20170527

FALCON CREST

The TV series, 'Falcon Crest', which starred Jane Wyman as Angela Gioberti and Stephen Elliot as Douglas Channing had been described as "the inter-generational chronicle of one wine-making family, the Giobertis, and their struggle to keep tight control over their vast holdings." Abby Dalton played Jane Wyman's on-screen daughter, "I've had the first script for only a few days, so none of us is sure where the stories and characters will be going. 

"I do know that there are two branches of the central family, and there will be many conflicts. Julia has been skipped over as an heir to the vineyards and the winery. She wants to make sure that her son doesn't lose out. She's a very strong and determined woman." Bill Hayden continued, "The opening episode lays the groundwork for all sorts of future conflict and rivalry while introducing the series' principal characters in a dramatically interesting framework. 

"The main character is Jane Wyman, who provides a superbly bitchy and multi-faceted portrayal of the iron-willed, rich, powerful and often feared matriarch who is intent on orchestrating intrafamily rivalries as she expands her own power and holdings." Jane Wyman maintained, "The estate known as Falcon Crest is the building upon which the story is constructed and my character, Angela Channing, is the most crucial part of the architecture."

In one scene, Angela told her lawyer Phillip Erikson, "You know Phillip this is my favorite time of day - between light and dark." In another, "The past affects the future." And finally, "Risk is what it's all about. All of Falcon Crest was built of courage, to take chances." Anne Archer played advertising executive Cassandra Wilder observed, "The best parts for women are now (in the 1980s) in television. And the women on series are now bigger than life and powerful women. When an important television part comes along now all the major actresses will take it. It's become a new thing for stars to move back and forth between movies and roles in the prime-time soap operas."

Bill Hayden added, "In comparison to Jane Wyman's role, the rest of the characters appear low-key. However, they are finely fleshed out by a formidable cast." At one time Joan Collins watched 'Falcon Crest' told 'News America Syndicate', "They must be kidding. They have a woman on there (Sarah Douglas, Ursa in 'Superman') that's obviously supposed to be me, but it doesn't quite work."

David Selby offered, "We're a show that relies on the relationships between the characters. It's melodrama, but that doesn't mean it can't be well-written and well-acted. I like the format. You're not solving the crime of the week each night. But I think it's dangerous to rely on a cliffhanger. How do you keep topping yourself each year? Yet I know a lot of money and jobs are riding on doing just that."

In the 1982-83 season, E.G. Marshall played Henri Denault and Lana Turner played Jacqueline Perrault, the chief of the Cartel – a complex organization that in order to run it effectively the superior required courage to use the "raw and unadulterated power" available. Carlo Agretti and Angela Channing learnt about Henri Denault's activities as a Nazi collaborator during World War II which brought him sufficient wealth to build  his empire.

Henri Denault told Richard Channing, "I was a pragmatist. The opportunity was too great for me to allow archaic notions of morality and patriotism to stand in my way." Jacqueline sold Angela's son to Henri, "I remember the war just ended. Also Denault wanted a baby boy and I needed money. We all had to make compromises. We had to! My last husband's fortune gave me enough to push Denault aside and I took over (as chief of the Cartel)."

Robert Foxworth directed 15 episodes of 'Falcon Crest'. He recounted, "I enjoy the overall creative aspect of directing. I like coming up with images and staging and working with actors. I like having them do new things. I'm very easy as a director because I like actors. I want to see them explore themselves." Anne Archer acknowledged, "One thing I can't get used to is how fast they work on these shows. You just finish a rehearsal and it seems they're printing the film. You have to deliver the goods on the first take. I've noticed that the people who are on these shows give remarkable performances. They know their characters so well they become identified with the person they play."

Gina Lollobrigida played Francesca Gioberti, the Italian half-sister of Angela. Gina told the press, "I thought we were doing a rehearsal and the director says, 'That's a take.' I don't mind speed in movies. I have always worked very hard. In the first picture I did with Frank Sinatra ('Never So Few'), they were rewriting the script every night. Frank said, 'If you want another take, just say so,' which was unusual for him. After every scene he said, 'It's OK, Gina?'"

Of Francesca, "They changed the character and the situations to make it more suitable. My character is Italian, and that's good. She and Angela have the same father. He went off to Italy, met a pretty girl and had another daughter. Naturally, Angela is not happy to find a new sister she has to share her land and wealth with." Leslie Caron played a French philanthropist from Chase Gioberti's past, Nicole Sauguet.

Leslie remarked, "Television has always made me nervous. The pace is so fast. They give you the script the night before and you have to memorize it quickly. Also I am an actress who likes to move a lot. I don't like to be static. On TV, the director often asks you to stay put. The staging is more limited. It's mostly closeups. I am not becoming a permanent member of the 'Falcon Crest' cast. I appear in the series just long enough to create havoc. I play a most wicked, wicked woman."

Before 1987, Leslie had lived in England for 12 years, in the U.S. for 8 years and in France for 11 years. "I always carried a French passport and I have returned to Paris because it is one of the most cultural cities in the world – with so many museums, dance companies and theaters. In Paris, there are 360 films a week to choose from and 100 plays. Many of the films are old classics.

"Frenchmen stand in long queues to see them. We look at films differently than Americans do. I have an apartment near Musee D'Orsay with a view of the Seine. It is a wonderful city in which to live, and it is so close to all the other beautiful European capitals. After 11 years in Paris it is very difficult for me to think about living elsewhere."

Earl Hamner expressed, "Some people say that Earl Hamner has betrayed his commitment, as if 'Falcon Crest' is something shabby. I think it's a valid exploration of human characters and family situations. The public gets vicarious thrills from watching the rich take pratfalls and suffer. Richness seems to magnify drama." 'Knight-Ridder News Service' pointed out, "There is one more member of the family who needs explanation. He is a bird wearing a feathered hood and sitting on a pedestal in the last scene.

"Angela and Lance both pet him as awkwardly as if they were rubbing sandpaper. They never bother to explain about him, so here goes: The bird is a falcon used in the ancient sport of falconry. He wears a hood to blind him and keep him docile. In the sport, humans remove the hoods and use the birds to hunt with. They kill, then return to perch on their masters' fists."

Earl stated, "We do human drama that seems to please big audiences because of legitimate conflicts: traditional family vs. fractured family, power vs. weak, wealth vs. poor." Robert Foxworth disclosed, "We shoot all up and down the coast, and, when we're up in the Napa Valley, I get to go to some of the best restaurants every night. The best thing in the world is to relax in one of those mud baths they have up there, then go out to a restaurant and drink some of that wonderful wine."

