Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Can Remember.....

exactly where I was and who I was with when I experienced the first episode of All My Children. It was January 1970 and I was 7 years old, sitting in the "den" with my Mom, my Bobby and my Sister. We had all sat down to watch what my Bobby called a new "story," that was said to take place not just in a hospital but in a town as well. This was not my first soap opera, mind you, I come from a long line of soap junkies, starting with the early ones of radio. My sister and I had been sworn followers of Dark Shadows from the time a baby sitter and neighbor introduced us to the frightening tales of Barnabas the vampire and his love for young Victoria. There was even a short time when I was so mesmerized by Barnabas that I declared, at the age of 5, that I would some day marry him and live at Collinwood. This thankfully did not faze my parents, as that was to be the first of many declarations of potential marriage choices which included, but were not limited to Bobby Sherman, Keith Partridge, Cesar Chavez, Cubby from the Mickey Mouse Club or any of the male cast members, and Captain Kangaroo. But anyways, back to All My Children. As I said I have been a dedicated viewer for 38 years, and oh my goodness suddenly I feel old. I have laughed and cried through the joyful episodes and the sad episodes, all the while thinking of these characters as a litany of constant friends through out my own smooth sailing journeys and bumps in the road of life. I was engaged to Pa Teakettle when Angie and Jessie became engaged, and I was pregnant with my first child when Liza was pregnant with Colby. We lost our dear Bobby the same year Ruth Warrick, an original cast member and the grand matriarch of her family, passed away in real life. So it is with great passion that I continue to follow this wonderful tale of lives in a fictional town called Pine Valley. Now, you're probably wondering where I'm going with this, but here's my point. I find myself holding back in conversations with Christian friends the fact that I watch All My Children every day live or on Tivo. I say I have to go make lunch or make up some other excuse to avoid mentioning that I am, in fact, about to sit down and catch up with my show. Somehow I feel like it makes me appear lazy, which I am not, or un-Christian. But the truth is many women watch soap operas every day, from all walks of life and all faiths. They come to care about the characters, much as they would any close group of friends. So, I am shouting out to everyone that "Yes" I watch a soap opera, it's called All My Children, and I'm proud. I am carrying on a legacy that was started by my grandmothers, and one which will be passed down to the girls in my family, generation to generation. As long as there are stories and soap operas to go around, there will be women to watch. I also wanted to share the poem that was written by Agnes Nixon, the show's creator, and still going strong writer. Interestingly enough, I recently read that the poem was written when she first started the show, about her view of God's love for His children. Reading that made me love my soap opera even more. Here it is:
All My Children The Great and the Least,
The Rich and the Poor, The Weak and the Strong, In Sickness and in Health, In Joy and Sorrow, In Tragedy and Triumph, You are ALL MY CHILDREN
And rumor has it that if you look real close during the opening title sequence you will catch a glimpse of this poem on the front of the photo album.

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