Wednesday, November 10, 2010

EYE FOR AN EYE?

It had been more than a week since the big Halloween bash and DiDi had a lot to think about…

First of all, the huge success of Monticello’s annual fundraiser for UNICEF during the ten years that she’d worked on its committee as a volunteer had captured the attention of the organization’s national headquarters. They were so impressed that DiDi had been offered a paid position!

While deeply moved that her efforts had been noticed by the head honchos -- and enticed by the fact that the job’s required move to New York would give her an opportunity to be closer to Calvin, Jr. -- DiDi couldn’t see herself leaving Monticello…at least, not yet.

Then there was another job offer she had to consider, as well…and DiDi had to admit that she found this one very intriguing…

Like many other mid-sized cities, Monticello had been faced with economic challenges over the last few years -- which was the primary reason that Schuyler and Raven Whitney decided to move back.

Their move to California more than twenty years earlier had increased their (already sizable) fortune because of heavy investments in Silicon Valley technology and Southern California real estate.

When their son, Gerald (named after Sky’s beloved Aunt, Geraldine), was killed in a tragic, unsolved hit-and-run accident in 2005, the Whitneys, after setting up generous trust-funds for their older children, Charlotte and Jamey, decided to divest the remainder of their wealth through philanthropy.

Their pursuit of noble causes had taken them all over the world, but with when the economic downturn hit Monticello, Sky and Raven decided that charity should begin at home. With strong roots in the community, they wanted to be more than just investors and money-lenders, they wanted to be hands-on…which is how Sky discovered his latent knack for journalism.

After rescuing The Monticello Times from bankruptcy, his plans were to turn it over to somebody else to run. While Vance Swift, chairman of the board of directors of The Whitney Charitable Foundation headed up an executive search team to find a new managing editor, Sky decided to take over the job, himself, until the position could be filled.

As the search dragged on, Sky discovered not only was he good at his “temp job,” but that he loved it. After three months, the search was called off and “Schuyler Whitney, Managing Editor” went up on the newspaper’s masthead.

DiDi had been more than a little surprised when Sky called to offer her a position with the paper.

“Gee, I really appreciate the offer, Sky, and the fact that you’re even considering me,” said DiDi, when he called. “But for the life of me, I can’t understand why.”

“DiDi, I watched you at the fundraiser the other night and observed how you interact with people. You know all the shakers-and-movers in this town and they all seem to know you,” said Sky. “More importantly, they seem to trust you, and for a journalist that’s gold…especially for the job I have in mind.”

The job was for Didi to write a weekly column that would appear both in the print newspaper and online.

“It’ll be equal parts news, entertainment and gossip,” he said. “I’m thinking we should call it ‘Eye on Monticello’…how does that sound to you?”

She told him she’d mull it over and get back to him…which is what had gotten her out jogging in the rain at 5:30 that morning.

DiDi did her best ruminating and problem-solving in the morning. Jogging around the reservoir, she couldn’t help but think about some of the wonderful conversations she and Calvin used to have when they’d be out jogging together. She hoped he would have some good advice for her today.

It was now 6:30 and still dark out with the street lights on. Suddenly, DiDi became aware of footsteps pounding behind her. Since she was already in her cool-down and had slowed her pace to a mere brisk walk, she moved to the side to let the other runner pass -- while also gripping the spray can of mace in her right pocket and, with her left hand, feeling for the whistle around her neck.

Although the runner wooshed past her uneventfully, DiDi felt a shudder when she recognized it as the same shadowy figure she’d seen outside the Halloween ball the week before!

Stopping dead in her tracks, DiDi looked up at the street sign and realized that she was on the infamous Wonderland Lane.

To Be Continued…

***

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).

4 comments:

  1. Wonderland Lane??? Oh, Mariann -- are you going to tackle that cliffhanger?? (Would love to know Jennifer Taylor's thoughts on that, too!)

    Love the background on Sky and Raven since the series finale too! Geraldine would be proud. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. But you had to kill one of their kids? ;) Seriously though, I'm glad that more characters are getting weaved in. I enjoy learning what they've been up to. Keep on keeping on!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mariann! Awesome webisode. I loved it! It's all very intriguing. Vance Swift? Any relation to the late Logan Swift, Jamey's dad? I love that Raven and Sky had another child, and one named for Geraldine. And I love the reference to Wonderland Lane and the fact that we're now wrapped up in an Edge mystery. Excellent work! I'm totally hooked.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent job! You are brilliant...and I am so proud of you. Please keep it going. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete