Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #142

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #142

…Aw heck, Judith, you know I’m just a small town paper guy. I am grateful for any scraps you send my way…

Small Town Boy-001

“Now that was one hell of a picture!” asks Harv Pearson of Judith Eastman. The two of them have been literally attached at the hip since their serendipitous meeting. Together they are taking photographic journalism to another level. Pictures taken at the Pan-American Exposition are gaining form in one of the three baths of liquid in this very dark room. A dim red bulb allows them to see their work, but little else.

“I was actually setting up for John Philip Sousa. When I heard the shots I turned the tripod, approximated the angle and snapped.” The President had not reached the ground in the aforementioned image; a moment frozen in time, for human eyes to see, now and forever.

“You do realize that you have a pretty good look at the gunman…..here?”mckinley_assassination-P

“I thought so,” Judith agrees, “though at first that bandage on his hand looked like real wound dressing”

“So, how many duplicates does this make?” This particular picture is in great demand, making Judith an Eastman known in her own right. She is not exactly Matthew Brady, but neither is he and dying in a charity ward like him is not in her long-range plans.

“Ten, but do you remember what a time we had getting the government to release it for publication?”

“Don’t remind me. All my articles on the assassination ran with file photographs of McKinley.”

“Well, how soon we forget,” she quips with mock indignation.  “What about all the other pictures of the Exposition, including everyone and his brother with the President! Were they but chicken feed to you?”

Harv does his best backpedal, lest he be banished from her good graces. He can ill-afford to lose either her technical skills or her friendship, especially since he is not far from expressing his undying love for this incredible woman. If you throw in the national magazine the pair is envisioning, he cannot let professional considerations to be divisive.

Quincy Reporter-001“Aw, heck, Judith, you know I’m just a small town paper guy. I am grateful for any scraps you send my way.”

“Don’t give me that poor old country boy routine.” She parts the dark to embrace him, fully appreciating that authentic charm. His nose for news and unfailing loyalty do not hurt his chances either. “Hurricanes and assassination and who knows what else have given you the most respected by-line I’ve seen in years. Your name has been mentioned in the same breath with Horace Greeley. Small town, my eye!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Small Town America by Tom Brown

Episode #142


page 130

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #127

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #127

…The young bag-toters have been instructed to be especially kind to people from all nations, even the old Confederacy and do so happily…

Confederate Flag Art

By the time the balance of adults catch up to Alfrey, the marquee of the Hotel Niagara and Theater is in plain view. Ferry Street turns out to be a very interesting area. The buildings are older, but not run down, probably dating back to just after it was burned down by a combined force of British and Iroquois Indians in 1813. There is also a ferry at the end of the street, hence the name. It is the mode of choice when crossing the Niagara River to Ontario, Canada.

There are bellboys aplenty to unload belongings and take them to rooms, which will be the entire eighth and top floor of the granite building; seven deluxe rooms reserved for these people of the South. The young bag-toters have been instructed to be especially kind to people from all nations, even the old Confederacy and do so happily.

  The same cannot be said for the desk clerk. There is a solid possibility this older red-haired man had either lost loved ones in the war or some such scarring that has yet to heel. Actually, a truth that will never be made available to the offendees, the desk blocks their view of a wooden leg, gained at Gettysburg. It has had forty years to shrink from dry rot. In true fact, it is his attitudes that have failed the test of time.

“I cannot seem to find your names here. I will be glad to telephone the other hotels to see if they have room….for how many? 12?” He disdainfully counts disbelieving heads. “It will be hard find rooms with the Exposition and all. Some of the nicer hotels do not accept darkies.”

“You know, the more I hear you speak, the less I am impressed.” Newspaperman Harv Pearson, the most aggressive personality of the group takes control, better equipped to handle ignorance than the rest. “You best check your register again and when you find the names in our party, you best check your personnel department to see if you have a job tomorrow.”

The man is momentarily disarmed, but regains his lone foot quickly, replying with thick Irish brogue. “I don’t know who you are, frankly I don’t care. You rebels aren’t welcome here!”

