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Through the years, many Drake fans have had the opportunity to meet the man that gave life to John Black, Brian McFadden and other characters Drake has played over the years. These people were kind enough to share their fabulous encounters with us all. If you have something to add, please let your voice be heard by emailing us HERE

Please include your name, where you're from and the first year that you met Drake. Thank you to everybody who took the time to share your heart-felt words about meeting Drake.


Ann, South Carolina (1987)

I liked John Black from the very first day, but it was after I first met Drake in the summer of 1987 that I really began loving and following the story of John Black/Roman Brady. It was really Drake that I loved watching, not John Black, so if he ever left and they tried to recast, I'd be "outta here!" Drake was so sweet and loving to all his fans that came out to meet him, all excited and tongue-tied with nervousness. He made us all feel special and comfortable, like we'd always known him and he was a well-known friend or family member. Even the ones who had said before meeting him (like me!) that they'd never be able to actually talk to him, were soon at ease and chattering away like best buddies with him. He's a very special person who can talk and carry on a conversation with anyone of any age or nationality about anything. He's loved by babies and grandmothers and everyone in between, and equally comfortable with all ages and sexes - the husbands all like him too!

I felt very privileged when I was asked if I wanted to become one of his fan club coordinators. Duh! Of course I was thrilled! It was a lot of work, trying to keep everyone informed about his appearances and activities, but it was fun at the same time. I made a lot of lasting friendships through the fan club and standing in line (sometimes for hours!) with people chatting about Drake and DAYS. There's a reason why his lines are always the longest at any event he attends: he's loved and admired by everyone, and he makes it more than worth any length of wait to just spend a few minutes talking to him and getting to know the wonderful man behind the gorgeous face. One time when he came to Greenville just after Alexandra was born, Victoria and Alexandra were with him, and Victoria was very gracious and friendly to all of Drake's fans and admirers. She showed us the baby and chatted with us while Drake was patiently working his way through the long line of people waiting to meet him. It's been several years since I've been able to attend a Drake event that's within driving distance of where I live, but I cherish the times I have met him and never give up hope to meet him again one day soon. Thanks for all the special times, Drake. You're the best!


Robin, Baltimore, Maryland (1988)

The first time I met Drake was in 1988 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Three friends and I traveled up to New Jersey to meet both Drake and Billy Hufsey. Drake was looking as gorgeous as ever as he walked out on stage. The stage was set up like a runway, and I was in the seat right by the end of the stage. Drake walked out and pointed right at me. I immediately got butterflies.

After the show we went backstage to meet and greet with Drake. Drake was about to go when my friend said to him, "Can we get a group picture because we drove all the way from Maryland (really not that far)?" Anyway Drake, being the sweet guy that he is, was so gracious. My friend handed someone the camera, and when we posed for the picture the flash did not go off. Drake was like "Take another; these girls drove a pretty good distance for this, so make sure the flash works this time." After the picture Drake gave us all a hug and looked at me and asked who was driving. All fingers pointed at me, and Drake put his arm around me and said, "Please drive safely."

As an added bonus, the next time I saw Drake in Connecticut he said, "I am glad to see you made it home safely from New Jersey." The man is so gracious! He really loves his fans. I have so many memories of Drake, but the best was the third time I saw him in Washington in 1989, one year after Connecticut. I asked him to sign the picture from Connecticut, and he responded, "No problem, Robin; I would be glad to." The man remembered my name after only three times meeting him and a year in between!

Now the rest is history. When I see Drake, it's like talking to my big brother. I can honestly say I have put the butterflies away because Drake makes it easy to talk to him. It's still good to see those first-timers getting all giggly and nervous, and we know how Drake picks up on that and runs with it!


Dama, Snohomish, Washington (1989)

I have a picture of me with Drake's arms around me at a car show he appeared at on Saturday, November 11, 1989 in Seattle! He is such a sweetheart, and I remember being so nervous, excited, and in absolute awe of him. No surprise, right? Ha ha! I remember when it was time to pose for a photo he asked if there was someone taking a picture of me and I said yes, my Dad. Drake then motioned for me to sit on his lap! Well, you see I've always been very self-conscious about my weight and embarrassed by it too, so I was afraid to sit on his lap because I would be too heavy and break his lap, so I said, "No, could we please stand?" Well, he didn't even hesitate for a second, and he got up and put his arms around me! Yep, there I was up on stage with Drake's arms around me, as "closet-Drake-fan-Dad" snapped the picture! Afterwards he said hello to my Dad and reached down and shook his hand.

