Today marks the fourth anniversary of the day that fans said goodbye to Guiding Light, and in extension, goodbye to the citizens of Springfield. For many fans of this legendary soap opera that loss is just as fresh today as it was in 2009 when the words “The End” were scrawled across the Springfield lighthouse.
For seventy years viewers watched Springfield’s resident’s trials and triumphs. Their epic love stories and their utter despair. These were more than just characters that came to our televisions every day, they were members of our family. Yes these members were fictional, but we still cared whether they succeeded or failed.
And even more than that Guiding Light was often a family tradition. I began watching with my grandmother when I was too young to know what it was that I was really watching. She was a fan from day one, and she remained a loyal fan until she passed away in 2008. I remember many afternoons spent sitting in the den watching Roger Thorpe prove just why he was the best villain in soap opera history. I remember watching Alan-Michael fight his attraction to Lucy and even to my young eyes I knew they were meant to be together. Watching Vanessa and Matt fall in love, Alan-Michael and Phillip battle over Spaulding, and the great friendship between Hampton Speakes and Billy Lewis. And I remember being devastated when Maureen Bauer met her untimely end. That is just one of the reasons Guiding Light was so special to me. It was something I shared with someone close to me.
So yes, today marks the fourth anniversary of the day fans had to say goodbye but saying goodbye doesn’t hurt as much when fans try to keep the citizens of Springfield alive through fanficition and uploading videos to YouTube. Why BandstandMike on YouTube is uploading some amazing 90s clips weekly. And Jezzfanatic uploads Buzz and Jenna clips as well as Alan-Michael and Lucy clips. As long as there are fans out there sharing clips the light will never fade, and that is what makes all the difference.
“There is a destiny that makes us brothers. No one walks their way alone. All that we put into the lives of others comes back into our own” – Reverend Rutledge