Fans bid final farewell to Erica Kane and All My Children

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - They laughed, they cried, and they wondered what they will do without the people of Pine Valley. On Friday, some long-time fans of the daytime soap opera "All My Children" gathered at a Gulfport home to watch the last episode on ABC.

More than 20 friends came to reminisce and to mourn.

"I just find that it's one of the very, very sad days for me. I've been watching it since I was 14 years old," said Sheryl Taylor of New Orleans.

"I've been watching 'All My Children' since I was seven-years-old," said Kathy Hage of Gulfport. "I feel like they're part of my family, and I feel like I'm losing them today."

For four decades, those fans of "All My Children" have shared with each other the lives and loves of Chandler, Brooke, Jack, and of course, the drama queen, Erica Kane. That's why they wanted to take their last visit to Pine Valley together.

"We're very sad that it's going off the air," said Lynn Bell of New Orleans. "We thought today have the party and Monday maybe the funeral, because we won't be able to watch it anymore."

For Lou Scardino of Long Beach, watching "All My children" was part her lunch-time ritual. She has rarely missed an episode.

"I think Erica was my favorite character on the show," Scardino said. "She married every man on there, seven of them, and some of them twice. I mean it's just exciting."

And the soap opera will always have a special place in Barbara Salloum's heart. The former WLOX reporter and host made a cameo appearance on the show in 1986.

"I got up there and I had 14 words to say, so that wasn't too hard," said Barbara Salloum of Gulfport.

As they watched the final scene, they were stunned.

"The gun went off and Erica was walking by, that was the end of the show," Bell told her friends.

The ending had just as much drama as the day the show first aired 41 years ago.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.