Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #279

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #279

… In a weak moment, Sgt. Smith slips, “Some strange things going on around here these days.”…

Starry Nite by Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Nite by Vincent Van Gogh

Safely on the ground and a little worse for the wear, Robert Ford, cargo plane owner and Carolyn Hanes, authoress are greeted by uniformed men — by the score. They are cordial, but seem to be distracted, like they had just seen a ghost.

“Can we inspect your plane?” One of many asks a question without inflection, giving it a HollomanAFBdemanding slant. “Standard procedure.” As if they would know the difference.

 “Yeah, I guess, but you won’t find anything,” Ford says as they are led to a large Quonset hut. He whispers to Lyn along the way, “Act as if we don’t see a thing.”

Before she can even so much as nod, there is a huge explosion, accompanied by a plume of smoke. The sound reaches them seconds later. “….one thousand six, one thousand seven,” Ford times the gap between sight and sound. “One hundred miles northeast… hmmm.”

“What did you say, Ford?” asks a nearby Air Force officer.

   “I was telling Miss Hanes that we covered the last hundred miles with ease. Must be the desert air?”

“Sargent. Smith will guide you from here.”

Without hesitation, the officer joins an armada of military vehicles racing off to the north and east. It is clear that they were not expecting the blast. Two helicopters are dispatched to the scene. They will be at the expected crater long before the ground vehicles.

In a weak moment, Sgt. Smith slips, “Some strange things going on around here these days.” Sometimes one can only shake one’s head. “Come this way.”

They have entered an infirmary type building and are shunted into an empty room – save a table, five chairs and two guards.

“Musical chairs is one of my favorite party games and I believe we need more people to play. How about you guys? ” Lyn is trying to ease the mounting tension. The guards will have nothing of it.

Smith directs them to the two chairs facing the other three, with four feet between them. “Before we begin, I need to warn you that this woman may not have anything to say. She pops in and out of reality. It affects the way she communicates. One minute she seems perfectly normal, totally out of it internal_organsthe next. We have had our best psychological people examine her. The only thing they agree on is that she is missing more than her memory.”

“Missing what?” Lyn wonders.

“One kidney and part of her frontal lobe,” contributes the newest addition to the room. He is dressed mostly in white, distinguishing himself from anyone else they have seen. “With no signs of surgery, I might add. I have heard of people being born with one kidney, but the human brain mass never deviates from its shape… content maybe, but not shape.”

“And you are… who?” Lyn is losing her patience. “We have flown across country, at your invitation and all we are getting are silver streaks, explosions and what seems to be a military runaround.”

“Excuse my oversight, folks, but this case has me baffled.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #279


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #278

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #278

… Robert Ford points to a bright stationary oval-shaped object, perhaps a quarter mile at its widest, his gauge array has gone wacko, dials spinning, light flashing, levers and pedals moving on their own…

 UFO Interception by Alfredsson

UFO Interception by Alfredsson

“Wanna land this thing?” he asks Carolyn.

“We’ll see, Bob.”

Hours later, in the tower at Holloman, radar picks up something peculiar on its screen. The radar man on duty spots a darting image, similar to others he had reported before and told to ignore, but this one was zigging and zagging its way toward the approaching civilian Douglas DC-3.

  “One-alpha-niner, there is a bogey approaching you at five o’clock low. I have dispatched two fighters to come take a look. Over?”

          “Roger, Holloman control, will keep an eye out. Over.” Ford has seen strange objects before; some of them defy logical description. “Lyn, hon, come forward quickly.”

          “All right, already, where’s the fire?”

“There…” He points to a bright stationary oval-shaped object, perhaps a quarter mile at its widest, in front of them, matching their diminishing speed exactly – he guesses, because his gauge array has gone wacko, dials spinning, light flashing, levers and pedals moving on their own. Just about the time Lyn gets a good look at it; the two Air Force fighters join in. Surely they will close in and force the strange craft to land.

But as they close in, the object turns, pauses briefly and rockets off at an impossible rate of speed. In a matter of a second or two, it is completely out of sight.

The fighters drift about, like a dog who wonders where that darn rabbit went to. Gauges and such on the DC-3 regain their expected readings.

“What did we just see?” asks Lyn of her more experienced flying companion.

“I was hoping you could tell me. That is one of the damndest things I have ever seen.  The way the rudder and flap controls were moving, we should have been barrel rolling, a tailspin at the very least.  I’m just glad you saw it too, because I suspect that the military will come up with some stupid explanation.”

