It's not often that I get to cover a soap event for Soaps.com without packing a suitcase and getting on a plane. But thanks to the Soap Mania Tour, specifically the Cleveland leg, I was able to make breakfast for my kids, take in a soap event and get home in time to start dinner. Wait a minuteâ€¦maybe covering events not in my own backyard are a tad more relaxing now that I think about it. In any case, it was a pleasure to pull into the Embassy Suites parking lot in Independence Ohio, see a long line of soap fans waiting to see some of the people they spend their afternoons with only in person for the first time for many.
By the time I arrived at the Embassy Suites the line was filled with fellow Ohioans, all eager to spend time with their favorite soap actors. The first person in line was Sue Lewis, a fan of The Young and the Restless since its inception in 1973. She proudly showed me one of her treasures - a paper sleeve from a 45 record of "Nadia's theme" that was autographed by Sharon Case (who plays Sharon Newman Abbott) and Don Diamont (who just departed as Brad Carlton).
Actually, I met a lot of soap 'lifers' in the group. One fiftyish woman rubbed her belly and fondly remembered watching soaps during her pregnancies and then while raising her young children. My eye went to an attractive young woman who brought her grandmother - both fans of General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. On the other end of the spectrum, there was a 5 month-old baby quietly sleeping in her mom's arms while she stood in various lines to get autographs. With sinking ratings and a nose-diving economy in mind, I silently willed that baby to bring a new generation of soap fans in to our midst.