As The World Turns & Guiding Light 2004 Fan Event From The TV MegaSite

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As The World Turns Fan Event Pages

ATWT Fan Event

ATWT & GL Fan Event 2004

By Hilary

Is it wrong to lust after another man while your husband takes your picture with him? It's not if the "other man" is a soap star!

On July 25, 2004, I had the opportunity to attend an ATWT and GL fan event at a local mall here in Pittsburgh, PA. The event was hosted by local CBS affiliate KDKA-TV's Jessica Borg, who recently had a walk-on role on ATWT. In attendance were Michael Park and Maura West (Jack and Carly, ATWT), as well as Frank Dicopoulos, Beth Ehlers, and Ricky Paull Goldin (Frank, ex-Harley, and ex-Gus, GL).

As is my usual, I was late. Consequently, I missed the question and answer session at the beginning of the event. By the time I arrived, there was a line snaking all the way around the center court to see the stars face-to-face. I found the end of the line, and began "the wait."

As we waited, the host of the event asked trivia questions:

Q: With whom did Tom have an affair that produced baby Daniel?
A: Emily.

Q: To whom was Olivia married when she had the affair with Phillip that produced baby Emma?
A: Alan.

The first fans to correctly shout the answers received black tote bags, emblazoned with the logo of one of the two shows. The bags appeared to be filled with something, too, but, since I was never near enough to the host as she asked the questions, I never got to see one up close.

As I waited, and waited, and waited, I passed the time by eavesdropping on the other fans around me. In response to the trivia question about Olivia, a woman in front of me shouted, "Alan-Michael!" Her friend slapped her on the arm and said, "No! It's Alan!" The first woman said, "Oh, yeah, I'm stuck in the 80s." I heard a woman behind me explain to another fan, "My mother just loves Jack. I can't wait to rub it in that I met him. I just want to see Gus!"

Just as I began to worry that I had missed seeing some of the stars, I finally got a glimpse of the star table. The only person I could see at first was Park. As I watched, he grabbed an elderly woman from the front of the line and started waltzing with her through the center court. I then noticed West, laughing at Park's antics. I shouted to my husband, who was my photographer for the day, "There! I just saw Jack and Carly! How cool!" He ran off to try to snap a few pictures.

It soon became apparent that the line was at a stand-still. The host and some workers began handing out pre-signed headshots of the five stars, as well as posters featuring the men of both shows, in case some of us never made it to the signing table.

Park grabbed the microphone from the host. "Is this line moving at all?" he asked.

"No!" we shouted in unison.

The next thing I knew, Park and West had picked up stacks of their headshots, and started walking the line themselves. Park reached me first. As he was signing my photo, a little girl walked up who he had apparently met earlier in the line. He asked her if she was following him. She giggled shyly and said no. I said, "I would if I were you!" Park laughed, as I thought, "Of course, I would be arrested for stalking!" He then knelt down next to me (I use a wheelchair) and posed for a picture.

Next came West. She looked great, wearing this cute jean jacket with a big pink flower on the pocket. She stopped in front of me, saying, "Ok, you actually watch my show, right? You aren't one of these imposters that just PRETENDS to be a fan, but really is just here because they watch the OTHER show?" I assured her I was the fourth generation in my family to be a fan of BOTH shows, and had been watching them both for over 30 years. She smiled warmly, and asked my name so she could sign a headshot. She was also a great sport and waited while my husband made three unsuccessful attempts to get our camera to work. Disappointed that I ended up missing my Carly shot, I continued to wait to see the GL stars. Someone at the back of the line yelled, "I love you, Jack!" Park yelled back, "I love you, too! I really do!" I looked back, and he was moonwalking. What a fun, wacky guy!

The line finally started to move, and wound it's way behind the signing table. While Ehlers continued to greet fans at the front, Dicopolous turned around and handed out headshots to those of us still in line. I had seen Goldin from a distance, but didn't know where he was now. I started to worry, because he and Park had been the ones I most wanted to see, and I was afraid I had missed him.

Just as I neared the front of the line, it was announced that the stars had to leave. Everyone moaned, especially those like myself who had been waiting for over two hours. The crowd dissolved, and I started to walk away. My husband stopped me, saying, "Wait! Gus is still over there!" I turned back, and noticed a group of women huddled around someone. A woman behind me yelled, "No! Don't take him away!" and pushed past me. At my husband's urging, I pushed into the crowd, just as a security guard was leading Goldin away. The father (I believe) of another woman in a wheelchair stopped the guard, asking if if his daughter could just please have one moment with Goldin. The guard started to shake his head, but Goldin said sure, and said hello to her. Then, he saw me, our eyes met, he pulled me into his arms, and...

Wait, that was just in my head. In reality, he saw me, smiled, and squatted next to me, thanking me for coming and holding my hand. He asked my name, and, for just a moment, I literally didn't know. Just as my husband was about to jump in and answer for me, I snapped out of it and spelled out my name. Then, he posed with me as my husband took our picture. While Park had merely knelt next to my wheelchair, Goldin pressed his stubbly face against mine as my husband snapped the photo. He then thanked me again for watching the show, then ran his hand through my hair as he smiled down at me before walking away. I do believe my heart stopped for a few moments.

I am thrilled I was able to attend this event. It will certainly be a day I will never forget. I may also never wash my cheek again.

Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pictures!

Check out the ATWT and GL autograph pages to see the autographs Hilary obtained!

Page updated 6/6/11

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