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KateW

Any Capitol Fans Here?

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From the December 17, 1985 Digest. Network Publishing Co I will type up the other two pages.

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Edited by CarlD2

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I was at home when the quake hit. In fact, I had just said good-bye to John who was on his way to Switzerland to deliver a speech to the World Business Council. Knowing it would be impossible to reach John, I tried calling the Embassy in Mexico. It was impossible; all you could get was that irritating voice telling you, "Your call cannot be put through at this time." Finally, John called me from the plan, an hour out of New York. He told me that he was getting off in New York and that an Air Force Jet was going to take him and Mexico's Minister of Public Health (who was in New York on business) into Mexico. I told John I'd meet him there as soon as possible.

Many of our friends were appalled that I'd even consider making the trip. At that point no one really knew how bad the damage was and there was always the possibility of aftershocks. I never shared that reaction. I knew that our presence would be a great comfort and that the only way I could help was to be there.

I arrived on Saturday, and while there was no real damage visible from the airport, once John and I were taken up in a helicopter for a tour of the city, well, I felt sick. It looked like a twister had gone through the city with an erratic pattern. Where fourteen-story buildings had once stood - now nothing but rubble. It looked like a war zone and for the time time I experienced a feeling I wasn't able to shake during my stay in the city. The feeling was a constant chill. The hair on my arms literally stood up straight for four days and that chill came from the knowledge that wherever you walked, nearby, at any point, people could be buried alive.

Amidst all the destruction, there were some saving graces. There was no major damage to the Embassy and all of our friends were safe. Upon John's arrival, he immediately declared Mexico City a disaster area and that helped initiate aid from the United States. At first, President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado had indicated that Mexico didn't need any outside help. The President received some criticism in the press for his stance, but it's essential to remember that Mexico is a very proud nation. They like to handle their own problems themselves and the officials, like all of us, simply didn't realize the enormity of the problem. There were thousands of people trapped under debris and little equipment to help get them out. I was surprised. I had assumed that every country in the world had heavy-moving equipment. However, it takes extremely sophisticated equipment in an earthquake situation, due to the fact that one brick, moved the wrong way, can bring everything down.

I was proud of President de la Madrid, who immediately reversed his decision and informed the United Stats that Mexico would gratefully accept their help. And I was proud of John, who not only spearheaded the delivery of United States to Mexico, but also lobbied effectively with the government to give the rescue workers as much time as necessary to pull people out from the wreckage. The Mexican government was rightfully concerned about disease. There were hundreds of decomposing bodies in that rubble and they were frightened that disease could become so rampant it could kill millions of people. However, John and I felt that if there was a chance of saving one life, you had to wait as long as possible, and, thankfully, the rescue workers were given some extra time - and look at the results! The young medical student, the babies that were rescued. In fact, while we were touring the hardest hit areas, John and I were standing next to one of the few remaining walls of the Regis Hotel. We were told taht the chances anyone could be alive were nil. Two hours later, their sonar equipment picked up the voices of two men. They'd been trapped behind that one standing wall and had thought they were finished. Then they heard John and I talking! The men were both rescued.

There were so many dramas. At one point a young man ran up to me and asked if I spoke English. He had no idea wh oI was, but he saw that I was a blonde and figured blonde must mean American. In fact, he was an American. He and his wife had come to Mexico City to sight see and, during the earthquake, he not only lost his identification, but the fingers on his right hand as well. His wife was upstairs, having lost a leg and if that wasn't enough, he couldn't convince anyone that he was an American. Of course he didn't know that "the blonde" was the Ambassador's wife. I immediately made arrangements to send both he and his wife home.

Those are stories with happy endings. However, there were so many situations that were so tragic the only thing you could say was "I'm sorry." The city was filled with that kind of horror. There was no panic, though. THe streets were almost too quiet. Everyone was working with tremendous intensity, with one single purpose: to get in and get as many people out as possible. And everyone pitched in - rich and poor, young and old. At one point I saw Placido Domingo, the opera star, digging in the hopes that his four family members who had been lost in the ruins might still be alive. That focused tension would be released from time to time. A cry of "silencio" from the rescue workers would go up and everyone would fall silent. Suddenly, you'd hear a voice from beneath the concrete and a cheer would go up and everyone would work even harder.

