50 years of ‘Days of our Lives’

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

I’ve heard that phrase spoken hundreds and hundreds over the course of my life, and — I sometimes joke — even before I was born.

“Days of our Lives” — NBC’s longest-running drama — is celebrating 50 years, having first welcomed Salem and the Horton family into the lives of American television viewers on Nov. 8, 1965.

Since then, “Days” has made a lasting impact on millions of viewers over several generations.

My love for the fictional drama began early in my life, and I do sometimes joke that I’ve been watching the show since I was in my mother’s womb. As a child, I remember watching explosions in far off lands as Bo and Hope traveled the world, the “Cruise of Deception” and Marlena’s demonic ways.

Using a VCR (remember those?), I recorded “Days” every afternoon on Pittsburgh’s WPXI Channel 11 and enjoyed sick days, holidays and summer breaks so I could watch without recording.

For an hour a day (or for binge sessions late at night or on weekends), “Days” gives me that escape from real life and a chance to let my imagination soar in Salem.

I’ve watched Sami Brady drug and rape a guy, nearly be put to death, lie about the father of her child, abduct her baby half-sister, be left at the alter at least twice, hide her identity as a transgendered man named Stan, shoot her fiance in the head, be arrested by her dad for murder, among many other less-than-notable schemes and dramas.

I’ve watched murders be staged only to have all of the “victims” appear together on a previously unknown island before being reunited with their loved ones in Salem.

I’ve watched as Marlena Evans has been kidnapped more times than I can remember, became possessed by the devil and was used as a surrogate for “alien” twins.

Storylines such as those sometimes force fans like me to defend our beloved drama. (Never mind the outrageous storylines on dramas on HBO and in primetime on broadcast TV, eh?)

But along with the out of this world stories, I’ve watched generations of Salem residents share love and laughter, holiday memories (Horton ornaments!) and loss of loved ones.

“Days” now is one of four daytime drama remaining on broadcast television, making this golden anniversary even more special.

Let’s hope for even more “Days” to come!

Days links

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