|When the Ryan's Hope cast gathered backstage
for the annual Yuletide celebration, the Christmas spirit was a little
dampened by the fact that Kate Mulgrew (Mary Fenelli) was leaving the show.
Michael Levin (Jack) made a moving farewell speech to Kate, admitting that
"it feels like I'm getting a divorce!" And Kate's TV mom, Helen Gallagher,
choked back tears as she told the audience, "Oh, my God, what will I do
without Katie? Who's going to tell me when I forget my lines?" Headwriter
Claire Labine praised the actress for her personal charm, grace and courage
and - in the midst of the weepy farewells - actually asked Kate to reconsider
and stay on. Bernard Barrow (Johnny Ryan) was unable to attend the party,
but his wife Joan stood up before the crowd and recited a tongue-and-cheek
limerick that Bernie had written. It went like this:
A toast to my favorite daughter
Who never minds what I taught her.
Now she's leaving the nest
For what lies out West
Where girls ain't as good as they oughtta.
But what do you need my advice for?
Just try to be picky, not sticky or tricky,
And do try to keep it on ice more.