Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Approaching the building that housed Gavin’s new studio, DiDi felt a little shudder. Previously located in an old warehouse, that building had been torn down almost ten years ago as part of Monticello’s urban renaissance implemented by then Mayor Kelly McGrath.

Before departing for the bright lights and big city of Las Vegas, Kelly had done an impressive job during his two terms as Monticello’s mayor. Inventive, creative and always a big supporter of the arts, he had used Chicago as a role model - attempting to emulate what Mayor Dailey had done in beautifying that city by making its Millennium Center and downtown area user-friendly and a cultural hub affordable to all the city's residents.

Monticello was now experiencing a similar rebirth. Empty-nesters looking to downsize and young singles looking for apartments (and a way to help reduce the carbon footprint) where they could walk or ride their bikes to work were flocking to downtown.

Neglected old buildings had gotten a new face-lift with an increased demand for lofts, condos and affordable apartments.

Along with the many new restaurants, parks, trendy art galleries and a thriving theater and music scene, a new vibrancy had visited itself upon Monticello… and the Isis Building was right in the middle of it.

DiDi had forgotten that this was where Gavin Wiley had relocated his studio, but she suddenly recalled having read about it in a newspaper article announcing its opening.

Now, standing in front of the building she balked. “I’m not sure if I can go in.”

Tenderly wrapping her arm around DiDi’s waist, Mitzi insisted, “That’s why you must, honey…I think it’s time.”

“It’s been a while since you and Cliff had your office here and damn near half of Monticello came under the spell of Louis Van Dine in his demented scheme to control the city,” said Chris.

“But half the city wasn’t diagnosed with a nervous breakdown and carted out off to a mental institution in a straight-jacket! snapped DiDi. “I haven’t been in this building in more than twenty years. Give me one good reason why I would want to go in there now."

“To build up your ‘fearlessness muscle,’ said Chris consolingly. “You have a horrible memory of this place and the best way to get rid of it is to replace it with a new one.”

“Facing that fear will help you face other fears,” said Mitzi.

“Like living without Calvin?” asked Didi.

Chris nodded. “Gavin creates a very nurturing environment in his yoga classes and Mitzi and I will be right here with you.”

Didi was reluctant to face the truth of what Chris and Mitzi were saying, but in her heart, she knew they were right. Louis Van Dine’s evil plot to take over Monticello by pumping subliminal messages into the Isis Building’s offices and via WMON, the city’s local television station, had already cost her enough. She’d lost her passion for practicing law… and she’d almost lost her mind.

Overcome by a sudden infusion of fearlessness, DiDi decided she wasn’t also about to let it cost her spending quality time with two dear friends and an introduction to yoga!

“Okay,” said DiDi, taking a deep breath and linking arms with Chris and Mitza, “let’s do it!”

It took a bit of maneuvering for the three of them to make it through the revolving door without unlinking arms, but somehow they managed it.

“Boy, I can really use that yoga class now,” Mitzi remarked, rubbing her left hip that had been squashed up against the revolving door.

“Afterwards we can come back to my new loft apartment and studio space on the 24th floor and I’ll put together some lunch for us,” said Chris.

“You live here!?” asked DiDi incredulously.

“Yep,” said Chris, giving DiDi’s hand a squeeze. “Who knows… someday you might even decide to move downtown and we can be neighbors!”

“Yeah, right,” said DiDi, “maybe when hell freezes over.”

“Hmmm…wasn’t that what Louis Van Dine was plotting to do in Monticello?” queried Mitzi mischievously, “ 'cause I don’t think it worked.”

“No, that wasn’t in Monticello, Mitzz...I’m not sure, but I think that happened in Port Charles.” said Chris.

“Yeah, and I don’t think the plot worked there either.” said DiDi, unhesitatingly pushing the button to the 30th floor.

Mariann Aalda played DiDi Bannister-Stoner on Edge of Night from 1981 to its final episode on December 28, 1984. She also played Grace Battles on Guiding Light and Lena Hart on Sunset Beach on daytime and starred in the primetime series The Royal Family and First & 10 and recurred or guest-starred on such shows as Designing Women, Grace Under Fire and The Parkers, among others. With a penchant for comedy, she's also done stand-up in clubs across the country and is the co-creator of M.O.I.S.T.! -- the "sex-istential" comedy-with-music celebrating the seasoned woman -- which she co-wrote/produced/performs with Iona Morris (ex Fiona Griffin, As The World Turns).


  1. Wonderful suspense and background on Monticello's urban renewal.

  2. Very cute. I do love the nods to history.

  3. Love your work Mariann....glad to see Cliff and Mitzi finally came back to Monticello.

  4. Thank you all so much for your comments and feedback! When asked to do this, I have to admit that I was hesitant, at first...not sure whether I'd have the time to devote to it. But it seems to be writing itself. The characters are "speaking" to me. They've led full, rich lives since Edge of Night went off the air...and are glad to hear that folks are still interested in what they've been up to. :-)