Book Soup Event Recap


L to r: Robert Mandan (Chester), director Jay Sandrich, some goon, 
Jay Johnson (Chuck & Bob) 
© 2014

As you can imagine, I’m still processing everything that went on during our all-too-brief trip to Los Angeles. And as you can tell from the photo above, some very special people turned up for the event.

We showed up at Book Soup just a few minutes before the 4 PM event time (bad form I know, but the LA traffic caught us completely off guard) in a pretty flustered state, so much so that we forgot to, well, turn the car off after we had unloaded the books inside the store. Not to worry, it was only running for about 5 minutes, but still.

Yet once inside we calmed down immediately thanks to Book Soup’s Amelia Cone and Molly (whose last name I did not catch, sorry Molly!), who put us at our ease.

To be honest, much of what happened next was kind of a blur. There was a pretty good turnout for the talk, which put to rest one fear I had – a big thank you to everyone who showed up, including Soap associate producer Marsha Posner Williams and her husband, Wayne (whom we have to thank for these photos, by the way. Thanks, Wayne) 🙂

I began with an exploration of the controversy that surrounded the show, and read a short bit from the book about the cast and crew settling in at Bob Seagren’s house to watch the Soap premiere (pp. 61-63).

We then opened the floor to questions and personal recollections of Soap, which quickly turned into a great little discussion about this wonderful show. One of the highlights was from a fellow who grew up in Wisconsin and bonded with his father over Soap, much to his mother’s chagrin at the time.

During the talk, Marsha glanced out the window and broke into a great big smile, the reason for which I saw a moment later when in walked Jay Johnson, Jay Sandrich and Robert Mandan! We all proceeded to listen fascinated as the three new arrivals and Marsha reminisced over the making of the show – just a splendid back and forth between them all. During this, they also took questions from the audience.

After they left, the event moved to the back of the store where I signed a few books…and Pamela bought a few others (have to watch that Amelia, she’ll find just the right book for you). Meanwhile, Molly and I bonded over our love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (What, I can’t like other shows, too?)

Many thanks to Gary and Gregory, Derek and Ray, and so many others, including Soap font of wisdom Jeff Krueger. We really couldn’t have asked for a better evening.


L to r: Robert Mandan, Jay Sandrich, some goon, Marsha Posner Williams
Jay Johnson © 2014

17 comments on “Book Soup Event Recap

  1. Hey, I didn’t dream it! Actually, Jay Sandrich arrived later. It seemed like they were coming out of the woodwork. Aaron’s best moment was when Sandrich asked him what the Vietnam War had to do with “Soap” and he talked about how America split in half during that era (’60’s/’70’s) and has never recovered. Aaron said it perfectly.
    A lot was talked about. I wish I’d taped it. We could’ve posted a transcript. But it was great of them to show up and support the book. “Soap” veterans are just as nice as you’d hope. And they are still good friends.

    • Thankfully the far-more-rational Jeff K. was there to get the facts right — thanks Jeff. And I’ll second that: the Soap gang are indeed extremely kind people indeed.

    • I would love to do this again, and pretty much anywhere. Finances being what they are, however, means I will probably have to stay relatively close to home, unfortunately.

  2. On a related note, where is Bob? Was there more than one Bob? Does Jay still own him/them? Were these questions answered in the book, and I already forgot? Is this starting to sound like the ending of a SOAP episode?

    • Bob is currently cooling his heels in The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. And yes, that was covered in the book and you already forgot. And more importantly, is this the Gary from the signing, or a hitherto unmet-in-person Gary? Confused, I won’t be, darn it 😉

  3. My bad Aaron I didn’t see the whole blog at first. I told my boyfriend that I would have cut off 5 years of my life to go out there (little drastic but really would have wanted to go!) Anyways, glad it was a successful turnout! You deserve a lot of credit!

    • Better that you didn’t then, Erin — we want to keep you around for a while 🙂 Apologies to everybody for not filming it but we didn’t have the means. Something tells me with the craziness that went on before the event itself, we probably would’ve forgotten to do so anyways.

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