Richard Grant to Dr. Bart Thompson in 1954, after Bart's treatment of Richard's son, Dick, forces an emotionally exhausted and demoralized Dick to flee town.:
"You have criticized, harangued -- yes, undermined my son until his self-confidence was torn into little shreds, You can say you don't understand me because you don't have a son. Well, I'll tell you this, Dr. Thompson -- you don't deserve a son."
Richard Grant, Sr. was a warm, supportive father with a solid sense of values. Married to Laura Grant, the pair raised their children, Richard Jr. (Dick) and Karen (Bunny) in an affluent neighborhood in San Francisco. However, around 1953, Richard upset his wife's sense of order when, after landing a new government contract, he announced taht they were moving to Los Angeles. Laura Grant was a pillar of San Francisco society and would have to leave all that behind. Before the move, Dick was dating a pretty young woman named Kathy Roberts. Trying to escape her troublesome family situation (namely the fact that she despised her new stepmother, MetaBauer Roberts), Kathy kept writing to Dick, pleading with him to get married. However, Dick was about to start his medical internship and had no plans for marriage. When one of Kathy's letters to Dick went unanswered, she decided to forget about him and move on with her life. Unbeknownst to Dick, she quickly married Bob Lang and regretting her decision, she very soon after asked for a divorce, causing Bob to lose control of his car and die in the car wreck. Very soon after Lang's death, the Grants settled in L.A. and Dick decided to intern at Cedars Hospital to be near Kathy, which didn't please Laura, who vehemently disapproved of Kathy. Fortunately for Dick, his sister, Bunny, discovered that Laura had filched that letter to Dick from Kathy, and was quick to tell her brother. Bunny was bitter toward Laura for having broken up her recent romance and was drinking heavily because she was now married to a boring man of whom Laura, of course approved. Determined to keep her brother from following the same path, Bunny urged Dick to stand up to Laura, and to the relief of both Bunny and Richard, he did. Dick lit into his mother for her machinations and told her that he intended to marry Kathy. To nobody's surprise Laura sat out the wedding. Unfortunately, the recent death of Bob Lang in a car accident would come back to haunt Kathy. Don Crane, Joe Robert's's muckracking colleague at the City Times found a woman's cigarette lighter in Bob's car and suspected he wasn't alone in his fatal accident. Crane traced the lighter to Sid, who had given it to Alice, who in turn had loaned it to Kathy.
Investigating the matter further, Crane discovered that Kathy and Bob had secretly married! Crane related this to his and Joe's boss, John (Mac) McIntyre. But when Mac refused to run the story out of loyalty to Joe, Crane angrily defected to a rival tabloid. Mac told Joe, and Joe heard the remainder of the story from Meta. To further complicate matters, Kathy found herself pregnant with Bob's child and led everyone to believe it was Dick's! While Kathy was arraigned and the police began hammering her with questions about the crash that killed Bob Lang, Meta knew her family could no longer live in denial and she finally convinced Kathy to tell Dick the truth about Bob. Kathy left the door open for Dick to divorce her, but Dick loved her enough to stand by her. At this point, everyone except Dick and his parents knew that Kathy's unborn child was Bob Lang's. But Laura suspected the truth and despised Kathy for having dragged the precious Grant name through the mud. When Kathy's bail was set at $25,000, Laura adamantly refused Dick's plea to put up the money. It was Meta who paid the bail, using money she had received after Ted White's death. Kathy's chances for acquittal looked dim at first, as District Attorney Richard Hanley hinged his case on the possibility that she had tampered with Bob's car. However, Joe located a mechanic who admitted he might have left a nut loose when he worked on Bob's brakes earlier. Kathy was cleared of the charges and gave birth to a girl, Robin. She chose that name because the baby was born in the spring, the season of new beginnings.
After giving birth to Robin, Kathy came down with viral pneumonia and began to experienced hallucinations. To help his wife, Dick called in his cousin, nurse Peggy Regan, who had returned to Cedars Hospital. Dick Grant's mother, Laura previously had no use for her own middle-class side of her family, but she was now getting more chummy with her niece in hopes of learning the identity of Robin's real father, the now deceased Bob Lang. One who shared Laura's suspicion was Janet Johnson, a voluptuous nurse who was attracted to Dick's boyish innocence -- and to his money. When Kathy recovered from her pneumonia, she began to pull away from Dick out of guilt for deceiving him, causing Dick to fall prey to Janet's predatory charms. Before long they were having an affair. Tired of her sham of marriage, Kathy finally told Dick the truth about Robin. Dick tersely replied that he didn't care; he was in love with Janet, and he wanted their marriage annulled. By the end of 1954, Janet was getting so impatient to marry Dick that she bought and engagement ring for Dick to give to her. He grew tired of her effrontery and broke off the relationship. Richard, Bert Bauer, and Dr. Jim Kelly tried to reunite Dick and Kathy, but Dick was using his work as an escape from his ambivalence toward Kathy
Meanwhile, Bill Bauer was pleased when his firm landed Richard's company, Acme Construction, as an account. came to rely on Bill as confidant when his son, Dick, went through an especially trying period. Dick was frustrated to be reporting to Cedars chief of plastic surgery, Dr. Baird's new assistant, the pompous and dicatatorial Dr. Bart Thompson. Nurse Janet Johnson, who Dick had just ended an affair with, was quick to notice the growing enmity between them, and she began dating Bart to get revenge for Dick's rejection of her. Janet gloated as Bart played Machiavellian head games with Dick, keeping him working around the clock and then upstaging him with other interns. When Dick complained, Bart snidely told him that he had a persecution complex and was not cut out to be a doctor. At the same time, Dr. Jim Kelly (a colleague of Dick's) confessed to Dick that he was in love with Dick's former wife, Kathy Roberts Lang Grant, and Dick felt he had no right to stand in his friend's way. Finally, Dick became so physically exhausted and so emotionally demoralized that he "froze" during a skin graft operation and abruptly left Cedars and ran to New York under the assumed name of Richard Edmmonds.
Angry, Richard railed at Bart for his terrible treatment of Dick, telling him that he didn't deserve to have a son. Bart was chilled by the irony of Richard's statement because he did, indeed, have a son back in San Francisco who knew him only as his mentor. Almost 30 years earlier, Bart had walked out on his wife, Liz, and infant son, John, to devote his life to his prestigious medical career. Liz went on to marry a man named Brooks who adopted John, and the boy grew up never knowing the identity of his biological father. John became a doctor and chose psychiatry as his speciality. When he interned at the hospital where Bart practiced medicine, Bart insinuated himself into John's life and tried to steer him toward plastic surgery. It was Bart's secret hope that one day father and son could work side by side. When Bart transferred to Cedars, he was disappointed that Dr. Baird lacked the budget to create a position for John. It was Bart's intention to force Dick out so he could bring John in. Though Bart Thompson's plan did work, his son would be killed soon after in a car wreck, without ever learning he was Thompson's son. At the same time, Richard's beloved son, Dick, returned to Cedars to rebuild his career and later brought from New York the one bright spot of this whole tragedy--the love of his life, Marie Wallace.