Set in California's wine-making capital, Napa Valley (45 miles north of San Francisco), the location was also one the state's most popular tourist attraction, especially during the weekend and throughout the summer. The centerpiece of 'Falcon Crest' was the 12,000-square-foot Victorian house, Villa Miravalle (meaning Valley View) built in 1885 by Albert Scroepfer.

Villa Miravalle sat on top of the 257-acre Miravalle estate, which was also home to the Spring Mountain Winery founded in 1968 and the 24-acre St. Clements Vineyards. Michael and Shirley Robbins bought Villa Miravalle in 1974, renamed the house Falcon Crest in 1981 for the TV series. As noted, "The house is a memento of another era." The exterior of the house and the vineyard scenes shown on television were filmed at Napa Valley.

By the 1983-84 TV season, the Falcon Crest wines went on sale. Michael Robbins, a lawyer who also studied winemaking in France told the press his wines were made in the French tradition. Spring Mountain produced 3000 cases of the first Falcon Crest Napa Valley Chardonnay 1980 which sold for $13.99 a bottle and 1500 cases of the Falcon Crest Napa Valley Gamay Beaujolais 1981 which sold for $6.00 a bottle. Of the grapes on 'Falcon Crest', Robert Foxworth revealed, "They're all plastic. The studio brought in 5 tons of plastic grapes to hang on those vines."

20170523

PARALLEL UNIVERSES

In October 1967, the TV series 'Star Trek' explored the parallel universe in the episode 'Mirror, Mirror' written by Jerome Bixby. In the episode, Spock was preparing to beam up Captain Kirk, Scott, Dr. McCoy, and Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise from the Halkan home world when a storm passing through the Halkan system transported the four into a parallel universe where the Federation was replaced by an Empire spearheaded by Spock with a goatee. 

In 1979, the morning cartoon series, 'SuperFriends' paid homage to the volcano eruption which destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum back in 79AD. In the episode, 'Universe of Evil', Superman tried to stop Mount Vesuvius from exploding only to find himself switched from his universe of good into a parallel universe of evil. Mount Vesuvius last erupted in 1944, just before the end of World War II. 

In October 1996, the TV sitcom, 'Seinfeld' took viewers into the parallel universe known as Bizarro World written by David Mandel when Elaine discovered her latest ex-boyfriend Kevin was the reverse of Jerry who did everything the exact opposite. In one scene, the trio of Jerry, George and Kramer came face to face with their exact opposites Kevin, Gene and Feldman. 

"The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957," the Australian professor in physics, Howard Wiseman, told the 'Daily Mail' in 2014. "In the well-known 'Many-Worlds Interpretation', each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. All possibilities are therefore realized – in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In others, Australia was colonized by the Portuguese.

"But critics question the reality of these other universes, since they do not influence our universe at all. On this score, our 'Many Interacting Worlds' approach is completely different, as its name implies." The 'Daily Mail' reminded, "The Many Worlds theory was first proposed by Hugh Everett, who said that the ability of quantum particles to occupy 2 states seemingly at once could be explained by both states co-existing in different universes. Instead of a collapse in which quantum particles 'choose' to occupy one state or another, they in fact occupy both, simultaneously."

Dr. Michael Hall added, "The beauty of our approach is that if there is just one world, our theory reduces to Newtonian mechanics, while if there is a gigantic number of worlds it reproduces quantum mechanics. In between it predicts something new that is neither Newton's theory nor quantum theory. We also believe that, in providing a new mental picture of quantum effects, it will be useful in planning experiments to test and exploit quantum phenomena."

At a conference held in Dedham, Massachusetts, back in 1984, fifty scientists met to find out if the universe was one big computer. 'The Los Angeles Times' reported, "The information revolution created by the computer is beginning to have a broad impact on the philosophy of science and on the fundamental way scientists view the world. 

"Not only are computers making their way as useful tools in the application of science and of business, they are also starting to reshape basic ideas about how the universe is organized. The change may help scientists solve major problems in physics, biology and chemistry. The notion here is that the universe is one big computer. The scientists met to consider what computers might tell them about physics and biology, and what physics and biology might tell them about how to build computers that think. 

"Their goal was to explore the question: What do computers, physics and biology have in common? Among the problems they talked about were evolution and the origin of life, the structure of atoms and molecules, the organization of the brain and neural networks, and the description of a wide variety of physical processes that are lumped together as 'chaos' – defying all efforts to explain them with current mathematics."   

Compuer scientist Daniel Hillis: "Maybe chaos is really a computing machine. There’s a sense that something is about to happen in scientific things. We understand a lot more about information than we did 20 years ago (say 1964). This has reverberations in all fields of science. The microscope was a tool for exploring things. The parallel computer will be a tool for us to explore things that are too big for us to figure out."  

Computer scientist Joseph Traub: "In the history of science, we’ve always had some kind of model to explain the world. After Newton, it was masses and springs. But computer concepts are now (in 1984) being used to build models in physics and biology. For the next few decades (1990s and beyond), the computer is going to be the paramount paradigm used to build models. It’s going to dominate our lifetimes."

Physicist Stephen Wolfram: "The computer is a useful practical tool; that’s widely appreciated. What's not so well appreciated is that the concepts on which computation is founded may be of considerable significance in understanding all sorts of science. The reason that computer theory can be applied to physics is that physics is just computation. There is actually a chance that there will be a major advance in scientific thought as the result of computational and information ideas."

Biologist Michael Conrad: "Biology is even more complicated. It brings in many modes of thinking that don't fit into mathematics. The amount of information processing in nature is much more than you can fit in any computer." As reported, "Living creatures have some self-organizing principle that maintains their stability despite numerous failures – small and large – along the way. 

"Computers have no such principle. In general, the problem is that humans have been constantly learning since birth, and they are somehow able in an instant to find the appropriate bit of practical knowledge to fit most situations. The scientists at the conference here believe that organization is somehow the key to solving the problem, but there are scant ideas for getting a machine to do it. 

"Despite small areas of progress (at the time), artificial intelligence, the goal of computer scientists since computers were developed, remains an intractable problem (at the time). As long as the tasks are severely restricted, computers can do them. But when faced with real-world situations, computers fall on their faces (at the time)." Researcher Tad Hogg: "If you change a few atoms in a rock, the rock is still the same. But if you change a computer program just a bit, you get complete garbage out."

