Remembering Woodbridge: A History of the Late, Great 'Secret Storm' (Part 8)

Lori March as Valerie Ames, Eleanor Phelps as Grace Tyrell, Judy Lewis
as Susan Ames Carver and Lynne Adams as Amy Ames.
Remembering Woodbridge: A History of the Late, Great 'Secret Storm'

The Soap Box
Vol. IV No. 1 January 1979
by John Genovese

(continued from Part 7)

Amy had an intriguing new set of activities into which she invested her energies following her cure. She found a Christmas card from a Canadian family and questioned Grace about them. It was then that Grace told her family the story of Sean Childers Jr., a son Ellen Ames conceived through a ne'er-do-well named Sean Childers Sr. Grace had bribed Childers out of Woodbridge and arranged for the boy to be adopted by this aging Canadian couple. Amy decided to look up her half-brother and finally learned he was in an Army hospital. What Amy and her family didn't know was that Sean took his best buddy, Cory Boucher, into his confidence and died. Thus, the young man who joined the Ames family and moved into the apartment over their garage was not Sean Childers--it was Cory Boucher!

Cory's original intent was to cash in on Grace's riches and skip town along with his pal and partner in crime, Mickey Potter, but Cory began to feel new loyalties after assuming the identity of Sean Childers Jr. He began to genuinely love the Ames family, thinking of Grace as he really would a grandmother. But his love for Amy was nothing brotherly. Grace's illness subsided and she gave Sean/Cory a considerable sum of money, bolstering the suspicions Susan already had about this new arrival. Then Cory's father, criminal Harold McGonigle, arrived in Woodbridge with added schemes--including getting in on the Clayborn riches by starting out as Didi's gardener! By this time, Ken and Laurie knew that Clay was Ken's son and were fighting spiteful Didi for his custody. Aggie was still living with Paul and Belle, who had moved to publisher Collins' old house (which Belle detested), but Aggie was helping Didi run the house alone and sensed something slippery about McGonigle.

Joel Crothers as Ken Stevens, Stephanie Braxton as Laurie
Hollister, and Mary K. Wells as Nola Hollister.
Finally Cory and Mickey could stand the deception no more and Mickey told the truth to Amy while the two were driving. The car plummeted down a cliff, and Mickey was killed, while ever-so-sturdy Amy survived. Cory tearfully confessed everything to Grace, and the family took a very lenient position with him--except for Susan and Frank, who suggested pressing charges. Cory left town and Amy waited for him, but he soon sent her a farewell letter. More tears were shed when Didi came to know the error of her ways and left Clay with Ken and Laurie before starting a new life elsewhere. McGonigle, naturally, was sent up the river.

Amy wasn't without male companionship for very long. Kevin Kincaid, the young attorney who represented the Stevenses in their fight for Clay, began visiting Amy frequently when she was on crutches after the auto accident. Kevin's widowed father was Dan Kincaid, Nola's old friend, a dynamic public figure who was running for governor. Belle grew quite bored when Paul returned to his old position at Woodbridge University, and struck up an affair with Dan, whose power and connections impressed her to no end. Not so impressive was the vast narcotics ring which owned Dan Kincaid (unbeknownst to his family and friends) and aided a name from the past in his misguided, treacherous actions. That name: Alan Dunbar.

Yes, Alan Dunbar was alive and kicking. His teenage son Petey (now called Peter) was delighted with this development, but several months later he learned that dear old Dad wasn't all he was cracked up to be. The war had done strange things to Alan, and his reaction to Susan's stable marriage to Frank was anything but sane. He played on Susan's sympathies and managed to get her hooked on alcohol and drugs to insure her total dependence on him. The dope came from the new head of the country club, Tim Brannigan, who hired Alan as club manager and was a component of the drug ring which was blackmailing Dan Kincaid. Frank caught on to Alan's plan but left Susan when he couldn't convince Susan or Peter that Alan was up to no good.

Tim Brannigan began blackmailing Alan, who was found murdered in his country club office after a violent confrontation with a drunken Susan. Susan stood trial for the crime and, considering the identity of the District Attorney, it appeared Susan hadn't the chance of an ice pack in the middle of the Libyan desert.

Ursula Winthrop had become the D.A. when her husband, the incumbent Matthew Winthrop had concealed some shady deals involving his friend, Fred Clearwater, and had not prosecuted. Carrying a vendetta against the Ames family, Ursula set out to hang Susan. Yet her best-laid plans were to go astray, for Dan Kincaid produced evidence of Tim Brannigan's guilt and of Tim's friend Vic Corelli's part in mob activities--without revealing his own syndicate connections. Corelli skipped town and Brannigan was shot down by the police. Aggie moved away, as did Paul, who divorced Belle so she would be free to marry Dan. Peter Dunbar joined Jerry and Hope in Paris once the Carvers reunited, happier than ever.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Check back on Monday for Remembering Woodbridge: A History of the Late, Great 'Secret Storm' (Part 9 of 10).


  1. I think that great picture of the "Ames Women" at the top actually includes Lynne Adams as Amy--not Jada Rowland, dating the pic from the era of 1971 (when Judy Lewis was still on the show).

  2. Thank you so much for this series!!!! There's something about the canonical nature of daytime soaps that makes their history so much fun to read. One of my favorite memories of my adolescence was the first time I was old enough to be left home for the weekend while my parents traveled and I celebrated with a Sara Lee Banana Bread and a copy of the book Soap World. I really appreciate it and I hope that you'll help commit the memories of other cancelled soaps to the web archives because my copy of Soap World is a little tattered.