While not as young as the others when I first found B&B... I was still far from having outgrown dreaming when I first saw B&B at age 12. It was the first airing of the pilot and if I believed in such things I would call it pure coincidence that I watched it at all as I was on the phone with a classmate when the program I was watching ended and this magical show came on. Before the pilot was over I was off the phone and sitting inches away from the TV (yes I know it's 'not good for my eyes' LOL ) completely captured by that voice... that promise of safety. V: "You're safe..". I needed a safe place and the tunnels have been that for me ever since. The friends and family I made in the characters of the show were closer to me in my heart than anyone I had in my day to day life.
I drew Vincent from a screen capture once in a school art class and I remember how insulted I was when the art teacher called him 'ugly' (Vincent - not my drawing of him *grin*). Talking about B&B brought a sparkle and passion to my demeanor which normally was a shadowy grey fading in the background.
Then came the cancellation... I had taped all the shows I could and rewatched them till I had them memorized... I wrote letters to get the show back. A little article in TV Guide mentioned a fan publication called Helper's Network Newsletter if I recall the name correctly. Wrote TV Guide for the address and found fandom.... friends who quickly became my extended family... FANZINES!!! ... how I anxiously awaited the mail for those shared stories.
Talked my mother into going to my first con of South of Oz ( I was too young to go by myself as the hotel served alcohol and one had to be 18 to be there without an adult ). I went to ten years straight of conventions/family gatherings as I liked to call them, yet none can touch the magic that was my first convention. Not because it was grander than any of the others, but rather because it was the first time that 'safe place' of the tunnels surrounded me for three glorious days before having to return to my world.
Still to this day when I need a safe place... when I need to remember there is good in the world as well as darkness ... when I need to go Home... I go to B&B... episodes, fanzines, websites, con videos etc.
I know we never got our fabled 'Movie', but I think we have so much more in each other and we continue to carry the stories and therefore the path we create for each other into the future. I'm sure I'm not the only one who as silently asked, 'What would Vincent/Catherine do?' and each time we acted in kindness, generousity and love we honor them for their gifts to us.
I always loved candles for as far back as I can recall.... now I know why. *grin*