Greenville, SC
September 2003

Got to Greenville at around 11:46am.  As soon as I got outside of the airport, I called the hotel.  The shuttle that was to pick me up didn't get in until after 12 noon.  Got to the hotel a little before 1pm.  During the ride, we saw the Wolf Camera that was close to the hotel.  I spoke to the driver if it was possible for me to be driven there.  He said it should be okay, to just come down at the time we set up.  I got settled in and unpacked what I needed.  Not having eaten anything since I left home, I ordered room service, got to watch Days and rested.  At around 2:30, I had gone to Wolf Camera to get some films and key chains.  

Friday -- Pre-Game Party

Linda came in at around 10 minutes to 8pm.  We talked as she got settled in.  I gave her back her photos that I had scanned.  Afterwards, we decided to go downstairs to check out the party going on downstairs.  When we got down, we saw a lot of people gathered by a table that was set up there.  As we got closer to the table, we saw that Kyle was already here.  He was signing autographs and taking photos with everyone that was there.  We went to get the program that was being sold and got in line.  There was also a table set up to pick up the event tickets.  I went in line and picked up my tickets.  I turned to Linda and told her how I was not ready to see Kyle (yet) that night, so to speak ... didn't have my camera with me, or the things I wanted him to sign. I was a little mad at myself about that.  Right before I got up to Kyle, he was talking to the girls that were in front of us.  While he was chatting with them, he looked up real quick and had seen us; he waved at me and said, "Hey Mae!"  I waved back and said, "Hi Kyle!"  Him remembering my name caught me a little off guard, but in a good way :). I got up to him.  We asked each other how we were doing.  I asked him when he got in, and he had told me that he got in this afternoon.  He said since he didn't have to work, he just went ahead and flew in.  He mentioned how Eric, Farah and some of the others won't be in until tomorrow morning because they had to work today.  He asked me the same thing and I told him, I got in at around noon.  He asked me how long the flight was.  I said about 3 hours.  He said, "You're from Chicago right?"  I said, "Yeah."  He had asked me if I had attended this event/weekend before.  I told him, that this was my first time in Greenville.  He said that this was his as well, and he's really looking forward to it.  We talked about Alexis and what had happened.  He said how when the news of James' and Matthew's departure, he didn't really react much to it (because he didn't work with them very much), but when he heard that Alexis was let go, he was really upset about it.  Linda had asked him if he knew when her last day was going to be.  He said that at this point, no one knows.  He went and visited Alexis at home after he heard the news.  I handed my program to him and he signed it for me.  As I was getting ready to go, we said goodbye and that we would see each other tomorrow.

Saturday -- Cast Party

The Q & A session went pretty well.  Linda and I were a bit surprised that this crowd didn't ask much about the departures that are currently happening.  With one exceptionof someone wishing Matthew well, the crowd really avoided that topic altogether.  A fan had presented Kyle a trophy for being in her words, "for being a good person and being better looking than the previous Philip."  I just sat there when I heard that one, smiled and shook my head a little.  ** my Jay loyalty showed here for a second. :) **

The bidding for the chairs was a lot of fun to watch.  Eric had started the bidding off.  He had come closer to the crowd.  The crowd was bargaining with Eric, telling him they would raise the bids on his chair if he would let them take off his shirt.  He agreed.  Farah had mentioned how she is really competitive and if her chair gets a final bid lower than Eric's, she'll be so sad.  When Ali was auctioning off her chair, she also mentioned that she was a competitive person and wanted to outbid the final amount that Bryan's chair got.  She auctioned the chair off to a gentleman who paid over $1000.  There was a lady and the gentleman (who won the chair) who were going back and forth outbidding each other for the chair.  Ali had mentioned how she wished there were two chairs she could have both of them have.  While her auction was going on, Bryan was trying to hear where the bidding was.  He joined in the bidding by putting a bid in for $900.  The fans, in unison, told him, "The bid is already over $1000."  He was surprised at how high the bid was already.  John Aniston had an auctioneer voice when he was auctioning off his seat.  

They did a role play type thing using a script by a fan who won a fanfic contest.  They had the writer of the fanfic join them onstage.  One moment that stood out to me, was a scene that Alison and Bryan were doing, they were to kiss.  Bryan stepped back and Kyle moved in and gave her a kiss.