“There isn’t one in any encyclopedia I own. How fast did that go?”

“I would have to say, thousands of miles per hour. That’s odd because nobody has gotten past the speed of sound in anything, ground or air.”

bogie  “How fast is that?”

“What? And I thought you knew everything… 750 miles per hour, maybe a little more… that thing didn’t just fly away fast, it literally evaporated before our eyes. Hey, I’m going to get us down. Strap yourself in.”

There was no sense in prolonging the matter of hand, just because they were nose to nose with an unknown flying object for a few minutes – at least that is what they think.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #278


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #277

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #277

…How can a person disappear with nary a trace and then show up six years later, without knowing what had gone on in the intervening years… six blankety-blank years…

Blankety Blank-001

Properly fueled and inspected, Bob Ford & Carolyn Hanes are soon winging their way across the country. The early part of the flight is spent catching up on things. That is easy. Bob works. Lyn works. So tales of working are swapped, which for a pilot and a writer, not entirely dull or uninteresting. Lyn has a first draft of her current C. C. Private Eye book, still untitled to give Bob Ford. Ford gives her the only copy of his diary about the final “Pacific” Clipper flight, hoping that Lyn would find it interesting enough to pen, which is a given.

  Later, after Lyn had gotten her crack in the pilot’s seat of the gage-strewn cockpit, spelling Ford who had come to New York via Toronto for his load of film, risking his certification by flying into La Guardia without a co-pilot or navigator, the real reason for this junket is discussed.

How can a person disappear with nary a trace and then show up six years later, without knowing what had gone on in the intervening years… six blankety-blank years, Bob? Like they didn’t happen? That is the kind of fiction that I cannot fathom.” Dumbfounding a writer is hard to do. “Did you say they told you that she was wearing the same dress as when she vanished? You would think that puff-of-smoke would have been that man in the navy blue suit.”

 “You remember that?”

The Vanished Flame by lowjacker deviantart.com

The Vanished Flame by lowjacker deviantart.com

  “Oh, yes and the brand of perfume and how she had her hair fixed. Did they take a picture of her, you know, when they first found her?”

  “I believe so. I guess we’ll find out in a few hours.”

  “I’m going to lie down in back, this messes up my mind and I need to be fresh.”

  “There is a cot, but at 25,000 feet, you’ll need a few blankets. I’ll wake you when I make my approach to Holloman AFB. Wanna land this thing?”

  “We’ll see, Bob.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

DC-3 Cockpit

Episode #277


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #276

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #276

…Carolyn is wearing a so-called leather bomber jacket she had been given by a returning B-17 tail gunner…

Assault on Damn Yankee by Domenic DeNardo

Assault on Damn Yankee by Domenic DeNardo

Constance Caraway… rather Carolyn Hanes is waving both arms above her head, on the tarmac of the Blue Ridge Angel-001commercial terminal at La Guardia Airport. The roar of a taxiing twin engine Douglas DC-3 camouflages her, “Over here, Captain Ford!”, but he spots her nonetheless. He swings the impressive plane around, signaling a big thumb’s up, and a welcome sight in the window above the Constance Caraway P.I. in big bold yellow. He looks as dashing as she had remembered, an opinion slightly tainted by his heroic escapades.

Once in place, and propellers at rest, Robert Ford climbs down the cockpit ladder, his plane’s only entrance beside the cargo bay doors. Lyn has abandoned her bags and is there to apply a hardy embrace.  She is wearing a so-called leather bomber jacket she had been given by a returning B-17 tail gunner.

“Is that a bullet hole there?” He puts an index finger into Lyn’s upper left arm. “You didn’t, did you?”

ConstanceCaraway 001

Constance

“Join the Air Force, oh my, no?”

“Another Constance fan?”

“Yes, he was so cute, says he would read my stuff on the way back from a bombing run. Now, Bob, he was just a boy.” She reacts to Ford’s sideward glance.

“Well you look like a real flier, Lyn. What do say to taking my baby for a little 1600 mile spin?”

My little cub would fit underneath one of your wings. Once we’re at altitude, I wouldn’t mind taking the controls for a few hours. 76-regular-gasolineWhat is it, a ten hour flight?”

“Very good, Lyn, that’s what’s in our flight plan… oh, here comes the fuel truck.”

“76 octane?” Lyn reels in a Clipper memory.

“76? There isn’t a runway in the world long enough if we used straight gasoline. These engines are spoiled rotten, 110, no less, and not in five gallon cans either.” His Clipper recollection includes fueling it with five gallon cans… all four thousand gallons.


