Anne Tyler was quite taken with Nick Davis, much to her mother Phoebe’s chagrin. Phoebe believed Nick was the kind of man who used women like toys, manipulating their affections. Phoebe had conveniently forgotten her own flirtations with Nick. In her mind he wasn’t fit for any woman, least of all her own daughter. But Anne had always had a mind of her own, and the more Phoebe railed against Nick, the more Anne defended him. Even Charles insisted Phoebe stay out of Anne’s affairs, but to no avail. Anne tried to convince her mother that Nick had changed. He wasn’t the same man who had walked out on Amy all those years ago. Anne saw Nick as a man who was truly sorry for his past mistakes. She witnessed his struggle to become something more than a stranger to his son. Her admiration and respect for him grew into a strong attraction.

View Complete Summary for "All My Children" 1971

Nick enjoyed Anne’s attention–whether he thought he deserved it was another story. She was a true lady of considerable background, he was a drifter without roots. Nick agreed with Phoebe that Anne was too good for him. He was surprised when Anne didn’t follow her mother’s advice and be rid of him, but he was happy she didn’t. Anne had the rare ability to bring out the best in Nick. He was honest about himself with her in a way he never had been before. They were an improbable couple: The daughter of society and the two-bit dance teacher. Despite their different backgrounds and the opposition of Anne’s mother, Nick and Anne fell deeply in love.

Life wasn’t as blissful for Tara. With Phil’s failure to remember her, Tara had turned to Chuck even more. He confessed his love for her, and she acknowledged she loved him too, but not the way she loved Phillip. She longed for the day Phillip would come to her and they could resume their plans for the future. That day never came, so Tara accepted Chuck’s proposal of marriage.

But Phil’s memory did come back. However, he chose to keep silent in the face of his friends’ plans for the future. Only one word from Phil and Tara would be his. The feelings were still strong in both of them. When Phil confided in Nick about his feelings for Tara, Nick encouraged him to tell her and stop his misery. Phil refused. Chuck was his best friend, and Phil knew it would destroy Chuck to lose Tara. As for Tara, Phil believed he had brought enough pain and uncertainty into her world. He would not bring her more. So Phil remained silent and wished them both the best. Phil didn’t know that Tara questioned her decision and was waiting for him to step in. If he had, she would have called the whole thing off. But Phil gave her no hints, so Tara forged ahead with wedding plans.

Phoebe was delirious. While her children continued to make disastrous choices in love, her grandson didn’t. Phoebe heartily approved of Chuck’s choice for a bride. Tara Martin was a lovely girl from a good, solid family. Phoebe busied herself with plans for a society wedding far more elaborate than anything the Martins could imagine. Meanwhile, Charles consoled Mona, who fretted over Erica’s determination to marry Jeff Martin.

Erica wasn’t nearly as in love with Jeff as she was with the idea of getting out of her mother’s house. Erica saw Jeff as her escape from that mundane existence. Even if Jeff was only an intern, someday he would be a doctor. Being Jeff Martin’s wife would mean something to people in Pine Valley, and that was Erica’s consuming goal.

Tara warned her brother against Erica, but Jeff was blinded by her beauty and her ability to make him feel important. Erica had convinced Jeff she needed him, that she leaned on him and depended on him to take care of her. Thoughts of Erica consumed Jeff. A pending date with her made his exhausting hours at the hospital bearable. Erica basked in his adoration. Though he wasn’t sure whether it was his idea that they get married or Erica’s, he was completely for it. The more time he could spend with her the better. But he wanted to wait until he was financially secure before they wed. Considering how hard Tara was working to keep them apart, Erica decided she’d have to act fast. As much as Jeff wanted to wait, when he eloped with Erica, he probably thought that was his idea too.

News of their marriage jolted both families. Still, Mona liked Jeff and felt Erica couldn’t have picked a finer young man. Mona wished her daughter well, but Erica couldn’t help hearing the apprehension in Mona’s voice. While Jeff’s family had strong reservations about the hastiness of the marriage, Kate and Joe welcomed Erica into the family, albeit reluctantly. Tara bit her tongue to keep from telling Jeff how angry she was that he’d fallen for Erica’s phony charms.

Jeff and Erica moved in to a less-than-glamorous flat that was all Jeff could afford. Erica made it clear that if Jeff really loved her, he would find a more suitable place. This time Jeff was firm. They were staying put for the time being, and Erica must accept it. She was miserable. This marriage to Jeff was far from the idyllic image she had concocted. Again she felt trapped. She had fled her mother’s provincial nest only to land in another. While Erica brooded in their tiny, drab apartment, Jeff spent most of his time at the hospital.

