World’s Fair – WABAC in the Day

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  1. Russ Cross January 24, 2015 at 1:14 pm |

    One more factoid for the Ferris Wheel entry. The original Ferris Wheel was built by Luther V. Rice of my hometown, Ladoga, Indiana.


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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 40

…On the way back to the house, Connie is still trying to pick up the trail that leads to Willard Libby…

“Then why did Billy Graham, Libby and that pope guy allow him at the meeting?” Fanny sees logic leaving the room.

“Good question, but they may have been under the impression that Wolfgram was some sort of government official connected to Argonne. Maybe he was part of the Manhattan Project and Will somehow trusted him, I don’t know.”

“A wolf dressed like a sheep.”

“Like a gumshoe dressed like a school teacher.”

“Or mule dressed like a librarian.”

“Who is going to put all these books back,” asks a forlorn Fanny.

“I know the librarian…….” Martin winks and beckons the girl at the main desk, likely a post-graduate “friend” of his. Her thumb and index finger form the universal O.K. sign.

“Let’s put on our thinking caps.” On the way back to the house, Connie is still trying to pick up the trail that leads to Willard Libby, instead of the road to perdition. “Do you know what secret Libby was going to share with the world, the one that led to his misfortune?”

The Road to Perdition


“I believe he was going to present an updated version of how we calculate the age of the Universe.”

“Six days and a rest,” an apt Genesis reference.

“Not exactly, but you are close Constance.”

“How close?”

“That is the $64,000 dollar question.”

“I love that show, we listen every week, right Connie?”

“Yes we do Fanny.” Sometimes focusing is a problem.

“A lot less that 12 zeroes (billions).”

“What is the harm in that?”

“For one thing that would mean that if true, it would turn science textbooks into so much rubbish, hence the interest of McGraw-Hill.”

“So……we have two sides of the ledger, don’t we,” Constance extends her arms out? “On the left we have those who support Libby.”

“Billy Graham, the Pope, Ernesto Pacelli, Fermi.”


“And those who do not on the right…..”

“Educators, entrenched science, and unknown dubious forces,” Martin describes the opposing interested parties, “making poor Will the meat in a carbon sandwich.”

“The stakes are quite high and they seem to be rising. Elvis and Kelly nabbing our Fanny girl has changed the game and this deal with World Agnostica is downright hair-raising,” she still cannot align that experience with anything that resembles reality. “I think it’s time we talk to the good guys. I’m tired of getting screwed around by the bad guys.”


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Black History Month – February

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Black History Month – February

Use the “Search” feature to find the 1/13 post “Black History Month 2” for more facts on the month-long celebration of African-American/Black/Negro heritage.

  • Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.

In the decades the followed, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Since then, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The 2013 theme, At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and theMarch on Washington, marks the 150th and 50th anniversaries of two pivotal events in African-American history.



ISBN 978-1-4691-9018-1

from Gwendolyn Hoff


by Gwendolyn Kim  Hoff

       The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor, or LATOBSD as it will be referred to from here on in this condensation, is a saga of life in the panhandle of Florida from 1896 to 1956 and a bit beyond. Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell was an actual practicing physician in and around Tallahassee between 1913 and 1956. In 1956, at the age of 67, A.O. Campbell was convicted of manslaughter in the death of a Jacksonville mother of two, after allegedly performing a criminal abortion that eventually results in her dying. On in years and eyeing semi-retirement, he is sent Florida’s hardest prison for four of his remaining years.

        LATOBSD begins 1 ½ years into the doctor’s incarceration at the time of his dear wife’s funeral. Maggie Lou Campbell did not do well with her husband hundreds of miles away. She has been watching their empire of wealth and real estate crumble around her, spurred on by numerous jealous conspirators who position themselves like sharks around a school of hapless fish.

        It is from that point backward, I transport the reader back in time, before Maggie Lou was conceived by her multi-racial mother with the help of one of Leon County’s most respected grocers and back when Alfrey (A.O.) Campbell’s family was beholding to a deep-rooted plantation owner; some called it slavery in the post emancipation south.

        From this time forward, I undertake the task of fictionalizing a seemingly immeasurable share of people and events. Most of this recounting of the doctor’s affairs is true to history, used as a guideposts for the seventy-some year story line. There are many people amongst the ensemble that closely resemble many of those that truly did exist, back when the delineation between black and white was beginning to show signs of gray. Yet as close as the Campbells pushed that line towards equality, a stronger force bludgeoned them back where “they belonged”.

