ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Mother’s Smile

Updated on February 13, 2018
“Days of Our Lives” star Thaao Penghlis, and my mother, Nettie Eisenberg.
“Days of Our Lives” star Thaao Penghlis, and my mother, Nettie Eisenberg.

I Had the Opportunity to Make My Mother’s Dream Come True. She’s Still Smiling.

I'll set the scene.

My mother has been watching the soap opera, Days of our Lives, since I was a child. No joke. Her all-time favorite actor on the series: Thaao Penghlis.

I had never seen the show. I had never heard of the actor. Regardless, approximately 20 years following the viewing of her first episode ...

My mom and dad, who has since passed away, visited me in sunny California. They arrived fresh from Brooklyn, and we ate lunch at Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Boulevard, smack-dab in the heart of Hollywood. On the way out, my sweet and usually composed mother veritably lost her mind when she saw Thaao walking near the same restaurant.

My father was as unfamiliar as was his son. We were both laughing, and joking at my mother’s expense for the next hour.

My mother's friends and family would hear about this "Thaao sighting" pretty consistently for the next 20+ years. “When I go to California, I see celebrities all the time,” she would tell them.”My eldest, he works in the business.” Eventually, she’d become cynical, and would change her story to, “I’m going to California again. I don’t like it there. I never see any celebrities anymore.”

I reminded her that during one particular visit she had met Carol Burnett, Larry King, and Tony Curtis. “Eh,“ she said. “I only spoke to Carol. I ignored the other two.”

Welcome to my world.

A Long-Awaited Meeting

Fast-forward, oh, another 25 years. December, 2015. Barnes and Noble in Burbank, CA. Thaao, along with dozens of other classic TV and classic TV-inspired creatives, including myself, spoke to an appreciative crowd about their personal career experiences. This was an event hosted by Herbie J Pilato and Caryn Richman, as a special Herbie J "Throwback Thursday" Christmas event.

I was surprised to hear the name "Thaao," and when it was my turn to speak I told the above story so he could hear it. I introduced myself after ... and asked him for a favor.

"Would you call my mom in Florida?"

”Really?” he asked. ”Will we wake her?”

”Trust me,” I said. “She’ll want to be woken up for this.”

”Sure,” he said.

I was immediately taken with his kindness. Thaao and I walked to the center of the store, and I called my mother on my cell.

”Hey, did I wake you?” I asked.

“I was just watching TV,” she said.

“I have someone who wants to converse with you.”

“It’s late,” she said. “Who wants to talk to me at this hour?”

I handed the phone to Thaao. My mother had no idea I had put the call on speaker mode. “Hello Nettie,“ he said. “Do you know who this is?”

Thaao has an accent that can best be described as a combination of Greek, and proper (British) English. He smiled, and pointed to the phone.

After a momentary pause ... “I do,” she said. “This is Andre.”

I’m thinking to myself, Who the hell is Andre? MOM, THIS IS THAAO!!

“It is,” Thaao replied. I found out later she was referring to his character name of Andre DiMera.

They spoke for five minutes or so, and got on famously. He handed the phone back to me. “I’m gonna kill you,” said my mother. I was getting nervous, and she quickly followed up with - “Oh my God! Oh my God! I gotta tell Janet.”

Janet Musumeci, her best friend. I found out the next day that nearly the entire neighborhood of Del Rey Beach, Florida had heard about “the call.”

Which brings us to one year later ...

Thaao and I became friends. My mother arrived in California to visit my brother Mike and I, and our respective wives and Mike's kids ... and Thaao quite literally made a dream of my mother's come true.

I asked. He complied.

Lunch, at Art's Deli.

I am certain that by now the entire state of Florida has seen the photos included in this article. I attended the lunch with them - my mother dared not go alone - and she had the time of her life.

I cannot thank Thaao enough. He‘s solid gold in my book. I wanted to do something special for my mother since my dad passed, and Thaao Penghlis created a memory for her that she will never forget. He’s a "mensch," and my father would very much have appreciated what he did for my mom.

The reason for posting this hub? Because Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and I just want to say, “Mom, I love you.”

Always.

Do You Have a Favorite Celebrity Story?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)