Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #156
… Doc Ziggy is as proud as poppa Willy and as attending as a mother hen, having invested 9 years, cultivating the manifest medical interest in the most unlikely of protegees…
It is one month into 1906, most likely to be filled with many firsts and “new” things as the rest the years in this new century: the Gibson Girl, Teddy Bear, Wright Brothers, the 1st Baseball World Series, Theory of Relativity, National Audubon Society and the hamburger.
Now at age 17, Alfrey has been accepted at Boston College of Physicians and Surgeons (soon to be named Tufts University); enrolled officially as Alpha Omega Campbell for the fall term. Thanks to the Loves’ benevolent generosity, an extremely bright young man is going to get the education and medical training he deserves. He is one of three black students in a class of three hundred.
Doc Ziggy is as proud as poppa Willy and as attending as a mother hen. He has not put up the Deutsche marks, but he has invested 9 years, cultivating the manifest medical interest in the most unlikely of protegees.
“Alpha, my boy, ve have only eight months to get you ready for za University. Frieda has found some suits for you from my younger days. You must look like a doctor.”
“They don’t have those short pants and fuzzy green hat that you wore in those old pictures… do they?” Alpha is in tune with the style of the day, at the age where you realize that somebody may actually notice what you are wearing.
“Lederhosen? Unt my alpine hat? You vould look so silly.” As part of the great melting pot of the world, diverse as it may be, the visual image of a black Bavarian would be a stretch to the most imaginative. Not even Ziggy can fathom.
“Try these on, leibshon. Let’s see if I must take zem in.” Frieda has her pincushion and thimble at hand.
“Vell, in ze homeland, the university is ze center of life. All zat is wise comes from university. It is great privilege to study in zose old buildings.” There is much reverence in this experienced voice. “I know several doctors who studied at your school, fine men, good doctors.”
“I will not let you down,” he sincerely assures, looking more scholarly by the minute, closer to his transformation in Boston by the second.
For my German speaking friends… Prost!