General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2

Friday was weak day when it came to events. Lisa LoCicero & Dominic Zamprogna hosted a breakfast event, Nancy Lee Grahn did one around dinnertime, and the grand finale of the day began at 9 PM. My only event for the day, Legendary Bingo, was hosted by the family that puts the fun in dysfunctional – the Quartermaines. Wally Kurth (Ned) led the event, and was joined by family matriarch, and 40-year veteran cast member Leslie Charleson (Monica), Chad Duell (Michael), and Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon). I would estimate that there were easily 150 fans in attendance, making it the largest of the individual events, and by far the craziest. For those unfamiliar with the concept of “legendary bingo,” the host is a drag queen. This event was strictly for adults with the content being a tad risqué compared to all of the other GHFCW events, not to mention that the liquor was flowing freely and the actors were taking advantage of it. The actors took turns each calling two of the first eight games, with the drag queen going solo for games nine & ten, which is when the actors began the meet & greet.

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Leslie Charleson “Dr. Monica Quartermaine” ~ I cannot say enough wonderful things about this longtime leading lady, who is celebrating her 40th anniversary at GH this month. Leslie’s appearances at GHFCW are sporadic – this was her first time attending since 2011, so many attendees had never met her, and those who had were extremely excited to see her return. I heard one fan say that she was the “MVP of the weekend,” and I must agree. What can I say? I’ve always been partial to blondes.

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Chad Duell “Michael Quartermaine” ~ Having attended GHFCW for eight years in a row, Chad’s line was the shortest of the four as he has always been more accessible than the rest. I never miss him though, and he was really touched that I wore my ELQ shirt of the occasion.

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Wally Kurth “Ned Quartermaine” ~ Wally was admittedly pretty drunk by the time I got to him, but unlike some of his costars, he is a fun drunk, and has a great rapport with all of his fans. While the handlers were trying to tell the fans that he would be signing and posing the next day at the luncheon, Wally insisted on taking care of everyone that night. They paid to see him and he would honor that.

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Robert Palmer Watkins “Dillon Quartermaine” ~ As I said in my previous post, Rob attended the Kick-off, but I skipped him as I knew I would see him at this. Another actor who I have no shortage of autographs from or photos with, it is always nice to catch up with Rob.

Scheduled to end at 12 AM, the actors were there well past 12 making sure the fans were all taken care of. In the days following, all FCW attendees would agree that Legendary Bingo with the Quartermaines was the best event of the weekend, and everyone looks forward to attending again in 2018.

Part One (Thursday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

Part Three (Saturday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3

Part Four (Sunday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4

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General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

Ah yes, my loyal readers, it is that time of year again. I have just returned home from my annual pilgrimage to General Hospital Fan Club Weekend, and I have been anxious to share my experience with all of you.

Before we get into GHFCW, as an added bonus for all of you soap fans out there, the evening before the Kick Off, I went out to dinner and bumped into longtime All My Children star Peter White. Peter portrayed Linc Tyler, the legal eagle son of Phoebe & Charles, on-and-off for 31 years. Peter was great, and enjoyed regaling us with tales from his AMC days, and was extremely gracious enough to scoot over in his booth so we could take photos with him.

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This was the real kick off to the weekend!!! A nice, surprise visit with a leading man of daytime’s yesteryear – Mr. Peter White, All My Children‘s Linc Tyler.

Now onto GHFCW. First up for Thursday night was the Kick Off Event. I say it each and every year – the Kick Off is great because it functions as a preview night and allows us access to a nice little ensemble of the cast prior to the chaos of Saturday’s luncheon. This year, 12 stars attended, 3 of whom were new to the cast. My regular readers will know I first go for the newbies, and anyone after that is a nice added bonus. Attending stars were Ryan Carnes (Lucas), Dioni Michelle Collins (Deanna), Risa Dorken (Amy), Scarlett Fernandez (Charlotte), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), Haley Pullos (Molly) Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Kirsten Storms (Maxie), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Vernee Watson (Stella), Hudson West (Jake), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante). I would be seeing Rob the next night at his own event, so I skipped him, and was able to get all but Dominic, who I have met many, many times anyway.

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Vernee Watson “Stella Henry” ~ While we enjoying drinks in the lobby, we spotted Vernee arriving, and were ecstatic. This character actress has been a part of so many wonderful series and films, she brings a storied history and career to GH.

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Marc Anthony Samuel “Felix DuBois” ~ I have gotten Marc so many times since he first began attending GHFCW, but it’s always nice to catch up with him and get an updated photo together.

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Scarlett Fernandez “Charlotte Cassadine” ~ This young lady chose to celebrate her birthday at her first fan event. If that is not pure class, I do not know what is. We all sang “Happy Birthday” when she arrived, and Debbie Morris later surprised her with a nice big plate of cupcakes. Her mother and sister attended with her, and they were a delight to speak with as well.

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Haley Pullos “Molly Lansing-Davis” ~ Haley is one of the few stars who has been at every single GHFCW that I have ever been to, and we get a picture together at every one. I am happy to say that after looking at our first photo together, we look a hell of a lot better now than we ever did back then.

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Hudson West “Jake Spencer” ~ This was Hudson’s second year attending, and he has it down to a science. A science that longtime attendees still have yet to figure out. He is always there with a smile and a nice big stack of complimentary 8×10 photos for the fans.

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Dioni Michelle Collins “Deanna Grant” ~ You may not recognize the name of the portrayer or the character, but regular viewers will recognize Dioni as Deanna, the nurse who has quickly been thrust into just about every scene that takes place at the hospital. Another first-time attendee, Dioni was an angel.