Now Dad would never admit it, but he was impressed and to this day he admires Drake a lot. He calls him "Hogestyn," or "old Hogestyn." I know he thinks Drake's work is top-notch, as I caught him on several occasions watching the show last year when Drake's scenes were on. Ever since my Dad heard that Drake drove a 1988 Chevy Silverado as his commuter car, well then he just got put up even higher on Dad's "A List" Ha ha! The other men in the crowd all admired Drake too. Well, no wonder! They couldn't admire a more talented, warm, funny, kind, and giving man...not to mention a more amazing actor than Drake!


Pam, Tell City, Indiana (1989)

The first time I met Drake was in 1989 at the Louisville, Kentucky car show in February. My friend Pat and I didn't care a hoot about the cars; we were there to meet our man Drake. He didn't disappoint us ONE bit! In fact we decided any time we were able, we would go see Drake at his public appearances. He is VERY personable and has not let fame go to his head as other actors have done. He always stays late so that ALL of his fans can meet with him, after standing in line for HOURS! He REALLY appreciates his fans!

We have seen Drake so many times now that he knows us by sight and name, which is AMAZING since he meets thousands of people throughout a year. Drake LOVES to joke with people. In my case, he did his BEST to see me blush; which he did well. Unfortunately, it's been several years now since I've seen Drake in person, but I have my memories and autographed pictures of the two of us on my living room wall to help! I look forward to seeing Drake on the small screen with REALITY BYTES THE SERIES! It can't be too soon for me! Best of luck, Drake, with the web soap!


Mary Alice Griffith (1990)

On March 11, 1990, my husband took me to Washington, DC to see Drake Hogestyn (Roman, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) at the World of Wheels Auto Show. It was my birthday gift, one I never thought I'd be given. Money has been tight for extras, but my husband insisted he would take me there "no matter what."

We went with some friends and had only a short time to spend (with a forty-five minute drive to Alexandria, Virginia and another half-hour ride on the Metro - our first time ever). We were at the auto show two-and-a-half hours, two hours of which I spent in line to see Drake. Before meeting him, I would not have thought I'd wait two hours to see him.

Well, it was worth every second of waiting. I am now his Number One fan! (I even spent my last dollar for a black-and-white photo so I could get his autograph.)

Drake was very nice and down-to-earth, very sexy, handsome and funny. He was dressed in jeans and a light blue shirt - very casual. He was chewing gum, just like he does on DAYS. He treated me as an individual and not just another fan. He was even better than Roman.

I was so nervous, I thought for sure I would trip up the steps of the stage. Three guys started whistling when I crossed the stage and my face got blood red.

Drake said, "Hello there, baby," and I said, "Hello." He said, "It sounds like you have some admirers out there." All I could say was "Oh, God." He asked my name and signed my photo.

He was equally nice to my husband, Richard. He asked me to point him out and gave him a thumbs-up for bringing me to see Drake as a birthday present. He said, "Have a happy birthday, sweetheart."

I sure was walking on air for hours, and it was hard driving home. I kept catching myself daydreaming. It was a dream come true.

I do have regrets, though. Others asked for hugs and kisses and talked a long time. Dumb me. I did not ask for a hug and will probably never see him, or any other celebrity, again.

Drake, you are the greatest. Every time I see you I say what a fool I was to let Roman go without getting a hug!


Pat, Texas (1993)

I was just divorced, and I went to the Autorama Show to see Drake with my daughter. We went up on stage to have our pictures taken with him. He put his arms around me. He smelled so good and he was so sweet-natured and talked to the audience a long time - what patience! Then after the picture was taken, I was walking off and the photographer said 'You forgot your picture.' He said to go back to Drake, pretend to kick him on the shin and get my picture. I did as I was told, and when I was walking off Drake jumped up and pretended to pinch my butt! After those few minutes with him, I told myself that though I may be newly-divorced after thirty years, romance still can be in my future. What a dreamy guy! I was so upset when he and Deidre were written off DAYS. Good luck, Drake, and I hope to see you on-screen soon!


Linda, Ontario, Canada (1994)

Drake's character, from Day One, has always been my inspiration. He's kind and loving and always tries to do the right thing. Even though he has had many pasts and complications in his life, and to this day still doesn't know who he is, he has come through with flying colors and stronger than I ever thought was possible.

Drake has also always been my inspiration. I think as Drake fans, we all tend to be stronger and better people, thanks to having a role-model like him. He doesn't judge; he accepts his fans for who they are, and never expects us to be someone that we're not or never will be. He loves everybody - it doesn't matter if we're skinny, chubby, have a disability, tall, short, out-going, shy, talkative or quiet. We become better people because of the love and support that he always shows us.

