In the cab of an orange truck towing a yellow trailer, Brad Elliot sat in the passenger seat next to a driver who'd picked up the disheveled hitchhiker. Brad rubbed his face, avoiding a painful bruise and a gash on the right side of his forehead. After Brad awoke from a fitful nap, the truck driver said, "Got yourself some sleep, huh?" After the truck driver told Brad he'd slept a couple of hours, he noticed Brad glancing at his bare wrist and asked if he'd lost his watch. Brad, struggling to emerge from a fog, said it looked as if he had. The truck driver explained that Genoa City was the end of the line for him before he grabbed a bite, rested, and headed back home to St. Paul.
The talkative truck driver asked Brad if he was a family man. Brad replied, "No." The truck driver offered to drop Brad off at a hospital to check out his head wound, but Brad declined and asked to be dropped off anywhere in town. The truck driver noticed Brad's expensive suit and asked what had happened to cause him to flag down a ride in the middle of nowhere. Brad replied, "Does it matter?" The truck driver noticed an area of lighter skin on Brad's finger, where he'd once worn a ring, and guessed that whomever had stolen Brad's wallet had "really cleaned him out." Brad mumbled that he'd also lost his tie clasp and his car. Brad declined an offer to stop at the police station to file a report.
Brad tuned out the trucker's constant conversation and probing questions for a few moments. Brad relived a conversation with a woman named Barbara Anderson. Barbara, as Brad recalled the encounter in his mind, had expressed frustration regarding his aloofness. She'd asked Brad why he was reluctant to commit to a serious relationship with her after they'd been involved for months. After Barbara asked what they were going to do, Brad had suggested she get an abortion. The truck driver interrupted Brad's train of thought and asked what he planned to do. Brad replied, "Good question.
In a tiny apartment, Sally McGuire, seemingly daydreaming, peered out a tiny window offering an uninspiring view of an urban neighborhood. Sally walked across the room and told her roommate, Bill "Snapper" Foster that it was kind of a drag to be stuck in a place like Genoa City. Snapper was reading the dense text in his medical book and didn't immediately respond when Sally, frustrated, cried, "I feel so restless." Sally sighed. Snapper turned his attention away from his studies and asked Sally why she felt stuck in Genoa City, adding that she could feel trapped anywhere.
Snapper told Sally he had a lunch date with a man in his 40s named Stuart Brooks, owner of the Genoa City newspaper. Sally, a waitress at Pierre's Restaurant, said that Stuart frequented the eatery. Snapper acknowledged that he didn't really know Stuart. Sally said she'd heard that Snapper had been dating one of Stuart's daughters, Chris. Sally claimed that Snapper's association with the affluent, well-connected family would likely accelerate his goal of quickly building a medical practice. Snapper had resumed skimming his textbooks, though he noted that Sally seemed to have found a good pipeline from which to glean information.
Sally, yearning to expand her career goals, said she'd considered quitting Pierre's to become a manicurist. Sally noted that Snapper was wise to become a doctor because that was where the money was. Snapper explained that he didn't want to end up in the same trap his father had. Sally massaged Snapper's leg as she acknowledged that they couldn't get what they needed from each other because they wanted the same things. Snapper wrapped his arms around Sally, fondled her hair, kissed her cheek, and suggested they delay their immediate plans so they could make love. Sally declined, reminding Snapper that he'd declared their casual romance to be a no-strings relationship.
Chris Brooks entered her family's grand home and listened as her older sister, Leslie, practiced piano, adeptly performing a classical song as she followed the notes in a bound collection of sheet music. Chris, expressing her fondness for popular music, blushed when Leslie played and sang the line, "The look of love is in your eyes." Chris sat down on the bench beside Leslie and asked if her deep devotion to music was worth not carving out time for romance. Leslie sighed and said, "Well, you're not me, Chris, and I'm not you. You're in love with love, and I find my fulfillment with the piano."
Chris confided to Leslie that she believed she was in love the Snapper Foster. Leslie said she, her parents, and sister Peggy had sensed that Chris was in love. Leslie added that Lorie would have, too, had she been back home. Chris admitted that she wanted to marry Snapper, have children, and not wait to achieve her dreams. Chris acknowledged her uncertainty about how Snapper felt about taking such a big step immediately. Leslie said that at age 19, Chris had plenty of time to find out how Snapper felt. Frustrated, Chris admitted that their father definitely didn't understand how she felt.
At Pierre's Restaurant, Snapper sat at a table, swirling his glass of beer as Pierre crooned for the sedate lunch crowd. Sally busily served her customers. Brad entered. Though Brad appeared to have cleared his head, his suit coat was disheveled, and his sleeve was partially ripped where it met the shoulder seam. Sally grabbed a menu from the bar, greeted Brad, and seated him.