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Risa Dorken “Amy Driscoll” ~ This was Risa’s second GHFCW, but her first one as a married woman. Risa brought along some leftover wedding favors from her special day, and I was happy to take some home. Her and her husband, Bo Clark, are great people.

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Carolyn Hennesy “Diane Miller” ~ I cannot remember the last time Carolyn attended the Kick-off event, so it was a very nice surprise to see her walk in the door. She loved a photo that I had to give to Kin Shriner (more on that later), which her aunt, actress Barbara Rush, was in.

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Kirsten Storms “Maxie Jones” ~ Prior to this night, I had never met Kirsten Storms. Hahaha, just kidding. I have been privileged to know this beautiful young lady for a decade now, and we have a better time together with each passing year. I was happy to see her attend, and I am even happier to see her back on GH.

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Ryan Carnes “Lucas Jones” ~ Ryan is another actor who I have met several times now, but I always go over to catch up and get a new photo. Ryan is a nice quiet guy, and it was good to see him again.

While the Kick Off used to be the official start of the weekend, this year it was actually preceded by two events – Ryan Carnes’ and a dual event hosted by William deVry & Robert Palmer Watkins. It was followed by Donnell Turner’s event, with special guest Vernee Watson.

Part Two (Friday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2

Part Three (Saturday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3

Part Four (Sunday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4

Maurice Benard

On July 9, I braved the summer traffic and took a ride down to one of my favorite venues – Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Pt. Pleasant, for a special appearance by Maurice Benard, the General Hospital star not seen on the east coast in over five years. In the past, you could not have paid me to attend Maurice’s events, which then resembled cattle runs. However, I knew Dino & Linda would put on a great show as always, and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

I knew Maurice’s line would be impassable at General Hospital Fan Club Weekend, as it always is, so this was really the best chance for me to see him in a relaxed, non-rushed setting. He was really cool, posed for photos, and signed two items per person. And I am sure that if I had more, he would have signed them. This was the best I have seen Maurice at a fan event in years.

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As always, thank you to my friends Dino from Uncle Vinnie’s and Linda from Coastal Entertainment, and Maurice, Paula, and their family for making the trek to New Jersey. It was a great event, and we all look forward to Maurice returning to the east coast in the future.

Newt Gingrich

Time to play catch up. On June 13, I made another successful trip to Bookends to see former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Any time Newt visits Bookends, I try to make it down there. Political differences aside, Newt’s a good man, and makes every one of the attendees feel like an old friend. You can strike up a conversation with him in regards to almost anything, and he speaks in a smooth, comforting tone.

The last time I saw Newt, there were maybe two dozen people in line. This time around, thanks to a plug from Sean Hannity, there were around 100. Not good for me as I was feeling ill, and desperately needing to go to the emergency room. I was hoping this would be a quick event, I was there for over an hour. But as always, Newt was great, and I got a great photo op out of it.

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As always, a huge thank you to Walter, Dave, and everyone at Bookends for a great night. I look forward to the day when they welcome Newt back, which I am sure will be real soon!!!

East Coast Comic Con

East Coast Comic Con is a show that has been around for a while, but despite being just 25 minutes from the house, was never really on my radar. That all changed when “Gilligan’s Island” star Dawn Wells was added to the lineup. Dawn could go a local show every weekend, and I’d line up for her each time. So, on Sunday, April 30, I headed down to the Meadowlands Expo Center for my first East Coast Comic Con.

Dawn had no line, so it did not take long for me to get her, which is when I moved on to the cast from “Lost in Space“. I’ve seen this ensemble at shows numerous times over the years, but other than Mark Goddard, never got any of them. They all had $30 combo prices, so I finally acted on it this time around.

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Dawn Wells ~ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’ll line up for the “Gilligan’s Island” star every time she does a show here. I’ll always get that updated photo op, and a new 8×10 off her table. I just think she’s terrific.

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Angela Cartwright ~ While I chose to stick with the theme and get a “Lost in Space” 8×10, it should be noted that Angela was Brigitta Vin Trapp in The Sound of Music, as well as Linda Williams on “The Danny Thomas Show.”

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Marta Kristen ~ What can I say about the actress who portrayed the eldest Robinson child? Everyone knows I’ve always had a weakness for blondes.

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Bill Mumy ~ He’s iconic for his role on “Lost in Space“, c’mon, who doesn’t know “Danger, Will Robinson!” and “The Twilight Zone“, but the role of his that makes me chuckle the most – Googie Miller in “The Munsters“, Episode 25 – “Come Back, Little Googie.”

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Mark Goddard ~ While he wasn’t posing for table photos, I didn’t want to leave Mark out of this post, so here’s a picture of us at another show in 2012. Despite having met him in the past and gotten the full combo back then, I did get a new 8×10 headshot for the collection.

Luckily, I was able to get the Lost in Space cast all in a matter of 15 minutes, before their 11:30 panel. I had literally just walked in the door, and still had plenty of cash – so I decided to get photos with two attendees that I had previously only obtained autographs from – Ernie Hudson and Kevin Nash.

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Ernie Hudson ~ Despite being a convention regular, and somewhat of a price gauger – Ernie always has a decent line. The amount of Ghostbusters merchandise that is being produced certainly helps keep his business at these shows lucrative.

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Kevin Nash ~ The WWE Hall of Famer has always been a favorite of mine since his days alongside Hogan and Hall in the NWO. He recognized my shirt as being from Tommy Bahama, a favorite clothier of his.

I was in and out of this show in an hour’s time. The vendor items were not of much interest to me, although I did spend time looking for a standout piece, but given its close proximity to the house, reasonable prices, and no lines – I would definitely consider returning to East Comic Con in 2018!!!