Rachael, Ben, Whitney, Alexandra and his beautiful wife Victoria are very lucky to have such an extraordinary father and husband in their lives, but we as Drake fans feel equally blessed to have such an awesome man and actor to support. I met him at Canada's Wonderland three times, and they were the best days of my life. Please don't ever change, Drake! Thank you for being you, and for never failing to make us laugh and smile. We love you!


Mary-Anne, Ontario, Canada (1994)

I've watched Drake for a long time. My daughter, Linda, and I watch together and just adore Drake.

I have never met him in person, but have seen him at Canada's Wonderland and oh my goodness! What a hunk!

Even after all these years, it's hotflash central in this body...He has the younger actors beat by a landslide!

Drake, thank you for always being so wonderful, lovable and generous, and for proving that you're one-in-a-million. You rock! You're hotter than Hell!


Joyce, Heber Springs, Arkansas (1995)

Drake is such a wonderful person. He is so kind to his fans and a wonderful family man. I have been watching DAYS since the beginning and remember when he first came on the show.

My Sis, Barbara Eakin, and I first met him in May 1995, and I was blown away by how nice he was. I found out his Mom grew up a few blocks from where my Sis and I did in Little Rock, Arkansas. I laughed and said then that Drake and I had bonded.

For the past three years, I have been caring for our Dad, who will be ninety-seven in April, and my Sis has been caring for her daughter-in-law, Kathy (Kathy passed away last June from a brain tumor), leaving behind April (6) and MeiLin (3). My Sis now helps her son, Dave, care for the two little ones.

I have not seen Drake since 1998 at his Rock N Roll party and am so disappointed that I will not be able to attend his party in February 2003. My Sis, however, did get to visit with him when he came to Portland, Oregon last May. That was like me seeing him too. I did get an e-mail from Debby telling me that Drake will be coming to Nashville, Tennessee in May, and I am going to be there (the good Lord willing). I can drive there in one day and cannot wait to see the best-looking, sweetest man not only on daytime television but on any show. God Bless all!


Taffi, Cape Canaveral, Florida (1995)

My only encounter with a soap star was with Drake Hogestyn (John, DAYS). I was dashing through the Greater Cincinnati/Kentucky airport late for my flight, when before my eyes, to my disbelief, was John Black! I came to a halt and looked around. I felt as if I was the only person who recognized him. At whatever expense, I had to confirm that he was for real. He was sitting, casually reading a magazine and I softly said, 'Excuse me, would you be offended if I asked to take a picture of you?' He looked up and said, 'Well no, but better yet, why don't you get someone to take a picture of us?' I was elated! His daughter Alex introduced herself and informed me that her daddy plays on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Briefly speaking with Drake, I felt he was sincere and a very charming individual, just as his character is on DAYS.


Gail, Whidbey Island, Washington (1996)

Drake is a man who leaves a good impression on everyone who gets the chance to meet with him. He's a man's man and, of course, every woman's fantasy. All seem to be equal in his eyes and it shows through in the way he talks and looks at you. All are made to feel special.

He's a star but so down-to-earth. We are so lucky to have him in our living rooms to watch his magic on screen. With a great family and the greatest fans, he can achieve whatever he wants in life.

He will always have our support. He gives us so much in return. You are loved by many, Drake, because you are the real thing.


Ruby, Vancouver, Washington (1996)

My friend Gail of Whidbey Island, Washington mentioned to me about your web page of comments about Drake, and I wanted to add my feelings on that wonderful man. What a wonderful person this man is!

The first year that I attended Drake's Dance, I won first prize: a personal tour of the studio, with Drake as my personal guide! Of course I took my friend Gail with me - otherwise I would have been "dead meat!"

What a wonderful day that was! Drake is such a gentleman and loves his family. He talked about his kids and asked about my grandkids. I have seen him in Seattle, Washington also. I took my pictures that were taken when I was on the studio tour, but he remembered me before I showed him the pictures. Then he held the pictures up for the people in line to see. What a guy!


Krikrl (1996)

We attended Drake's Rock 'N Roll party in 1996. We arrived right at 7:00 PM and bought some photos to be autographed. There were about 250 people at this event. We walked around for a moment after we ate, and then my friend hit my arm and said "Look!" Drake was about fifty feet in front of us, walking very gingerly with his crutches. Anyway, I took one look at him and felt my heart jump out of my chest! Instead of making a fool of myself and fainting, I turned around and went the other way to sit down at our table.

