Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #63

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #63

…It is amazing how simple life can be when it is  blessed exceedingly…

‘Family Band’ by Jon Serl (1894-1993)

Throughout this disreputable whole process, Laura feels somewhat like a bystander, an onlooker watching the family band without an instrument. This is not what she had envisioned motherhood to be; people who are slightly disconnected from this otherwise joyous time, deciding her fate. But then again, visions of any Southern Negro are severely limited by the stranglehold of the weighty yoke of history.

She should be happy, even thankful, that she is cared for. Yet she longs to be cared for in ways she sees in traditional relationships, like Siegfried and Frieda and to a lesser extent, John and Martha. The latter gets points for style, but none for substance.

Now take Herbert and Phoebe Love. They truly share a relationship that God intended when he created man and made him a helper, woman. He, the Lord Almighty, is at the head, as they live first for Him, the rest he takes care of.  Those blessings can be found in the Book of Ephesians  Chapter 5.

MeanwhileIt is amazing how simple life can be when it is  blessed exceedingly. For example, the simple act of freeing the Campbells from a life of servitude has netted the Loves a brand new industry. Willy Campbell comes from a family of cigar makers. His former master used his Love Dairies-001knowledge to just grow tobacco for others. Herbert Love, on the other hand, released Willy’s latent talents and created the Savannah Cigar Company, a subsidiary of Love Dairy & Ice. Not only do they cultivate the fragrant leaves, indeed craft a cigar that will make a Cuban jealous.

Cigar smoking, a practice with its beginnings much earlier this century, has achieved a loyal following, with the finest brown cylinders coveted greatly. You can hardly get your hands on a Royal Melbourne, Savannah Cigar’s flagship product. Smokers freely part with a sawbuck for this aromatic creation that literally disappears before your very eyes.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Savannah Cigars-001

Episode #63


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #62

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #62

… All your children turn out beautiful Johann, though little Maggie looks notting like your vife…

Secret Life-001

They (being John, Ziggy and Frieda) have had nearly three months to prepare, time for contemplation and reflection. But, little Maggie Lou has hastened the workings by entering the world a month ahead of schedule. Doc Ziggy thought he knew exactly when she was supposed to arrive, thanks to the only one possible cause for Laura’s condition. He also thought that he and his wife were too old to have an infant living in their house, but he was wrong, once again.

It is hard for John Ferrell to argue against Princess Olla abiding so near his home. He had nearly secured a home Endlichoffer Chalet-001in Frenchtown for his parallel family, a humble abode in a not so great neighborhood. It would have been a good place for them to grow in anonymity. Conversely the Endlichoffer’s offer a safe and loving environment, virtually assures that father John cannot forget his legacy or his responsibilities.

“She is so tiny.” It has been fourteen years since he has held a newborn, John Ferrell that is; for Ziggy, not as long. He is surprised at the fairness of the child’s skin, not totally unexpected considering his 50% contribute, but you never know; only one out of four pea plants will have white blossoms, the rest having pink. Generations have not been skipped in this unintentional crossbreeding.

 Movie - Secret Life “All your children turn out beautiful Johann,” comments one who knows, “though little Maggie looks notting like your vife.”

“Enough Ziggy!” insists John, who fails to see the irony of the moment. Most of his irony is saved for the bevy of lies and acres of deception that will constitute a lifelong cover-up. Part one of ‘The Secret Life of Laura Bell’, featuring Maggie Lou, begins this day with only the County Clerk of Courts aware of this census change; and the filled in father space on the birth certificate unavailable for public consumption.

The clerk will have her job as long as she wants it. The good news, for her, is that she had recently been appointed as clerk, replacing the former clerk who had fallen very ill. She is just two years out of Florida State University and now she has the undying support of one of Leon County’s most influential businessmen.


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Maggie Lou-001

Episode #62


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #61

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #61

Chapter Four

THE TREE OF LIFE

Family Trees-001

A family is like a tree. The roots anchor the tree, capturing water and mineral from the ground. The trunk gives this fibrous structure its height and is a conduit for up and down movement of nutrient. The branches project in all directions, sprouting leaves for the gathering of sunlight.

Without any one of these components, the tree will perish. Each succeeding generation of a family must be fruitful and multiply. The Endlichoffer tree, for example has branches in both America and Germany. The European limbs are many, old and established. The American bough, however, is barren, with leaves wilting from lack of buds, all caused by circumstances physical. There may be a day when the surname Endlichoffer will exist only on a death certificate, leaving gravestones as a legacy.

The Ferrell family tree is quite the opposite, with both Scottish and American members sprouting like proverbial weeds. When God created man in his own image, blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’, the Ferrells have taken him at his word, replenishing the earth abundantly.