Sally glanced at Snapper, and he met her gaze while she waited for Brad to order. After Sally walked away, Brad attempted to tuck in his shirt and pinch closed the rip in his coat sleeve. Sally nodded at Stuart when he entered and sat at Snapper's table. Pierre finished his song, and the patrons applauded.
Stuart began the conversation with Snapper by calling him Bill then acknowledged that the young man preferred his nickname. Snapper replied, "I'm told it goes along with my disposition." Stuart brought up Snapper's estranged father. Snapper acknowledged that six years had passed since his father had abandoned his family. Snapper thanked Stuart for not publishing the account of his father's sudden decision to leave town without a word. Stuart explained that publicity could have helped the family find Mr. Foster. Snapper insinuated that his mother had had no desire to do so after her husband had abandoned her and three kids with only 30 dollars to live on.
Stuart suggested that Snapper's father might be suffering from an illness, which might have led to his rash decision to leave his family. Snapper explained that being poor and strapped with a wife and three children to care for had overburdened his father, causing him to snap. Snapper added that wherever his father was, if he were still alive, he was at least relieved of some of the pressures he'd endured. Stuart said he couldn't understand Snapper's attitude. Snapper noted that Stuart perhaps couldn't understand because he hadn't lived the difficult life of the Foster family. Snapper praised his mother and sister for having found jobs, noted that he'd begun working weekends in addition to his schooling, and seemed proud of his brother, Greg, for having been accepted at Yale School of Law.
Stuart admitted that the Fosters were a remarkable family, and he acknowledged that Snapper lacked only a year of medical school to earn his degree. Stuart asked Snapper why he'd chosen medical school. Snapper replied, "So one day, I can live the way you do." Sally brought menus to the table. She held onto Snapper's menu and maintained eye contact for a few seconds before letting go and walking away.
Snapper noticed Brad sitting nearby. Snapper called Stuart's attention to the stranger and noted that the man had a laceration on the side of his head. Stuart said he wondered who the man was and where he was from. Snapper noted that Stuart had fallen back on his days as a reporter as he wondered aloud about the mysterious stranger. The men watched as Sally served Brad his meal.
Stuart, turning his attention back to Snapper, said it had likely seemed odd for a man he barely knew to invite him to lunch. Snapper said he assumed it had to do with Chris. Stuart replied, "Yes. I understand that you've been seeing her." Stuart said he'd asked Chris why Snapper hadn't visited their home and learned that he'd been busy with his studies and his job. Stuart inquired about other possible reasons Snapper had avoided socializing.
Snapper admitted he shied away from big houses and rich people. Stuart explained that his home was old and that he wasn't rich. Stuart didn't mince words, telling Snapper that he'd prefer that Chris, the most sensitive of his four daughters, ideally wait until a few years after college to marry. Stuart admitted to Snapper that Chris was falling in love with him. Snapper explained that marriage to anyone was the furthest thing from his mind.
Sally returned to Brad's table, carrying a carafe of coffee. Sally offered Brad a refill. Brad politely declined. Sally gave Brad his check. Brad glanced at the check and admitted he didn't have any money. Sally was taken aback when Brad asked if he could pay later. Sally became flustered and said she'd have to talk to her boss.
As Sally approached and explained the situation to Pierre, Stuart watched and listened. Pierre rushed to Brad's table and said, "You order a cocktail and a big steak, and you have no money, no credit cards, nothing?" Brad apologized, explained that he'd been hungry, and he requested that Pierre add a dollar tip for the waitress. Pierre wasn't pleased about allowing Brad to eat on credit and asked Brad if he could leave a watch to ensure he'd pay. Brad reiterated that he had nothing.
When Pierre began to berate Brad in French, Stuart intervened and told Pierre to add Brad's tab to his account. Pierre agreed and walked away. Stuart introduced himself to Brad and asked Brad to introduce himself. Brad replied, "Brad. Brad Elliot."
At a police station two hours away from Genoa City, a police officer showed Barbara a watch. Barbara closely examined the watch and said, "Yes. Yes, this belonged to Brad Elliot." The officer asked Barbara if she was certain. She said she was as she held Brad's tie tack between her thumb and forefinger. Barbara, fraught with worry, asked, "Just how bad was the accident." The officer replied, "He's dead, ma'am." Barbara, devastated, turned her head away so she wouldn't have to see Brad's belongings spread out atop the officer's desk.