He came in the middle of the dance floor and pulled up a chair. After about twenty minutes of talking and answering questions, he had a quick dance with his youngest daughter, Alexandra, and talked to his wife briefly while he got settled in for the autograph session. They were very organized and called us up by tables. We were each allowed one picture with Drake and one autograph, to move things along more quickly. We danced a lot, because Drake had an incredible band that played mostly 1950's music. Meeting Drake was so cool! I actually wasn't terribly nervous because he was so personable and made you feel right at ease. I sat down next to him when it was my turn, and he grabbed my hand to shake it, saying, "We haven't met before, have we?" I said no, and he said, "I didn't think you had been to one of my events before." He asked where I was from and asked where I got my tan, and I told him I had just spent a week in Arizona with friends. He said "Oh yeah? I went to Arizona State for a while." I told him that was where I got my Masters. We talked more and then the lady taking pictures for us tried to interrupt. Drake held up his hand and said, "Wait a minute, we're talking." I just about died! When they took the picture, he put his arm around me. He signed my picture, talked a bit more, asked if I was having a good time, and I said, "Are you kidding?" He handed me my photo and when I started to turn to thank him, he gave me a kiss on the cheek. That was it for me. I could have died right then. We spent the rest of the evening taking pictures, dancing, etc.

Jason Brooks, Roark Critchlow, Jaime Lyn Bauer, Peggy McCay, Ivan G'Vera and his wife, and Drake's family were all there as well. Jason took over the emcee duties since Drake was laid up. Jason is an absolute riot! He was telling jokes, cutting up a lot, and got very loud. The party was supposed to have ended at 11:00 PM, and it seemed like we had just gotten started at about 1:00 AM. Jason was dancing occasionally, so we grabbed onto him and started a conga line, which he proceeded to wind us all into a tight little ball. Lots of pictures were taken throughout the evening, and a few weeks later, we saw my friend in SOAP OPERA DIGEST, standing next to Jason in the conga line. I was there too, but I was completely blocked out by Jason, as I was standing directly behind him. We finally left the event, with probably forty people still there and it was 2:00 AM.

I also met Drake again the following year at his tenth annual fan party. We got there in time to buy a few items before the doors opened at 7:00 PM. Another buffet, we ate as Drake walked in. That was the end of my meal! He was a bit crazy at the beginning, jumping in with the band (excellent 1950's band - Ronnie and the Classics), and he started singing Elvis songs. We told him to keep his day job. He was also crazy as he was running around the room, doing quick little dances on the dance floor, and explaining to everyone that he couldn't do this last year. I went to this event last year and Drake had been in the emergency room all day working on an infection in his foot from the surgery he had had. We found out that the day after the event last year, he ended up back in the hospital and had to take a week off of work to recover. What a trooper!

He answered lots of questions including, "Are you that clumsy in person?" "Do you ever get through the love scenes with Susan?" "What was the deal with that clear blooper scene?" He also told us dirty jokes throughout the evening and told lots of funny real life stories.

He danced with all of us in a group periodically, and danced all the slow dances with his wife, Victoria. He is such a romantic. I was almost uncomfortable watching them dance; I felt like I was invading their privacy! I almost lost it when they danced to "Unchained Melody."

Drake spent most of the evening at a table signing autographs. We were called up by table and got to spend time talking with him, as well as getting one autograph and one picture with him. Drake was really sweet to me because he kind of remembered me partying there last year. I walked up and he gave me a huge bear hug, and then pulled me into a romantic pose for the picture, and we exchanged kisses on the cheek. I can't say enough about what a great person he is. He is completely devoted to his family, won't think of leaving DAYS as long as he is having fun and they want him, and he loves his fans.

The funniest part of the evening was when Frank Parker joined Drake on stage so they could do the YMCA dance! It was a riot! Drake's youngest daughter was there as well. What a cutie pie! She told all of us about her new puppy, read off raffle numbers, and told her daddy to say goodbye to his fans as people trickled out. We had the best time again this year and will definitely go again!


M. L. Bui, Texas (1997)

Drake Hogestyn (John) and his family were staying at the same hotel as my boyfriend and I in New York City. We were coming back from shopping when I saw Drake and his son standing outside the hotel. I was so nervous when I recognized him! I told my boyfriend who he was, and he encouraged me to ask for a picture with him. I have never met a celebrity before, so it took a couple of minutes for me to finally walk up to Drake and ask for a photo. He was very gracious! I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. Thank you, Drake!