Alpha Omega M.D.

‘Aeronautical & Maritime Masterpieces’ by Peter Branksome - http://www.hamiltonwalkerart.com/

‘Aeronautical & Maritime Masterpieces’ by Peter Branksome – http://www.hamiltonwalkerart.com/

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #275

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #275

…with the war over, there is babies being made left and right… and up, down and sideways…

post-war_Baby-Boom_577

Just then, two cars pull up to 224 Virginia Street. Ten professional looking men jump out of the eight doors, enthusiastically. They are anxious to see just what their colleague has been doing with his spare time.–

          –At the same time that the ten black staff physicians, some on, some off duty, check out another venue in which to uphold their oath of healing, there is a spur-of-the-moment meeting of the Florida A & M Hospital board of directors, called by the advisory board chairman, J. Leonard Lewis, who happens to be a backdoor relative of banker Lewis. That in itself inserts a stench into the coming proceedings.

“What are we going to do about Campbell’s hospital?” He opens with a very pointed question.

“What do you mean by that, J.L.,” asks Vernon L. Perry, taken aback by the tone.

V.L. –  J.L. –  A.O. –  A&M  –  L.B.M.H. – Abbreviation City.

“Here we are, understaffed as it is and a third of our doctors are AWOL, being courted by that Baby Boomrenegade Campbell!” He cannot hide his bitterness. “Look, V.L., with the war over, there is babies being made left and right… and up, down and sideways. We can’t afford to lose any one of them. Unlike Tallahassee Memorial, we are a predominantly black facility.”

Perry is just as aware of the influx of births as Lewis, but he is a friend of A.O. Campbell and he knows there is no intended competition. Rather, what is being lost in this shuffle of egos is that most of the babies Campbell will deliver would have been probably turned away at the university or delivered in a non sterile environment by a midwife.

“You don’t actually believe that he will cut into our revenue, do you?”

“He won’t charge as much as us. Don’t you think people over there in Frenchtown will find out?”

“I don’t see how doing mostly what we would consider charity work, is going to be a threat,” adds a new voice in the discussion. Mrs. John Phipps, widow of a prominent Tallahassean, turned philanthropist, discerns no menace from the diminutive doctor from Virginia Street. “He gave up a good job to pursue his dream.”

“He shouldn’t impose his dream on the other doctors.”

“You don’t get it, do you? We are not going to lose any of our staff to Campbell,” states Perry. “Anything they do is on their own time.”

blacklist

“There is one thing you don’t get, V.L. Does the name, Charles Wilson ring a bell?” The room falls silent. They are well aware that a high percentage of their operating expenses are funded by Wilson’s charitable foundation and his certain friends of a like mind. You can guess who is in control and what nefarious agendas the whole of them undertake.

“Hello?” Lewis prods.

The dissenting majority has a feeling that their poker hand has just been trumped. Wilson is a wild card none of them can top.

“I think my point has been made, folks. Our policy toward working outside Florida A & M Hospital is about to be enforced.”

… Or made up…

Letter B.Letter S.


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #274

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #274

…Campbell hopes to have any of his colleagues from Florida A & M Hospital, who would like to practice out of LBMH, do so…

Loving Hold

Loving Hold by Marla Oliphant

“You haven’t stopped movin’ since you got back from Mayo,” complains Maggie Campbell. He continues Vertical-001Vertical-001his flitting around, having done it for the entire year leading up to the completion of LBMH. This time, an equally busy man covered with powdery white dust, gets his attention.

“The second floor won’t be finished for another week, Doctor Campbell,” reports the general contractor for the Laura Bell Memorial Hospital.

  “We’re goin’ to have a reception this Friday, whether you’re finished or not. I would appreciate you makin’ sure there ain’t a mess on the first floor. I expect maybe fifty people or more and I will need the room.”

“Don’t you worry bout a thing, Doc; I’ll make sure the guys clean up good. Heck we won’t be doin’ anything on Friday anyway, mostly waiting on those special doors you need.”

“As long as there is a front door, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital will be open for business on Saturday. My Project 18-001In fact, I’m having a group of doctors over this afternoon for a tour.” Campbell hopes to have any of his colleagues from Florida A & M Hospital, who would like to practice out of LBMH, do so. There is such a great need for health care in the back streets of Frenchtown, no one doctor should shoulder the load, let alone the expense, of treating the less fortunate. It is his noble cause, but he also hopes that the other black physicians will eagerly take up the call. “Maggie, would you drop in our nurses, make sure they will be at the reception. Have you seen the trucking company yet? Those stainless steel examinin’ tables should have come in from Pittsburgh already.”

