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  • Light's Out!

    "The Guiding Light," a daytime soap opera, is going off the air after 72 years. It was one of my beloved grandmother's "shows," and one of the odd ways I've always felt a connection to her, even after her death. And now, just like my sweet grandmother, it, too, will be gone.

    My grandmother's house is an oddity. Normally one would enter the house from the front porch and then walk through a sitting room and living room to enter the dining room, kitchen and then bathroom. However, the rear entry was used as a front door because that was where the driveway brought you. Everyone entered into a small 'mud room' and then directly into the dining room. The dining room itself had a huge window looking out onto the front yard, main driveway, and road.

    My grandmother never sat anywhere but in the dining room, and always at the head of the table. Within easy reach were her latest crocheting project. CB radio (they were in the sticks, and calls were expensive--heck, the area still doesn't have cellphone reception!), her typewriter, her address book and her radio.

    She did not have a television in her dining room until she bought one with a remote back when I was still in elementary school. Instead, she used a special radio which had "TV" selections, and every day she listened to "The Young and the Restless" and "The Guiding Light," in the dining room while her daughters watched "that nonsense" show, "General Hospital" in the living room. She enjoyed clucking over the misadventures of the residents of Genoa City and Springville. In between the episodes, she would make dinner, type out a letter to a friend, or polish our nails with white-out. During the shows, however, we would sit with her at the dining room table, quietly drawing or writing while the episode was played out in our imaginations in time with the radio.

    My grandmother was born before the show began, and had followed it nearly every day of her life until she died at age of 72. I think it is only fitting that if one of her favorite shows is also going to die, it should be at the ripe old age of 72.

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