Sterling and Earl, New Mexico (1999)

Sterling and Earl knew of a certain DAYS heartthrob that was coming to town to :gasp: sign autographs. This wasn't just any soap opera star either; it was none other than Drake Hogestyn. Drake is one of the most loved actors on daytime television and also happens to be our favorite male lead. The deal was too good to pass up and we headed down to the...Education Fair? Yeah you heard it right, an education fair of all places. We're used to these types of events so we knew that meeting Drake depended solely on line positioning. We arrived on the scene early and secured some front row seats for his stage appearance before the signing. Before we knew it they introduced Drake to the stage and the fans there couldn't have been more excited. He was a very personable guy and didn't shy away from any questions, except for upcoming plot points on the DAYS story line. He talked about playing baseball, acting, and even his dream film project, which was all very interesting. We left a little early to beat the crowd to the meet and greet line and prepared for the inevitable encounter.

The speech had finally ended and sure enough the rest of the crowd decided to join us in line; good thing we thought ahead. It wasn't long after until Earl was face-to-face with John Black himself. Drake went to shake Earl's hand and some hand shaking confusion took place. Earl didn't know this type of handshake and to make matters worse he was nervous which didn't help matters. Most celebrities would just overlook this and move on, but not Drake Hogestyn. It was so cool because Drake took the time to show Earl this unique handshake of his. After practicing it a few times, Earl finally had it down. He then looked to Sterling and wasn't about to let him off the hook just yet either and tested to see if Sterling was paying attention. During this time the autograph line was put on hold and it was so cool just to rub shoulders with this soap opera legend. Drake was also very funny and made sure to give us guys (we were severely outnumbered by women) a hard time about all sorts of things. He didn't forget about signing for us and even added inscriptions on our autographs like "Earl the real men!" and "You rule, Pal." Mr. Hogestyn was also nice enough to take a few pictures with us, even going against security rules by taking a couple photos with our own camera (as opposed to the Polaroid the event was providing). We thanked him so much for everything and headed off in triumph.

Final Thoughts: We've met many celebrities, but Drake is definitely among the elite when it comes to giving back to the fans. There are a couple of other soap stars that have rushed us through the lines at these types of events (cough cough Peter Reckell) and it just goes to show what kind of person Drake Hogestyn is. He will surely be on our best signer's list at the end of the year. Thank you so much Drake!


Cindy, Almont, Michigan (2000)

I have been blessed to meet Drake twice in my life. He is the one and only celebrity I have ever met. The first time I met him was in 2000 (I think); it is such a blur. You would think that it would be committed to memory: the exact day, time, right down to the second. The experience of meeting him is forever etched in my mind, but the day and time has faded. It still feels like yesterday.

I drove over 240 miles in a snowstorm to see him. My parents and husband thought I was crazy but knew that they couldn't stop me. It was awesome! I was so nervous! He came out, and it was heaven! He went right down the line greeting everybody and took a few pictures, and I thought that was so nice. Then he made them bring in another chair so that we could sit next to him while he signed autographs. We (my cousin and I) were lucky because we were close to first in line. I had wanted to say a million things, but do you think I said them? Noooooo! All I could think of was, "I can't believe I am sitting next to John Black!" He was really nice. I had feared that I would stutter like a fool when I talked to him, but I was surprisingly calm (on the outside). He was great, asking me how long I watched the show. I said as long as he had been on, and he said that was a long time. We took a few pictures and then...he asked me for a kiss! I remember thinking, 'Uh, what did he just say? I think he just asked for a kiss, but that would mean that you have died and gone to heaven!' So I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek and he kissed mine. Boy, did he smell yummy! I don't remember much after that, not even the drive home. It was great!

The second time was better; no kiss but just as incredible. I think it was because I knew how nice he was. I was still nervous, but it was great. I didn't have to drive as far, only about 35 or so miles. It was just last September 28th, the day before his birthday, at the Rite Aid Expo. This time my mother and eleven-year-old daughter went. It was so much fun! My daughter is in love with him now. The sweetest thing was that my five-year-old daughter had made him a birthday card and I gave it to him. He was so nice; he made us take a picture of him and I while he held up the card so I could show her that he got it. I thought that was the sweetest thing!

I could go on and on, but I think I have talked enough. Deidre said once in an interview, and I won't quote her because I can't remember exactly what she said, but it was something to the effect of him making you feel like you're coming over for dinner. That is so true! He makes you feel comfortable and special. He takes time with you and goes above and beyond. He is truly a special man! Thanks for letting me share this with you.


J. Floer, Florida (2000)

My sister and I met Drake Hogestyn at the NBC Fanfest in November 2000. Just before our turn, we witnessed Drake with a paraplegic girl, who was in a wheelchair. Tears started trickling down her face as she met him, but she could not wipe her own tears. Without hesitation, Drake leaned down, dried her tears with his own hands and hugged her until she was okay. He spent several moments with her before getting back to the line. He was just as attentive and tender with us. He exudes graciousness and caring with his fans, which we got to see first-hand.