20170521

PARALLEL UNIVERSES

In his 1988 book, physicist Fred Alan Wolf argued, "We all exist as conspiracies of parallel universes. All our experiences that we say are occurring here and now are also occurring in other universes. Our knowledge of something real and out there gives us the individual experiences we have. The ability to decide what's what and when's when, and where's where – our sense of experience and our sense of will that moves us through space and time with matter – can only result, according to the parallel universes interpretation of quantum physics, when there is a conspiracy, a merging together of the different choices in different universes." 

The parallel universes referred to the science-fiction concept of 2 worlds exisiting side by side but never intersecting. Nickie McWhirter elaborated, "There are many universes, according to some learned astrophysicists. Each universe is a duplicate of the next, but every decision made by every being has a consequence. Every consequence changes something and influences the next decision." 

Tony Gabriele added, "Parallel universes pop up a lot in science fiction. The idea is, when somebody gets in a time machine and travels backward in time, and then changes something in the past, he creates a divergent parallel universe in which future events may turn out differently from the events in the original universe, as a result of what he altered." Henry Ford coined the phrase time travel.  

Tony Gabriele continued, "But I'm told that you can mess up the future inadvertently, through unintended consequences of your actions. Like, you travel in time back to, say, 1952, and there in the past you stop for breakfast at a diner. Except that while everybody else in that 1952 diner is chowing down on sausages and hash browns, you, being the 1990s health nut that you are, keep asking the waitress how come they don't have any oat bran cereal with skim milk and fat-free muffins.

"And because of that the waitress gets distracted and lets some customer's breakfast get cold, and because of that the customer leaves in a huff, and because of that he doesn't watch his driving and rear-ends somebody's Studebaker, and because of the resulting traffic tie-up the local congressman has to prolong his meeting with the local factory owner and misses his train to Washington, and because of that an important bill is defeated in committee, and so on and so on, and the next thing you know you've gotten Senator Joe McCarthy elected president in this parallel universe. All because you couldn't eat some hash browns like everybody else."

In the parallel universe of television in 1982, 'Knots Landing' tried to mirror the reality of the other world by tackling the energy crisis (fuel shortages and high cost). Written by Sara Ann Friedman, Gary Ewing decided to mortgage his Seaview Circle house in the cul-de-sac to partner with Abby in an investment on new technology - methanol. The methanol refinery was in Mexico.

However there was a law which would not allow methanol from being imported across the border to prevent Mexican bringing moonshine into the U.S. Hence Gary, Abby and Val flew to Sacramento to convince the state senator Riker to get the law repeal or they would go out of business. Senator Riker was also the chairman of the repeal bill committee. The trio were hoping he could get it to the floor to be voted on in the current session of the senate legislature.

The bill was called FC 90-97 repeal of a grain alcohol import restriction. Initially senator Riker refused asking the trio to hang on until the next session. He claimed there were more pressing issues which had to take priority such as 6 crime legislations to deal with plus a nursing home regulation bill. In the end, Abby was able to convince senator Riker to assist.

Abby: There are people who have a lot of money and they use that money to get what they want. There are people who have power and they use that. You use whatever you have, whatever tools you can find, whatever resources are available. Use them to get what you want.

Valene: I think that I better keep my eyes on you all the time.

Abby: How else are you going to learn?

Asking the question "Did the universe come into being by chance or by design?", the astronautical engineer Eugene F. Mallove made the observation in 1985: "Some cosmologists are proposing that the universe has been perfectly 'designed' for life in a way that could not have happened 'by chance'. Cosmologists are far from claiming a 'proof of God'. Yet in the open scientific literature, they are exploring the very meaning of 'chance creation'.

"Scientists believe that life, as we know it on Earth, originated and evolved on a planetary surface only by the grace of many congenial circumstances – not too warm, not too cold, the right chemicals, the right energies, neither too little nor too much stability in the environment. The reason cosmologists are so astonished by the 'coincidences' they find in nature is that our universe is set up to do 3 very unusual things: fester the complexity epitomized by life, permit highly complex objects to stay intact over long periods of time and yet allow for gradual change that can lead to even greater complexity.

"Our universe allows something as intricate as our genetic code to come together chemically from very basic materials. It also allows that code to survive unchanged for eons. If the universe were hostile to complexity, the molecules might break down in short order, or never form at all and, of course, we would no longer exist. Yet it does allow for change, and therefore evolution.

"In some alternate universe a crystal, for example, might develop that was very complex and very long-lived, but if it could not evolve, there is no apparent way that it could ever become self-aware. Why is the universe set up in such a precise, delicate, highly improbable way? These physicists ask. There is an infinity of ways that the universe could have been set up that would have been more 'simple', with fewer improbably coincidences.

"Of course, in almost any of these 'simpler' universes, the odds for the development of anything as complicated as life – no matter how you imagine it – would be nil. In short, the cosmologists are asking why the laws of physics are as they are – with the precise forms and exact numerical constants that repeatedly show up in their calculations. It is extraordinary that science has come so far that it can question the 'why' and not just the 'what and how' of physics.

"Then there is the 'many worlds' interpretation of quantum mechanics. This theory, invented by Hugh Everett III in the 1950s, suggest that the universe continuously bifurcates at each measurement by an 'observer' into a treelike infinity of parallel and disconnected worlds. All possible things happen 'somewhere'. In one universe, a cat dies; in another he continues to live. So we have a set of infinitely expanding parallel universes in this theory, too – more opportunity to get anthropic 'coincidences' by sheer chance."

20170520

THE DAY THE BUBBLE BURST

Black Tuesday - October 29, 1929. Described as "Wall Street's darkest hour", the fateful day was remembered as "the day that shook the world" and saw the nation lost $50 billion, some 10 times the Union budget of the Civil War, kicking off one of America's bleakest decades – the Great Depression. Believing a lot of people really did not understand what happened, 20th Century-Fox "spared no expense to make the memory cut deep and true" in recreating the Roaring '20s in a 3-hour TV movie. 

The movie, based on Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts' 1979 book, 'The Day the Bubble Burst', was filmed in September 1980 but kept "in the can" until February 7, 1982. Up against Part I of the 1978 movie 'Superman', 'The Day the Bubble Burst' could only manage a rating of 12.7%. 'Superman' Part I attracted a rating of 29.6% (about 24.2 million TV households) and a 42% share of the audience (roughly 55 million men and women were counted watching). 

Some $750,000 were spent to build the same replica of the New York Stock Exchange as it was on the day the market went mad. Around 600 extras were reportedly hired to appear in the stock exchange. After watching 'The Day the Bubble Burst', viewers would understand – graphically the effect that the inflation, subsequent crash and depression had on average citizens across the country. 'The Day the Bubble Burst' was regarded "a magical piece of remembrance." 

