Thursday, April 2, 2009

there is something about my grandpa that i still think is kind of funny

My grandpa was an amazing man. Everyone loved him. Seriously. Everybody. He ran a successful Bakery here in central Phoenix. He was a bishop for years in this area (in the 1950's? I'm not sure.) When he retired from the bakery, he was a counselor in a nearby funeral home. To this day, I still run into people that remember Wallace Stowell. Living in this area, I hear things like "He made our wedding cake" or "He was my bishop when I was a teenager" or "he helped with my mother's funeral". One friend even tells me "To this day, I carry a $10 bill in my scriptures that he gave me when I left on my mission. I could never spend it. It reminds me of him." He was the best Grandpa EVER!
But there is one other thing that some people may not have known about him. I heard a radio ad for the "Guiding Light" last month and memories flooded back. I lived with my grandparents while I was finishing college. I used to come home from my classes at ASU and get home around 2pm. I didn't have air conditioning in my car (I know . . . my kids can't believe it either). After my drive home from Tempe, I would be sweaty head to toe, the core temperature of my body would be about equal to the outside temperature, 109 degrees or so. Anyway, I would sit in Grandma and Grandpa's den, in front of the oscillating fan and cool off and watch "Guiding Light" with Grandpa. (No, I didn't get him hooked on it. I had never watched soap operas before. He was already a regular viewer).
There has been an ad on the radio recently. The ad reviewed the story line of one of the main characters : "When Phillip left Springfield, he was in one word: insane. Phillip kidnapped children, faked his own death, and spawned a daughter who is just as crazy as he is." Hmmm . . . just as I remember. I suppose I could sit down and watch it today and catch up with the characters and story line within a day or two. Same characters, same drama.

(Oh, Reva, Reva, Reva . . . how do you keep up that high drama for 25 years?)
Last month, they were promoting the show like crazy. This month, CBS is pulling the plug on "Guiding Light" after a 72-year run. That's before television was even around. I'll bet Springfield was a crazy little town even on the radio.
With "Guiding Light" all the talk in the media this week, it brings back warm fuzzy memories of me and my Grandpa. Ahhh, good times.


Lauri said...

This is SO funny. Unfortunately, I too rememaber watching soap operas with grandpa. I even got caught up in them for a while right after I had Michael. Now that I watch the snipet you put on, I can't believe I was ever so shallow to actually enjoy that. CRAZY!

You're right about grandpa though. I even had someone in California mention that he knew my grandpa. What an amazing legacy!

Katie said...

Grandpa Stowell was the greatest great grandpa as well.

But I had NO IDEA he was a soap watcher. That was fun for me to read.

Megan said...

I remember Grandpa likes his soap. Thanks for sharing the memory. I used to love to go to a ward in Az. and once they found out who my Grandpa was, I was so proud to be his Granddaughter. I love to tell the girls stories about him, I wish they could have known him.

Meghan said...

I hope I leave this legacy on to my family that your grandpa has obviously left on yours! :)

I changed my URL from to So if you want to read about all my crazy adventures and fun things in life, then you'll need to change that otherwise it won't work. YEAH! P.S. I'll drop off your radio tomorrow!

Bandanamom said...

That's hilarious. When I was young my grandma and my mother watched soaps all the time. I remember watching my grandma iron as she watched "Edge of Night" or "Young & The Restless" or "Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns". As I got older I got a little hooked on Young & the Restless myself and roughly followed the storyline on ATWT and GL. Paying at least occasional attention in college and then when I had my first baby for a while catching up with some of them. But somewhere along the line years ago I quit watching them at all. Once in a while I would catch a snippet and think to myself "I can't believe I used to watch this!". When I heard Guiding Light was getting the boot I was actually surprised it was still on - I thought all there was on network daytime these days was "Judge _(insert one of many here)____" - which I guess is our modern version of a soap opera.