Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #33
… Women cannot be presidents, my dear, too temperamental. ” proclaims old Jefferson. “Chairwomen, I would say, but not president…
The long awaited and much anticipated Summer Cotillion, as presented by the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club (Mrs. John Ferrell president and committee chairman) has finally arrived. Members and guests are filing into the Grand Ballroom of the State Capitol Building, hungry for a holiday, seeing that Independence Day is more of a Northern thing. Independence has escaped many of those south of the Mason-Dixon Line, a way of preserving a lifestyle that flies in the face of those who comprise the majority in the Union.
If you find yourself not attending this function, you are bedridden, diseased, or socially invisible. Politicians are there to press the flesh. City fathers snuggle up to the politicians. Women are there to be seen. Men are there to see as much as they can. Debutantes aspire to social heights, while their male counterparts are like kids in a candy shop.
All in all, it is a great excuse to dress up and rub elbows with folks infrequently seen in this primarily horse and buggy paced world.
Those attracting the most attention, in this buffet of mostly beautiful people, are the Midway and Quincy contingents.
It may seem unlikely, but shy James Ferrell will be the icebreaker between the two diverse communities. He is also the moth to Abigail Smythwick’s flame. As soon as she and her father make their entrance, young James lights on the budding belle, even though he had never met her father, a churlish figure whose gray long-tailed jacket reeks of Confederate indolence, sans medals and rank markings.
“Father, I would like to introduce, James Ferrell. His mother is the president of the Tallahassee Women’s Club. They are putting on this grand event.” She boasts of a potential beau’s credence.
“Women cannot be presidents, my dear, too temperamental,” proclaims old Jefferson. “Chairwomen, I would say, but not president.”
James fails to object, rather extending his hand, “It is an honor to meet you, sir.”
“My daughter speaks so highly of you, being of good stock, with healthy Scottish roots. Anglo-Saxon people are the backbone of the globe.”
“I did not tell you he was Scottish, Daddy.” She is ignored.
“She tells me you are interested in law.”
“Yessir.” James is still massaging feeling into his right hand fingers. “Constitutional law is my true passion.”
“Laws are intended to protect the weak. The United States Constitution does the same. Perhaps you will be able to correct these unfair advantages in the course of your endeavors.”