There are certain things you learn when not in school. Home sick in bed when very young, my mind wandering feverishly, I happened on the curious fact that the soap brands that advertised so heavily in the daytime could be found within much longer words suggesting pleasure and excitement. For instance, Fab was a syllable of fabulous, Lux of luxurious, and Vel of marvelous. I wondered if I was the first to notice this coincidence.
Tide and Oxydol were what today we’d call the outliers. As for Dreft, I’m still working on it.
My mother was a fan of the soaps, her children not as much. But this changed in 1980. My brother Peter moved to New York to seek his fortune as an actor, and before you know it he was hired by One Life to Live. As there was already a Peter Miner in the biz (in fact, he was one of the directors of OLTL), my brother dusted off his middle name and became Peter Matthey. His assignment was to play a scuzzball named Luther Jackson. Fresh out of prison, Luther showed up in Llanville, Pennsylvania to make life miserable for his ex-wife, Becky Lee, a sweet young thing who’d moved on without him and aspired to fame as a singer.