Using the real names of almost all the individuals who played a major role in the financial disaster, David Ogden Stiers (Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester in 'M*A*S*H') played William Crapo Durant, the founder of General Motors. Durant wanted unlimited credit on the runaway market asked Herbert Hoover to ease the Federal Reserve Board's control on Reserve rates, which was putting a brake on credit. 

Speaking to 'United Press International' in 1982, David Ogden Stiers maintained, "It's not 'important' – it's imperative (to undertake different acting projects). I feel the need to expose myself to other experiences, writers, actors and audiences to bring new energy, attitudes and a heightened awareness of my value to an on-going project. It's a matter of need for me. I attended Juilliard as an actor but I also studied music there. 

"I'm slowly opening a second career with a fair working knowledge of music by conducting symphony orchestras. There is tremendous joy in conducting. Everything must be relayed through the tip of the baton. It's an intriguing combination of academic knowledge, style, body language, rhythm, timing and a test of memory. Shakespeare, of course, is what I enjoy doing most. Playing his roles fills up in me what TV erodes. 

"It allows me to use my mind and my feelings and the sum of my experiences. The wonderful part is that you can appear in Shakespeare again and again and never hit it, all the while learning more and more about yourself. Shakespeare is a test like none other for the actor. Working in those classic plays touches me most deeply, uses me most deeply. How can there be anything more useful than dealing with the basic themes of life which were Shakespeare's concerns? Working in his plays gives me more artillery to bear on episodic television which is hard work in itself, more toilsome but less spiritually rewarding." 

Audra Lindley (Mrs. Roper in 'Three's Company') played financial astrologer Evangeline Adams who had 100,000 loyal subscribers to her newsletter. Audra acknowledged, "She was amazing. She was very scientific about her predictions. She called it her 'beloved science.' She was no charlatan. She seemed to have psychic powers. And the most important people in the world came to her – J.P. Morgan, Mary Pickford, Edward VII. She got them out of the market before the crash. 

"I only worked in one scene with the other actors. After that, most of my work was spent doing the astrological charts for the cameras (at a mansion in Pasadena, California). The only other actor in the whole film who worked longer than 3 days was Richard Crenna. He worked 4 days. Evangeline Adams was a Marie Dressler type, so I’m not quite sure why they picked me for the role. I couldn't play Evangeline Adams as she really was. That wouldn't mean anything. Joe (director Joseph Hardy) and I had talks about how to play her dramatically and symbolically." 

Donna Pescow of 'Saturday Night Fever' was not even born when the 1929 stock market crashed. She was born in 1954. On 'The Day the Bubble Burst', Donna played a woman who father had lost over $5 million and the business he built. "Gloria was part of a speakeasy lifestyle and a decadent society that did things on impulse, yet she was an intelligent woman who was also a writer and spoke several languages fluently. She actually led two lives. 

"All the insanity that was going on with the margins (stock bought on 90% margin) … It's interesting for people who don’t know anything about it and, of course, for people who do know about it to see it in retrospect. It was all just sort of a big Monopoly game, using real money. They're (referring to the various stories in the picture) totally unrelated except in the final part of the movie, when you see how and why the crash affected each person. It's like a mini-series within itself, or 'The Poseidon Adventure' with tickertape." 

Relying on 14.5 million words of raw material from transcripts of interviews, newspaper cuttings and worldwide research, Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts wrote the 484-page book (with source notes and bibliography) 'The Day the Bubble Burst'. Wendell Cochran then 'Des Moines Register' business editor remarked, "It is one of the days that haunt American history, not unlike December 7, 1941 or November 22, 1963. 

"The events of the day were similar to Pearl Harbor, which we regard as having dragges us into a war we had already been fighting for most of two years, and the day that John F. Kennedy died in Dallas, which we mark as the end of Camelot, but which we know had already started to rot in faraway Asian jungles. Still, we Americans like things neat and clean, to have beginnings and ends. So we have come to think of October 29, 1929 as a watershed, as the start of the Great Depression. 

"It was not. It was, precisely, what Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts say it was: The Day the Bubble Burst. And that is one of the most useful points in this readable volume: That things had been careening out of control for months – years, perhaps – prior to the stock-market crash. Somehow, a great portion of the population had come to believe that economic nirvana had arrived, that things only went up in value. It was, after all, the age of unreason. Speculation fever swept the country. 

"Our boys had dashed across the ocean to rescue Europe from the bootheels of the Huns. Prohibition, the noble experiment, was law. Women were given the vote. Anything was possible. Forget that Germany financed its huge war reparations debt by borrowing from those to whom it 'owed' the money, setting off the potential for explosive inflation that would bring a beast to power (Adolf Hitler). Ignore falling corn prices. If American factory output slumps, impose high tariffs to keep out foreign goods. 

"A good many of the events described in this well-researched and well-written account were illegal, even in 1929. A great many more of them are illegal today (1979), thanks to those events (50 years ago). From the standpoint of a business journalist, there’s another troubling theme in the fabric of this book. In short, too many journalists forgot to serve the readers. And we always get into trouble when we do that."

Bobby Ray Miller observed, "It's an exciting book for those who like to read tales about great events. It uses previously untapped memoirs, documents, private papers, and many interviews with survivors of the event. The authors capture the feeling of the era, the hope that ruled the investors before the bubble burst – and the despair of the aftermath. This book focuses on people all over the country whose lives are affected by the market and the crash.

"It also follows many more who wheeled and dealed their ways into and out of millions of dollars. This is not history for the textbooks. Textbooks are too dry for this kind of treatment. This is interesting history, alive with people and the events that affected them. It is both a fascinating story and fascinating history." Larry Eichel added, "'The Day the Bubble Burst' offers its share of images that linger after the reading. It was an event, that, perhaps even more than World War II, would scar a generation, fundamentally altering attitudes about the value of money and the promise of the future. The authors are journalists, not economists, and so can be forgiven the total absence of economic analysis in their account."

20170514

TELEVISION

Around 1983, Donna Mills bought a green Jaguar. Donna informed Fred Robbins, "As long as a car got me where I was going, it didn't matter a bit to me what kind it was. I've had okay cars but nothing special, ever. About the time I knew 'Knots Landing' would be a hit, and was asking myself what I would really like to have to celebrate that, I found myself spending a lot of time driving to and from the studio. And I suddenly thought, 'That's it! I'm going to have a very special car, a beautiful car, a Jaguar.'" 

