Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #240

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #240

…Back when A.O. first required legal counsel, it made absolute good sense for the experienced and Campbell family-friendly Ferrell to rise to his defense…

Florida plate-001

Alpha Omega Campbell had indeed returned to his house to retrieve his chauffeur driven Cadillac, but he would not go directly to the police station. Instead, he is heading for San Luis Lake and the Ferrell Hillside Estate.

    There is a two-fold reason for him publicly pooh-poohing the innocent Miss Fenwick’s tale of terror. He and his family have been threatened before, but if his worst fears were to be correct, he best stay out of the way of these men.

Secondly, should the police become involved, they would possibly get wind that he had started to perform early term abortions; not many in the grand scheme of things, but it is becoming known that if you want to keep your affairs private, go see Doc Campbell. The fact that the vast majority of these girls happen to be white only serves to complicate matters.

He guesses that the brothers and friends of one, Esther Wilson, may be retaliating for him not diagnosing her scarlet fever soon enough, leaving the young woman a mere shadow of her former self. They had been pursuing legal means, but they are well aware that the doctor’s attorney has never lost a malpractice suit.

James Ferrell Lawyer One object of the Wilson anguish is James Ferrell. He and wife Abigail Ferrell- Ferrell have made Hillside their home for obvious reasons. It did not make sense for them to build a house of their own, San Luis Lake-001considering that father John had died as a civilian casualty of the Great War and Martha, now nearing 80 years of age, suffers from acute dementia, requiring around-the-clock care.

Back when A.O. first required legal counsel, it made absolute good sense for the experienced and Campbell family-friendly Ferrell to rise to his defense, whenever necessary. And as time goes on and medicine enters fields and territories previously untouched or undiscovered, having a good lawyer is nearly as good as having a sharp scalpel.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Alpha Omega3-001Cobblestone (olla)-001

Episode #240


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #239

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #239

…Do you think I would risk being in Frenchtown if I had not been a witness?…

Witness by Huma Birgul

Witness by Huma Birgul

“She was here, Doctor Campbell, I swear she was!” Fenwick was on medication for a secondary bout of depression, but hallucination is a side-effect she has yet to experience.

“I really should believe you, but where is the body?”

Do you think I would risk being in Frenchtown if I had not been a witness?!” she pleads.

“Tell me; judging by how you’re dressed you do not have a reason to be here at all.” He was used to having his mother-in-law drift from home to home; helping the poor with what she could, sometimes disappearing for days at a time, mostly without letting him or Maggie know.

“She bought some fabric for your daughter’s dress, she comes in often.” Frustration sets in, running her fingers through her long dark hair. “I saw four – no five white men run from here. They must have seen me coming. And it seems they saw me leave and came back to rid the street of the body.

“I would have stayed, but I was afraid she would die, I mean she may even have been dead, but either way I had to get help.”

“Come with me, Miss______?”

“Fenwick.”

“Miss Fenwick, you don’t look like a madwoman, but I’m at a loss. I will have my driver take us to the police station and you can tell them your story.”

Cobblestone (olla)-001She has not stopped scouring the area for signs of her sanity, not realizing that by dragging her feet around, any chance that traces of blood will survive in the Florida dirt to see daylight is slim.

“No. I should get home. There is someone there who will be calling the police herself, if I don’t arrive soon.” Sara could use one of Carolyn’s patented embraces; long, soft, warm – comforting, made to order in trying times or just for the heck of it. “You can get a hold of me at Fenwick’s Fabriques, over on Tennessee Street.”

“Oh, yes, I believe we own the property next door; fine location. If my mother-in-law comes in, please call me.”

Not exactly what she wanted to hear. Sara opens her mouth to protest, then pursing her colored lips, realizing that right about now that she is terminally perplexed.

