So Long Springfield Packs the House in Pittsburgh
Fans came out in droves to the Hyatt Regency in Pittsburgh this weekend for the So Long Springfield event, saluting 72 years of The Guiding Light. Since the event was sold out, it was clear that it would be crowded, but I certainly wasn't prepared for the amount of people who turned out to say goodbye to something that they hold so close to their hearts.
The stars came out one by one and each received loud, welcoming responses from the pumped up crowd. There was a surprise in store for everyone, because one man turned up in town who wasn't on the schedule to appear. The screams for Tom Pelphrey reminded me of those Elvis and The Beatles appearances from the Ed Sullivan Show. It was deafening! The young actor clearly has made his mark on the daytime world to get that kind of raucous applause.
After things settled down, Frank Dicopoulos and Daniel Cosgrove roamed the crowd for questions. That's when things got interesting. Fans recounted their experiences with GL and how much the show and its stars have been a big part of their lives. One of the most impressive things was the span of years that people have invested in the show. There were several 40-50 year fans, but the longest was 60 years, dating back to the radio days. Although the majority of the group was local, there were many who traveled long distances to say their goodbyes. Rhode Island, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Canada were among those represented.
It was a long day for the stars, but they had no trouble keeping the troops entertained. Video clips, including the opening sequences over the years were featured. People from the audience got to read GL scripts and act out scenes on stage with the actors. Later in the evening, the crowd was treated to some singing from Bradley Cole, Kim Zimmer and director Adam Reist, who spent time explaining how the soap goes from scripting to filming.
It was great to hear the stories from people, who spoke of generations of passing the GL torch in their families. One young man commented that he was a fifth generation GL fan and one young woman related how she bonded more closely with her grandmother because of their stories. It was a great way to send off a show that meant so much to so many. Goodbye Guiding Light. You may be gone, but you're not forgotten!
DC's Melodie and I will be blogging more about our experiences, so check back with us! Just for the record, when the crowd was asked, not one person said they are watching Let's Make a Deal.