Saturday -- Autograph Session

We got to the room for the autograph session.  When we were let in, we were all told to go in a line, but they didn't tell us ahead whose line we were going into.  So the first line I went to was the third one from the left.  The cast came in - and they went down the line to their seats.  The first line I was in was Farah's.  Her line was moving rather quickly.  I went up to her and we said "Hi!"  I asked her how she was.  She said she was a little tired but she's okay.  She asked my name and I told her.  She looked up at me and said, "Weren't you in Salem too?"  I said, "Yeah :)". She smiled.  She had signed the photo that I had with me.  I asked her if we could pose for a photo and she said "Sure."  Our photo was taken, and I told Farah that I would see her tonight.

Next line I went to was Kyle's.  The line moved fairly quickly.  When I got up to him,  he had his head down, getting himself together after the last fan left; he looked up and saw me.  He said, "Hey Mae."  I responded, "Hey Kyle."  He had asked if I had anything for him, and I kiddingly said, "Yes Sir!"  I put my things down in the chair and went up to him.  We talked for a little bit.  He had told me how he noticed the photo in my pendant before but saw it again today and wanted to mention it.  He asked who it was and I mentioned that it was my brother.  He asked me how long I have been wearing it, and I mentioned that I've had it on since he passed away, close to 10 years.  I was a bit surprised when I saw him sad, and he suddenly said, "I'm so sorry for your loss Mae."  I gave him this serious look, and I think he knew what I wanted to say.  I had asked him for a favor.  He said, "Sure..."  I had two similar photos of him with me ...  one I wanted him to sign for me, the other; I wanted him to sign for Becka.  When I asked him, he said, "Oh, sure.  Becka, she's the webmistress?"  I said "Yes!"  He mentioned how she wasn't there, and I told him that she couldn't make it, but that she will be in the event in March in Florida.  He signed my photo and started to work on Becka's.  Between the two of us, we were trying to make sure that he would spell her name correctly.  We were like, "Two c's or 'cka'."  We decided it was 'cka.'  He signed the photo for Becka.  I then asked him if we could get our photo together.  He said, "Sure."  He stood up and the photo was taken.  He then asked if I was going to be at the dance tonight.  I said yea, and he said, "I'll see you tonight."

Next line was Eric's.  Before I got up to Eric, they had an announcement that because of the time constraints, the line that we were at, at that time, would be the last.  So just when I was about to get to Eric, he and Kyle were posing for photos with people.  It took a little bit for both guys to get back to their tables because of the number of people getting in between the two of them for photos.  It was so cute to watch how the guys just stood there, waiting for the next fan to have their photo taken with them.  When I got up to Eric, we both said, "Hi!"  He too, had recognized me from Salem.  I asked him how he was; he said he's doing pretty good.  I had asked him when they got them in; he said they had flown them in this morning.  He had signed my photo ... he asked me, "It's Mae with an 'e' right?"  I said, "Yeah."  We had our photo taken and he asked me if I was going to be in the game and dance, and I said, "Yes!!"  We both said we would see each other later.

Saturday -- Celebrity Auction at the Softball Game

This turned out to be one of my favorite events of the weekend.  I think it maybe, because, the competitive side of me got to come out.  With one exception (last June), I normally don't participate in the auctions of the events.  I like watching everyone bid against each other for the item being auctioned.  Having done online auctions.  I know how it is to bid and how the adrenaline gets up when you get outbid. 

Linda got us good seats.  She had saved seats for me, Elaina, Tim and Carlton.  She had left to get some refreshments.  She got back a bit later after a girl she had spoken to who was sitting in fron of where we were, had told me that they had run out of food.  We got to chatting with the couple that was sitting behind us too.  The elder gentleman even gave me his diet soda, because he said he really doesn't like diet, but that was all one of the stores had.  Elaina came in and we talked and got caught up on how things were going with her.  She looks absolutely marvelous, since the last time I saw her.  After a little while, I went up to get something to eat.  I was able to get a hotdog. 

The cast aka The Salem Sluggers made their way to the field.  Accompanied by the local cheerleaders, Judi, Matthew, John, Kyle, Bryan, Farah, Ali and Eric came out for the auction/game.

I had purchased a ticket for the Grab bag drawing they were holding.  When you purchase a ticket, you could pick a bag with different sorts of goodies inside.  I picked out my bag, and went back to my seat.  I opened the bag, and found a keychain, mints, pencils, a mug/cup holder and a ticket to tonight's dance.  I had given the dance ticket to Elaina.