Jeff’s work became even more demanding when he began his residency at Pine Valley Hospital. He wished he could make Erica understand how thrilling and challenging he found his work. But he couldn’t ignore her stifled yawns whenever he spoke of it. He found a friendly, interested ear in Mary Kennicott, the new nurse at the hospital. Medicine fascinated Mary. And they spoke the same language.

Mary had impressed everyone at the hospital with her hardworking, down-to-earth attitude. Though she was a plain young woman, there was a sweetness about her that made her attractive. As one of the head nurses, Ruth Brent’s job was to take Mary under her wing. As Ruth kept an eye on Mary, she couldn’t help noticing how the young woman’s face lit up whenever Jeff entered a room. Though Ruth knew Joe was doing his best to accept Erica as his daughter-in-law, Ruth had no doubt that Mary was a better match for Joe’s son.

Ruth and Joe were becoming a familiar sight together in the hospital cafeteria as well as in and around Pine Valley. It was clear to onlookers that they were keeping company before they realized it themselves. Even though they found comfort in each other, there were problems. Ruth knew how much her son Phil still loved Joe’s daughter Tara. She hoped Tara would break off her engagement to Chuck and longed to tell her of Phillip’s true feelings. But Joe felt that he and Ruth should stay out of their children’s lives. Besides, after the way Phil had hurt Tara, Joe wasn’t too keen on Tara’s picking up with him again.

Joe’s mother Kate encouraged Tara to follow her heart. But without some encouragement from Phillip, Tara couldn’t accept her Gran’s advice. When the day of her wedding to Chuck finally arrived, she was nervous but determined. She would marry Chuck.

Phillip was miserable, and Nick hated seeing his son this way. Nick belived that marrying Chuck Tyler would be the biggest mistake Tara could make. The more he thought about what she was going to do, the angrier Nick became. He’d been drinking, and when the minister asked whether anyone had just cause for this marriage not to take place, Nick spoke up. His reason, he declared, was that Tara loved Phillip. A furious Chuck engaged Nick in a fight, but within moments Chuck collapsed.

Ruth pulled Tara from Chuck’s side so that Joe, Charles and Jeff could minister to the stricken groom. Phoebe was terrified for her grandson and furious at Nick. The wedding she had planned and waited for ended when Chuck was rushed to the hospital with kidney failure.

That Anne continued to see Nick despite her mother’s oft-stated objections incensed Phoebe. Especially when there was an infinitely superior candidate available for Anne’s affection in Kate Martin’s younger son Paul. With a promising career as a lawyer, he was the kind of man Phoebe had always hoped her daughter would find. She went so far as to let Kate know Anne was available. But Kate would not play matchmaker for her son and suggested to Phoebe that she use some restraint when it came to her daughter’s life.

Kate wondered to herself how Charles ever had survived a woman like Phoebe. In truth, Charles rarely heard a word Phoebe said these days. He had learned to tune her out, preferring the company he found at the hospital to his wife. Charles wasn’t sure exactly when he’d stopped loving Phoebe, but he knew he’d fallen in _ love with Mona Kane.

Phoebe was too' busy trying to run Anne’s life to notice Charles’s increasing coolness. She turned out to be right about Paul Martin. Not only was he a perfect suitor for Anne, he was an eager one. Anne was still in love with Nick Davis though, just as Paul’s niece was still in love with Phillip.

Ironically, it was Tara and Phil’s mutual concern for Chuck that brought them back together. As Chuck hovered between life and death, Tara and Phil kept a constant vigil at the hospital. In reassuring glances and lingering touches, the strength of their feelings resurfaced. Tara knew Phil still loved her, and she could no longer pretend she didn’t feel the same. They were finally back together. Then Chuck began to rally. The doctors informed Tara they believed his love for her had pulled him through and that his recovery would be a slow one. Joe told Tara that Chuck would need her more than ever and any upset could result in serious consequences. Hearing this advice, Tara realized she and Phil couldn’t let anyone know they had reconciled They agreed for the sake of their friend’s life that Tara would remain Chuck’s fiancée until he fully recovered.

While Chuck slowly convalesced, Phil received his draft notice Having failed to enter college with the rest of his friends, he’d lost his student deferment. Phillip Brent was in the Army now, and all signs indicated he was headed for Vietnam.

While Phil cursed himself for not starting college, Erica was dropping out. She saw no purpose in studying and improving her grade point average. But with a workaholic husband, an apartment she hated and no direction, she had too much time on her hands. Erica was restless, she wanted something more from life. Then she found the perfect job at Anne Tyler’s boutique. Part of her duties involved buying trips to New York. Erica Kane Martin had met her destiny at last.

Source: All My Children: The Complete Family Scrapbook

1971 Episodes / Clips: