My second day at Super Soap Weekend 2007 was definitely full of highs … and lows.
Michele and I finally ventured into the General Hospital line. Actually, you couldn’t call it a line because by the time we got to the park entrance, Disney employees had cut off the main line and sent us to the turnstiles at the front gate. Now, that wouldn’t have been a problem if Disney had created any kind of organized plan for us cutoff people. Instead, we were part of a mass group, milling around, yammering about the unfairness of the situation.
But that wasn’t the worst part. Oh, no. That came when Disney employees finally opened the turnstiles. Instead of organizing a single-file line, which they had the courtesy to do with the people who had shown up earlier, they herded us like cattle. Everyone was jostling for position. People were pushing through, trying to stay with their friends and family.
I was next to one woman who had a hold of her daughter’s purse, but as the mass of people continued forward, her arm was stretched to its limit. I wonder if they managed to stay together.
Another young lady had to leave the crush of people because she felt too closed in. Gee, I wonder why.
Someone else tripped on a curb and almost fell, coming thisclose to being cattle, er, I mean, crowd fodder.
It really was a lawsuit waiting to happen. I hope Disney takes this year between SSWs to formulate a plan that doesn’t involve splitting up the line or humiliating us with mass migration.
Michele and I got separated, but I managed to find her. However, the idiocy of Disney’s strategy became clearer as I noticed that Michele and I were in front of people who had actually got to the park before us. And some people who had arrived after us were much farther ahead in line.
It just wasn’t a very judicious or safe way to handle the large GH crowd. I don’t know, maybe Disney is trying to discourage people from coming back to SSW. If that’s the case, they succeeded because Michele and I talked to several participants who said they wouldn’t return next year.
Then again, I also talked to many who were having a good time. And, I must admit, after the early-morning GH fiasco, I enjoyed myself, too. Mostly that was because I got to meet a couple of the actors on my wish list.
First up was Rebecca Herbst, who plays Elizabeth on GH. I always enjoy seeing her (despite my insane jealousy of her flawless, porcelain-like skin). We usually chat about kids. She has a son who is about a month older than my eldest, so I asked how her children are doing. Then I told her how much I enjoy Jason and Elizabeth together. She is always so very sweet and gracious. It was a pleasure to visit with her again. Oh, yeah, and her husband, Michael Saucedo, was there, too, which was an extra bonus. He’s always very welcoming to the fans, as well. They make a good pair.
My second visit was with Sonya Eddy (Epiphany). Wow, what a pistol! She just seems like she’d be the life of any party. Smiling, joking, ribbing on people. A very warm lady. I told her, “I’m so glad I get to meet you. I knew you’d put a smile on my face.” And she did. Thanks, Sonya!
My SSW day ended with me waiting for Michele while she stood in the holding pen for Kelly Monaco. I met an interesting woman named Nikki, who told me about a book she wrote, Samuel Tilden: The Real 19th President. She also had some fascinating tales about her involvement in politics and show business. You really are quite the story-teller, Nikki. I wish you the best of luck with the book.
Perhaps it’s fitting that my most defining moment of SSW happened at the end. I was sitting down, still waiting for Michele outside KeMo’s autograph site, when I struck up a conversation with Rhonda from Illinois. It started innocently enough. I asked her if she was having a good SSW experience. She said she was more than ready to leave, but her daughter was sticking it out. In fact, 13-year-old Alexis was in KeMo’s holding pen, too.
It wasn’t a surprise to hear that a teenager was making the most of her time at SSW. But what Rhonda told me next made Alexis’ effort a little more extraordinary. The 13-year-old has an immune system disorder that requires often-painful, needle-injected medication. It means that she tires out easily, often requiring long naps. And this is something she’s been dealing with since she was a small child.
Rhonda was understandably worried as Kelly’s autograph session was stretching into two hours. Her daughter had been standing there the whole time. I assured Rhonda that Alexis would get some one-on-one time with Kelly. The teen was No. 4 on the standby list. I’d heard that KeMo was really generous with her fans, so I figured she’d find a way to fit in everyone who was waiting.
But then Alexis came crying to her mother that Kelly was leaving without taking her standbys, and my heart sank. I was crushed just watching her; I can only imagine how her mother felt.
But there was nothing we could do.
I watched Rhonda walk away with her daughter, and a tide of perspective washed over me. Suddenly, my aggravations with SSW didn’t seem like such a big deal, after all.

Comments are closed.