Monday, October 3, 2011

End of Pine Valley

After 41 years, on September 23rd ABC aired its last episode of "All My Children." It feels like the end of an era to me.

I don't remember exactly when I started to watch "All My Children." I definitely remember watching Jenny, Greg, Tad, and Liza as teenagers when I was a pre-teen myself. Their summer stories hooked me for nearly 3 decades. Once I had control of my own VCR (my parents are still die hard "Days of Our Lives" fans), I taped the episodes and watched them at night. They were always taped when we went out of town.

My grandmother, Grand-Dee (mom's mom) was also an "All My Children" fan, as was her daughter, Debra (my aunt). "All My Children" served as a conversation topic that spanned the generations. Thinking back, my hunch is, I first started watching it when I visited my aunt in Ohio in 1981 or 1982. It was the summer that Angie and Jessie got secretely married and she became pregnant with Frankie.

Thirty years later I bid farewell to Pine Valley as we fans have come to know it. I laughed and cried my way through the last week of episodes. Had the past few years been THAT good, the show would probably still be on the air. I shook my head at the ending (a twist on the "who shot JR?" Dallas cliffhanger, "who did JR shoot?"). I miss it all the more.

There is talk of moving the show to the internet starting in January (, but it won't be the same. Debbie Morgan (Angie Hubbard) and Jacob Young (JR Chandler) and others have moved on with their careers -- and I wish them the best of luck. There is still so much up in the air about possible fees involved, and how long will the episode remain available online, and what is involved with converting to a new format. Honestly, I don't know if I will pick up with the storylines when (if) it returns.

In the meantime, I leave any "All My Children" fans with a picture I took last week:

It is the New Hope (PA) train station where one of my favorite scenes was filmed -- when Angie sees Jessie for the first time after believing he died twenty years earlier. Yes, a very soap-y storyline!

I can just picture Angie on the platform as Jessie's train rolls down the tracks. Ahh....

I was surprised by how much I missed it last week and how much I wondered about storylines. It was a tiny part of my life, but it lasted many years. Plus I made some online friends through it. It was the only TV show I watch. 

It also feels like the end of a connection with my grandmother who died 10 years ago this week.

RIP Doris Jacquelyn Fyfe Thomas. May you be catching up with "our friends" in heaven.


  1. Nice post Jacquie =) I started a little earlier than you but those were the best of days. It seems weird to be without it. Sometimes when 1 pm rolls around I still think about turning it on. I don't know what I will do yet about the future Internet show. I kind of think I would like to remember it how it was.

    Love love love the pics! Did you cry seeing that place. I think I would have!

  2. So many people are quick to write off television as worthless when it can have the ability to bring people together. I'm sure your relationships with both your Grandmother and your aunt were deepened through you mutual love of AMC. I know my family has gotten lots of pleasure out of shows like the Sopranos, Mad Men and now Breaking Bad. Mostly we watch through Netflix and not in "real time". The first few seasons of Mad Men I would watch at home and then immediately call my Dad (who worked in advertising during the 1960-80s) to discuss it. I find that I can apply all my literary criticism skills to analyzing the episodes and that only adds to my enjoyment. May your Grandmother's memory continue be a blessing to you and all who knew her.