One of the items up for bid is the issue of Soap Opera Weekly that had an interview with Kyle in it.  Kyle had autographed the page where the interview was.  The staff had asked Kyle to show the magazine to everyone ... he did ... he went up by the stairs and held the magazine up.  The bidding started at $20.  I remember Linda had looked at me when the bidding started.  I had decided to bid on the magazine at; I believe it was $40.  The bidding got as high at $100.  Kyle had such a surprised reaction that he showed with his lip expression ... (Couldn't see his eyes, he was wearing sunglasses :)).  I continued to bid and get outbid.  There was a point where the woan in the microphone had said, "She really wants the magazine."  I did :).  The bidding got to $150.  Kyle's reaction was like, "Oh my God!"  The bidding continued at $160, $170 ... finally, I placed a bid for $200.  Kyle was like, "WOW!"  I waited for an outbid, and waited.  The lady in the microphone said, "Going once, going twice ..."  I was like holding my breath that no one would outbid me.  When she said "SOLD for $200!"  I was like, "YES!!!"  The next thing I heard was Kyle saying, "Come on down here, Mae."  I got my money together, stood up and said, "I'm coming."  When I got down to the field, he gave me a real strong hug and said "Thank you so much."  With the magazine in his hand, he was looking around for something.  Finally he told me he would be right back and went back to the dugout - to personalize it.  I gave the money to the event representative; she had asked me if I got the magazine already.  I said, "Kyle has it."  He came back and handed me the magazine.  Before I went down to the field, Linda told me to give her the camera so she could get a photo of him and I down there.  I asked him if we could take a photo, he said, "Sure!"  Linda was getting ready to take our photo, we turned to where she was and she snapped the photo.

Linda had placed a bid and won an autographed magazine of Eric's.  After she got the magazine, one of the girls behind us (turned out to be Rhonda ;)), asked us to pose for her and she snapped the photo.

Saturday -- Softball game

While they were warming up, Alison and Farah were throwing and catching the ball between the two of them.  The ball came towards Eric.  He was able to dodge the ball at first, but the second time it hit him in the head.  Alison and Farah ran over to where Eric was, and gave him a hug and made sure he was okay.  Eric was auctioning something at the time, when the ball came his way.  After Alison and Farah came by him, he kiddingly told Alison that she now has to personalize the item as well.

The game itself was a lot of fun.  Some highlights:  Kyle had saluted the Marines that they were playing with, as they were being introduced.  He scored a run and on his way back to the stands, he had his arms out like an airplane's wings.  He also hit a three run homer.  Eric had a couple of hits, but had a collision at first base.  When he got up, he was shaking off his right hand.  He left the game after it happened and didn't return.  Farah hit a line drive double down the left field line sending in two runs.  Alison scored a run.  Matthew made an amazing catch at third base.  Bryan pulled off a trick against his opponent by holding the ball in his glove while the other player on first didn't know ... he got him out!  John Aniston was brilliant as the coach in third base giving signals to the players.  In between plays and innings, the Days cast took time to pose for photos and sign autographs.  The Days team won of course ... 11-4!!!

After the game, we got ready to go.  Linda noticed that she didn't have her camera with her.  We went back to where we had been seating to find it, only to discover that it was already gone.  We drove by CVS drugstore to get some things ... I got the latest SOD, some cookies, and a drink.  Linda got herself a new camera.  We then went back to the hotel and hung out until it was time to get ready for the dance.  

Elaina came in for the dance.  Linda started wrapping the gifts she had (portraits that Steve did).  I went downstairs to get the wrapping paper that she left in the car.  She wrapped the gifts, and after, started to get ready.  After she left, I started to get ready then Elaina and I made our way downstairs.  When we got down, Tim and Carlton were already there, both of them were doing the crossword puzzle that was in the book that we purchased the day before.  We waited together to be let in the room.  A lady finally motioned to us that it was okay to go in the room.

