Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #170

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #170

… The Blountstown General Store is considering Love Dairies as sole supplier of milk and associated products, as well as growing demand for Savannah Cigar tobacco products…

Driver School-001

Willy can tell the difference in power and handling from the 1906 model that he drives, mostly on hills where, even fully loaded, they do not bog down.

“I be puttin’ her in a lower gear, Clete, like this,” he pumps his left leg twice on the left peddle, while shifting a stick back towards him. The sound of the engine becomes more earnest, but their speed of 15 miles per hour is maintained.

“That looks easy ‘nough, Willy. When are you goin’ to let me take the wheel?”

“Somewhere on the way back, likely on that open stretch we passed a ways ago.” He would rather do all the driving, but that defeats the purpose of training.

Welcone to-001

This day they have Road 12 to themselves. The route begins to wind close to Blountstown, calling for caution, especially on the inside of corners. On roads designed for wagons and autos, there is not room for anything but the Mack truck. Whenever Willy cannot see around a corner, he pulls on the air horn cord. That usually keeps the way clear.

  Once safely within the Blountstown village limits, they locate the new center for directions in towns across the country; the gas/service station replaces the local diner. There is usually one per town, as is the case in this one on the Apalachicola River. With a grunt and a mumble, a grease smeared hand points to Blountstown General Store, which is next to the Blountstown Barber Shop on one side and the Blountstown Saloon on the other. One wonders who either founded or owns the town. You are right.

Love Dairies2-001

Savannah Cigars-001 The general store is considering Love Dairies as sole supplier of milk and associated products, as well as growing demand for Savannah Cigar tobacco products. Both are important staples to this typical mill town, but mill owner, Hank (you guessed it) Blount, wishes this fair priced and prompt company could supply a third staple for his workers: whiskey.

If it were not for the profitable backhaul, which is the avoidance of running an empty truck back to warehouse, bartered quantities of lumber and flour; produced in Blountstown with the aid of rushing river water, channeled through paddle wheel and electric generator (Blountstown Power & Light), dealing with Hank Blount would have been out of the question. Herb Love has heard disturbing rumblings from the city, 25 mile southwest of Quincy, but images of a thousand families in need of nourishment tilts his better judgment.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Company Town-001

Episode #170


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #168

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #168

Meanwhile

…To be sitting behind the wheel of a five ton truck is quite different from handling a team and wagon…

September Sunrise by Elizabeth Fraser

But when the sun sets, it also rises. Life picks up where even the most defining of moments leaves off. For some, like Alpha, must make their way back to a foreign place, departing from recognized comfort, for the promise of a bright future. For others, like his father, the everyday grind marches on. Not that there is no change, but old habits die hard. Change may be uncomfortable, but necessary.

And if you work for a man like Herbert Love, you can expect to be on the cutting edge of change. To be sitting behind the wheel of a five ton truck is quite different from handling a team and wagon. But to be a teamster, is to be an expert of the transportation of goods, as well as a trooper. Few of these teamsters are yet expert at navigating the inconsistent roadways in these monster vehicles. It can be said that Willy has done a good job of mastering the delicate balance of power and control, although from high in the noisy cab of the Mack truck, motorcars look like darting little rodents. He liked it better closer to the ground.

When Herbert Love decides to expand their territory out to the west, Jackson and Calhoun Counties, another smoking behemoth is to be added, officially making a fleet. Fleet is plural for ____?____, well it is plural nonetheless, which means they must train another driver. Though the job description is pretty clear, just what the qualifications are, is not.

Frank, the dairy pasteurizer, would make a good driver, but who would then keep the bottled milk fresh. Frank’s brother, Clete, who is in bottling, seems to be the next best choice. He is much younger than Frank, perhaps an egg or two short of a dozen, yet is always eager to learn. Eager will get you far in Loves’ world.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Two Eggs Short of a Dozen by Carol Chretien

Two Eggs Short of a Dozen by Carol Chretien

Episode #168


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #90

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #90

Da cows givin’ lot less milk, hens ain’t laying right an’ I ain’t seena bird for days… even da dogs don’t come out from da porch

“Anything new… down on the farm?”