At Pierre's restaurant, Genoa City newspaper owner Stuart Brooks had set up a lunch date with Snapper Foster to discuss Snapper's romantic interest in Stuart's daughter Chris. After Stuart engaged in a brief discussion with Snapper about his plans after medical school, Snapper insisted he wasn't ready for marriage. Snapper added, "I think you made yourself clear. Chris is 19, and you want her to wait. You weren't sure of the relationship, and you wanted to be sure." Stuart claimed he'd also been thinking about Snapper and hoped he might be advising the young man the same way his father might have, given that Snapper had yet to finish medical school and would soon be entering a residency program. Frustrated, Snapper picked up his notebook and said he had a class to attend and had to run.
As Stuart was signing his receipt, Brad Elliot, a man who'd recently arrived in Genoa City after hitchhiking a ride with a truck driver, thanked Stuart again for having paid for his meal. Brad waved a slip of paper, explaining that the waitress had given him Stuart's phone number so he could be repaid later. Stuart joined Brad and asked him if he was feeling better. Brad, sporting a gash and a bruise on his forehead, had earlier told the waitress that he had no money or credit cards with which to pay his bill. Brad assured Stuart that he was better and had never made of habit of not paying his way. Stuart replied, "No, I could sense that just by looking at you."
Stuart asked Brad about his plans. Brad explained that he was unsure of his plans and added that his life story, which he'd left behind hundreds of miles away, wouldn't be of interest to Stuart. Stuart said Brad did interest him, and he was willing to help him. Stuart inquired about Brad's college background and surmised that he had credentials. Becoming defensive, Brad replied, "Because of the cut of my suit?"
Stuart explained that he'd based his assumptions on the way Brad had handled himself, exuding confidence. Stuart offered Brad a job at his newspaper, running copy and writing obituaries. Brad smiled and said, "My father used to have an expression whenever he was faced with a decision." Stuart replied, "Which was?" Brad said, "What's the alternative?" Brad added that he realized he had none. Brad accepted Stuart's job offer.
Snapper entered his family's home and flung his books onto the sofa across the room. Snapper noticed a note left for him by the telephone and began reading it as his sister, Jill Foster, entered the room. Jill said, "Chris Brooks. Wants you to call." Snapper asked Jill why she was at home. Jill explained that she felt ill and was suffering from a bad case of the cramps, for which she'd tried hot wine to offer relief.
Jill picked up one of Snapper's books, perused it briefly, and said, "Sometimes I hate being a woman." Snapper replied, "Know what your problem is, Jill? It's not being a woman. It's being bored with your job." Jill admitted she had dreams of owning her own beauty shop. Snapper insisted that Jill belonged back in school. Snapper told Jill he cared very much what happened to her.
Jill mentioned Chris's phone call to Snapper and noted that Chris seemed "hung up" on him. Jill told Snapper she hoped to meet Chris sometime. Snapper, his attention mostly focused on his textbook, mentioned that he'd had lunch with Chris's father. Jill replied, "Wait until I tell Mom! She's going to flip." Snapper forbade his sister from talking about it with their mother. Snapper explained that Mr. Brooks only wanted to make clear that he wouldn't welcome a son-in-law. Jill sighed and said, "Not good enough?"
Snapper told Jill that the last thing he wanted or needed was a wife. Jill told her brother he was too young and too nice for any girl. Snapper grasped Jill's hand and said, "Despite everything, I think we've emerged a pretty good family. And if we keep at it, someday we're going to work our way out of this hole and tell them all to go to hell." Jill nodded in agreement. Snapper added, "But we have to do it ourselves, Jill. You, me, Mom, Greg -- don't depend on anyone for help. Always remember that."
At the Brookses' home, Chris paced about the room, awaiting a return call from Snapper. After a time, Chris retreated to her bedroom. Later, Stuart arrived. He paused to listen as Leslie practiced piano. Stuart greeted Leslie and praised her performance on the piano. Stuart asked Leslie where her mother was. Leslie said she was in the kitchen. Stuart told Leslie she could carry on as he made his way to the kitchen.
In the kitchen, Peggy Brooks was setting the table while her mother, Jennifer, was preparing dinner. Peggy complained about a casual date she'd had with a young man who hadn't carried on much of a conversation. Jennifer advised that some boys were shy around girls. Peggy declared that men were dumb, so she didn't intend to marry. As Peggy went to finish her homework, she encountered her father and said, "Boy, am I glad you're not dumb." Stuart was a bit perplexed by his daughter's odd greeting.
Stuart kissed Jennifer. Stuart and Jennifer chuckled when she explained that Peggy was complaining about boys again. Stuart asked about Chris. Jennifer said she was up in her room, waiting for a phone call. Stuart replied, "Snapper?" Jennifer said Chris seemed to be getting serious about a young man they barely knew because he made little effort to meet the family. Stuart admitted he'd met with Snapper to discuss Chris. Jennifer's interest in Stuart's meeting was piqued.
