I will not say that event was without its problems, as the room was much too small accomodate the large group of eager
fans and cast members who turned out to meet and greet. I must say that despite the conditions (which were especially difficult
for me in my wheelchair) courtesy and patience were the watchwords for actors and fans alike.
The event opened with a nice surprise as Nick Stabile (ex-Mark Wolper) stopped by during the cast introductions
to offer a quick "hello" and to let his fans know that he will be appearing on "Dawson's Creek" in coming weeks. Sarah
Buxton (Annie) and Lisa Guerrero-Coles (Francesca) had to leave early due to prior commitments but not before thanking
the fans and leaving plenty of autographed photos behind for everyone. Buxton also answered a Q&A regarding Annie fantasy
life. Her favorite: The Western. The most difficult: The Whipped Cream bikini. (It seems she caught a cold -- poor thing!)
Fans were dispointed by a few no-shows such as Eddie Cibrian (Cole), Susan Ward (Meg) and Michael Strickland (Brad)
but that did not dampen anyone's enthusiam to meet those present at the autograph table. Two lines were formed at either end
which formed a collision point at Clive Robertson (Ben) ...but more on that later!
Shawn Batten (Sara) & Nick Kiriazis (Antonio)
First, at my end of the table were Shawn Batten (Sara) and Priscilla Garita (Gabi), both of whom I had met last
Spring at previous events...But I was shocked that they remembered me. Both were gracious and funny while eating cheesecake...
but lamenting the size of the room which was becoming increasingly warm...crowded... and (quite frankly) dangerous! Next was
Hank Cheyne (Ricardo) who was a little disappointed when he asked if Gabi should end up with him or Antonio and I opted
for his brother. (Nick Kiriazis (Antonio) and I come from the same area of Long Island.) But Hank gave me an autograph
anyway as I waited to make my way to Russell Curry (Tyus).
It was about then that Sam Behrens (Gregory) got up from his chair and started working his way down the line signing
autographs taking photos to facilitate the back-up. Smart man!
Did I ever make to my appointment with Dr. Tyus Robinson? Read on for Part Two of:
Gridlock At SUNSET BEACH!
I finally made it to my "Doctor's Appointment" and found Russell Curry to be charming, intelligent, and articulate
and extremely talkative. I especially enjoyed a discussion of his time on "Santa Barbara" -- my all time favorite soap!
I, then, spoke with one of my all- time favorite actresses, Kathleen Noone (Bette) who seemed to truly be enjoying the good natured kidding going on between my sister, Jeanne and myself. Apparently, she has
the same type of relationship with her sister. What a great lady...
Moving on to Gordon Thomson (A.J.), who had indeared himself to me earlier by stating that his favorite character
to play was Santa Barbara's Mason Capwell was as engagingly warm as when I had first met him during his "Capwell
incarnation." Lesley-Anne Down (Olivia) is always a delight and much more up-beat (Thank God!) than the character she
plays. We talked about her part in one of my favorite mini-series, North & South My Mom mentioned she liked
N&S, Part II. Lesley mentioned a Part III we had not known about. It seems few people do. It aired during
the Olympics. If anyone has a copy of the mini-series"North & South, Part III on tape please e-mail me, maybe we can make a deal. I'd love to see it!
Next came Clive Robertson (Ben), but we were abuptly moved onto a different line, due to the inappropriate room
capacity...and would have to make our way back from the opposite end of the room back to the center where Clive was...or would
Before I continue, I must admit that I forgot to mention a great conversation I had with Carol Potter (Joan). She
is a nice lady. We spent most of our time talking about her "daughter, Meg"...and Susan Ward, the actress who plays her. Carol
loves Susan, and respects Meg because she is "nice... but not perfect...not a goody two-shoes!" We discussed Meg & Ben's
wedding, and Maria coming back...She really admired Susan's acting during that time.
But getting back to what I was saying... They wanted us to switch lines...unfortunately there was nowhere to go, and we
wound up stalled in the middle of the room. Eventually, the swarm opened up behind us... Mom was able to back me (almost literally)
into Nick Kiriazis (Antonio). I had met Nick before and found him to be warm, charming, and gentle. Then, however,
I didn't know we came from the same area. As we reminisced about local haunts...he signed an 8x10 (all of which were provided
free of charge --nice touch!) The swarm descended once again!
So I moved on to Kam Heskin (Caitlin). She was sweet, kind...and appeared a bit overwhelmed by all the attention!
I can't blame her. Things were getting pretty crazy! Many (including myself) congratulated Kam on her fine work of late! She
said Caitlin's lies coming back to haunt her had been an interesting, but depressing challenge for her.
a fascinating talk with Christina Chambers (Maria)...and Finally...Clive Robertson (Ben)
I have to say I love Meg as much as anyone...but Christina Chambers could steal any guy's heart. Her eyes are so big and
wonderous -- they are like windows on the world... and this day she proved her smile illuminates even the most crowded of
roooms. While she was signing an 8x10 for me, I joked that Maria should get the house...because Ben built it for her!...And
you'd think Meg wouldn't want to like in a house that came out of Ben's love for another woman anyway!
Christina nudged Clive next to her and told him: "John says I should get the house, it's mine. You built it for me!" Clive
responded that she could have the boat, too.
But I said there were too many bad memories connected with it...but she would sell the boat to him. Clive accepted the
Then Christina said "Do you want a picture? I said you gave me one... But she meant a picture with her. I thought
that would be impossible with the ever-swelling crowds, but she managed to lean across the autograph table and smile big.
Finally reaching Clive was a relief -- especially for my sister as Clive and Sam Behrens are her favorites! After posing
with my sister, Clive graciously noted that my position on the house was quite right...now we'll just have to see what the
writers do. Then, we moved on --time was running short, but the crowds were getting to me. We somehow found our way back to
the table, as a very kind Sunset Beach staff member, who's name I unfortunately can't remember collected the
remaining autographs for me.(I was still missing quite a few: Randy Spelling (Sean); Jason George (Michael); Dominque Jennings
(Virginia); Sherri Saum (Vanessa); and Dax Griffin (Tim); etc. I may not have met everyone this time around...but I got
the signatures without fighting the crowds anymore!
Tim Adams ran the raffle, (I didn't win anthing...but I was just lucky to be there) and wisely suggested the other actors
circulate and make sure everyone got all the autographs they wanted. So I got to meet Christi Ellen Harris (Emily)...she
is even more charming than the character she plays!
On the way out, we a each received SUNSET BEACH gifts: a keyring, beach ball, sports bottle & "frisbee".
I also had chance meetings with Dax Griffin (Tim) and Sherri Saum (Vanessa). Sherri told me her Mom video tapes
and keeps every episode she appears in! That must create quite a storage problem.
All in all, it was a very nice day....but next year get a bigger room --- this show is much more popular than the Nielsen
ratings indicate....Thanks to kind actors and patient fans...we survived and a good time was had by all!