Joan Van Ark told 'TV Guide' in 1989, "I've known Donna through 3 different cars. When she joined the show, she was driving a cherry red Mustang. We all had our 450SL Mercedes and thought it was kind of small town, a high-school cheerleader car, but she liked it. Since then she has had the stars classic dark green Jaguar and what we call the diva car - the beige Jaguar. But, you know, all of them express a part of her personality." 

On the show, Donna played Abby, a bookkeeper at Knots Landing Motors. When Donna first appeared, David Jacobs recalled, "Abby drove up in a Volvo station wagon with 2 kids." Donna remarked, "Abby Ewing is a role model for women. I think she was one of the first characters to successfully juggle her children and a career, and she goes toe-to-toe and doesn't back off." 

Psychiatrist Dr. Gregory Young was working at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Dayton in 1983 had spent close to 20 years researching 12 styles of personality and wrote his findings in the 1978 book, 'Your Personality And How To Live With It'. Speaking to Barbara Burtoff, Dr. Gregory Young explained, "Why 12 and not 13, or 3 or 3 million? I don't know. 

"What I do know is that since I first began to recognize separate styles in my psychiatric practice, I have encountered only 12 distinct styles. Together with my staff and the personnel of several hospitals, I have identified these same 12 again and again, in persons of all ages, races, ethnic groups, economic levels, educational levels, both sexes. Each style had its fundamental attitudes, strengths and weaknesses."

Barbara told readers, "You won't get results after an hour or two of viewing 'Dallas', 'Dynasty', 'General Hospital' or 'Guiding Light', but if you program yourself to watch on a regular basis, these shows can be used as teaching tools for understanding personality styles. Dr. Young even has some of his patients tuning in between appointments. He keeps video equipment in his office and discusses behavior of the characters at therapy sessions, occasionally with instant show replay. 

"Dr Young says it is productive because the soaps are teeming with emotional conflicts waiting to be resolved and easily identified personality styles. Under 'Influencing Personality', TV examples are Abby on 'Knots Landing', Blake Carrington on 'Dynasty', George Jefferson on 'The Jeffersons', Scotty Baldwin on 'General Hospital' and Jonathan Hart on 'Hart To Hart'. Dr. Young says there is nothing casual about this man or woman. 

"He/she is thorough, systematic, efficient and in need of controlling every aspect of life. A perfectionist, when he/she orders a 3-minute egg and it is cooked 3 minutes and 10 seconds, he/she knows the difference and registers disappointment. If this individual is your friend, you can count on him/her to be a good storyteller, articulate, persuasive and ready to take responsibility and help if you have a problem. 

"This person is so punctual, you can set your watch by him/her. This individual doesn’t know how to kill time. Even leisure hours are programmed to be spent productively. This may wear on your nerves after a while. At work, he/she functions best when allowed to be the team leader or given well-defined responsibilities. He/she can be difficult as the boss, the influencing personality tends to be rigid, inflexible, set in his/her ways of thinking. 

"This person never has small problems, only crises. When something does go wrong, he/she sees it as a catastrophic reminder that he/she is less than perfect. In dating and marriage, the influencing person likes to dominate, manipulate, change your ways. He/she is strongly opinionated and can be a bully. If children have the same personality, friction and conflict are certain."

Donna Mills left in 1989. She recounted, "My character went off to Japan to be the trade ambassador to Japan, and I think she's probably taken over the country by now (2005)." 'Knots Landing' "was born in an altogether different TV era – but it moved with the times, never losing its suburban-1970s soul. Its central characters kept a vestige of their 1960s idealism," Deborah Wilker recognized. Michele Lee offered, "Karen was always an activist. I'd like to say I don't know where she'd be. Most likely she'd be involved with the community politically in some way. I think she could go in many different directions."

"But standard 1980s production costs of about $2 million a show were suddenly too high in the 1990s," Deborah continued. David Jacobs maintained, "I think 'Knots' could run forever. This show wasn't ready to come to an end. If it had, it would have been like someone who was still healthy, but had a heart attack. Like when my grandfather died at 74. He wasn't ready.

"We've never been timely; we've never been trendy. We never cared whether Reagan was president. We never tried to be 'Hill Street (Blues)'. We could have been renewed if we'd take a few hundred thousand dollars off the license fee. We got renewed this year (the last year 1993) because we took a big cut in the fee. That made it hard to tell good stories."

Speaking to 'FYI Television Inc.', Deborah Wilker and 'Gannett News Service', Michele Lee pointed out, "There was just a certain innocence about the show that represented a kind of hope. It was real. There was never anything like it on television. It's not all TV's fault. The viewer has really changed. We're in a different world today. I'm not sure we'll ever see the same ratings shares we saw years ago.

"This cul-de-sac was a microcosm of our society where people just wanted a little bit of what was good in America. We changed as America did. We went through 4 presidencies, and you saw it reflected on the cul-de-sac, whereas on other shows you wouldn't see that. You have to remember that 90% of what we do really relates to people."

Lawrence Kasha added, "We are always asking ourselves could it happen this way. We keep young couples living in tiny apartments. We add drama while characters are doing everyday chores – folding laundry, cleaning the house, preparing lunch, getting their children ready for school. Things happen in the supermarket. You don't see this on the other shows." 

In 1983, an exhibition celebrating the 25 years (1958-1983) of designs by Yves Saint Laurent was held at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New Jersey. In an interview with the 'Asbury Park Press', Yves Saint Laurent enthused, "When I saw the exhibition, I was so struck that the things I designed in 1962 are very close to what I designed in 1982 and 1983. I think what I made in 1962 could be worn now (in 1983) and things made in 1983 could have been worn in 1962."

'Asbury Park Press': What advice would you give to aspiring designers? Should they study fashion design or apprentice and work for an established designer as you did with Dior? 

Yves Saint Laurent: I tell students it's nice to have dreams. But before dreaming comes reality you have to learn the technique, the cuts, the basic things of the work. 

'Asbury Park Press': What percentage of your business is done in the United States? And what about in France? What, if any, impact has the strong U.S. dollar had on your business? 

Yves Saint Laurent: In the United States, it’s one-quarter. We never take France alone. We take France as part of Europe. In Europe, it's a one-quarter, also. Japan is 30% now (in 1983). The impact of the dollar has been excellent for us. It's not because the franc has been devalued. We have a lot of licensed agreements who bring to France royalties. And also, with all the exports we do, we are selling more than ever. 