Carolyn Hanes’ hug is what she needs and will surely get. There is something about unconditional affection that frees and refreshes the soul.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Now you see me

Episode #239


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #238

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #238

… “Doc Campbell! Doc Campbell!” Sara pounds frantically on the mammoth oaken door of the huge house at 324 Virginia Street…

Cobblestone (olla)-001

“I have one hem to finish and I will be right behind you,” she tells her favorite customer with a sweet smile, very much looking forward to getting home…

   … which is exactly what she does, with a slight detour down the path that Olla probably took to Virginia Street, where the older woman stays with Doc Campbell and her daughter. Unfortunately that means she flirts with the fringe of a Frenchtown that is better traversed in the light of day.

324 Virginia Street-001

Old House by Ashley Ordines

Sara is no more than ten minutes behind, when she sees four or five white men scrambling into the bushes, laughing away as they scamper, one of them carrying the same satchel Olla had with her at the shop. She quickens her pace, all the while checking for further danger, ultimately coming upon a body covered with a bloody shroud of her finest rayon. It is apparent that the proud Olla did not give up easily and her attackers did not take kindly to that resistance. Seeing that she was no doctor, Sara did head straight for the closest one.

“Doc Campbell! Doc Campbell!” Sara pounds frantically on the mammoth oaken door of the huge house at 324 Virginia Street. There are no lights on inside, so she wooden doorcontinues to bruise her hands in an attempt to stir A.O. into action. There is no time to waste.

Finally she can hear footsteps added the erstwhile quiet of the night. The heavy door swings open, creaking under its considerable weight. She did not know what the doctor looked like, only that he was a Negro and he lived in the biggest house in town. At 5′ 8″ she towered over the smallish man with a receding hairline and silk pajamas.

  “Is someone ill Madame? Perhaps it can wait ‘til mornin’?”

“NO! It is Laura Bell. She was at my shop less than an hour ago and on her way home, she was attacked by a band of thugs…………she is badly injured.” Sara’s behest is taken to heart. The doctor retreats for a robe and follows her to the reported scene of the crime.

  Suddenly, the mad rush turns into confusion. Sara Fenwick had believed she could revisit it easily, surely as she can guess any given woman’s dress size. Instead, that familiar spot, out in the open, which is why the attackers ran for the bushes when they saw her, is empty. There is no sign of a body on this dimly lit side street. They both walk over the bloodstained patch of cobblestone road where she had laid, now unawares.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Scene of the crime

Episode #238


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #237

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #237

…the world of 1935 is poorer for the loss of certain folks…

Wash Day 1935, by Phil Dike

… but poor is not a word you would apply to Doctor A.O. and Maggie Lou Campbell. Once Maggie turned 21, back in 1918, a formidable miniature real estate empire had begun. Starting with 61 parcels (which swells to 150 at its peak) of inherited land in and around Tallahassee, it is not long before a power base is established, by of all people, a black family. And even though they travel in both circles, it is with clenched teeth and wrenched hands that the established whites of Florida’s panhandle do so. It is that quiescent force that has and will continue to smolder just beneath the ground that the Campbells tread, whether it is their own ground or not.

And no more evident is this jealous undercurrent than at the time of Laura Bell’s death on a late summer day in 1931.

Flashback-001

  “May I have a few yards of that gingham?” asks Princess Olla Laura Bell, the mother of Maggie Lou Campbell and very much the grand dame of Tallahassee’s Frenchtown. She is a frequent customer of Fenwick’s Fabriques, a fabric shop owned by the seamstress to the wealthy, Sara Fenwick. Laura Bell happens sews her own clothes, as well as her teenaged granddaughters Alpha, Laura and Zillah, though in order for those same fashion conscious girls to actually wear her dresses, she must get the input of Miss Sara, considered to be on the cutting edge of what makes its way west from Paris and south from New York. The Campbell gals are not to be seen in anything that is not contemporary. “Yes, that red un’, Missy Sara. Alpha’s gots a dance to go’ta this’n Saturdee an she dint ax me for a dress til late. I was well pleased to see yo lights burning.”

