In late 1977, Mike Horton had had enough of his family’s middle-class problems and yearned for a simpler life. To distance himself from them, he had taken an apartment with a friend and started working as an auto mechanic. He soon met Margo Anderman. She was low class and rather uneducated, but Mike didn’t care. Margo was a kind, loving young woman, and he had fallen in love with her.
By July of 1978, they were wed. However, their happiness was short lived. Margo had leukemia. Although it went into remission towards the end of the year, the young couple started 1979 in a financial crisis caused by the medical debts acquired while she was sick.
Margo and Mike were deeply in love, and he and only wanted to make her happy. To do so, Mike began to borrow money from his family and friends to pay off the debts, but ended up acquiring new ones. He bought a new car and even a fur coat for Margo. His parents helped him buy a house. Soon he was in financial ruin and sought the help of loan shark, Earl Roscoe. Mike also began working for Earl as a way to pay off his own debt.
Later that year, Margo’s friend Trish Clayton asked her to hide some diamonds she had obtained. Trusting her friend a bit naively, Margo agreed, unaware they were stolen. However, when Mike fell behind on his payments to Earl and was threatened, Margo used some of the diamonds as collateral to appease Earl. After some time, Margo saved the money to pay off some of Mike’s debt and Earl gave her one of the diamonds back, but she didn’t realize he had given her a fake.
Unfortunately, Mike fell even further behind and Earl began terrorizing him and Margo. He threatened to burn down their home and also fired a shot into the house while Margo was inside. Earl went as far as pushing Margo down a flight of stairs. Luckily, her injuries were not life threatening, but both Margo and Mike were terrified by the situation.
By 1980, Mike was unsure of how to handle Earl and went to Mickey Horton for help. He set Margo and Mike up on a farm in Brookville, where he had lived with his wife Maggie years before. Meanwhile, Trish had discovered the fake diamond and realized Earl must have conned Margo out of her money and the real diamond. Trish confronted Earl and, after she left his office, he realized he had made too many enemies in Salem so he set it on fire and fled town. With Earl gone, Mike and Margo were able to return home.
Sadly, Margo and Mike’s homecoming was marred by tragedy. Margo’s leukemia had returned. She began chemotherapy sessions once again, but by midsummer she was dead. Mike took the loss of his wife hard, and because of Margo’s death, he would eventually leave Salem to pursue a career in medicine.