Episodes #0091 – #0095
Lou and Steven Alden visit the job site for the supermarket project and go over the construction’s progress with foreman Harry Kerwin. Both Lou and Steven are pleased when Harry assures them that everything will be completed by the Labor Day deadline. During a private moment alone while Harry checks on an issue with the site, Steven again expresses his concern that the issue with the loan shark could rear its head again and demand repayment of the money Lou borrowed. Although Lou continues to believe that the loan shark is long gone, Steven can’t help but worry. When Harry rejoins Lou and Steven, he’s forced to reveal that he’s just learned that two of the workers failed to show up for their shifts. A baffled Harry insists that the behavior isn’t like the men and promises Lou that he’ll get to the bottom of it.
Episodes #0086 – #0090
Steven and Lou Alden meet with site foreman Harry Kerwin to discuss the progress on the supermarket project. They’re pleased that the project is on track to be completed by the revised Labor Day target date, meaning that they will meet the terms of their contract with Gordon Stratton. After Harry leaves, Steven cautions his father against being overly confident and reminds him that even though Raymond DeWitt and Horace Nance have seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet, the loan shark they worked for is still out there and he’s going to want his money eventually. Lou suggests that since they haven’t heard anything from the loan shark in weeks, he may have disappeared, too. Steven is doubtful that they could possibly be that lucky. Later, Steven discusses his concerns with his sister, Maggie Alden, who snidely expresses surprise that he’s deemed “a lowly secretary” worthy enough to discuss company business. Not in the mood to deal with Maggie’s mistaken and overwrought feelings of exclusion due to the terms of her inheritance, Steven lets the matter drop without saying anything further.
Episodes #0081 – #0085
Lou, Steven, and Maggie Alden; Lenora and Philip Manning; and Bruce and Craig Frasier are in Bruce’s office for the reading of Sarah Alden’s will. Maggie is in a state of shock over the status of her inheritance (only a meager living trust until the day of her marriage due to a codicil added by her grandfather, Richard Hamilton, almost nine years ago). As she reflects on the timing of the codicil, Steven and Lou are busy conferring with Bruce about how to best go about settling Lenora’s bank loan and saving both her house and the law office. Bruce reveals that he’s fully prepared to cover the bank loan himself to save the house and business. Lenora insists that he doesn’t have to go to such lengths, but he insists. Lou says that if Bruce does cover the loan, the Aldens will repay every cent. Steven speaks up and offers to use the entirety of his available inheritance as an installment to repay the loan. A proud Lou is reluctant to accept the gift until he comes up with the suggestion that Steven will in fact be buying into the company as a full partner. Everyone agrees and Philip begins to draw up the documents while Bruce races to the bank to settle the account with Mr. Marcum, the bank president. Meanwhile, the realization that her brother, Steven, will now be a full partner in a family business where she’s merely a hired employee doesn’t sit too well with Maggie.
Episodes #0076 – #0080
Bruce Frasier returns home from the office to the unexpected announcement that his wife, Irene Frasier, has accepted a cocktail party invitation for this evening. It’s quite obvious that Bruce has no interest in going to the party, but Irene insists that it’s too late to decline the invitation. After Irene works her charms by reminding Bruce that it’s been “forever” since they enjoyed an evening out that had nothing to do with their son, Craig, or the law practice (namely his business partner, Lenora Manning), Bruce finally caves and agrees to go to the party. What Bruce doesn’t know is that the party is at the home of Henry Jaffe, the executive manager of Trundle’s Department Store. Privately, Eloise questions Irene about whether “this is a good idea.” Irene assures her trusted maid that it is and later makes a point of “casually” mentioning to Bruce that she’d intended to wear his mother’s diamond ring but seems to have misplaced it.
Episodes #0071 – #0075
Stunned by the sudden disappearance of Raymond DeWitt from the hospital, Valerie Keys isn’t quite sure what to do. At first she attempts to find out his address or where his brother took him from Nurse Carter, but she doesn’t have that information. Deciding on another course of action, Valerie goes to see Det. Levy at the police station in hopes that he can help her track down Mr. DeWitt. Det. Levy is just as surprised as Valerie is to learn of Mr. DeWitt’s release from the hospital because no one had alerted him. Det. Levy is concerned about Valerie’s reasons for trying to find DeWitt (considering the assault charge against her employer, Steven Alden) and inquires about her motives. Valerie confesses about her earlier visit to see Mr. DeWitt, his words of advice (“watch out for your competition”), and her general feeling that there’s more going on than any of them realize. She deliberately avoids confiding in Det. Levy about the proposed plan to bargain a deal with Mr. DeWitt to refuse to cooperate with the police on pending menacing and racketeering charges against him in exchange for him dropping the assault charge. Det. Levy assures Valerie that he’ll send Officer Heckertt by the address that they have on file to check on Mr. DeWitt.
Episodes #0066 – #0070
Valerie Keys can’t help but think about what Raymond DeWitt told her when she secretly visited him in the hospital – “watch out for your competition.” Unfortunately, Valerie doesn’t have the first clue what it could mean. Both her mother, Betty Keys, and Steven Alden are as equally perplexed when she tells each of them individually about the meeting. The only competition Steven can think about would be a rival construction company, but he can’t even begin to consider which one it might be. When Valerie tells Steven that the Raymond DeWitt who lies in the hospital seems like a far different and less threatening man than the one who she saw in the office, Steven assures her that’s because he “beat all of the threatening out of him.” Valerie isn’t so sure that’s it. When Valerie wants to go talk to DeWitt again, Steven forbids her.