“Yes, it is late, is it not? I am glad I told my friend Carolyn not to wait supper for me. It seems everyone is looking forward to their autumn wardrobe, though you would not think so with the weather we’ve been having.” She openly invokes the name of her roommate, someone about whom people whisper about. She and Sara are awfully close, close in a way that invites folks to wonder. ‘There is only one bedroom in that house. And have you seen them hold hands? I hear that they learned that in Paris.’

Schiaparelli, Vogue 1935

“I am going to throw in an extra yard so you can make a bolero. Everyone is wearing them,” suggests the attractive and talented clothier, all the while musing what would look best on Alpha Campbell.

“Ain’t heard of that… some kinda hat?” Uninformed does not equal ignorance.

“No, oh no!” Sara leafs through a fashion magazine to find an example. “Here, yes, very close to this,” she points, “but come to think of it, perhaps a rayon print would be better suited. It has been so oppressively hot these days.”

  “You never steer me wrong, Missy Sara. Wrap that up fo me an I’lla be goin. You should goin’ yo ownself. Bad people mull ‘round on steamy nights liken this.”

          “I have one hem to finish and I will be right behind you,” she says with a sweet smile, very much looking forward to getting home…


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #237


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #236

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #236

…In Herbert Love’s world there is only black and white; grays exist only in the clouds of a dreary day or the color of his favorite suit…

What can you say about Herbert Love? Certainly not enough can be put in earthly terms, whereby only God in his holy wisdom can fathom the depth of such a person as Herb. If it were only for his impact on a single family, the Campbells, or just A.O. for that matter, his time on this world was well spent.

Sec. of Ag-001

Love Dairies2-001But it goes well beyond helping to free a family from slavery, or giving the Tallahassee area a fine, fine physician. There is the legacy of his stint as Secretary of Agriculture. It has and always will be an example for those who have followed. He was a man of conviction, never once betraying his morals or beliefs.

In Herbert Love’s world there is only black and white; grays exist only in the clouds of a dreary day or the color of his favorite suit. There is right and there is wrong and very little in-between. You would be surprised how amazingly uncomplicated life is when you live within that reality. Straightforward, upright, just; three words that best describes the man who is sorely missed in the midst of his dear country’s most trying times.

Very the same can be said for his life’s partner, Phoebe. A wise man once said, ‘There is nothing on this Earth quite like a godly woman.’ And he could not have been more right. Her sweet quiet spirit touched everybody that knew her. Not high profile, just highly noble.

Christian thing to do-001And the humbly and freely shared her wisdom with the young women of greater Quincy, some going so far as to suggest that she found a school for young ladies. The advent of the emancipated woman, so-called flappers, empowered by the right to vote and Image result for r.i.p.generous exposure of the female knee, had really taken its toll on ladylike demeanor. Had she been younger, she would have welcomed that formidable challenge. Instead, a few lucky mothers were able to rest easy, secure in the knowledge that their girls rubbed elbows with the very best. That is why perhaps the finest acting performance of all time is her portrayal of Cinderella’s wicked step-mother, otherwise trivializing a glorious septuagenarian tenure.

The Loves were special people. Neither did one dwell without the other, happily consorted, having reaped their bountiful harvest and going on to the greater reward in the Heavenly Kingdom. The world of 1935 is a poorer place without them.

Black and White” is a song written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson. The most successful recording of the song was the pop version by Three Dog Night in 1972, when it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Black, White and Grey Winter by Pimpernel

Episode #236


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #235

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #235

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

From the Ashes

          …Fifteen years. 5475 days. A lot can happen in that span of time and it has. In present day 1935, lives have changed…

Time Marches On-001

  Judith Eastman, for one, has lost both her husband and brother in the same year, of the same disease. At age 72 she has lived a rich and fulfilling life, but do not think for a moment that that matters now. She would gladly trade all that personal gratification for the companionship she now is lacking.

 The Great Depression took its toll on everyone, even those like the Pearson-Eastman’s who were financially immune to bankruptcy.

