Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SLAY Bells Ring… Are You Listenin’?

Wonderland Estates was a gated community built on what had been forest preserve not more than five years ago. An enclave of spectacular mansions, it was where many of the young “shakers and movers” of Monticello society now made their home.

Not all of them were to-the-manor-born, however. Many had made their millions in the technology and video-game industries and were new to Monticello. The demonic Louis Van Dine was actually the one responsible for bringing them there.

Louis Van Dine and his ego-maniacal scheme to take over the world by wiring workplaces (beginning with Monticello’s Isis Building) and cable television systems to deliver subversive subliminal suggestions became an urban legend of sorts. The incident ended up capturing the vivid imaginations of a legion of impressionable young techies and gamers who, when they became adults, moved to Monticello for the lore and ended up staying for the lifestyle.

DiDi shuddered as she stood before the imposing gates of Wonderland Estates and watched the shadowy figure that had just jogged past her punch in the security code and enter. There was something uncomfortably familiar about the slender build and flaming red-haired chignon fastidiously nestled between the mink earmuffs.

The temperature had dropped at least ten degrees in the hour or since she’d set off on her run, and snow was starting to fall… but it wasn’t the cold that was causing DiDi to continue to shiver. It was the memories of what had happened to her beyond those gates.

DiDi was one of the early victims of Van Dine’s evil plan. Her heroic attempts at trying to convince friends, colleagues and anyone else who would listen that she could sense something was terribly wrong and warning them of impending danger, had led to a diagnosis of paranoiac hysteria and being committed to an institution.

Until it was bulldozed to make way for Monticello Estates, that institution had stood on the property a scant mile behind those gates.

Now it was known as a community of great brains who had married great beauties… a place with perfectly manicured lawns and perfectly behaved children. Its residents had a reputation very similar to another town of legendary lore…Stepford.

DiDi turned on her heels and, as fast as she could, ran down the hill to get to her car…reaching for the cell phone in her pocket to call Chris Eagan as she ran.

“Hello, Chris? This is DiDi - you’re not going to believe this…”

To Be Continued…

In the meantime, check out Mariann's contribution to the conversation discussing Diversity in Daytime and share your own thoughts on the subject at!

Another Remembrance:


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. It's got to be Alicia Van Dyne! :D

  2. Mariann,
    Thank you for this blog!! I still miss Edge of Night and I'm enjoying reading about the characters again.

  3. Mariann, the photo of Chris Weatherhead is one of the most eerie shots I ever saw towards the end of the show's run, particularly since this time period was not covered in print post-series. What an excellent grab! You've definitely entered viewers into an updated future with this seamless plot:)

  4. I watched Edge of Night when I was a kid. I must confess I didn't keep up with it after it moved to ABC. I remember mostly Nicole... It would be interesting to read a synopsis of characters and actors. I am going to try to reconnect with this show and GUIDING LIGHT. I am totally into ANOTHER WORLD... P&G did great stuff; too bad the genre has become a mere shadow of itself. This is a great restart of the history, storytelling of soaps.