Nancy Reagan arrived at one point, and present President de la Madrid with a check for a million dollars. She said, "You are our neighbors. When your neighbor is in trouble, you help." Of course, the money was important - and I'm urging people to send money for Mexico relief to their nearest Red Cross. But more importantly, it was an important symbol to the Mexican people that we cared. For example, if you were a father with a child who was trapped and you saw the transport places bringing in doctors and medicine and sonar equipment - equipment that could hear your child breathing, you'd know that a powerful neighbor really cared about you.

Amidst the tragedy, there were lighter moments as well. The little old lady, who once rescued, wouldn't come out until she was given a blanket, because she was naked. And the fact that, at the Embassy's Chancellory, the only picture that fell off the wall was Ronald Reagan's. The frame was broken, but the picture was intact, which caused Nancy Reagan to shake her head and comment, "He can endure anything - even an earthquake!"

However, the two emotions I experienced the most during my time in Mexico City were pride and fear, pride in seeing all kinds of people pulling together to turn a disaster into a victory and fear that it could happen here. I don't know if it's a coincidence that the majority of buildings that were destroyed were government buildings, but one can't help but look at those buildings and wonder what the building code was. It's obvious that the materials used were not reinforced enough. Sadly, we're often guilty of the same thing. No building can be earthquake proof but every building can be earthquake resistant. It's an important, essential goal to work toward.

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Admittedly, at first I was hesitant to delve into that lengthy read, but I am so glad that I did. :) Thanks yet again Carl! What an amazing narrative, it flowed just like *that* and I could hear CT's voice all along the way. The part about the American couple, he'd lost his fingers, she'd lost her leg, was so unsettling. And the old lady not coming out until she had a blanket was cute. ^_^ Just hearing the Reagans being mentioned really takes me back. What a rich life the Gavins must lead, I almost get the impression that doing the soaps is like a glamorous little hobby she could take or leave when you hear stories like that. Not to detract from her love of the work or anything, just to say it puts things into perspective.

I'm sure that some of you have seen this, but here Constance talks about Carolyn:

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(I love that shot of Clarissa and Tyler, very Conboy. You can't really tell from here, but I believe these scenes surrounding Tyler's Hero's Welcome Home Reception took place on what was then the largest and most expensive set ever done in daytme. I think The Great Hall of Eterna is what beat it, and we can't forget to mention Conboy's infamous baseball diamond on GL.)

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Thanks for reading. I do apologize for the length of the text -- I decided to type it out because it was only two pages in the magazine and I didn't want to scan just for those as I've been doing that more lately and it takes up more room I should be using on pictures or whatever. I'm so glad you read it -- I wasn't totally sure if it was already out there but I didn't think it was. I thought Constance wrote a moving and grounded story, and she did her best to avoid any condescending colonialism. She also focused on how this could just as easily happen in the US.

Thanks for posting the biography on Carolyn (does A&E still even do Biography now, or is not "hip" enough for them). It's a sign of her talents that after seeing her as Myrna I totally forgot she even played Morticia, and I wondered why John Astin (RIP) was interviewed. It's nice to hear the stories from Constance. Even though Capitol was a relatively short part of Constance's life, you can see how much she loved some of her co-stars, through this and through her singing at Richard Egan's funeral.

I know a lot of women say playing good girls is boring but I think that Constance, and Lara Parker, among others, both managed to make a good girl more interesting because they could play her with backbone.

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When did John Astin pass away?? :o He's from around my parts, last I heard he was teaching drama at Johns Hopkins. Oh my God.