        As tempting as it was to make this biographical, I could not. Case in point, the considerable liberty taken, especially as it applies to the more famous characters I have inserted in this moderately loosely-tied account of what really happened. If you think historical fiction is tough, staying true to events, multiply that by two and you have a biography; there will always be someone who says: ‘That isn’t the way it happened.’.

        So as we traipse our way into the wonderful world of fiction. Consider this list of names and events (In order of their appearance):

I. The Spanish-American War

II. 25th President: William McKinley

III. The Galveston Hurricane–1900

IV. 26th President: Theodore Roosevelt

V. George Eastman (sister Judith)

VI. Suffragette: Emmeline Pankhurst

VII. The San Francisco Earthquake–1906

VIII. Playwright: Sir James Barrie

IX. World War I

X. Mary Pickford–Early Hollywood

XI. The Pacific Clipper Flying Boats–PanAm

XII. Roswell, New Mexico: Area 51


        Whoowah Nellie. What does any of this have to do with a black Southern doctor you ask? That is what makes history fun, even if much of this stuff did not come down quite the way I write it. I promise to dedicate the 20th chapter to the process of sorting the beef from the bull; the inconsistencies you all will gladly point out while reading along as the decades peel away.

        The bottom line is that LATOBSD is not just about the doctor. 

“You can read my book on this weblog website , posted in order daily, 1 or 2 pages at a time starting in June of 2013.  I include pictures, videos and other enhancements NOT found in the hardcover edition. It has been a joy to post LATOBSD on a daily basis.”


Black History Month – February


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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 35

…I may need the back-up, but stay 20 feet behind me and pretend we’re not together…

Once the initial shock of discovering Fanny safe ‘n sound has set in and the requisite debriefing is out of the way, Constance leaves her in Martin’s care for the remainder of the day. The excitement meter needle has been redlining for the last day. It needs to return to normal levels.

33 North LaSalle


Eddie is re-gathered for the task of taking his employer to 33 N. LaSalle Street. She is going to see what she can find out about World Agnostica, at the address listed on that fortuitous business card. What is their deal?


“That building at 33 LaSalle is one of the last skyscrapers built before The Depression. I don’t get many fares from there… bankers are cheapskates and their secretaries are heavy smokers. I pretend not to see ‘em.”

“That’s a bank building, interesting?”

“I don’t know if you know, being an out-of-towner, but 39-blank, blank, blank means you’ll be going to the 39th floor?”

“Thanks for the tip in higher arithmetic Eddie,” she looks up at the top of the building. “If I’m not back in 30 minutes, call the Coast Guard.”

Eddie Story-001

“The Coast Guard is another name for the sissy’s navy. I don’t think they have guns on their boats…my Uncle Fred (not a cousin?) rescues ducks or something…”


“I was only kidding. On second thought, instead of waiting, let’s park the car and you come in with me. I may need the back-up, but stay 20 feet behind me and pretend we’re not together.”

“If anyone asks me what I’m doing, I’ll tell them I’m here for a mortgage on my house.”

“Meet me on the 39th floor and don’t talk to anyone,”

He visually zips his mouth shut.

“You’ll need a lock for that Eddie!”


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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 33

…“We grabbed the wrong dame!”…

The good news: she is set free. The bad news: her hands are tied and they have pushed her out of the car, somewhere near a rail yard. She is tossed into the heart of Midwest industrialization; factories, diesel powered trains and trucks. Needless to say, she sticks out, a Florence Nightingale in a Rosie the Riveter world.

As luck would have it, she is picked by Schneider Transportation truck driver within ten minutes. He questions not, her bound hands and rumpled appearance, “I’m headed to Wisconsin,” she is told.



“I’m taking Halsted all the way back into the city. I bet those guys are headed for the Loop,” Eddie advises. The Loop is what makes Chicago industry tick.

“Just get us back in one piece. We now have two missing people to locate.” Constance has learned to act in a calculated manner, unlike her spontaneous friend whom they now must add to their to-do list. “This is getting harder to figure out by the minute.”

“Well I found out how to turn this attaché off.” Martin delivers the first of a series of fortune reversals. There was also some meaty paperwork tucked into a hidden compartment in this “cold war” era design. “There is a business card in here:”





Baker 19-4748


The simple 2×3.5” handout gives them their first truly tangible clue.

