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Original Issue


Assistant managing editor Jerry Kirshenbaum is glowing with pride these days. Last Thursday his wife, Susan, a writer with the popular ABC-TV soap opera All My Children, won an Emmy. She and her writing colleagues on the show were honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the daytime category "Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series."

Jerry was delighted when he heard the good news. He had received some himself last March when he was promoted to assistant managing editor—A.M.E. in office jargon. What with Jerry's new title and Susan's award, an office wit suggested that he buy Susan an anemone in honor of the occasion. He bought her roses instead.

Jerry, from Benton Harbor, Mich., and Susan, from Woodstock, N.Y., met in New York City, where they were married 16 years ago. They live in Greenwich Village with their 14-year-old son, David (who shares his father's appreciation of sports and his mother's interest in television, but whose own passion is the theater). Susan occasionally goes to sports events with Jerry, but she gets too emotionally involved to enjoy them. "She just can't stand close games," says Jerry, "especially thrillers that go down to the last second." Susan says, "I feel so sorry for the losers, after coming so close."

Jerry has found that athletes watch soap operas. "They usually have time to kill," he says, "and a lot of them get hooked on the soaps." For example, Steve Scott, the miler, is a fan of All My Children. When he and his wife, Kim, were in New York for an indoor meet, Susan arranged for them to watch the cast tape an episode.

Although Jerry seldom sees All My Children, he has made at least one contribution to the show. One character was drinking as he watched a college football game on TV. For reasons of plot, it was necessary that the game be prolonged so that the character would be drunk when it was over. The script had called for the game to go into overtime. Jerry pointed out that college football doesn't have overtime, so he suggested that the crowd spill onto the field to delay the game. His suggestion was followed, and the character got plastered before the crowd was shooed off the field.

Jerry has had to fend off friends who want advance information on what's going to happen next on All My Children. The story line is usually plotted out six weeks ahead, but Jerry spills no secrets. "Susan and I made a pact," he says. "She doesn't tell me what's going to happen on All My Children, and I don't tell her who's going to win the Super Bowl."