In fact, they even have leaf bearing branches that they would rather not advertise, sprouts of this and that that are not consistent with the overall lineage theme, as it was started in the British Isles.

A new branch on the Ferrell family tree, as unofficial as it may be, comes about with the birth of Maggie Lou, daughter of Laura Bell, seed provided by John Ferrell.

It is the Ides of March 1897, William Shakespeare’s ominous day for Julius Caesar and a bittersweet 15th day on the shores of San Luis Lake. The Endlichoffer’s butler, who has attended the doctor and his wife for decades and is retiring as soon as Laura regains her feet, had buggied to Hillside Estate to alert John Ferrell of some calamity across the lake.

An early evening ruse intended to mask the truth.


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Tree of Life-001

Episode #61


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #60

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #60

…The emotional bond that first gripped the two youngin’s in the summer, has progressively warmed, simmered, boiled and now threatens to surpass the rim of the pot…

Sweetheart Tree-001

Christmas Tallahassee-001What a Christmas indeed.

Unaware of John Ferrell’s various ins and outs, Martha Ferrell is equally unaware that son James has no intention of honoring the brother-sister relationship, as it applies to Abigail Smythwick. And to be sure, methinks the lady doth protest too much. Maintaining an acceptable decorum, in the company of others, is all that they can manage. The emotional bond that first gripped them in the summer has progressively warmed, simmered, boiled and now threatens to surpass the rim of the pot.

If one ignores something, perhaps it will go away. ‘It is sure to be mere infatuation, you know, a phase of adolescence’, Martha tells a friend, who has noticed how the two act away from home, specifically in her secondary school classroom. True siblings are rarely so close; twins being the possible exception, but James and Abbey are a year apart, the sole apparent separation.

 Take the day before Christmas break, the two week holiday from classes, creating a bridge to 1897. Everyone is anxious to set aside studies. Ferrell and Smythwick-Ferrell cannot wait themselves, to steal a moment during lunch.

“James,” Abbey whispers, “let’s eat our lunch outside. It’s such a pretty day.” She is incapable of suppressing the feminine charms emoting in all four directions and three known dimensions; doing absolutely nothing to establish her sisterly self.

“I’ve got a blanket in my locker. Meet me at the Sweetheart Tree.”

Around the corner, just out of sight, Agnes is an interested spectator, by definition a voyeur, secretly wishing it was she who had a young man vying for her attention. That “big sister” notion at first seemed ducky, idealistically pleasing. But it is obvious that if Abigail’s father had not died, she and James would be on a similar collision course. Adoption into their family has facilitated the attending of the same school which has only served to fan the embers into ardent flames.

Agnes shadows James on the way to the tree that has more initials carved into its bark than words in her favorite books, Little Women. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy were sisters fast and true, something to be admired, just not to be for her. Instead, she sees her brother courting the Meg to her Jo, leaving only Mother to confide in. When Agnes looks closely in the mirror, it is mother, Martha’s reflection she perceives. The end results of that notion are palatable, but only if she could find a man like James. He is the man she wished she could marry.

The younger Ferrell watches, as the rival for her brother’s affection applies her wanting lips on a defenseless, yet willing participant. Agnes has hid these confusing thoughts since from before her blossoming womanhood had intruded on normality. Very little has been the same since. What a cruel twist of nature; knowing exactly how you feel, not ever being able to state her case in understandable terms.

Even more frustrating, is the fact that, if she dares to undermine the situation, no good can ever come of it. Woe is she.


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Episode #60


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #59

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #59

…You are going to lie anyways, so tell za family that she has decided to care for zose old Germans across za lake…

After what seems to be an eternity, the crusty German doctor emerges from his den.

“Tell me, Ziggy, what is the news?” John Ferrell demands.

“Vell, John, Mother unt foetus are in good shape, but zey are lucky za Princess did not take on more vater.” Ziggy’s broken English is hard to understand, but John is used to it and it relates his genuine concern. He thinks of Laura as the daughter he and Frieda never had. ”Eez za Baby yours too John?”

He swallows hard in responding, “Yes… yes it is… a weak moment from this past summer. I love Martha with all my heart. I cannot believe I could have been so stupid.”

Maggie Lou-001“She eez a beautiful voman, don’t you know. I vould hazard to guess zat tings like zis happen more often zan ve find out. Peoples ask me for abortions all za time, but za thought of ending a baby’s life sickens me so. Not to mention my Mrs., barren and sorely lonely for it.”

Ferrell is content to listen, feeling for his neighbor’s pain.