More American people and other people in the world buy more of our fashions. I have had a very long love story with America. From the beginnings, the Americans were among the first to recognize my work – always. The first person I put into my company when I opened my own couture house with an American was Mack Robinson of Atlanta, a businessman. Then after I had another man important to me in the company, behind the financial end, Richard Salomon, now of Charles of the Ritz. 

Americans really helped me at the beginning, and I will never forget them. This show is my confirmation of my feelings about American people. What is happening today (in 1983) with designers is fashion, and what I'm doing is style. That's where there is the difference. Fashion is like mathematics. It's not just not to make dreams real. It has to be technical. A woman has to be comfortable and elegant and seductive in clothes. 

I have to design 4 collections a year – 2 ready-to-wear and 2 haute couture collections. I have no time to go out for public relations. I work hard. I am a man of work. I spend a lot of time in my house in Paris, in my palace in Morocco, and in my castle in Normandy. I love my friends and go out for lunch and dinners. But most of my time is spent in working. 

My work room is my studio with clothing systems. Other systems are in charge of directing what I do and create, such as a print or a design for a dress or a fabric which is used afterward for bed linens, for towels, for ties, for sweaters, anything that comes under license. In perfuming, I give my own creation in a different way. I decide the name and the scent, such as Options. I did a couture line called Options. I was in the mood for Options and decided to create it. I also do the packaging for the design. 

Worldwide, perfumes excluded, retail sales are $1 billion. Perfume is $400 million. Options, by itself, accounts for retail prices of $200 million. It’s No. 1 today (in 1983). The U.S. is 35% of the world market in perfume. French manufacturing brings to the collection, worldwide, $75 million for ready-to-wear made in France and sold exclusively in our boutiques throughout the world, called Saint Laurent Rive Gauche line. The U.S.A. represents $27 million in those sales. 

It was understood perfumers were mostly employed by companies that create fragrances commissioned by clients such as couturiers Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren. Jean-Claude Ellena told Laren Stover in 1980, "We work as a team. If you don't like anonymity, you leave (and start one own company) … but it is necessary for people to know that perfumers, and not designers, create the perfume."

20170513

PERFUME

By 1988, perfume had become a $3-billion industry in France. Around the world it was a $10-billion retail business. "Perfume is as old as civilization," Jill Johnson Piper explained. As reported, "The literal translation of the Latin phrase per fum is 'by smoke', which reveals its ancient purpose as an incense offering to the gods. In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible the use of fragrance for personal as well as religious uses is noted. 

"A significant milestone in the history of fragrance was the reign of Cleopatra, 'the eternal feminine,' who believed in every means of overwhelming the senses. She used scented lotions on herself and even on the sails of her barge. From her time on, perfume has been used by women in ever increasing amounts." The 'Los Angeles Times' observed, "The Old Testament tells how Queen Esther bathed '6 months with oil of myrrh and 6 months with sweet odors and with things for the purifying of the women' before her marriage to King Ahasuerus of Persia."

1961 Oleg Cassini: Does perfume really make a woman more attractive to a man, or is it just something pleasant to wear? 

Edouard Cournand: Let me ask you a question. Does champagne do anything to you or does it just quench your thirst? Perfume is like a glass of champagne. It actually stimulates the nervous system. If you are in a happy mood, or a nostalgic mood, perfume will intensify it. The same is true of a romantic mood. 

Jill Johnson Piper continued, "Cleopatra bathed herself in fragrant oils and salves before her rendezvous with Marc Antony and Caesar." Jedu Bin Hassan added, "It was the fragrance of this beautiful woman that brought Rome to ruin. From that inception, perfume has carried its weight in gold. At one time, you could trade precious oils for diamonds and lapis lazuli." 

As understood, "Crusaders brought perfume from Palestine to Europe during the Middle Ages. As commerce spread through the Renaissance, perfumes were introduced to France and England, and ultimately to the New World, where colonists spent $2.3 billion on personal fragrances in 1986." Perfumes were known in France as "noses". The world capital of perfumery was Grasse in France. "When western Europe settled down to a high degree of civilized society, kings and emperors brought perfume into prominence for personal use and France was established as a leading producer of fragrances as early as the 1530s."

Oleg Cassini: You say perfume acts like champagne. The effects of champagne can be traced scientifically. Do we know anything about the scientific response to perfume?

Edouard Cournand: Oh, yes. Scientific findings have established that odors bypass the reasoning areas of the brain. Scents are known to release hormones into the blood stream and to actively stimulate the motor impulse.

"Far more is spent on promoting a perfume in modern France than on creating one," Stanley Meisler reported. "It cost Christian Dior $11 million in 1985 just to launch the perfume 'Poison' on the European market." Robert Ricci remarked, "Perfume is changing from a universe of charm into a universe of shock." To clarify, "A perfume is an alcoholic compound that generates a scent pleasing to the human sense of smell.

"The compound is made up of any or all of 3 primary materials: fragrant vegetable materials such as the petals of jasmine; animal scents such as musk from the male musk deer of the Himalayas, and chemical synthetics that reproduce fragrances such as violet and vanilla that are hard to capture naturally." Jacques Polge created 'Coco' maintained, "A formula for a perfume is not a chemical formula. A formula is worthless unless you know your primary materials.

"The formula lists the primary materials and the proportions used of each. But there may be at least 20 varieties of each material. You must know them. We keep the formula for ‘Chanel No. 5’ in a safe under lock and key. But, if you stole it, you would not know what to do with it. I get 60 to 100 ideas a year. Very few, of course, ever become a perfume that is marketed. Those are the limits of all composers of perfumes. But that does not hold me back."

Robert Ricci insisted, "90% of women choose a perfume for its fragrance, only 10% for its concept and marketing. I'm not against marketing, but the primordial thing is creating the fragrance." 'Scripps Howard News Service' informed, "Technology has changed the way perfumes are manufactured, but the basic principles remain unchanged. Essential oil are extracted from flowers and plant substances, and then blended with animal substances, synthetics, alcohol and water."

Tom Yaegger of 'Maybelline' told the press that in order to slow the volatility rate (the rate at which fragrance evaporated), fixatives, supplied by animal substances such as musk and ambergris, had been added to the blend. Other additives, including anti-oxidants and sunscreens, were added to prolong the shelf life of the product. "The concentration of essential oils in a fragrance determines whether it will be a perfume (parfum), a cologne or a toilet water (eau de toilette).

