Fantasies of starting over with a completely new life are rarely fulfilled, but Dr. Brad Eliot was swept into his without forethought. Distraught because the son of his fiancee, Barbara Anderson, died while he was operating on him, Brad Eliot walked away from his medical practice as a psychiatrist and neurosurgeon. Brad was actually the boy’s father. As he left Chicago, circumstances went from bad to worse when his car and wallet were stolen. In a haze, he wandered into Genoa City with nothing more than the dirty clothes on his back. Then, after enjoying a meal at Pierre’s restaurant, he had to admit he couldn’t pay the tab. That’s when Brad’s luck actually changed for the better.
Stuart Brooks, the owner/publisher of The Genoa City Chronicle, overheard Brad’s conversation with waitress Sally McGuire. Trusting his instincts that this was no ordinary panhandler, Stuart gave him a job. Fate continued to nudge Brad into a new life when he saw a news wire story declaring that Dr. Brad Eliot had been killed in a car accident. Clearly, the thief who stole his car and wallet had been killed and mistakenly identified, giving the real Dr. Eliot an opportunity to start his life over.
Stuart Brooks and his wife Jennifer had four daughters: Leslie, a rather shy pianist; Lauralee, called Lorie, an adventurous author; Chris, a journalist; and Peggy, a college student. Although Brad clearly chose to keep his past a mystery, he proved himself likable, helpful and basically honest. It was easy for Stuart to encourage a budding relationship between Leslie and Brad.
Before Brad came into her life, Leslie was totally absorbed in her music. She never dated and was far more comfortable at her piano than with men. But she was drawn to Brad and fell in love with him as he supported and encouraged her career, which took off beautifully. For the first time in her life, Leslie found the promise of happiness professionally and personally.
While Stuart approved of Brad’s interest in Leslie, he was not thrilled when local medical student Snapper Foster (William Foster Jr.) caught the eye of his trusting daughter, Chris. Stuart was less offended by Snapper’s blue-collar roots than by his indifference to Chris. (Snapper was so-named due to his tendency toward irritability and to “snap” at people.)
Handsome Snapper was not only putting himself through medical school, but being “man of the family” after his dad deserted them seven years earlier. The eldest son, Snapper was helping his mom Liz, a factory worker, put his brother Greg through law school and keeping a big-brother eye on his sister Jill who dreamed of being a fashion model while working as a beautician. Liz wished the best for all her children and encouraged Snapper to pursue a nice, well-bred girl like Chris. However, with enough obligations already, Snapper preferred to keep his freedom. Snapper was also seeing Sally McGuire, a waitress at Pierre’s.
One evening, Chris invited Snapper to the Brooks home for dinner but he didn’t show. After a day at school and work he had visited Sally, fell asleep and she conveniently forgot to wake him as he had asked. His half-truth–that he fell asleep after a full day–satisfied Chris enough to get her through the hurt of disappointment.
Her dad, however, grew more displeased with Snapper. When Stuart learned that Snapper was seeing Sally, he was quick to tell Chris that Snapper was cheating on her. Chris moved out and went to work as a secretary for Greg Foster, unaware that her dad had financially helped his new law practice in return for her employment. When she found out, she angrily quit. Greg was especially saddened because he had fallen in love with Chris.
One evening after an unsuccessful day of job hunting, Chris stopped by a local bar and met George Curtis who bought her a drink, seemed pleasant enough, and offered to escort her safely home. Once there, however, he raped her.
Jill was unhappy working at the salon, but wouldn’t take Snapper’s advice about going to college to broaden her chances for a career that would bring her the lifestyle she dreamed about. Instead, she won the trust of a rich, powerful and temperamental customer, Kay Chancellor. When Kay, an alcoholic, fired her personal secretary, Jill took the opportunity to enter the world she dreamed about. She convinced Kay to hire her