Monday, July 20, 2015

Remembering Woodbridge: A History of the Late, Great 'Secret Storm' (Part 9)

Dennis Cooney as Kevin Kincaid, Lynne Adams as Amy Ames Kincaid,
and Bernard Barrow as Dan Kincaid.
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 8)

Doug Winthrop proved a disappointment to his mother, falling hopelessly in love with a former drug addict, Joanna Morrison, who came from a sad background. Her mother, May, had married a slob named Ed Rutledge who was known to beat Joanna while on frequent benders. Refusing to return to this less-than-idyllic existence, Joanna was taken under the wings of rivals Amy and Belle. While Amy gave Joanna the compassionate "tea and sympathy" approach, Belle took a hard line and made Joanna shape up and make something of herself. Ursula vehemently disapproved of Doug's relationship with Joanna and its effects on him. He was subconsciously shedding his "square" ways to fit in with Joanna's friends, Polly and Alden, a pair of "flower people" who always acted as if they walked seven feet off the ground. Belle and Joanna moved into a modern penthouse apartment and campaigned vigorously for Dan, who moved in with Belle and helped provide Joanna with the so-called secure family environment she had always lacked. Doug grew disgusted with Joanna's new life as a singer and left Woodbridge, and Joanna gave up singing to work in the hospital cafeteria.

Belle pretended to play hard-to-get when she kept stalling Dan's marriage proposals. Her secret dream was to marry in a lavish ceremony in the governor's mansion once Dan won the election. Alas, Belle's delusions of grandeur were thwarted: Dan surprised her with a secret wedding in their penthouse! Belle and Dan told no one about their marriage, mainly because of Kevin's distrust and disapproval of Belle, but the truth came out one night when Dan confessed his drug connections to Belle and had an automobile accident. Belle shocked Amy and Kevin by revealing she was Dan's next of kin in order to give him the hospital permission to operate. Dan recovered, turned state's evidence and went to prison for several months. Belle took a job with the Clarion, now published by a black woman named Ann Share.

David Ackroyd as Kevin Kincaid and Lynne Adams as Amy Ames.
Amy and Kevin were married and began their life with Lisa an an old barn which Amy had refurnished with the help of a cheerful but lonely carpenter named Riley. The Kincaids' early days of wedding bliss were soon curtailed when Kevin was paralyzed from injuries suffered in a scuffle with some drug mobsters. Kevin took to a wheel chair and harbored a great deal of bitterness toward his father for his deceptions. Amy believed herself to be pregnant and told Kevin the happy news that she was in a family way, but was soon devastated to learn she wasn't pregnant after all! For the sake of Kevin's morale, Amy went to Kevin's chess-playing buddy, Dr. Brian Neeves, and had herself artificially inseminated behind Kevin's back. Brian, a jovial playboy on the surface, was actually very much in love with Amy and secretly provided the sperm. Leave it to Belle, who was now Amy's step-mother-in-law as well as her enemy, to blow the secret up in Amy's face!

Ken and Laurie Stevens had left Woodbridge, with Nola following suit months later, but Laurie and Clay returned to town after Ken had died in a car accident.

Becoming active with the Catholic Church, Laurie met the handsome compassionate young Father Mark Reddin. When Riley went insane and kidnapped Clay for no apparent reason, it was Mark who brought the child back and made certain that Riley was instutionalized. The growing friendship between Laurie and Mark only slightly concerned Mark's friend and superior, the wise old Monsignor Joseph Quinn, but it enraged many of Woodbridge's resident Catholics--including local snob Emily Rodabough, who began spreading rumors of hanky-panky. Gradually, the warm bond between these two turned to love. Mark, after months of tormented indecision, left the Church for the woman he loved and took Laurie to his old home town to help break the news to his farmbred family.

Laurie met Jessie, Mark's gruff, widowed mother. There was also Stace, Mark's irresponsible, misfit younger brother, who tried to attack Laurie in the barn. Jessie ran in to save Laurie from her son's lustful advances and died by falling on a pitchfork. His last link with tradition gone, Mark married Laurie and returned to Woodbridge. Stace continued to drift and became indebted to gamblers, joining Mark and Laurie in Woodbridge when the funds ran out. The gamblers located Stace in Woodbridge and threatened his life, but Mark took a job as a parole office and saved Stace. In doing so, however, he fatally shot on of the criminals, Jimmy Starzo. Stace suddenly mellowed toward his brother and believed him to be the greatest thing to walk on two legs, but Mark was never the same after killing a man.

Continue reading Remembering Woodbridge: A History of the Late, Great 'Secret Storm' (Part 10 of 10)...

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