Susan, Sammamish, Washington (2001)

In Spring 2001, Drake visited Seattle. As a long-time DAYS fan, meeting Drake up-close-and-personal was quite an event. I certainly was not disappointed. Even the two-hour wait in line to meet him and get an autographed picture was well worth it! My husband was the photographer and eventually asked Drake: "Rumor has it, the men on DAYS are the best kissers on daytime television or so my wife tells me; how much practicing do you have to do?" I gave Drake one of my company's hats so he'd remember the event, too.


Selma, Bethesda, Maryland (2003)

When I learned that the NBC Soap Fan Festival 2003 was being held in Los Angeles, I immediately made arrangements for a weekend that I would never forget. The stars are so wonderful and so appreciative of their fans coming out. Especially Drake Hogestyn (John, DAYS OF OUR LIVES). Drake must have spent at least five minutes talking to me while other fans waited in line to get his autograph. He is the most lovable, caring guy. Everyone I spoke to about him felt the same way. Thank you, Drake.


Patty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2003)

Since I wrote the story (on "To Know Him Is To Love Him") of why I fell in love with John Black in 1986, I have had a chance to meet Drake twice, once in 2003 in Baltimore, Maryland and this year in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Rite Aid Health and Beauty Expo.

I should just say he is the most down-to-earth and genuine man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He just makes you feel like you have known him forever because he is so easy to talk to. I must admit, though, that I had a brain freeze and couldn't remember anything I wanted to ask him, I was just so taken by him!

He also is quite the talker; he practically had to be dragged off-stage and from his autograph booth, because he just loves talking to his fans. I have to share something I heard somebody say this past time I met him. I was standing in line waiting to meet him again, and I heard the security guy say that he had met a lot of celebrities but none like Drake. He said he stays and signs an autograph for the last person and he goes without eating for hours. He said he had never met a celebrity like that, and all I could think was, "Yes, Drake really is something else!"

So if you get the chance to meet this magnificent man, do it! You won't regret it, as he is so worth it!

I only hope that he will continue to play John Black for many years to come.


Denise, Connecticut (2004)

I wanted to go to the Emmy Awards but I knew I couldn't afford the tickets. When I looked online they were from one hundred to five hundred dollars. My brother-in-law works in New York, and I just was joking around and I asked if he could get me tickets. Well about a month later, did I get the surprise of my life! One of my brother-in-law's clients happened to work for NBC and he got me tickets for the Awards Show and VIP passes to the party! I was crying my eyes out when they told me! You could imagine how happy I was!

The seats at the show were great we had the eleventh row, which were really good seats. The best part was the party. My husband and I were the only fans there. That's why I didn't get too many pictures. We had to act like we were "one of them." The place was filled with everyone from DAYS and also PASSIONS, just all NBC daytime people. It was wonderful! I could go on and on about it. It was just the best night of my life! I got to drink and eat with all of them. So anyway, my husband and I spent the night in New York at the Hilton and we had a wonderful time!

Sometimes I just want to go back in time and do it again! I just wish I wasn't so shy. Thank God for my husband! He is the one who had to ask Drake and all the others if we could take the pictures. I just hope I get to go again next year. I am praying that my brother-in-law still has that guy for a client next year. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Now I am addicted!

I am from Connecticut and I hear Drake will be visiting Hartford, Connecticut in September. That is only twenty minutes from where I am. I can't wait to find out where he is going. This time I will talk to him more. The first time I was too nervous. I got a couple of pictures with him and a kiss but I was way too nervous to have a real conversation. I just love him! :)


Sara, Connecticut (2004)

I just met Drake in Hartford last weekend! It was the most exciting thing; I was soooooo nervous! But he was so nice, took his time with everyone, hugged everyone, put the little kids on his lap. He is truly amazing, my favorite on DAYS. I love the way he said it was nice meeting me by my name; there is just something so nice when someone actually says your name.

And then SOAPNET interviewed me for that Drake fan show they are doing! I am a huge fan but don't have much in the way of memorabilia, so I'm trying not to get my hopes up. They called me today and said they would probably call back tomorrow! It's hard not to get excited, but I know a lot of people will try out for it. Either way, it was such a fun experience. I was real excited about meeting him before, now after meeting him I just love him so much more!

