Like sands through the hourglass....

As Executive in Charge of Production of NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, Greg Meng knows a thing or two about the fictional town of Salem and its famous residents---John and Marlena, Bo and Hope and, of course, Tom and Alice. The openly gay Meng is an eloquent, enthusiastic man with a great passion and knowledge for his work.

After over twenty years with the popular daytime drama, he's gathered some backstage goods for the show's faithful followers. Days of Our Lives: 45 Years is a new project that commemorates the show’s history and offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes efforts of cast and crew. It's a beautiful collection of photos, both on and off set, that tell a story through the Days of our Lives characters.

Various cast members from Days of Our Lives are currently involved in a multi-city book tour promoting the new book along with the book's authors, Meng and Hollywood art director Eddie Campbell.

Meng notes that future projects might include a reference book with health and beauty secrets of the stars, as well as a more in-depth photo collection that showcases the comprehensive history of the show. Until then, he's proud to present this true treasure to fans nationwide.

Given your long history with the show, was there one or two things in the archives that surprised you or really stood out?

One thing that really resonated big with me was the early, early stuff, like seeing Tom and Alice Horton in the early years. You get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the show. I'm actually doing another book that will be including all those archival photos we couldn't put in this book.

What came out for me most of all was the values---the traditional Midwestern family values that are part of the show. I'm from Oklahoma, so it kinda resonated with me. There were a lot of photos over the years from the Horton living room. It showed me that over the years, the basic things had remained and the basic principles don't change. Days of our Lives has been in people's living rooms for 45 years, so it's great to show viewers what happens.

The ratings for daytime soap operas have dropped in recent years. How have you dealt with the changes in your business climate?

There's a whole city behind the city in Salem. We used to operate 24/7. The crew would finish taping at 11 p.m. and they would be moving sets in overnight. Then the cast comes in at 6:30 in the morning. Now we only change sets every couple weeks.

We've actually created a model that really works well. The boring part is we've created kind of this factory that's cost-effective. We crank out seven shows a week and we're out before five o' clock every day. Gary Tomlin (executive producer) has really helped built a system that works. It's actually given us a lot of freedom. Before there were a lot of the flowers and extraneous things on the set. Now that we've fine-tuned this thing, we have a lot more creative license to do great things. The show is better now: our energy level is up, our morale is up, and the set is such an invigorating place.

In terms of the creative part, we are dealing with a quicker pace. Now you don't get retakes and it's all in one shot. But we're able to tell more stories in a certain time and add more layers of stories. It's an extremely delicate puzzle.

Don't you feel like the show is best described as a family thing?

Yes, a lot of people relate to the show because they've grown up with it in their families. That's the one thing I see in the book tours. In Chicago, I saw three generations at the event---mother, daughter and granddaughter---and they've all watched the show together. It's great to see. You have that on the show where you have these inter-generational relationships.

How do you feel about the future of Days of our Lives?

I'm hoping that overall we're in a good place. We've lost some important daytime dramas in the last few years. I think now we're down to the core ones. A lot of our viewers don't show up in the ratings; they're watching it after work and they often don't see it every day and it's not reflected in the ratings. But we have an incredible network in NBC who has been amazingly supportive of us. We're looking forward to our continuing story and exploring areas we haven't explored.

Editor's note: Days of Our Lives: 45 Yearsis available at Amazon and book stores nationwide.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less