Yesterday I went to the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown LA, I think for the first time since the late seventies. (I used to go there for Beatlefest back when John Lennon was alive.) I did a quick walk through the Romantic Times Book Fair, which was WAY too crowded. Then I had a great visit with my agent dianafox
, in town for the RT Booklovers Convention. Then, when I was waiting for the valet to return my car, who should appear right in front of me but Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, i.e., Doug and Julie from Days of Our Lives
(arguably the first soap supercouple of all time)!! I managed not to blurt out, "You're Doug and Julie!" I did think it a good omen for the Jo book. (The only soap actor sighting to beat this one was when Heather Webber and Rose Kelly [actors Robin Mattson and Loanne Bishop from General Hospital] sat in the row right in front of me during a two-act play of Plath's Letters Home
, in 1983 or so. They only stayed for the first act.)
Speaking of the Jo book, this weekend I had a mini "What To Do When the Revolution Doesn't Pan Out" film festival: Sidney Lumet's beautiful Running on Empty
(River Phoenix was still alive when I last saw it) and Tanya Hamilton's Night Catches Us
(2010), set in 1976 Philadelphia, about former members of the Black Panther Party. I was particularly struck by how both movies show the children of former revolutionaries trying to come to grips with their parents' histories and how these histories have shaped and impinged upon their own lives.
Then tonight I watched episode one of the Upstairs, Downstairs
reboot on PBS. It won me over, though now I want to play my DVDs of the classic series.