JUNE 25, 1956 – JUNE 29, 1956
#0061 – #0065
Lou and Maggie Alden wait anxiously for news concerning Steven Alden’s arrest. Maggie is grateful that Aunt Lenora is able to watch the twins, but she’s frustrated that no one seems able to (or willing to) give her any information about her brother. Meanwhile, Philip Manning (acting as Steven’s attorney) sits at Steven’s side while he’s being questioned by Detective Levy. Steven is stunned to learn that the man he’s accused of assaulting is a Mr. Raymond DeWitt. Steven assures Det. Levy that he knew the man only as Mr. Raven, one of the two men (the other being Mr. Neeves) who was harassing his family’s company and his secretary (Valerie). The men also implied that they had something to do with his mother’s fatal car accident. Steven can’t believe it when Det. Levy reveals at Mr. DeWitt is one of the two people (the other being a Mr. Horace Nance) who were following behind his mother, Sarah’s, car and who witnessed the accident! Based on corroborating statements, Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Nance could not have been the persons responsible for Sarah Alden’s accident.
Since this series seems to be moving along a lot slower than I’d anticipated, averaging 5 episodes over a 7 day stretch, I have decided to shift “The Storm Within” to a weekly synopsis format. My intent with this series was to cover the stories of a fictitious long-running daytime soap, but with the current posting schedule I might as well just be doing a daily soap opera series set in modern day. The format is a work in progress and I think I may have written about as much for this installment as I would’ve for 5 individual episodes. Please bear with me.
JUNE 18, 1956 – JUNE 22, 1956
#0056 – #0060
The entire Alden and Manning families gather at the Alden home for Lou Alden’s eagerly awaited return home from the hospital where he’s been recovering from a heart attack. Maggie Alden is anxious to make sure everything is perfect for her father’s arrival and works as quite a taskmaster, giving her younger twin siblings, Andy and Amy, and cousins, Philip and Juliet Manning, orders and directions. Aunt Lenora Manning cautions Maggie about going overboard, but Maggie insists that everything must be perfect when her brother, Steven, arrives with their father.
Meanwhile, next door, Betty and Valerie Keys are also discussing Lou’s return home from the hospital. Betty is curious how Lou is doing and her first instinct is to pay him a visit, but after her previous unpleasant run-ins with Maggie, she’s rather apprehensive. Valerie tells her mother that if she really wants to be neighborly and check-in on Lou, than she shouldn’t let Maggie Alden’s “ridiculous notions” about her father stop her. Valerie leaves her mother to decide what she’s going to do and heads to work.
OAKRIDGE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL – LOU’S ROOM
Dr. Keenan is in the process of examining an anxious and eager Lou Alden as Nurse Carter stands by the bedside and observes. After several silent moments, Lou implores Dr. Keenan to tell him what’s wrong. Dr. Keenan can’t resist the urge to smile when he tells Lou that everything is coming along just fine and he is well on the road to recovery. By all indications, Lou’s “minor attack” the other day in the hospital was little more than anxiety with absolutely no connection to his prior minor heart attack. “I see absolutely no reason why you won’t be able to go home tomorrow,” Dr. Keenan says. Lou is relieved and exhales. Unfortunately, Dr. Keenan isn’t quite so positive when Lou inquires about when he can expect to be able to go back to work. Dr. Keenan informs him that he believes that it’s still far too soon to consider returning to the stress and the grind of his normal work life. Lou tells the doctor that he’s been absent far too long from the office due to his grief over his late wife’s death and he’s placed too much of a burden on his children’s shoulders. “I have to stop shirking my responsibilities,” Lou says firmly. “This attack has shown me how much of a burden my grief has become on both me and my family.” Dr. Keenan counters by reminding him that the best thing he can do for everyone involved is to take care of himself. “Imagine what kind of a burden you’ll leave for your children if you push yourself too hard and end up in an early grave.”
SAME DAY – EVENING
THE FRASIER MANSION – BRUCE & IRENE’S BEDROOM
Irene Frasier is seated at her dressing table performing her nightly beauty rituals while Eloise, the Fraisers’ long-time maid and Irene’s trusted confidante, turns down the bed and straightens up the room. Irene tells Eloise all about her plans for a lovely dinner at the Imperial Room so that she can finally meet her son, Craig Frasier’s, new girlfriend, Toby Fuller. “I have to see with my own two eyes whether this… this girl is up to our standards,” Irene says with disdain. “You know how Craig can be.” Eloise cautions her employer against being too dead set against accepting Miss Fuller too soon because it could push Craig into forging an even more serious relationship with the young woman just to spite her. Irene concedes that it would be just like her son to do such a thing and then flaunt the relationship in her face as a means of torturing her. “Unfortunately, my son is far too much like his father in that regard,” she mutters. As Irene’s thoughts begin to drift away from Toby Fuller, she pulls open the top drawer of her dressing table and removes a velvet box. Inside the box are the old love letters she found not long ago – love letters addressed to her husband, Bruce Frasier, from Lenora Manning.