Stuart told Jennifer that Snapper had assured him marriage was the furthest thing from his mind. Jennifer asked Stuart what he thought about Snapper. Stuart said he admired Snapper for the way he'd held his family together and for putting himself through medical school. Stuart expressed some reservations and added that Snapper seemed very diffident and difficult to get to know. Jennifer seemed relieved that the relationship didn't seem as if it would lead to anything. Stuart said he hadn't intended to turn Snapper off from his friendship with Chris.
Chris entered the kitchen and greeted her father. Chris began helping her mother make salad. Chris said she hoped the family could eat early because she was expecting a call from Snapper. Chris seemed certain she and Snapper would make plans to see each other that evening. Jennifer glanced at Stuart for a response. Stuart put his arm around his daughter and said, "Sure, Chris. We can eat anytime you like."
When the Brooks family gathered for dinner, Jennifer told Stuart, Chris, Leslie, and Peggy that she'd received a letter from Lorie, who was away in Paris. Jennifer summarized her daughter's letter and said, "Lorie is fine. College is fine. The weather there is fine. She hopes all of us are fine, and would we please send some more money." The sisters echoed their mother when she said the word "money." Leslie told her father he was lucky that Lorie would soon be graduating, though Leslie said she felt certain her sister wouldn't immediately return from France.
Jennifer noticed that Chris had hardly touched her food. Peggy said it was a sign that Chris was in love. After Chris reacted with frustration, Peggy insisted she was only kidding. Stuart changed the subject. Stuart told his family he'd hired a man to work at the newspaper, though he knew little about the stranger named Brad Elliot. Stuart explained that he'd met Brad at Pierre's. Stuart said he'd learned that Brad had been mugged before hitching a ride to town.
The family seemed taken aback by their father's decision to take up with a stranger. Stuart noted that his instincts had told him that Brad was no ordinary man because he'd commanded captivating magnetism and charm. While the others opted to enjoy dessert and a concert from Leslie, Chris remained at the table, forlorn and daydreaming about Snapper. Stuart called out to Chris. Chris replied, "I just can't understand why Snapper hasn't returned my call." After Chris joined her sisters in the living room, Stuart spoke to his wife privately. He said, "In the long run, I think it's best this way, Jen."
Liz Foster was surprised to find Snapper stretched out of the sofa, reading his textbook. Liz said she'd thought Snapper had made plans to go out. Snapper said he'd changed his mind. Liz replied, "The Brooks girl?" Snapper said he'd told Chris he'd call if he could make it. Liz urged her son to take a break from his studies. Liz said she assumed Snapper hadn't returned Chris's call. Snapper said he'd told Jill not to say anything. Liz said she knew about Chris because she'd seen the note. Snapper gently warned his mom not to push him.
Liz suggested to Snapper that a family like the Brookses could be a help. Snapper replied, "I'll make it." Liz expressed concern that Snapper might spend half his life training before he'd have anything to show for it, adding, "You're poor until you aren't poor." Liz realized Snapper wouldn't likely build a relationship with the Brooks family or even continue to pursue a romance with Chris. Liz shook her head and said, "Like talking to a stone wall."
Snapper told his mom she looked "beat" and should turn in. Liz replied, "I'll say it again. It's hell to be poor." Snapper promised his mom it wouldn't last much longer because his brother Greg would soon become a lawyer, and soon after that, Snapper would become a doctor. Liz reminded Snapper that it would be a long time before he made much money, adding that she'd likely be dead before that time.
Liz continued to lament her life and cried that the monotony of her days -- enduring a long bus ride to the factory, toiling on an assembly line, and then riding back on the bus -- made her want to scream. Snapper replied, "A lot of people are in the same boat, Mom." Liz cried that because she was poor, she just had to take what came in order to earn a living. After a pause, Liz said, "Guess maybe I will go to bed, after all. Before I drop." Snapper told his mom he'd see her the next morning.
After Liz walked upstairs and closed her bedroom door, Snapper said aloud to himself, "No, you don't just have to take it." Snapper picked up the receiver and dialed a number. Chris, at her home, leaped off the sofa when her phone rang. Chris smiled broadly when she heard Snapper's voice. Snapper said, "Sorry I took so long getting back to you." Chris, sounding chipper, replied, "That's okay, Snapper."
Snapper invited Chris to meet him at a hangout called the Shack. Chris asked if they could instead meet at Pierre's because they'd never been there together before, and they could dance. Snapper agreed and said he'd meet Chris at Pierre's. After Chris hung up the phone, she ran upstairs to get ready.