Willy thinks on it a spell, finally commenting, “All da animals is actin differnt, funny.”

“What do you mean.?”

Da cows givin’ lot less milk, hens ain’t laying right an’ I ain’t seena bird for days. Even da dogs don’t come out from under da porch. Animals is smarter than folks give propers for. Too bad they ain’t one of ‘em that can talk.”

“You are so right.” Love has no explanation his own self. “Say, how is young Alfrey doing?”

  “I sees him Tursdees an’ Fridees, you know fo da city load, but he’sa studyin’ da rest of time.” Willy is beginning to accept, perhaps even allowing himself a pinch of pride about the academic leanings of his youngest son. With Hosea off in Atlantic City, involved in who knows what, he knows he best do his best in encouraging Alfrey in what he is good at; not that he could not have learned to make a good cigar. “He’s been learnin’ all summer too, ain’t stopped to play wit da rest of da keeds an’ such, not Alfrey. Ima tinkin’ da teacher is runnin’ out of things ta teach him.”

“I will contact the tutor. He needs to be a child.” The boy is Love’s pet project, never having a son of his own, yet neither has he supplanted Willy’s role of father.

Alfrey Campbell is the recipient of the best-of-two worlds; a father grounded in good old-fashioned values and a father figure with every resource God can bestow to man. “I think he should take ten days off or so. Is there anything you can think of to keep him busy?”

Ziggy-001“Doc Ziggy has bin after him fo stayin’ evree week we’s go to da city. He takes him fishin’ or goin’ doctorin’ fo the ol’ folks thereabouts ‘hassee.”

Herb is used to “‘hassee” sans the Talla-.

“That is a wonderful idea. He has a telephone.” Not everyone does. “I will ask if this Friday would be suitable.”

“Hold up, Mr. Love’” Willy interrupts. “We’va invite here to da Ferrell boy’s weddin’ to Missy Smythwick. We could go maybe an’ just leev Alfrey behind after.”

 

What a convenience the telephone has become. To arrange this situation a decade ago, you would have had to send a courier, or a mail train, wasting a week or more, depending on how far away the recipient is, as opposed to minutes. The only rub is that someone needs to be within earshot of the ringing box; if not now, maybe later (And to think that people used to marvel at telegrams and organized mail delivery). One must wonder what wonder the twentieth century will bring next.

“Excellent suggestion, Willy. That way you could take Mrs. Love along with you. She did so want to attend, but with me unable to shake my duties, it looked like she would stay home.”

Love does summarize.

“We have covered a lot of ground, Willy. Thank you for your good work and leave the arrangements to me.”


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #90


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #89

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #89

…This is me___Willy___is that you?” Willy handles the phone receiver like it is the mouth of a poisonous snake…

Sec. of Ag-001

“Phoebe darling could you round up Willy for me,” asks Herbert Love, making his bi-weekly call from Washington D.C. This couple had never spent any large blocks of time apart and every detail on each end is shared, as September 1900 approaches.

Herb has settled into his civil servant post quite nicely, making national agriculture a serious vocation. His broad-based experience in the “field of fields” has served him well and as an unexpected bonus, President William McKinley has become a close friend. Love is a McKinley kind of guy, a trusted resource whose counsel is sought in areas  that exceeds, surpassing his title of Under-Secretary of Agriculture.

Yet, despite success in his new world, the old one still requires his attention. To that end, he is learning to delegate responsibility. And just as he cannot be on both coasts at once, so must he assign someone to act in his stead.

This is me___Willy___is that you?” Willy handles the phone receiver like it is the mouth of a poisonous snake. Some inventions are intimidating. This talking box is one of them.

“Yes Willy, it is me, Herb. I am calling from our nation’s capitol.”