Yeah, I love the point you make about CT avoiding condescending colonialism. She comes across as a very classy lady, I enjoy sitting and listening to her talk in that Carolyn interview. I'm not sure if they're still making new Biographies, but they definitely still air as my dad is obsessed with them and DVRs a bunch and then marathons (with that annoying digital remote that always ff's too far :P ). You're right, CT did play Clarissa with plenty of backbone, and she really was quite beautiful with her hair long and flowing around her shoulders. The only time i've ever seen her play "pathetic" if you will was when she played John's former secretary Audrey on Y&R. Audrey was in love with John and told some lie to Dina (ironically, Marla Adams, a Myrna to CT's Clarissa) that led her to leave Genoa City and this all came out in a very teary whiny confession. John was ready to wring her neck, all the damage she had caused.

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I didn't know Lochran was on AW. He seemed to all but vanish after Capitol.

I guess Deborah Farentino has gone on to quite a bit, although I haven't seen her in most of her projects.

If P&G had focused on Conboy's record they would have hesitated about hiring him at GL when he clearly likes to focus on $$$$$$$$ above all else. That worked for him in the days of the soap boom, but those days were long gone by 2002.

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When did John Astin pass away?? :o He's from around my parts, last I heard he was teaching drama at Johns Hopkins. Oh my God.

Oops. I thought he'd passed away. You're right. He's still alive.

Yeah I remember Constance's Y&R role. It wasn't much of a role, she deserved better, but she did a great job and she did get some dramatic moments. I think she was only on like one or two episodes. But Bell might have helped get her back in the spotlight, as she got a cameo on Sunset Beach after this, and that role is probably what led to her being cast as Helena.

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LOL, I meant to come back last night and post that I looked it up and JA is indeed still living. :lol: I was thinking maybe you were thinking of Raul Julia.

Yeah, Audrey was just a flash in the pan role, but she did get to go pure soap with it, a lot of drama and tears. When I saw that I remember wondering if Clarissa was always like that. I had looked at a soap book in a university library once and there was this picture of CT as Clarissa sitting on the sofa looking like a suicidal alcoholic, kind of like those pictures you see of the last Ann Tyler Martin on AMC.

Right, then she went on to play Mme. DeSchanel (sp??) which I never saw actually, but remember the pics from SOD. She had a cane and maybe a cape (?), muoy dramatico, sleazy cheater Eddie Cibrian's grandma, right? SOD did an article comparing SuBe to SB and they compared Constance's character with Minx.

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I agree with them about Peter Lochran, he definitely could have played someone like Prince Michael on DYNASTY. A character that calls for a certain look and presence moreso than huge acting chops. It was always trippy that this man from Baracq (!) sounded like Carmen Duncan. :rolleyes:

Also interesting what they say about "Perils of Pauline" Jess Walton when things changed so suddenly for her career-wise and she's gone on to have the most successful daytime career of the bunch.

They capture Marj Dusay perfectly in that short paragraph.

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I'd never heard of Michael Catlin. What did you think of him?

Jess actually did play the pain and distress of Jill very believably, but she can also be far more.

Constance came onto SuBe to wrap up the mystery of Cole's paternity and the starcrossed love of his grandparents or whatever. I always got the feeling that story was supposed to go on longer but tanked with viewers, as did poor Leigh Taylor Young's role. If Constance hadn't got GH I wonder if SuBe would have used her more.

I know I've asked this before but did you prefer the Ali stuff with Sloane or did you prefer her before all of that?

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Michael Catlin (Thomas) was good, he was a "good guy" on the show. He's the McCandless son who was a doctor and walked with a crutch, I guess he'd been born crippled. Not a showy role at all, kind of like an Adam Mayfield Scott Chandler minus all of the "dark" stuff. He was involved in the Lizbeth (Tonja Walker) triangle with Jordy. I want to say that he was involved in yet another triangle with Jordy when Leanne came along, but I need to consult my tapes. Lizbeth was his date to Sloane and Trey's wedding and it's obvious that Lizbeth's true feelings are for Jordan.

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I am not a fan of the Prince Ali stuff. I am not a "romance" person anyway which of course makes me not your typical soap fan, but as you know there are a lot of fans like me. It was all very flowy with all those white gossamer robes and sandy and blah blah, but I like Sloane the plucky demi-bitch ambitious reporter. I don't care for the soft stuff with her, like Mark being a trader/getting killed either.

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