Lane and Nancy at their first meeting in Atlanta, 1986.

Nancy Bernat came into my life in 1986 after a performance of Hamlet. Too shy to speak, her cousin introduced us, and she gave me an album of pictures (taken off the television) chronicling Mason’s history on Santa Barbara up to that date. I was touched and delighted, and invited her on a studio tour. She came to several other productions, both in Los Angeles and Atlanta, and often with the latest installment of my photographic history on the show. To make a long story short, she moved to Los Angeles in 1988 and became indispensable to my fledgling Santa Susana Repertory Company, doing everything from archives to props. She eventually became nanny to my boys, a member of the family, and remained so until diagnosed with cancer in 1998. She fought bravely until April of 1999, when she passed away, leaving a hole in our lives that has yet to mend. While going through her things (which were considerable—she was the most organized pack-rat on the planet) I found a collection of tapes going back to my first year on Santa Barbara. It is from those tapes that we derive The Mason Chronicles. I hope you enjoy them.

I think Nancy would be pleased…