I wanted to write more about my meeting with Drake, so here it goes. I got there about fifteen minutes before he was scheduled to start signing autographs and there was a big line! I think I waited almost two hours before I finally got to him, but it was well worth the wait! He was so sweet, talking to everyone for a while, which I think was why it was taking so long.

He was hugging everyone and picking up the kids and putting them on his lap. He even dipped one lady and kissed her! Then right when they got to me, the people in charge said no more posing for pictures, I can only get a picture with him while he's signing because the line is too long! (but he posed with me anyway, ha!)

So I went right up and he hugged me (ahhhhhh)! He asked what my name was. Then he asked how old I was, and I said 25; then he said then it's okay if I write "lust" on my picture! Then he said how young I looked and we chatted on how it's good I still get carded now and how it's better to look younger than older. I told him how amazing he was, that I have been watching him everyday since I was twelve years old. He was soooooo nice! He seemed genuinely so happy that everyone was there. I was in John Black's arms! I still cannot believe it! I can't wait to watch today and when I see him I will think, I met him, how cool! Definitely a very exciting weekend!


Lori Hannah, Citrus Heights, California (2005)

The Rite Aid Health and Beauty Expo came to Sacramento, California in 2005. My mom and I played hooky from work so we could attend. We met Jackie Zeman (Bobbie, GENERAL HOSPITAL), and she was such a sweetheart! She took time to chat with everyone, sign autographs and pose for photos. Drake Hogestyn (John, DAYS) was also at the Expo. We didn't get a chance to meet him. His line was really long; he's a popular guy you know! Ha ha!


Eric, Porterville, California (2006)

My wife and I went to tour the NBC Studios in Burbank this last week. During the tour, Drake came walking out a side door on his way home after the day's shooting.

Now to be honest, I knew who he was by sight, "Oh, that guy from DAYS OF OUR LIVES," but I haven't watched the show in about ten years.

Anyway, he proceeded to stop and introduce himself to all of us, asking us where we're from and being incredibly friendly. We ended up talking to him and asking him questions for about twenty minutes. He was so down-to-earth and genial, I just couldn't believe it!

So, I am now officially a fan of Drake's too!


Wendy (Reid Crisp) Lestina, Ferndale, California

It was with experienced caution (few people are up to see non-celebrities, especially now that gas is three dollars a gallon) that I traveled last weekend to Nashville, to do a short talk, a reading, and a book-signing at the 20th Annual Southern Women's Show. I was booked on the Spotlight Stage at the Nashville Convention Center Exhibit Hall for 11:30 on Sunday morning. Right away, I'm concerned. Nashville is a church-going town, and 11:30 is prime-Protestant-sermon time.

That was an unfounded fear. At 11:00 AM when the doors opened on this fourth day of the show, there were at least 800 women already in line. Some were screaming, thrilled screams, at a country-western music performer who was singing at the entrance.

"Who's that?" I asked. I'm not sure I'd even recognize Garth Brooks. "Oh, it's no one," the woman said. "You're in Nashville. Everyone's a singer."

How about a founded fear? Competing in my time slot appearing on the Celebrity Cooking Stage is Carol Fay, the "Biscuit Lady" from Nashville's famous Loveless Café (I'd even been there, with a bunch of Methodists, in the years when I served on the national UMCom board and made ten trips a year to Nashville). No woman in Nashville or anywhere in the South would choose listening to me read from a book about being 60 years old when she could be learning how to make even-better biscuits (and munching on free, hot, Loveless samples with home-made, I like to think, paw-paw jelly). Long story short, I stood on the stage and no one came. Nada. Zero. ("No one?" John repeated when I called, and his voice was so full of sympathy and shock, I already felt comforted.)

Pat Patrick, the charming marketing manager of my host, Davis-Kidd Bookstores, suggested I retire to the bookseller's booth and sit at the table and sign books as people walked by. I quickly agreed. I never feel foolish sitting down, and talking to people as they walk by reminded me of the time I demonstrated turkey pepperoni to non-English-speaking vegetarians in a Winco in Corvallis, Oregon on a store-vacant Super Bowl Sunday. I had more takers with the pepperoni, but, then, it was real food, not simply food-for-thought.

At the table, the event became something else altogether, a wondrous and interesting day filled with good people and surprises and what had begun as a potentially wearisome experience (I had, after all, traveled 2,800 miles on a weekend alone) became, instead, a kaleidoscope of delight.

My first visitor was Emily Gilbert, a young woman from a public relations firm in Chicago who was representing Purity Dairy and who was holding a tiny plastic urine-sample cup filled with some suspiciously solidified "milk." "Milk mixed with ice cream," she said. "For the mustache. Want your picture taken?" (Emily didn't buy a copy of my book, but she did much later that evening buy me dinner, and she was so charming that the college-student waiter, in order to scope her out, asked me for "some ID" when I ordered a glass of Chianti.)