Saturday -- The Dance

Tim and Carlton were able to secure great seats for us.  We sat down and got settled in.  I had decided to go to the bar and get something.  Now, normally I don't drink, but I thought why not :).  I had white wine, I ended up having two glasses.  On an empty stomach, that might not have been the best idea.  The cast slowly started to walk in about 15 minutes later from the private party.  The first one I saw was Eric.  I was able to snap a photo of Eric with Tim and Carlton.  Kyle came in not too far behind Eric.  He was walking around and came by our table.  We said "Hey!"  The first thing I noticed after we said hello, was the side of his shirt.  It had white powder from the paint on the hallway walls.  I had told him he had something on the shirt, he looked at it.  I started to wipe some of it off.  There was a girl behind him and the girl at the next table; who saw the same thing, and together, we dusted off as much of the white stuff from his shirt as we could see.  The girl that was behind him, noticed that he had some of the white stuff on the back of his shirt.  She told him that she's just going to dust if off, that she's not purposely touching him in his backside.  Kyle said, "To do what you have to do to get it off."  So she did :). We talked for a little bit.  He asked me if there was anything he can do for me, and at that moment, I told him no.  He then continued to mingle.  He came back and I had asked if we could take a photo together, he agreed and the photo was taken by Carlton.  He was standing in front of me by our table; I was sitting at the time.  People had come over to ask him for his autograph, and he gave it to them.  As he was signing  one photo, he mentioned how it was the photo of himm holding "YOUR (meaning my :)) magazine" up.  I stood up, he showed me the photo.  I said how it's great that those people got their photos developed so soon.  He then remarked, "Yeah, 1 hour photo."  He said he couldn't believe how that magazine did, I said, "I got competitive, I'm sorry :)."  He smiled and continued to sign autographs.  I had brought Linda's JayBear - he was sitting at the center of the table.  Kyle noticed him and said, "You have the bear with you."  I had told him how I wanted to get a photo with Judi Evans with JayBear.  He then told me how nice Judi is.

I got to get the autographs of Matthew Ashford, John Aniston - he told me that the photo I had was a good shot of him :), Alison Sweeney, Bryan Datillo -  I had the photos of Alison and Bryan together in the sheet, after Alison got done signing, she was starting to hand me back the photo but decided to hand it to Bryan, who was behind her at the time.   It was so cute to see Alison telling Bryan, "Bryan, here sign this for her."  He did of course.  He handed the photo back to me saying, "Here you go sweetie."  After I got back to the table, I grabbed JayBear and headed for Judi Evans.  I had asked her for her autograph.  While she signed my photo, she asked me where I was from.  I told her I was from Chicago.  She said I was probably glad not to be in the cold weather right now ... I agreed :). Linda got in the room a little earlier; she had introduced me to Scott Himes, who she met at the Private Party.  It was great to finally meet him!!! (He was the Ebay seller that I bought a lot of Days Of Our Lives photos from) She then motioned to me where Alice and Samantha Bozza were sitting.  We headed for their table and introduced ourselves.  We talked for a little before heading back to our table.  As the evening went on, Linda, I, Elaina, Tim and Carlton were by Alice and Samantha's table.  They were able to ask Eric to pose for a photo with us.

After the photo, I had asked Eric how he was doing.  He said that he was doing okay ... managing.  Eric spent the late part of the evening sitting down with his leg elevated on a chair, which is good.  For most of the evening, he was walking around in the room, with ice on his injured fingers, which was already bandaged.  The evening of dancing and talking went on ... Later in the evening, Kyle had stopped by our table, and sat to talk a little, and relax.  I was a bit glad that he sat down.  He was standing and walking around all night.  He was mentioning how he was having fun.  But that at one point in the dance floor, while he was dancing; there was someone who was touching, or close to, touching his backside.  He didn't like that.  Linda had asked if this was his first out of California public appearance.  Kyle mentioned that he did the Nashville event back in the summer.  He said how country music was not really his thing.  He mentioned that his official site is opening in October.  He was saying how he was able to get in touch with the person (fan) who was currently using and he was able to talk to them about gettting that name so he could use it for his official site.  I was glad to hear that :). Linda had asked when they were leaving, and Kyle said they were all leaving early tomorrow morning.  As he was talking to us, someone came up to him and said that she had her daughter at the door, and would like to meet him.  Because there was alcohol served in the room and her daughter was under aged, she couldn't come in.  He asked her again where her daughter was, and she said at the door.  He excused himself, and told us as he was leaving, "duty calls."  He patted me in the back as he stood up and left.

We spent Sunday just relaxing.  Sunday morning we got up early to go to the restaurant downstairs and meet up with Alice and Samantha Bozza.  They were already there when we got there.  Alice had treated us to breakfast using the complimetary tickets they got.  We spent the morning talking about yesterday, Jay :), Samantha, the last event they had (they had photos with them), and the event in March.  Linda and I got our tickets for the March event during our chat too :). We then spent the rest of the day just talking and hanging out.  Elaina came in late that night and we had dinner at Applebees.

Overall, the weekend was great fun!!!  I got to see and talk to the guy that I went to Greenville to see - KYLE BRANDT!!!  It was a lot of fun hanging out with friends, and meeting new friends.  I finally got the chance to meet Scott Himes.  I had a lot of fun spending time with Alice and Samantha Bozza.