sob.

“Robbie…” Ed began tipping his grandson’s face up so their eyes met. “That’s NOT going to happen. I must admit that I wasn’t always so sure about your mom and dad being together, but they’ve convinced me. There’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that is going to keep them apart for long. As good of reasons they’ve had to split up they just can’t do it. When they are apart they are missing part of themselves. There is no way they’re going to lose each other or you kids again. I’m 100 percent on that I can’t promise you nothing bad will ever happen to you or our family again, in fact given the history of both your parents, of our whole family, of me, the likelihood is that it will, but we’ll face anything that comes our way TOGETHER as a FAMILY. And the next time something happens like this, I want you to come to me or your mom or your papa or your Uncle Rick. You know my and Uncle Rick’s cell phone number by
heart, don’t you?” Robbie nodded. One of Papa’s rules was that he and Hope have memorized a list of safety numbers to call if anything bad ever happened and he and Mom weren’t available. Papa had
drilled them until even Hope could rattle off all the numbers on the list. “I don’t want you to ever feel like you’re alone because you’re not and you never will be. OK?” Ed hugged his grandson who tightly held him back.

“OK, Grandpa!” Robbie smiled, he felt much better. “I will.”

“Now, I think I know two little monkeys who need a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. Why don’t you go get your sister?”

“You bet!” Even when he’d been upset Robbie had kept a watchful eye on Hope and now he happily ran over to her with the good ice cream news.

Ed watched his grandchildren happily talk to each other. He smiled as he shook his head thinking how amazing it was.  A tragedy had pushed his little Michelle to meet someone she never should have and somehow she had seen through all of what should have sent her running and while they had forced to deal with things no one should, they had fought their way through. Michelle had done what he, his brother Mike, his sister Hillary, his niece Hope, and even ultimately his own parents had failed at, building a strong marriage and raising full siblings in a single family unit with both parents. Michelle had been right and he had been wrong. They were all happy. Ed looked skyward and silently thought “Thank you, Maureen” before he was engulfed by the arms of his returning grandchildren. Taking one child by each hand, Ed said, “Let’s go!” and strangely a new song began to play on the Muzak system.

Everybody wants truth

Everybody wants hope

Everybody clings to sex like soap on a rope

Everybody gets low

Everybody gets high

Everybody’s feet are on the ground and head’s in the sky

Try letting go Try letting go

Only love can save the world Only love can save the world

Only love can save the world Only love can save the world

We know

Everybody feels good

Everybody feels bad

Nobody wants to lose what they’ve already had

Take it on faith

Take it on loan

Take it any way you get it

Who wants to be alone

Try letting go Try letting go

Only love can save the world Only love can save the world

Only love can save the world Only love can save the world

We know

You’ll never know till you try

Open your heart let your spirit fly

Only love can save the world Only love can save the world

Only love can save the world Only love can save the world

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