Thursday, December 27, 2012

NYC 2012, Pt 2

As the new year looms I remembered I still hadn't posted the rest of the story about my trip to New York City last spring for Jessica Leccia's fan luncheon, so here it is. I promise you, dear readers, that if I have the opportunity to attend another event like this I will not wait so many months to tell the story. (If you missed it or just want to refresh your memory you can read about it here.)

I concluded Part One of this story by telling of a very special dinner with Jill Lorie Hurst and a few friends. As we left the restaurant that night, Bettie volunteered to see me home safely and we had time to continue our conversation on the subway. She's a wonderful storyteller who has led an interesting life so be sure to check out her blog for her stories of her recently concluded two year sabbatical in NYC.

The next morning was colder than expected so Kathy and I decided to accept the offer of our Twitter friend @Nnn2u to share a cab to Brother Jimmy's instead of walking. Among the first to arrive we quickly found familiar faces and met new old friends we'd known for years online. Moving downstairs for the luncheon, Kathy & Julie (@julieluvsotalia) found our friend, Linda (@Medasst28) at one table while I found Denise (@jessiewolf) at another table down front near the band.

The best way I know of to describe an event like this one is to say it's like a family reunion. Not the ones you brace yourself and go to whether you want to or not, but the ones you can't wait to get to because you know you'll finally meet those cool relatives you've only known through frequently shared stories. Looking around a room full of strangers you can't deny there's something familiar about them, the way you can see the expressions of loved ones in the face of a cousin you've just met for the first time. Some have experienced great joys during the previous year, some heartaches and challenges, but we've drawn strength from each other through all those silly little conversations on Twitter and sought each other out for a little encouragement and hope when we've needed it most. For many, like me, these encounters have been life changing.

As the room fileds up Jeryl Orsino (@JerylMusic) and her band stepped up to play. Jeryl's music has been featured on Venice, the Series so if you've watched that wonderful webseries, you've heard her music. I began to take a few pictures as they played and when I looked behind me to the rest of the audience I saw that Jessica Leccia, herself, had sneaked in - she's good at that!

After the music, Jessica began to go from table to table, greeting everyone, signing autographs & posing for pictures. Fans got pictures with Jeryl, too.

After a while Jessica sat down for a Q & A session and we learned a little bit more about her. This always gets a lot of laughs because Jessica has great sense of humor and a quick wit. Really, somebody needs to get this girl a sitcom!

There was time for one more question and I raised my hand. Jessica had been telling us about her daughter, Ivy, and of course her stories made me think of my two daughters, now 29 and 20, what they were like at three years old that gave me a glimpse what they might be like when they grew up. I can't remember exactly how I worded the question but it concerned what she would someday tell her grown up daughter about what she'd been like as a child. As soon as I asked the question, Jessica exclaimed, "Donna, why'd you have to go and make me cry!" When the Q& A was over I gave her a hug and we had a little "mom" moment, marveling at the miracle of daughters before she went back to signing autographs and posing for more pictures.

Everyone had gotten a packet that included an 8x10 photo of Jessica for her to autograph and a "Jessica Leccia" shot glass and a few other fun things. When I opened mine I also saw a handwritten thank you note from Jessica (I had made pin back buttons for the packets) but that note somehow did not make it home with me. I'm guessing my packet got switched with someone else's by mistake. If you went to the luncheon and ended up with a note from Jessica that says "Dear Donna, Thank you..." please let me know! I'm glad I at least saw it and made it home with everything else in the packet!

One of the highlights of attending Jessica's luncheon is meeting her husband, Brian Malloy, who runs Brother Jimmy's. He's a sweetie and it's so fun to see the two of them together because they just radiate love and joy. Many of us had met him before so he renewed old acquaintances and made new friends and posed for photos with Jessica and with the fans. You should stop by Brother Jimmy's the next time you're in NYC because Brian makes everybody feel right at home!

Then Jill Lorie Hurst showed up, joining in for the picturing taking, too, and visit with Jessica and Alan Locher, another member of the GL family.....

Just a few photos with some of my favorite people...

It's always a challenge to get a good group picture at an event like this but always worth the time and effort!

When it was finally time to go a few of us took a little walk with Jill, first to Rockefeller Center, then up to the Central Park. Then it was time to catch the train back home. I can't wait till next time! Thank you to Brother Jimmy's and everyone who had a hand in planning the Jessica Leccia Fan Luncheon and a special thanks to Jill Lorie Hurst!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thanks, Mom!

Checked my mom's old tin of threads to find just the right color for securing this bow & look what was right on top!

Friday, December 14, 2012


When I heard the news of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut today my heart went out to those whose lives will never be the same. Along with my horror at the unfolding events came a growing concern for the life of one little girl, a friend of a friend of mine.  As time went on and others had been accounted for, I prayed specifically for her and her family. This evening my friend could share no details with us except that this little girl is not among the survivors.

While we struggle to understand how something like this could happen I don’t know if we can ever really know. It makes no sense. 

We are reminded that life is short and precious and that we should tell people we love them when we have the chance. Instinctively, I want to do something to fix this.

I was accused of being insensitive because I made comments on Twitter today about changing laws in ways that I believe might help prevent another school shooting.

This person made the assumption that because my comments were about political solutions I had no feeling for the victims. I should instead wait a bit, as a sign of respect. She assumed that I was just using the tragedy to further my personal political agenda.

I think the fact that I seek positive steps that might address the need for more mental health care and fewer assault weapons in our country shows that I do understand what the families of the victims are dealing with, at least as much as I can without having experienced it myself. I know they’re hurting and I hurt for them and I’d like to do what I can to keep other families from hurting. I’d like to do that as soon as possible.

If I say something now…

Do something now…

While people are paying attention….

Then maybe we can start to take some positive steps


Before Honey Boo Boo comes back on.

Because we can’t compete with one of the year’s 10 most fascinating people, right Barbara Walters?

I don’t mean to be dismissive of people who watch Honey Boo Boo or Barbara Walters because I know smart, caring people who watch them both . I just don’t share their taste in television programming.

And that’s the problem we have to face…  being dismissive of those who disagree with us.

Because there are no disposable people.

If we are all part of the problem then we must all be part of the solution.

Keep listening.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tina Sloan's Charity Auction

Great Guiding Light memorabilia is being auctioned for charity on eBay by Tina Sloan  who played nurse Lillian Raines on the show. When Tina mentioned on Twitter that she had these items the fans suggested she auction them for charity and Tina made it happen.

After the pictures were taken for eBay, she autographed each of them and also had them autographed by Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding), Beth Chamberlin, (Beth Raines Spaulding), Justin Deas (Buzz), Peter Simon (Ed Bauer), and Jill Lorie Hurst (Headwriter).

All proceeds go to the Commit Foundation for wounded vets, a cause close to Tina's heart as her son served in the Marines and she stars in the movie "Happy New Year" about a wounded veteran returning home.

Included in these items up for auction is a glass cube paperweight presented to her by the producer at the end of Guiding Light. Tina received two of these and is auctioning one, with the actor's autographs on the box.

You can see pictures of the actors signing the items in Tina's Twitter gallery,

And here's a link to the auction listings:

Tina Sloan's Guiding Light Auctions

Imagine the delight of your favorite Guiding Light fan if they received a present like one of these this holiday season! Better hurry as the auctions are up for only one more day!

Image copyright Tina Sloan