June 30th is the day, in 1952, that Guiding Light began its long, continuing story on television (after 15 years on the radio).
It’s been nearly six (!) years since it ended, and nearly five for As The World Turns, but I still miss watching those shows, and seeing those people.
And though my love for ATWT and GL is pretty equal overall, I’ve been drawn to GL clips on YouTube a lot lately.
(Not that this would be obvious if you looked at my Twitter page or the header at the top of this blog or anything….)
ATWT, particularly under Douglas Marland, was no slouch at telling stories with a lot of heart and a lot of love.
But what I often loved the most about GL was how it wore its heart on its sleeve.
So I’m serving you up some Christmas in (almost) July realness today.
If you don’t want to watch all of this clip, start at around 42:00 and catch the very end. (And the credits, too.)
I know that this is an era that is bygone; that this type of show is no longer made in New York City, that we’ll never see anything of that scale again, that the money and the sets and the cost of everyone involved is far out of reach.
But the heart, the optimism, at the core of this story is what I’m missing these days.
Bring us all the darkness in the world, and an unlikeable antihero, if you must, but know that we’ll care about him, and all the people around him, if you have one person who sees the good in him, and believes in him, as Maureen Bauer saw the good in Roger Thorpe.
In this age of nihilism, I keep craving stories that show me the shared connections we have, the things that make us a little less lonely.
And I know those stories can be told, because I watched it happen for years.
It makes these words – appreciated by some, derided by others – take on a new resonance for me.
There is a destiny which makes us brothers; none goes his way alone.
All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.
(Oh yes, I went there!)