George Eastman, a man of much wealth and benevolence, lived his last years with a broken heart, so did he mourn for the ruined majority around him. During the Roaring Twenties he gave away more than $70 million to his favorite educational institutions. How was he to know, that would only be enough money to help the worse-off of the worse? He did what he could, right up until his 78 year old heart did truly break.

Harv Pearson had to see all those crushed spirits and forlorn faces twice. Having to see them in person, day after day, is difficult enough. Inserting Judith’s pictures of some of those very same into their magazine, would break his heart as well. He had survived a hurricane, dodged submarines and bullets, but could not, in the end, defeat a human condition in despair.

The Pearson-Eastman Journal, whose gripping photographs and human-interest stories became a monthly fixture in a million American households in 1901, will have life as long as Judith Eastman draws a breath.


Alpha Omega M.D.

1920 to 1935-001

Episode #235


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #234

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #234

…an Atlantic Ocean away from those snippily cruel London critics, who would not blink twice at the opportunity to carve up the performance of these rank amateur Americans…

KISS FOR CINDERELLA-001

Indeed, they will be able to deliver their lines in front of assembled loved ones in what is billed as “Tallahassee Night” for A Kiss for Cinderella. Every single local talent, from extras to actors, is to be front and center, stage one, in the glare of the spotlight. Some of the provincials never thought they would get a chance to appear in this immensely popular production, but Sir James is a consummate professional and an Atlantic Ocean away from those snippily cruel London critics, who would not blink twice at the opportunity to carve up the performance of these rank amateur Americans.

So committed is Barrie in this whimsical tale of fantasy and live theater that he even puts his own son on the shelf, in favor of James Ferrell, who is to be surreptitiously inserted during the play, at the second appearance of the nameless, nonetheless, handsome Prince. Fresh off his celebrated victory for the women’s rights movement, it should be easy to fit a glittery shoe on his own real-life wife, while looking the part of dashing royalty.

The front two rows of spectator boxes at Florida State University’s Lewis Auditorium are dominated by a who’s who of these life and times:

Row One

George Lewis and wife

Fairy Tale-001

Martha Ferrell

George Eastman

Harv Pearson and Judith Eastman

Cinderella Author C.S. Evans

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks

Row two

A.O. and Maggie Lou

Laura Bell

Sheriff Cyril Odz

Jacques Francoise and Jacob Haley

Colonel Billy Mitchell

Tallahasse Mayor Holmes

Most everybody else in town can, if only briefly, be seen on stage, including the ever popular Flying Bleaker Brothers, who don’t jump as high as they used to, don’t travel as much as they used to, but as court jesters to Cinderella’s Prince’s kingdom,  they fit the bill to a tee.

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  Fairy tale backdrop aside, that was truly a magical evening, one well earned. It had been a long couple of decades, fraught with good and bad, tragedy and triumph, honesty and deception. And for the people of the panhandle of Florida and those they have touched, the world will never be the same. The times in which they live seem to changing so quickly, especially when you compare 1920 to the second half of the 19th century, when they were borne.

Vertical-001

Vertical-001   Addition by subtraction may be the best way to describe it. The automobile has altogether replaced the horse and buggy. The airplane has supplanted the dream of flying. Regional skirmishes now become world wars…

Worldliness has taken the place of sound moral innocence. When innocence is collectively lost, it can only be recovered a little bit at a time, one soul at a time.

For Alpha Omega Campbell, the times that he knows and places he goes, have gone from purely clear and simple to a 180 degree turn that leads to a future changing before his very eyes. In November of 1920, he learns that Camille Diaz has given birth to a daughter, Angela Ophelia. He had to have been really overwhelmed.

Just one month earlier, his dear Maggie Lou gave birth to a daughter, named for her mother Laura Bell. This beautiful little child is curiously light skinned, beyond what one would ascribe to the Cherokee influence of his wife. He was overwhelmed then.

  Listen closely and you can hear the careless whispers.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #234


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