THE GHFCW -- Part IV of IV

It’s time to wrap up the recaps, and we start our final final poolside at the Sportsman’s Lodge, after finishing up the Fan Club Luncheon. Exhausted, some of us (O.K., me) considered skipping the Steve Burton event and blowing off the $65 cost, but the others convinced me to get off my butt and attend. I’m glad I did.

First of all, photographer Jim Warren runs Steve’s event (along with Kelly Monaco’s and others), and he has a unique way of doing it. Your ticket is actually a photograph of Steve, with a little white circle dropped out in one corner. A number was written in the circle (presumably in order of when Jim received the ticket order). Seating was first come, first served, so Kelly, Kathy and I were rather far back, row-wise, but it didn’t really matter. Upon entering, you present your ticket/photo to Jim’s assistants, and they pull out large manila envelopes and find the photograph that Steve has already pre-signed and personalized for you. I said to Jim, “This is such a great idea! How cool!,” and he said, “Well, it takes Steve a couple hours to do them all, but that way everyone gets an autographed photo and we can do other things during the event.” I congratulated him on his ingenuity and took my seat.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Hardeman.

Steve bounded out onto the stage, full of energy, and yelled, “How’s the show?” He got a mixed response from the audience, and settled down to start the Q&A. 

Will Sam and Jason get married? “I don’t know -- I don’t really think Jason should be married or domesticated, and that’s what happened when he married Courtney. Once you’re happy on a soap, it’s over -- it’s gotta be tragedy.”

Kids for Jason? “I seem to raise everybody’s kids but my own. We’re raising Michael! Sonny’s in the hay with Reese and his kid’s having a breakdown! Sonny and Carly are the worst parents in the world.”

Steve then warned us that most of the stories coming up are not great. Someone’s going to die (then he mentioned Dr. Thom-Ass...a hint? As it turned out, yes).

Some notable quotes:
“GH cut back so much on money that I just moved this weekend, and did it myself. We used to shoot 25 scenes per day and now it’s 48. I was in 22 scenes in a row one day last week.”

“When the story’s not good, it’s the hardest job in the world.”

“If it were my choice, I’d have more of the [veteran] characters on the show.”

“If you’re sick, go to GH -- you’re healed in a day. You get shot, you’re O.K. the next day!”

“The most important thing in the world to me is Christianity.”

In response to a question about whether he would become Jason Quartermaine: “No way!”

Question related to Kelly Monaco continuing her talents honed on “Dancing With The Stars”: “There’ll be no dancing around me!” (Technically, he was right. The Sam/Andrew and Sam/Allegra dancing scenes did not involve Burton!)

Our own Kathy Hardeman asked Steve about the short film he’s been working on. “I did it with Scott Egan, Ian Buchanan and M’fundo Morrison. It’s about a guy who takes desperate chances to get out of his gambling problem.”

His favorite people on the set? “We have fun, it’s like high school, hanging out in the halls with Greg, Rick, Mo and the gang."

“I’d like to be on GH another 10 years -- but if I’m still there when I’m 50, you guys can shoot me!”

“We don’t have any say in the storyline, but they know when I’m not happy. Right now, after 14 months of great story -- the kidnapping, Sam’s baby -- I’m taking Michael to the shrink and picking up eggs and bread for Sonny on the way home.”

“Law enforcement is horrible in PC. I’ve been arrested so many times, there’s a pair of jeans and a t-shirt when I come into my cell!”

“I love working with Jennifer. You always miss the person who leaves, and it’s hard on the person who takes over. Jennifer can act. She’s doing great and we have a lot of fun with her.”

Steve said that he’d like to work more with Tony Geary, “but, you know, he takes 11 months vacation!” He would also work with Stuart and Leslie more, and something may come up soon.

Our Kelly B. asked him if it didn’t seem strange for Carly to tell Jason not to barge in on her when, after all, she does that to Jason constantly. “That was a little out there. I told the writers, though, that some day I’m going to choose the woman I’m with.”

Regarding the “natural disaster” story that took place in June: “That was not a hurricane! Nothing was flying around! It looked like it was drizzling outside! A lot of lightning, but...whatever.”

Steve also said that he’s looking into a charity to throw his support behind, and a strong contender is the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, which pleased me, as a dear friend has been doing his internship there.

“Peroxide hair and Christmas sweaters are gone,” he said, in reference to curing what’s wrong with Jason. “It’s brain damage; it can’t be cured.”

On SoapNet’s recent mini-marathon of Jason episodes: “I know ‘Chasin’ Jason’ was no ‘Sonnylicious’ -- he gets 48 hours and I get, what, six?”