Emily and an associate seemed to be hanging around the Davis-Kidd booth for an unusually long period of time...they were waiting, I learned, to be first in line for the arrival (and milk-mustache ambush) of Drake Hogestyn. Hogestyn, for those of you who don't admit, even secretly, to watching soap operas, is a star (he plays John Black) of DAYS OF OUR LIVES, and he was celebrating his twentieth year on the show by signing photographs and posing for pictures with fans at 1:00, in "our" booth, at "my" table.

I had never heard of Drake Hogestyn. I've been a watcher of CBS soaps (I certainly know who Eileen Fulton is, and I am able to recognize at least some of the character names from the cast of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS). But I was well aware that I was the victim here, with nearly five hundred women lining up to see Drake, and only three or four stopping by to talk about being "over 60." Furthermore, I was the first one at that table, and it could easily accommodate two people, a stack of my books, and a stack of Drake's (free) photos. In other words, I had no intention of moving.

I sat at the table next to Drake for over two hours while he talked with fans, hugged them, posed for photo-ops, encouraged them to follow their dreams, shared anecdotes from the show ("Hey, John," one woman yelled from the sidelines. "When are you going to kill Alex?" "Thursday," Drake said), learned to say "Hi," in American Sign Language, and generally broke every one of my stereotypes about a career-glam-soap star (except the one about being handsome). He was relaxed, considerate, friendly, interested, and kind. And I enjoyed the public impression that I was his "entourage." I was asked questions about the show and about Drake, and I answered them all: he is a real family man, a wonderful person to work with, he's not leaving until everyone has had a chance to meet him and the fans thanked me and brought me glasses of juice and pieces of home-made fudge, and it was all far more interesting than signing books. Especially the part where three local actresses dressed in vintage stewardess uniforms in preparation for Chaffin's Dinner Theatre production of "Boeing, Boeing" handed Drake their just-acquired free panties from the Hanes booth and asked him to sign them.

Craft-tip: in order to write with a felt-tip pen on stretchable Hanes panties, a second person is necessary to help. "Hey," one of the bystanders yelled, "why don't you use the cover of one of those books?" At that moment of lowest authorial dignity, what did I do? I pulled those panties nice and tight and, at one point, when another fan yelled, "Are you on the show, too?" I said, "No. I'm a professional panty-stretcher."

A woman standing nearby introduced herself as Joyce Hightower and said she was a member of the Drake Hogestyn Fan Club; she was waiting for him to finish with the "regular" people, at which time he would meet privately with his fan club in another area of the hotel. "How does this work?" I asked. "Do you belong to other fan clubs, too?" "Not really," she said, "but I am the founder and president of the I've Met Elvis Fan Club." I perked up. Elvis, I've heard of. "Recently?" I asked.


Stephanie, Little Rock, Arkansas (2006)

I had gone to Drake's fan event in 2006 with a couple of friends. I had heard from many fans how incredible Drake is with his fans, but I had never experienced this myself. One of my friends and I were walking into the building and Drake was headed outside to get some photos shot. We were met at the door with a hug from Drake! He was so sweet to us. My other friend and a friend of hers were still standing outside because they didn't have tickets to the event. It was a spur of the moment decision for them to come to the event with us. My friend saw Drake outside taking pictures and she just happened to say out loud, "He's hot!" Well, Drake heard her. He turns around to her and says, "What did you say?" She said, rather timidly, "Ummm...you're hot." Drake laughs and turns to someone and told them to make sure that both of them got a ticket. They did get a ticket and the four of us had a great time that evening. Thanks, Drake!


Andrea, San Diego, California (2007)

The first time I met Drake was on May 12, 2007 at the San Diego Convention Center. He was there for the Rite Aid Health and Beauty Fair. I am thirty-eight-years old and have been watching DAYS OF OUR LIVES pretty much all my life; my mom and grandma watch it, so I started watching around the age of six or seven. I have loved watching Drake Hogestyn ever since the day he first showed up on the set of DAYS OF OUR LIVES. He is just as sweet and gentle in person as he is on television. I have always told my boyfriend that there is no man that will ever compare to Drake Hogestyn. As far as I am concerned, he is just everything all in one. He has personality, sensitivity, caring and definitely is gorgeous. I thought I was going to faint when he hugged me twice and put his arm around me so we could get a picture together. His wife is lucky to have found such a wonderful man!

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