"The concentration of perfume is 10% to 20% oils dissolved in 80% to 90% alcohol. Colognes contain 3% to 5% perfume oils dissolved in 80% to 90% alcohol, with water making up the balance. Toilet waters have about 2% oils to 60% to 80% alcohol, the balance consisting of water. Based on the dominant characteristics of essential oils, fragrances are divided into 8 basic families, such as Oriental, floral, aldehydic, floral bouquets, modern blends, woodsy-mossy-leafy, spicy blends, and semi Orientals.

"To test a fragrance, it is necessary to wear the scent for several hours, because the smell you perceive in the bottle will be different from the smell once it's applied to your skin. In the bottle you'll smell the first note, which has the highest concentration of alcohol. On your skin, the first note will evaporate within 15 to 20 minutes, and the complex second note will emerge. After about an hour, you will be able to detect the final note. Because of the different acidic level of every skin, fragrance operates differently on everyone. Add to that the vagaries of personal preference, and fragrance becomes a subjective experience."

Jean-Claude Ellena made the point, "A perfumer may make 100 efforts to arrive at his idea. It must be seen as an artistic effort. You have an idea and you try to approach it, but you may never really reach it. Whether a product is natural or synthetic has no importance for the perfumer, but it's hard to convey that to the public. The result is what counts.

"There's a slow evolution of the perfume as the different products evaporate. But overall, a good perfume has the same theme from beginning to end. You have to have a sense of the market. You don't create anything original that way. There are some perfumers who have no imagination, who merely follow the whims of the public. Me, I like to impose my ideas. All the words you use to describe tangible objects can be used to describe the image of a perfume."

Allan Mottus argued, "French perfume houses have to deal with the international market today, and that means creating in New York or Paris." Fifth generation Frenchman Philippe Guerlain told Kay O’Sullivan in 1984, "The art of making perfume is not a science. To have the ability to make perfume you must have a specific developed sense." Of his cousin Jean-Paul, Philippe Guerlain expressed, "It is this ability, plus the practise and the teaching he received as a child from his grandfather, Jacques, whom I regard as one of the greatest trainers.

"Let's be frank, the winds of change blow from the West and in Europe the West means America. There was a gap between the American and French perfumes, but we have breached it. The Americans like stronger perfumes, we have to supply it. The Americans invented marketing but our man was born in France. We haven't gone that far yet."

A good perfume was said would generally contain 4 elements: flower, animal, root and spice. To elaborate, those elements could be, "flowers, fruits, spices, leaves roots, seeds, grasses and mosses, resins, bark, wood Beaver, the musk deer, the sperm whale, the civet cat." At the 1978 International Conference on Perfumery held in Barcelona, Spain, Edmond Roudnitska told guests, "A fine perfume is one that produces a 'shock' in us, an olfactory shock which excites the senses on first contact … followed by a psychological shock … all the more enduring as the perfume steadily develops its form, dissipating slowly, revealing to us … if not its structure, which is generally but little apparent, at least the details of its silhouette. Such a form, if it is original, will register itself in our minds."

Claiming "many people cringe when perfume prices are mentioned, but they don't consider the cost of other luxuries – theater, restaurant dinners and the like," Robert Ricci made the comment, "There is a lot of workmanship (labor) connected with it (creating perfume). Perfume can provide a lasting pleasure." Robert Ricci was 22 when he assisted his mother established the family couture business (back in 1932). He told 'Associated Press' in 1974, "In 29 years I've developed only 5 perfumes because each takes me about 5 years. I always design with a particular woman in mind and strive for a woman. You shouldn't be overpowered 50 feet away."

Elizabeth Sirot made known, "It takes 300,000 petals of jasmine to produce one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of concentrate. That kilo costs us 450,000 francs ($80,000 in 1988). A few years ago, a eunuch came into our store on the Champs Elysees to buy perfumes for the 40 women in a harem. And there was a shiek who bought 'Shalimar' to fill his pool. But those days are gone."

Vivian Brown reported in 1974, "It is necessary to cut 4 million flowers in order to get 2 pounds of absolute of jasmine, an ingredient of good perfume. It takes about 250 workers from sunrise to noon, which is the best time of day to cut the flowers. The oil extracted from them now (in 1974) costs about $2,500 a pound. Essence of rose is higher even than that, about $3,000 for the same quantity."

Edmond Roudnitska created 'Femme' perfume told the 'Los Angeles Times', "A perfume can be a work of art like a symphony or a master's painting and therefore deserves the same respect." Jean-Pierre Tornai told Mark Chester in 1989, "This is a highly competitive and complicated business. It's a woman's business, yet it needs men to run it." The 11 years between 1975 and 1986, manufacturers introduced 485 new women's perfumes onto the market.

Jean-Pierre Lerouge-Benard of Molinard (founded in 1849) told Mark Chester, "Years ago, the perfumer was considered just an artist. Nowadays (by 1989), he must be a good businessman as well as be creative. This is a risky business. We have to anticipate what kind of fragrance will be in vogue before actual production. It takes perhaps 4 years to develop the concept, create the formula, research, package and market it as a product."

20170507

ALL MY CHILDREN

The 40 years between 1970 and 2011 when 'All My Children' was on the air, the program had gone up against other daytime dramas such as 'The Young and the Restless', 'Days of our Lives' and 'The Bold And The Beautiful'. Normally shown at midday, 'All My Children' at one time was the 2nd most popular soap opera on American television attracting an audience of up to 15 million viewers each day including college students and young males. 

"'My' (in 'All My Children') referred to the Deity – no matter who She is," Agnes Nixon revealed. "The funny thing is when this (the story projections) was turned in to ABC, one of the executives there called me and said, 'What part of the Bible is that from?' He meant the Bible bible. So I said it was the Gospel According to Saint Agnes." 

The popularity of daytime soap operas inspired such prime time dramas as 'Knots Landing' and 'Dynasty'. However Agnes Nixon reasoned, "None of us can take credit for 'discovering' the form. The serial form is very popular and very old. Before television it was on radio. And before that there were Dickens' serials. 'Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait.' It's always been that simple." 

Harding Lemay of 'Another World' made the point, "Art comes from life. Nothing you can write about is as insane as the real. Look what happened to Princess Diana. Who could have written that? People need to project themselves into somebody else. We cannot contain ourselves in the envelope nature gave us. We try to get into somebody else's consciousness. We do it through fiction, plays, television, talk shows. 