         Loyal Campbells-001 “They got any good cigars there?”

“Only ours, my friend. As a matter of fact I have orders for ten cases of Loyal Campbells. There is lots of puffing and hot air goings on here and they appreciate not having to smoking that Carolina weed.” It is easy for Herbert to talk down the competition, now that he has had contact with many of them. “Everybody asks me: ‘Who is that man behind these beauts?’ and I tell them: ‘That is my cigar master and right hand man’.”

“Gosh, ya don’t havta be braggin’ on my sorry bones,” he says humbly.

“Brag, I will show you bragging. I will go so far as calling you my Operations Manager … for everything–the creamery, cash crops, of course the cigars.”

“You mean like a overseer?”

“Well, I would prefer to call it a foreman, someone to take my place, as long as they need me in Washington. I know you can do it, heck you have been doing it. And you will find we have doubled your pay.”

paycheck-001

Herbert waits for a response. None forthcoming, he prompts by saying, “I know that two hundred dollars a month is not a fortune, but it will give you a chance to put some money aside, you know a savings account?.” Love perceives that Willy may be flabbergasted, on the receiving end of this one-sided conversation. “Anything new down on the farm?”


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #89


 

More Tim McGraw (For shits ‘n giggles)

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #84

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #84

…I do not think we have ever had a Herb in the Lincoln Bedroom, it is yours for the duration of your White House stay…

The Lincoln Bedroom

“I will dispatch my train to fetch you this very day–if that suits your schedule. It would reach you tomorrow about this time and would expect Mrs. Love to accompany you. A wife should never be separated from her husband for long stretches of time. God has made them largely frail creatures.”

“That is if you consider the Statue of Liberty frail!” Love corrects.

“Well put, good sir. My dear Ida may not be able to run to my side, but should I get on my high horse, she can turn me around with a mere look, if you know what I mean.”

“I do indeed,” agrees a kindred male spirit, who inquires further, “Shall I make reservations at a…..”

“No, no , no, Herb—-may I call you Herb?”

“Certainly.”

I do not think we have ever had a Herb in the Lincoln Bedroom. It is yours for the duration of your visit, though I suggest you start your search for more permanent accommodations in the future. I will assign my personal secretary to aid you in that endeavor. Suites are in short supply here, seeing that most Senators and Congressmen take up residence during legislative sessions.” McKinley continues, “So, I will look forward to meeting you in person, Herbert Davis Love. I am sure I will not be disappointed. You are a man after my own heart and I think will have a productive, if not lasting relationship.”

“I believe so; Mr. President and we will see the day after tomorrow. That would be 14 August, yes?”

“You are a man of detail. I like that.” President McKinley thinks of a forgotten particular on his part. “Oh my, yes, I hasten to add that should pack your formal attire, as we will be entertaining a Brazilian delegation on this Saturday eve. They are a burgeoning producer of agricultural goods. It is a fortunate coincidence that you will be here for me. You can help uphold and protect our interests.”

“I speak very little Portuguese, sir. What I do know, is that Brazilians are quite the entrepreneurs.”

“Shrewd?”

“Very.”

The President is impressed. “It is a shame that you were overlooked back in ‘97. Oh well, that is water over the dam, is it not?” This is in light of the fact that James Wilson is no slouch. “I must be going. Ida needs her rest. I will send an attendant for you to assure your safe journey.”

  It is an abrupt ending to a ten minute conversation; a ten minute slice of American history that only four people have intimate knowledge. There are seventy-four million beneficiaries herein, whose bodies know no other needs than food to eat and clothes to wear.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #84


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #83

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #83

… Inventions, like the telephone and the motorcar are shrinking the size of the world. Those bicycle making Wrights in Carolina are doing their part as the railroads have already joined the coasts…

“Thank you for your prompt reply, Mr. Love. May I presume that this fine day finds you well and that you will rescue me from the vexing problem I am facing?”