BOOK PIC NURSES 001

A.O & his Nursing Staff

“Alpha Campbell, you’re actin’ like a mother hen, I swear. You know Lilly Chevis is my best friend and head nurse. I think she has the girls ready. Let the good Lord take care of the details and you take care of those doctor friends of yours. I had Cook make two big pitchers of lemonade, oh and some of those finger sandwiches you like so much.”

“Oh, Maggie, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” True enough. Without her inheritance from John Ferrell, thirty or so years ago, there is no huge house, no chauffeur driven Cadillac, no servants, no parties at the country club; just the prestige of being a respected physician. And the hospital? Forget about it. They would be living on love and not much more, which is not so bad, because that is just what they actually share. It just so happens they get a new car every year, has four people on their household staff and they have their very own hospital right across their driveway.

“Let’s get this thing going, Alpha.” She spreads her arms out to encompass the entire whiteness of LBMH. “Maybe you will be able to deliver our first grandchild here. Laura tells me that she and Franklin are tryin, to have a baby.”

“That would be somethin’ Maggie!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

"God is Like a Mother Hen" Mosaic from the church of Dominus Flevit - Jerusalem

“God is Like a Mother Hen” Mosaic from the church of Dominus Flevit – Jerusalem

Episode #274


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #273

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #273

…”I’m in need of a co-pilot for a flight to New Mexico.”

“What?” That comes from so far in left field that Lyn is caught selling peanuts in the parking lot…

Old Telephone by Raymond Logan

Old Telephone by Raymond Logan

“I’m sorry, Lyn, I keep forgetting Sara is gone.”

The office phone rings, severing the air of “blue” reminiscence.

Typewriter-001“Mr. Rogers? There is a Robert Ford on the telephone. He claims to know Lyn.” The Harper Books receptionist relays the information.

  Rogers covers the mouthpiece with his free hand. “Do you know a Robert Ford?”

  “Robert Ford, I don’t,” one one-thousand, “oh, yes I do. If that is Captain Ford from Pan American Airways, let me speak to him.” Lyn hated the way things were left on Ceylon. “Captain Ford?”

“It is Citizen Ford, Miss Hanes, but you could call me Dirt and I wouldn’t mind.” He had called Lyn several times that first year, but had since given up on his quest for the lady’s heart. “I’m still flying, but its cargo, not passengers. My own plane, I’m proud to say.”

Planter S Peanut & the Nutmobile

Planter S Peanut & the Nutmobile

“Congratulations!” She resists asking him if he had lost any freight lately. There are times when Lyn needs to hold her tongue, despite the urge to the contrary.

“Thank you, but I’m in need of a co-pilot for a flight to New Mexico.”

What?” That comes from so far in left field that Lyn is caught selling peanuts in the parking lot.

“This whole deal may be a dead end, but I received a call from Terry Trippe this morning. He tells me that he got a call from an Air Force base out in New Mexico. They have an unidentified woman there, with what they think is amnesia. The one thing she keeps mentioning is the Clipper.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m not saying anything quite yet; I just thought it would be worth going out there. I’ve got a load of celluloid for United Artists in Hollywood. How about me popping out to La Guardia, in say, two hours?”

Lyn doesn’t know what to think. She is awash in the newness of these developments, barely able to keep her mind from racing, getting her hopes up. Even false hope is better than the no hope she has lived with for six lonely years; six years of living someone else’s life (Constance and not very well as we found out) not her own.

 She would make one hell of a private eye and this is a great opportunity to ply that craft.

“Go,” urges Stanley Rogers. “I’ll take care of the old man… watch it, I know what you’re thinking Lyn?”

“Make it three hours and you’ll have your co-pilot. I bet you didn’t know that I have an expiring pilot’s license.”

“That doesn’t surprise me none and three hours it is… mark… that makes it 1624 Eastern Time.” Ford is nothing if not precise and probably the most unassuming hero you can find. “My plane is a white-over-gray DC-3 with Constance Caraway P. I. in yellow paint on both sides of the nose. I’ve become one of her biggest fans. I’m so glad she divorced that jerky congressman.”

“I’ll be sure to tell my editor that.”

Devoted readers are the best.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Blue Ridge Angel-001

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