Someone in the crowd chastised him, saying he should be nicer to Monica. “This is just a show, ma’am!”

Midway through the event, there were various GH items raffled off, as well as a bidding on the chance to appear in a photo with Steve that would be published in a major soap magazine. A generous portion of the audience was nicely rewarded.

Steve revealed that his wife preferred his old “lion’s mane” to his current hairstyle, but that there were no plans to change it. He revels in time spent with his wife and little daughter, and makes that a priority in his life.

He closed the event with these words: “Hang in there -- we’re going to have some good stuff coming up!” People then got on line to have pictures taken with him, but Kelly and I snuck out, sated and tired. It’s a tradition for Kathy to have her yearly picture taken, so she stuck it out.

Outside by the pool, Kelly and I met up with Dianna and decided we needed food, STAT. Jerry’s Deli down the road was recommended. Coming from New York, Dianna and I were a bit dubious, as we wanted something more than a pastrami sandwich, but we decided to be sports. Kathy joined us and we schlepped the four blocks.

Jerry’s was amazing. The biggest menu I’ve seen since NYC’s America (18th Street between 5th Ave. and Broadway -- highly recommended), so we were all happy. Kelly had a bowl of matzo ball soup that had the matzo ball that ate Cleveland perched in the middle. Immense. All the portions were humongous, and we left, sated. There was still the Kurth and Taylor concert, but we decided we were done in, and met Katrina back at our hotel to recap our day and have some quality time together. We were glad we did. As it turned out, we were all departing at various times the next day, with Dianna and I being the first to leave. We made plans for one final breakfast at Twain’s and went back to Kathy, Kelly and Dianna’s suite for a nightcap.

Tired and sad, we gathered early Sunday morning for our last Twain’s meal of 2005.

Karen peered over the shoulders of Kelly, Dianna and Katrina, all a bit saddened that
the GHFCW adventure was winding down and that Kathy couldn’t be in the picture

Photo courtesy of Kathy Hardeman.

We then went back to the hotel and, all too soon, the shuttle taking Dianna and I to LAX arrived. Big embraces for all! Many “Love ya, pal!” declarations, all sincere. Tears shed. A pox on the shuttle driver for being 10 minutes early!

Dianna and I took our leave, and prepared for the long journey back to New York by shopping at all the stores in our terminal. Although we thought our adventures were over for the year, they actually were not.

One of Dianna’s purchases was a black baseball cap that proclaimed, in gold lettering, “Movie Star Los Angeles.” She put it on low over her eyes, shrouded herself in a blanket, and hunkered down in her seat to catch a cat nap. I glared at her, envious at her ability to sleep, and busied myself editing my photos from the weekend. At one point, a flight attendant came by with beverages and looked down at Dianna. She looked at me and asked, “Is she really a movie star?” My first thought was, duh, yeah, every movie star advertises their status on their head, but she was really sincere. Evil person that I am, I replied, “Yes. Yes she is,” and gave her one of the looks I had shot the few overzealous, pushy types at the autograph sessions. I should have that look patented, as she went away, awed. I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out who Dianna most resembles just in case I was asked, and decided on Vanessa Marcil. Fortunately, no one asked. When Dianna woke, I told her what had happened, and we had a good laugh. Then I saw the flight attendant heading towards us, and told Dianna to wrap herself up again. I had a pretty good idea how to play the role of personal assistant by now. When she approached us, I said, “I’ll have a glass of ice water, and she would like a glass of ice.” Well, the attendant was so amazingly star-struck, she spilled my water all over Dianna. The look on her face was a true Kodak moment! I bent down to Dianna and hissed, “I’ll handle this,” then told the attendant, “I’ll take care of this, please give me some napkins.” She kept throwing them at me as I blotted Dianna off, whispering to her all along that everything was fine, I’d clean up. When Dianna, still silent under her blanket and cap, was dried off, the chastened attendant left in a hurry. We waited a few minutes before bursting into laughter! What an end to the GHFCW! See you there in 2006!

The Media Ho would like to thank everyone who made this weekend so special. Shout-outs to Katrina Rasbold, Kathy Hardeman, Kelly Bacigalupi, Dianna Wessel, and Sherry Mercurio, EOS. Debbie Morris. Clifton and Olga Morris. Lucy and her security dudes. Coggie. Stacey Lopez. Debby O'Connor. Linda and Linna. Joe the Bartender at the Lodge Pool. The wait staff at Twain's and the Patio Cafe. Also: NLG, Constance, Scott, Kari & James, Adrianne, Kelly, Cyndi, and Paolo -- I now watch GH with a slightly different perspective. You all rock! Special hugs to my cat sitters who kept everything running smoothly at home!