God Fearing Man-001

“It is an honor to speak with you, Mr. President and as a matter of fact, I have discussed your proposal with my wife and we believe that the call of country is of the greatest import.”

“I appreciate a man who treasures the counsel of his spouse, good sir,” confirms America’s current first citizen. “We have been monitoring your expertise from afar and my folks agree that you are the best possible candidate to administer agricultural policy for these United States.”

“I am but a simple businessman, doing his best to make the most of the land that God has entrusted me.”

“A God fearing man and modest at that… the more I hear, the more I want to hear. Tell me, is it true that you have formulated an atomizer that foils the development of those cursed weevil eggs!”

Love Dairies-001 “We do not grow very much cotton in Florida, but here in Gadsden County, we take pride in quality rather than quantity and the weevil needs to be halted, to that end. The spray my men and I have produced seems to limit larvae numbers at an ever increasing rate.”

“Florida’s main contribution to cotton production is not in the number of plants grown, but in the efforts of forward thinking men like you.

“And your progress in the fields of refrigeration and milk pasteurization are a model for farms and manufacturing throughout the land. You are the quietest of pioneers.”

  Inventions, like the telephone, are shrinking the size of the world, just as the motorcar is starting to do so. And those bicycle making Wrights in Carolina are doing their part. The railroads have already joined the coasts, linking the established east with the wild, wild West.

Most applicable with Tallahassee to Washington, “I will dispatch my train to fetch you this very day–if that suits your schedule. It would reach you tomorrow about this time and would expect Mrs. Love to accompany you.”


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

The President’s Train

Episode #83


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

…The telephone a wonderful invention, but I fear that our operator will spread our affairs about faster than you can say—busybody…

Quincy Telephone-001

 

It is not every day you get a letter from the President of the United States of America.

McKinley-001

Wife Phoebe is right there, reading aloud, matching Herbert word for word. Meeting at the end, she asks, “Well, what do you think of that, Mr. Love?”

He does not answer her immediately, awash in colliding thoughts. When he has composed himself, he explores, “Please tell me that taking this post would not turn our world upside down? What lies beyond the horizon? We have such a comfortable life; I would hate to give it up.”

“God has the plan for our lives, Herb, you know that. We are but a wink in His eternal eye and only become aware of that plan in bits and pieces. Sometimes, He will wait until the last moment to open a door previously unseen through our myopic perspectives.

Love's-001    “Perhaps we should view this as divine guidance. How else would the government of the United States take notice of our Panhandle doings?” Phoebe Love has always been the best sounding board any man can have. She abides now, by grace through faith. She trusts in the Master’s plan, the common behavioral trait of those who believe.

“You are quite a woman, Mrs. Love. You should have been a First Lady, not just a mayor’s wife,” he proclaims with a pinch of humility.

“It’s never too late for the young, Mr. Love. Perhaps a position in Washington will leave you with a taste for greater ambition.” Whimsical as it seems, she has admired first ladies like the current, Ida Saxton McKinley, from afar. Modesty forever squelches those lofty notions. “I believe you should call the President this very minute. Do not allow a lapse in time to interfere with this great adventure… the number is on the very bottom of the telegram.”

Operator

“Millie”

The telephone a wonderful invention, but I fear that our operator will spread our affairs about faster than you can say—busybody.

“Be kind now, Herb. Millie has a good heart; she merely lacks the art of secrecy.”

“You are too kind, dear. I will simply tell her that if I hear the word Washington from anyone, anywhere, before we make an announcement, I will tell everyone who will listen that she actually pilfered her “famous” fried chicken batter recipe from my mother, yet she lays claim to it as hers, even serving as Sunday dinner for our poor unsuspecting new pastor. He is likely going to be her next victim.”

“You will do no such thing, Herbert Love. Methinks you are the real gossip of the town, not she!”

“The Mayor is above gossip!” he declares, while lifting the receiver off his wall hung Bell invention.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #81


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