“Agnostica? That implies that they do not believe “in” God or “a” God.”


 1. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.


“That certainly is consistent with the religious theme we keep running into,” they continue to stumble upon more clues with each passing pothole littered on their path back through the Chicago South Shore. This briefcase is a huge coup.


“There is a list of names in here………….and my name is on it.” Martin Kamen swallows hard upon seeing his name right below Willard Libby while above Fermi and Sam Ruben.


My Project 3-001

Episode 33

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Constance Caraway P.I.-001

Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 31

The letters F M are scrawled on the reflective glass, using a bar of soap.

F M —- F for what? Fanny? Then what’s the M represent.

The meaning of the 2 letters is secondary to the fact that Fanny is nowhere to be seen. She scampers to the order counter. “Have you seen a skinny redhead about my tall?” No. She gallops out to their empty car. She sprints back inside to report on the mysterious happenings to the guys, who fan out to cover more ground.

“I’m thinking that our close call was no accident,” Eddie concludes.

The day manager of the restaurant blocks public entry down the restroom hall, allowing Martin to legally enter to women’s facilities. “F M, frequency modulation? Not likely.” Using his other senses, he wonders, “That smell, I know it….. CHCl 3, chloroform or dichloromethane.

“That was used as anesthesia in early surgical medicine. Doc Campbell used it at his hospital back in Florida.”

“Correct and it is the fastest way to render someone unconscious, against their will.”

“She’s been kidnapped, hasn’t she.” Constance shivers at the thought. “How in God’s name did whoever know we were stopping to eat? Were we being tailed Eddie?”

“No! We’ve only gone 2 miles since we left the nunnery and we weren’t followed there or here.”

“In the world of cause and effect we have this: unknown device and missing woman. We must have a track-able gadget locked it in the trunk and we didn’t figure that out?.”

“Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance.”

“But I allowed us to let our guard down and Fanny is gone!” That is no ordinary woman to her. Fanny Renwick is her housemate and partner in crime.

“Don’t think the worst, Con,” Eddie, while beside his self in worry, has to maintain a clear head; he is driving.

“If she’s still alive, there are four million people here-about, about being 2000 square miles,”

“I get the feeling that Fanny may be a pawn/bargaining chip in this widening mystery. They may be contacting us sooner than later.” Martin draws a daunting comparison.

“Like your friend, Libby?”

“Let’s head back to the house and sort through the goodies we have. Just think, in one secluded meeting we have a famous Evangelist in Graham, an incomparable scientist in Fermi, leading Catholic figures outside Rome, not to mention Willard Libby.”

“Don’t leave out that government guy, Wolfgram. If the US State Department or FBI is involved, who knows what is going on?”


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Martin Luther King Jr. – Early Life

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Martin Luther King Jr. – Early Life

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to ReverendMartin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.[1] His legal name at birth was “Michael King”.[2] King’s father was also born Michael King. The father “changed” both names on his own during a 1934 trip to Nazi Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congressin Berlin. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the great German reformer Martin Luther.[3]

Martin, Jr., was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King.[4] King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind.[5]

King was originally skeptical of many of Christianity’s claims.[6] At the age of thirteen, he denied the bodily resurrection of Jesus during Sunday school. From this point, he stated, “doubts began to spring forth unrelentingly”.[7] However, he later concluded that the Bible has “many profound truths which one cannot escape” and decided to enter the seminary.[6]

Growing up in Atlanta, King attended Booker T. Washington High School. A precocious student, he skipped both the ninth and the twelfth grades and entered Morehouse College at age fifteen without formally graduating from high school.[8] In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a B.A. degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary inChester, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with a B.Div. degree in 1951.[9][10] King married Coretta Scott, on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents’ house in her hometown ofHeiberger, Alabama.[11] They became the parents of four children: Yolanda KingMartin Luther King IIIDexter Scott King, and Bernice King.[12] During their marriage, King limited Coretta’s role in the civil rights movement, and expected her to be a housewife.[13]

King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, when he was twenty-five years old, in 1954.[14] King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Ph.D. degree on June 5, 1955, with adissertation on “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman“. An academic inquiry concluded in October 1991 that portions of his dissertation had been plagiarized and he had acted improperly, but that his dissertation still “makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship”; the committee recommended that his degree not be revoked.[15][16][17]


Martin Luther King Jr. – Early Life