“I tell you vat, Johann, I can tell you don’t have a good plan for za Princess. Two vives and children from each verks for the Mormons, but zey moved to Utah for crying out loud!” he states in his usually frank manner. “I don’t think you move out you house der, so ve vould be honored to see Olla through to her childbirth. Ve have so much room in our chalet.”

That is a generous offer.” He ponders. “But how do I explain her absence? She is like a member of our family.”

“Not everysing vill be easy, son. You are going to lie anyways, so tell za family that she has decided to care for zose old Germans across za lake. She vill, you know unt give us months of joy to boot.’

However, after she delivers, you maybe find a place for her. As much as ve vould love grandchilds, zey look better ven they are leaving. Ve also enjoy our peace unt qviet.”

“I will find some explanation. I hope a good one.”

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

“Please tell Laura that I will have her things moved here tomorrow. And make sure she knows that I intend to take care of her.”

“I vould expect no less from you, Johann. You are a good friend.”


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Endlichoffer Chalet-001

Episode #59


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #58

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #58

…  Old friends and neighbors do not ask too many questions…

Without capturing the one last deep breath that would sustain her for a couple of minutes, Princess Olla submerges herself, without intentions of surviving.

John Ferrell sees the black shoes on the bench and correctly guesses the rest. He searches for bubbles and dives in the water at that spot. Several inspired strokes in his pitch-black underwater probe, he touches saturated fabric. He prays it is Laura’s dress, grabbing what feels like the collar and lurching for the surface of the lake. It takes more strength than he has, but what he has not, the rest is provided. Two bodies break above water, both gasping for air.

San Luis Lake-001   The rescuer knows how critical every minute is, if his unborn child is to survive. With a display of superhuman strength, John Ferrell carries an unconscious Olla the distance back to the stable, then deciding not to stop there, ferrying her to the house of his neighbor, a retired physician around the south side of San Luis Lake.

Old friends and neighbors do not ask too many questions, like, ‘How often do you save drowning people at this hour?’ or ‘How did you know this woman is with child?’ Instinctive, Doctor Siegfried Endlichoffer resurrects his black bag to treat a patient he is already familiar with. He has spent many an afternoon picking Princess Olla’s brain about what she knows about life on the Apalachee Indian Reservation, as he spoke to the Ferrells’ maidservant and gained her confidence. As it turns out, it is he who provided Olla with the skills of the written word, as rudimentary as it is, even though his native German tongue would be easier for him to relate.

Princess Olla Early Years

He wields his stethoscope skillfully, timing the hearts of both mother and child, like he had never put it down. Prone and scared, his patient stares down her clothes less body, watching the cold steel disk move from her chest down to her burgeoning belly. She is not used to being naked, whether it be in the presence of the doctor or John Ferrell.

This modesty keeps the latter in another room and frustrated, nervously pondering all the numerous ramifications. Most of these scenarios fall on the side of social disaster. He cannot imagine how Laura Bell can return to Hillside Estate, whether the baby survives or not.

After what seems to be an eternity, the crusty German emerges from his den, leaving Laura to don one of Frau Endlichoffer’s house dresses, with plenty of whom to grow.


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Ziggy-001

Episode #58


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #57

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #57

 … Some form of dementia causes John to wander aimlessly about, no sense of whether he is afoot or on horseback…

Here at the stable, in the lamplight, John Ferrell opens the mysterious envelope that had briefly distracted him that morning, nearly forgotten.

This is what it said:

A sudden fever sweeps through John Ferrell, likely flush with excess cerebral blood flow, driven by a racing pulse. The thought of this happening to him was the last thing on his mind, nor had he been exactly consumed by guilt in the intervening months since that hot and dusty July day; all that has changed, starting right now.

Daze

 Some form of dementia causes John to wander aimlessly about, no sense of whether he is afoot or on horseback, as if in a daze. Sitting, standing, vertical or horizontal, no matter his position, nothing jives with reality. All he knows is that when he heads toward his San Luis Lake mansion, he must turn away.

More than an hour passes before he can right himself. He returns to the stable, straightening the crumpled edges of the paper in his pocket. This time he sees the need to act, grabbing a lantern to light his way to the lake, formulating a plan as he goes. His subconscious has been a step ahead of his consciousness.

Laura Bell, thinking that had he intended on meeting her, thought he would have been there by now. The delay causes doubt. Her world seems to be falling apart. Her future at the only job she’s ever had, is obviously about to end.

  There is no reason to ruin perfectly good footwear, so she undoes the high ankle buttons, places them the bench and descends into the calm waters of San Luis Lake, without capturing the one last deep breath that would sustain her for a couple of minutes. She has no intentions of surviving…


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San Luis Lake5-001

Despair

Episode #57


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