Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #114

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #114

…When it comes to avoiding bad weather, it is wiser to duck a one-two punch, than stop it with your face…

Acting Secretary of Agriculture Herbert Love and his bride Phoebe have seen more than Sec. of Ag-001enough devastation before they can reach the major Gulf of Mexico port that once was Galveston. The flattened buildings and depopulation are not very out of the ordinary for a storm such as this. You need to know what it looked like before, to understand the devastated after. But as a presence, the Presidential Train and all its trappings are comforting still, though the Loves are not exactly well known.

Herb Love delivers a reassuring speech to those very ready to receive; those who cannot find hope in their circumstances and see him as an answer to earnest prayers of intercession. Beside the presence of the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and a trainload of goods, tents and fresh water, the most tangible evidence that the survivors of the Galveston/Houston area can hold on to is the promise of the Army Corps of Engineers. They are planning to erect a seventeen foot high seawall between them and anything the Gulf of Mexico can dish out.

In addition to a concrete wall, which is designed to manhandle nature, Love tells them about establishing a network of observers for the purpose of reporting climatic conditions, both in the United States and without. The region’s scientific community of countries are banding together, including those unfriendly on other levels, such as Cuba and Mexico; or the misunderstood, including the Bahaman Islands and the British West Indies.

(Sam Rabin Art)

When it comes to avoiding bad weather, it is wiser to duck a one-two punch, than stop it with your face.

Down in New Orleans, they can tell you something about taking two blows on the button. And just ask the good folks of Greater Tallahassee, who have spent the past number of days living and breathing something could have avoided and remained mainly ignored or neglected. But they did not, standing tall in a world where humanitarianism is becoming a lost art.

The Levee at Canal Street

Sure, John Ferrell had a vested interest, a personal agenda, as did those concerned about the well-being of the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club, but what this grouping of ordinary everyday people has accomplished is amazing.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #114


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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…

Animal Panic

“Anything new… down on the farm?” asks the boss.

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 paycheck-001in Washington. I know you can do it, heck you have been doing it. And you will find we have doubled your pay.”

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.

More Tim McGraw (For shits ‘n giggles)

Episode #89


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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?”

“Like a wise owl.”

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.

The Promise of America

Episode #84


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

…”The telephone is 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.

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 is 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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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #80

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #80

…It is not every day you get a wire from the President of the United States of America…

After successfully navigating through the murky waters of the Spanish-American War, a one hundred day semi-global skirmish that establishes his country as an imperialistic power, President William McKinley has set his sights on reelection. The war has produced, as they usually do, heroes and the Republican Party chooses the most celebrated hero, Teddy Roosevelt as his Vice-presidential partner, rather than incumbent Garret Hobart. Roosevelt had previously ridden his San Juan Hill popularity to the New York governor’s mansion. Sound reputation and national prosperity virtually assures them victory in November.

But this is August and some smaller issues need to be dealt with. It is Herbert Love who may add yet another title to his already crowded business card; because of a telegram he receives.

It reads:

Mayor Herbert Love

Quincy City Hall

Quincy, Florida, U.S.A.

 

President William McKinley

Washington D.C., U.S.A.

Dear Mr. Love;

My staff and I have been admiring reports of your diverse approach to your agricultural enterprises. This is the sort of expertise a president looks for when he selects his Secretary of Agriculture.

As you likely know, James Wilson has been and will be my secretary of this department, but he has succumbed to dreadful plague while he was in San Francisco. And considering the boll weevil crisis we face, among other issues, such as the total pasteurization of the nation’s milk supply, I feel we need a steady stream of quality leadership for our nation’s farming families.

We feel that you are that man and hope you will be stirred to serve your country and offer  this position in my administration. Your title would be Under-secretary of Agriculture, the first such, but with all the amenities that Mr. Wilson enjoys. Of course I would want you stay on for my second term, God willing.

Please call me at the attached secure telephone line, at your earliest convenience.

  Your President,

 William McKinley

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


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #80


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #79

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #79

Chapter Five

HORIZONS

… Random occurrences have a way of effecting change, regardless of what day the calendar reads or the hands of the clock point to…

1900-001

Those who have predicted the end of the world were wrong. Numerous millenarians were convinced that the coming year of 1900 would signal the end of the world, as we know it and the beginning of the millennial kingdom, foretold in the Bible, as prophesied in Revelation. Extremist go so far as to sell or abandon (temporarily it seems) possessions, withdraw to mountain tops (to be closer to God), or dress completely in white (so Jesus would recognize them we he returns).

There as many interpretations of the Book of Revelation as there are organized religions, but there one sure thing; no adult hopeful of seeing Christ will be around for the next millennium opportunity at the year 2000.

Then again, what is all the fuss? 1900 is not the year that begins the Twentieth Century. For reasons few understand, 1 January 1901, will be the first day in the new century. It promises to be one of great change.

Boll Weevil-001Random occurrences have a way of effecting change, regardless of what day the calendar reads or the hands of the clock point to. Just ask Herbert Love, whose cotton fields, as well as most others in the South, is introduced to Mr. Boll Weevil. Mr. Weevil is a multi-legged visitor from Mexico and he and his many relatives have dined on the bolls of the cotton plant; uninvited and unrelenting in its devastation of the textile industry. Herbert is diversified enough to weather 1899, due to the installation of a pasteurizing machine for his creamery and the growing popularity of his quality line of cigars. Please thank Mr. Luck and Mr. Campbell for that.

The weekly route to Tallahassee has been a resounding success. Fridays are a blessing for route-master Willy, a day to see the sights and know people.

It is so for his son, Alfrey, as well. He is a young eleven, thanks to his stays with the German Young A.O.-001 and exposure to toddler Maggie Lou (Ferrell). The skillful knowledge of a physician, who has practiced medicine longer than an average life’s span, provides a disadvantaged child with the gift of nurturing and healing; the starter kit for any aspiring doctor.

Alfrey Campbell is a true enigma compared to rest of Southern society. Just as he is entering adolescence, usually the prime time for beginning serious field work, he has no such duties, most of his time readying the ice wagon for his treasured Friday adventures. Herbert Love has gone as far as to hire a tutor to fill Alfrey’s days with matters of the mind, rather than the formation of calluses. Hardly a better situation exists for the grooming and preparation of a young mind.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #79


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