HERE COMES THE (UNDERAGE) BRIDE!
In 1956, when As The World Turns premiered, Chris and Nancy's seventeen year old daughter, Penny, shocked her parents by running off and marrying superficial, spoiled Jeff Baker. Jeff's parents showered their son with material things to make up for their otherwise neglectful behavior, and his snotty attitude reflected that. Nancy and Chris did not think he was the right sort of fellow for Penny.
Almost fifty-three years later, Liberty and Parker (he of the trust-fund and the busy parents and the, let's be honest, equally snotty attitude) are looking to follow in Jeff and Penny's footsteps by running off to get married.
Maybe someone should sit them down and tell the kids how Jeff and Penny's story ended:
Shortly after their elopement, Penny had second thoughts and came home. Nancy quickly had the marriage annulled. Penny's rejection sent Jeff into a self-destructive spiral that culminated with his killing a rival for Penny's affections.
Chris cleared Jeff of the murder charges, but by then Penny had become engaged to someone else.
Shocked into adulthood by almost having been sent to prison, Jeff buckled down, graduated high-school, got a job and resolved to become the man Penny wanted and deserved. His efforts paid off. Penny broke off her engagement and re-married Jeff.
They remained happy for several days, until Jeff's mother, convinced that her son would run the family business into the ground, tried to rope Penny into convincing Jeff to resign. Penny refused, but when Jeff found out about his mother's machinations he mistakenly believed that his wife had supported them. He began to drink heavily, then abandoned a newly pregnant Penny. Penny miscarried their baby while her husband drowned his sorrows in a nearby town.
Not knowing where Jeff was or whether he ever intended to come back, Penny moved on with her life, taking a job writing for the local newspaper and even cautiously begining to date again. Meanwhile, Jeff once again attempted to pull his life together, this time by becoming a pianist and song-writer (including the real-world hit ballad, "Penny").
He returned to Oakdale to reclaim his wife just as Penny had finally given in to Nancy's pleas that she get a divorce.
Jeff convinced Penny to take him back and, in an even bigger miracle, convinced his mother-in-law that he'd finally grown up. Certain that the bad times were finally behind them, Penny and Jeff began planning to adopt a baby when, in 1962, their car skidded on a wet road and crashed into concrete. Jeff was killed instantly. Penny fell into a coma.
And all this happened even without Craig Montgomery "helping" them. So what chance have Parker and Liberty got for happily ever after?
Find out only next week, only as As The World Turns!