By Nelson Aspen
I always loved my July 1 birthday because all the festivity of the long holiday weekend meant that I got to stretch it out for those extra "lazy, hazy days of summer." When my unique friendship with Mary Stuart began in the early 1980s, it became even more fun with the additional celebration of HER birthday on July 4.
Summertime meant trips to her Connecticut country home and ice cold cocktails in her Upper East Side Manhattan penthouse. Like her memorable Christmases, Independence Day was a magical time. I remember the July 4 episode of Search for Tomorrow in 1986 with Mary's character, Jo, singing a duet with our pal Anita Gillette (Wilma) at the Liberty House's rooftop party. They hilariously belted out "Friendship" from Anything Goes. I wish she'd gotten to sing at one of the Bauer Barbeques when she was on Guiding Light as Meta.