Sunday, February 7, 2010

Like Sands Through The Hour Glass

I am sure you all have heard that Francis Reid passed away at the ripe old age of 95. What? You say you don’t know who Francis Reid is? How can that be? Did you not watch Days of Our Lives? Do you not know who Alice Horton is? What kind of deprived life have you lived?

Okay honestly I didn’t watch Days of Our Lives much. Heck I didn’t watch Guiding Light, As the World Turns or Ryan’s Hope much. I did however watch the granddaddy of Twilight, Dark Shadows.

 Oh how I loved Barnabas Collins and his dark charm. I was a sucker for his mesmerizing stare and his big white fangs. So all you young little Edward fans can bite me I’ll take Barnabas any day. He was a man’s vampire, not a pretty boy glittery vampire. Barnabas couldn’t be out in the daylight because he would go up like Match light charcoal at a Super bowl tailgate party.

He seduced and then drank the blood of the women in Collinsport; he didn’t take them to the prom or run away and brood. I digress.

Francis Reid played Alice Horton on Days of Our Lives and did so until 2007. She was the rock of the Horton family. I have to believe no matter how bad things were in Francis Reid’s life she read her character’s dilemmas and thanked her lucky stars that she was not the character she played. I mean her son came back from Vietnam and couldn’t remember that his sister was his sister and he tried to get all mushy with her. Then there was the time that one brother raped the other brother’s wife and she had a child who they all pretended weren’t really the brother’s not the husbands. Are you with me? Are you following? Then there was the love triangle between Alice’s daughter Addie, Doug and Julie. Those of you who don’t have a clue by four let me give you one. Addie was Julie’s mother. Doug was a singer in club. Yes Doug was having an affair with mother and daughter and the only one who figured it out was poor Alice. Then her granddaughter, or was it her great granddaughter or was it her sister’s brother’s second cousins wife’s uncle’s cousin once removed, fell in love and ran away with a rebel named Bo. Then Stephano kidnapped Marlena and Roman had to save her, or was it John Black with the eye patch. Oh the burdens she bore, the secrets she kept and the wisdom she imparted.

Like I said I didn’t watch Days of Our Lives much, except my senior year of high school I would get out of class early and go home to eat lunch. We got four stations back in those days, PBS, ABC, NBC and CBS. I could watch the nerdy white guy with the big afro show you how to paint or I could watch an hour of soap operas. I watched the story line unfold over the year of a young couple who were being kept apart because their families were at war. They fell in love anyway and swore to marry or die for love. I would leave my English lit class where we were reading Romeo and Juliet and go straight home to watch a bastardized version of the same story. I brought this fact up to my English teacher, Mr. Robinson, and he just looked at me as if I had three eyes. I told him the story-line and he actually gave me extra credit for seeing the similarities.

I graduated and moved on and didn’t watch it again until I was in my early thirties. Guess what? The story line hadn’t changed. Oh there were a few more kidnappings but that same couple was still having a star crossed love affair. Time went on I got busy with children and career and didn’t see it for another ten or fifteen years. One day I left the television on NBC after the forty-two hours of the Today show Days of Our Lives came on and guess what? Yep there was Alice Horton, there was Marlena being kidnapped once again by the Stephano DiMera. The characters were a little older but evidently not any wiser.

The point of all of this if there is a point, oh wait, there is no point. I just wondered if you heard that Alice Horton had passed away.  Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.


qandlequeen said...

OMG! Alice Horton was an institution!

I was a General Hospital girl in high school, something I picked up from my grandmother, but at some point I discovered Days of Our Lives. In college there was a small group of girls in my dorm that scheduled our classes around Days. One day I did the unmentionable and took a nap instead of watching and somebody important was killed off. Everyone came running down to my room crying - just horrible I tell ya.

Anytime I'm home I'll flip it on to see if I can catch up and sure enough, like you said, you can pick up the stories rather quick - same characters just a little older.

Alice was the voice of reason in the most chaotic of TV towns for many decades. I wonder if they'll finally bury her? Or did they already write her off?

I'm very sad to hear Francis has passed.

otin said...

I have been watching Days since 1982. I actually record it every day!

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch Days of our Lives, but I was a total ABC sopa opera junkie for years.

In 5th grade we would all go to Judy's house and eat bologna sandwiches and Fritos and watch All my Children during our lunch break from school.

And all these years later I click on old ABC around noon once in a while and see what Erica Kane is up to, and, as you said, it is usually the same thing she was up to 10 years ago. Sometimes General Hospital is so stupid I can't even watch it for fear that I may lose more brain cells, something I can't afford to do.

I have felt the loss of soap opera characters on General Hospital a couple of times, and it was hard for the characters, and for me. It was really hard when Erica's mother on All My Children died, too.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Brian Miller said...

now we know where otin gets his story love the old dark shadows!

Tracy said...

Oh yeah, watched it! For a while...then I couldn't stand the sameness of it and all the other ones so I quit!