Wednesday, September 2, 2015

FLASHBACK: 'Another World' The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice (Part 13)

Margaret "Margie" Impert played Rachel Clark
on Another World when Robin Strasser left the role.
ANOTHER WORLD: The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice

The Soap Box
Vol. IV No. 7 July 1979
by Bryna Laub

(continued from Part 12)

Alice and Steven Frame's honeymoon on the island of St. Croix in the Caribbean had ended, but their happiness was undiminished when they returned to Bay City to begin their life together in the beautiful country home Steven had built for her. She had resigned her job as a nurse at Bay City Hospital and was fully enjoying her new role as a housewife and the anticipation of motherhood ahead for her.

But one tragic event marred their happiness. Shortly before Alice's brother was to marry Cindy Clark, Cindy became ill. Russ was heartbroken when her doctors broke the news that her illness was terminal. Russ and his family chose to hide the truth from Cindy and, under the impression she would soon recover, she married Russ in the hospital chapel only hours before she died.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Cindy and Russ married on the September 5, 1972 episode. Robin Strasser left Another World December 10, 1971, and was replaced by Margie Impert from December 27, 1971 - February 15, 1972. With Impert not working out, executive producer Paul Rauch talked Strasser into returning as Rachel (February 17, 1972 - June 29, 1972) until a permanent replacement could be found. Victoria Wyndham debuted as the third (and final) Rachel on July 21, 1972, and played the role until the show's very last scene on June 25, 1999.

Cindy's brother, Ted, now married to Rachel, was shattered by his sister's death. He began to believe her death was somehow punishment for concealing the fact that it was he who had robbed Russ's clinic of drugs several months before and had injured Russ seriously in the attempt. Unable to live with this burden of guilt, he made a full confession to Russ and the authorities and received a reduced sentence of six months in the state prison.

It fell to Rachel to run their new restaurant, The Fireside Inn. Without experience she would have failed but her father, Gerald Davis, had recently lost his Riverboat Restaurant in a fire and he came to Bay City to help her. Rachel, still hoping her father might someday love her as she loved the image of him, chose to interpret his stepping into the breach as a gesture of fatherly love rather the self-serving opportunity it really was.

Rachel had tried to accept Steven's marriage to Alice as the closing of a door in her life and made a great effort to fill her life with Ted and Jamie, the son she had with Steven while she was married to Russ. But with Ted in jail her restlessness increased and when she learned Alice was expecting Steven's baby, all the old resentment returned.

When Ted returned from prison he mentioned he'd been thinking about adopting Jamie so they would really be a family. This gave Rachel the opportunity she'd been waiting for. Her agreement with Steven, made before his marriage to Alice, allowed him to visit Jamie weekly but forbade Rachel from being present. This made Alice more comfortable with the arrangement.

Rachel now forced a meeting with Steven and told him of Ted's plans. As she'd foreseen, he disliked the idea of Ted supplanting him entirely in his son's life--it was hard enough the boy called Ted "daddy" and he, Steven, was "Uncle Steve". Rachel quickly assured Steven that she, too, was against Ted's adoption plan but added that Steven himself had given Ted all the ammunition to have the courts rule in Ted's favor.

George Reinholt as Steven Frame with Victoria
Wydham as Rachel Clark.
A father is a person who takes an active role in his child's development, she explained, and Steve had relinquished this role to Ted. Only if she could honestly tell the courts that she and Steven met regularly to discuss the boy's progress and make plans for his future could he really be considered a father. Steven reluctantly agreed with her logic but knew instinctively it would upset Alice terribly. So he agreed to the meetings but kept them a secret from his wife.

One sunny day Rachel had come up with another topic for discussion and persuaded Steven to let her accompany him and Jamie on a planned picnic in the country. Jamie was bitten by a rattlesnake and they rushed him to Bay City Hospital's emergency room. Alice, on duty that day, walked by and overheard enough to realized the three of them had been together, and it wasn't the first time.

To Alice this was a complete break of trust, just like the things that had happened before her marriage. She moved back into her parents' house and once more refused to see Steven. But this time her own needs and desires overcame her pride. She loved Steven, missed him terribly, and so she went home. In gratitude for her forgiveness, Steven renegotiated his agreement with Rachel. He would go back to the original plan of seeing Jamie alone, but added a condition that no attempt by Ted to adopt Jamie would be made.

Ted agreed to Steven's proviso but made it clear to Rachel that their marriage wasn't working the way it had months ago. Rachel's explanation of this was Ted's prison term. She had been thrust into the position of running the restaurant and being the breadwinner and now she wasn't willing to relinquish all the reins and let Ted run their lives completely. Ted couldn't accept this and began to see that as long as they lived in Bay City, the past would always come between Rachel and himself.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Robin Strasser's final exit from Another World (June 29, 1972) involved Rachel leaving Bay City for a while, feeling pulled in different directions by Ted and Jamie following Jamie's snake bit.

Continue reading Part 14 of a very detailed flashback series, Another World - The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice...

- FLASHBACK: George Reinholt, Soap Idol 1971
- INTERVIEW: Robin Strasser Reflects On Constance Ford

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