"That is why in a way the whole phenomenon of Princess Di is interesting to me. All these people who are mourning her quite genuinely are not mourning the real Princess Di. They didn't know her. They are mourning some image that she and the press and others created for them as they mourned Elvis, John Lennon or Marilyn Monroe. They become fictional in a way." Harding Lemay believed good drama required that "generational thing. Take Hamlet. If you cut out the generational thing, you don't have a play. You have Hamlet and his buddies." 

In interviews with Associated Press, the 'Boston Globe' and 'Chicago Sun', Agnes Nixon explained, "Just as all entertainment has gotten more liberal and outspoken, so has soap opera. But within the form we can educate; education can be entertainment. 'All My Children' is known for doing contemporary stories of a sociological nature. We try to enlighten the public; we try to remove prejudice. The aim of the show is to make people more aware. A soap opera can deal with these things in a way that isn’t a turn-off.

"The ostriches among the viewers will turn off the American Cancer Society blurb or a documentary because it frightens them. But if (the characters) Bert Bauer or Ruth Martin have something and go to the doctor, they understand it. It’s like their sister or a dear friend." As a patient at the Wilmer Eye Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Agnes Nixon discovered that the potentially blinding disease diabetic retinopathy which affected diabetics could be cured in roughly 85% of the cases if detected in time.

"That fact sort of cooked in my brain for a while," Agnes recalled. "I knew we wanted to bring in a new story, so I thought, why not give (the character) Nina diabetes and do a retinopathy story? Soaps are detailed, focused studies of people in conflict. Problems arise from people doing the right things for the wrong reasons. This is how everything in life gets mucked up. Soap opera characters are exactly like real people. Both are caught in webs of conflicts. You simply take life's crises and string them out in a story.

"It's the form of entertainment closest to real life. It keeps going on. Sure, we have a mandate to entertain. If we didn't entertain, we wouldn't get good ratings and we wouldn't stay on the air. But within the framework of that, we're able to disseminate information of a public service nature. I know we're helping. We're making people more aware, showing them how to get help and how to cope. I treat a subject in the context of offering a solution. You have to get it across in such a way that a viewer says, 'There but for the grace of God go I.' We try to stay very contemporary." 

Story ideas, Agnes Nixon said, "It just sneaks up on me or people suggest it. For instance, the child-abuse story we did about 5 years ago (around 1977) stemmed from a conversation with our psychiatrist consultant. She said to me some time ago, 'You know, you really should do child abuse.' And I said, 'Oh God, Mary, I just can't deal with that. These people are animals. 

"Then, when I heard myself say that, I thought, hmmm, that's what all those people out there are saying, too. I started doing the research and I found that 98% of child abusers were abused children themselves. I realized this was a vicious circle and there weren’t enough jails to hold them. They didn't need punitive measures, they needed help."

Agnes Nixon recounted, "My parents were divorced. They were separated when I was 3 months old. My father lives in Chicago. My mother, who always told me she wanted me to have all the things she didn't have, was pre-Women's Lib. She was a bookkeeper in an insurance company, one of 12 children. She was a very good Catholic. Very devout. 

"She never had a date from the day she turned 30, the day she separated from my father. That was the end of her love life. I have difficulty talking about my mother. She loved me a lot. She encouraged me a lot. She always wanted me to have all the things she didn’t have. But my mother couldn't be mother and father to me. He sent me to college. I never saw much of him. After he died, I learned that my father had not matured emotionally and was a very jealous man. 

"He suffered a great, great deal because of this. He had great, great personal problems. Emotional insecurity, great emotional insecurity was the crux of his problem. His parents were divorced. And he grew up believing that the people closest to him didn't love him, couldn't possibly love him. I learned that tragedy about him early on. And I never really could help him. We never talked about this together. My keenest disappointment? It was not having a better relationship with my father.

"I wanted to be an actress and went to Northwestern University but among my classmates were Charlton Heston, Cloris Leachman, Patricia Neal, Martha Hyer and Jean Hagen. I decided I'd better be a writer and took scriptwriting courses." In 1947, three days after graduated from Northwestern's school of speech, Agnes Nixon was offered a radio writing job. At the time, Agnes' father wanted her to go worked with him. He ran a manufacturing burial garments business. 

"The job offer blew my father's mind," Agnes Nixon continued. "He couldn't believe it either. I couldn't believe it either. But it became a crisis situation. Then and there I had a lot of difficulty having faith in myself. My father was telling me I didn't have writing ability. He told me that I had better come into his business with him. He told me it was for my own good. I considered the alternative to writing. Yes, I did. Carefully. 

"Well, the alternative was like being cast into darkness! Also, I knew I'd be under my father's didactic thumb. He was part-Irish, part-German – and his German sense of militaristic discipline took over strongly. I had a lot of drive but I had fears, too. Terrible fears. I had to succeed as a writer. I was totally irrational. I told myself that I had to make it, had to, because if I didn't I'd have to manufacture burial garments." 

In 1951, Agnes met Robert Nixon who ran a car-leasing firm in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania. "I told him I never wanted to stop working. He said he realized that writing was an intrinsic part of me. I said I would not relinquish it. He said he'd support and help me, and he wasn't talking just about money. I said it would be hard work, hard work for both of us. He said he was up to it. 

"As it turned out, he did everything but birth and nurse the children. Family means a lot to him. His mother died when he was 7. His father died when he was 14. He wanted to be part of a real family, to get vicarious pleasure out of seeing our children have the closeness, the security, the presence that he didn’t have. When I was in school, I excelled. I felt I had to excel. I didn't want just to take up space. I felt it was wasteful. I had to use my potential to the maximum. I wanted my mother to be proud."

It was understood the character Palmer Cortlandt was inspired by Agnes Nixon's father. "For shorthand purposes, he is 'Citizen Kane', a man who is very unable to give of himself. His great insecurity deep inside (makes him) afraid to take his chances in the open marketplace where emotions are concerned. He is able to function fabulously as a businessman, but has never matured emotionally. 

"James Mitchell was Palmer Cortlandt – as soon as we saw him. He is so superb in what he does that many nuances come through that we weren't aware of in the beginning. It opened up new vistas. It's almost a mystical thing because many of the cast – in their interpretation of the part – suggest new ideas almost subliminally to us and the rest of the writers.

"But more often than not, (an actor) isn't exactly what one had in mind. So then, the character can change or one can change his mind and say this is something better." Of the character Erica Kane, Agnes Nixon outlined, "She is a very, very tragic young woman who was deserted by her father at a very vulnerable age and therefore has a very low self-esteem. Despite the havoc she wreaks in the lives of others, she actually suffers more herself than any of her victims. I think the audience understands that."

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