The growing commotion attracts the attention of the Niagara’s manager. “What seems to be the problem, folks? We do not want any trouble.”

“Your man here does not know his job. He cannot find our reservations.” The hair on the back of Pearson’s neck is bristled.

The clerk takes the manager aside to plead his case in private. After he is satisfied, the manager answers, “I do not know who made the booking, but we require a cash deposit. We have received no such monies.”

The publisher of the Quincy Reporter is stymied. Herbert Love, with his typically calm demeanor, steps in to ask, “If President McKinley were to reserve rooms, would you ask him for a deposit?”

“Preposterous! We do not have time for this nonsense.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Confederacy

Henry Kidd

Episode #127


page 116

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

…There are paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer, due to unexpected gaps  on a typical boardwalk….

Buffalo

Buffalo the Boom Town

The crowd now has begun to disperse, most likely signaling an executive (McKinley) dismissal. As the female Floridians go about the task of locating their hotel, The Niagara, Herbert Love informs the group that their presence is requested by William McKinley at the Statlers Hotel, for cocktails and dinner. The womanly conversation does an about-face; ‘What are you going to wear?’ replaces, ‘Ferry Street should be a few blocks west of here’.

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Buffalo is a true boom town, which is obvious by the amount of new construction aside from that of the Exposition. A recent dose of hydroelectric power generated at Niagara Falls has ballooned population from 90,000 after the Civil War to a turn of the century 350,000, establishing it as New York State’s second city.

And paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer; a moratorium on looking down to avoid those annoying, mostly unexpected gaps in carefree strolling on a typical boardwalk.

As this group of tourists traverse downtown, there is a guy’s arm for every girl, making it Big City-001doubly easy to look ahead, for valuable street signs, or up to gawk at buildings ten times taller than those at home. Even for those considered worldlier, this city is as impressive as they may see for a while.

“There is…  I’sa mean goes our bags!” points out Willy Campbell, who earlier had helped the porter of the 12:10 Southern load the right cargo on the horse drawn carriage provided by their hotel.

“Look, he is turning right. Alfrey run up to that street and see where he turns again.” Herb Love advises, the younger Campbell gladly obliges the request, sprinting nimbly through cross traffic to see the wagon go two blocks north on Elmwood Avenue, then make a left.

Advance scouting pays off. By the time the balance of adults catch up to Alfrey, the marquee of the Hotel Niagara and Theater is in plain view. Ferry Street turns out to be a very interesting area. The buildings are older, but not run down, probably dating back to just after it was burned down (along with the White House) by a combined force of British and Iroquois Indians in 1813. There is also a ferry at the end of the street, hence the name. It is the mode of choice when crossing the Niagara River to Ontario, Canada.


Alpha Omega M.D.

City Street

1901 America

Episode #126


page 116

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #119

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #119

…McKinley and Roosevelt carry two out of three voters, so the last year of the 19th century goes quietly into peace and prosperity…

1900 elction

The way it looks, especially considering the response of his government to its greatest natural disaster, save the rare and powerful earthquakes that hit the Missouri territory and the Mississippi River valley in 1811 and 1812, William Jennings Bryan will fail once again. You cannot time a catastrophe any better. All of Bryan’s warnings about imperialism and need for free silver will fall on generally deaf ears.

1900 population

But the United States is still comprised of pockets of population, some large, some small and you best not take anything for granted. McKinley will not. Vice-president in waiting, Theodore Roosevelt, joins the campaign train, as the well-traveled locomotive stays out on the rail-trail, playing to multitudes, by 19th Century standards.

Herb Love is the lead dog, making sure each successive city on the railway system is properly notified of the Presidents’ coming. Local political organizations take it from there. Whether they are a part of the majority party or not, the presence of the President, past, present or future is a big deal and the perfect opportunity to align yourself with a winner.

Hurricane-001

Love diversifies his mission, recruiting telegraph operators for the Weather Bureau reporting program, along the way. There is no use Sec. of Ag-001wasting this unique chance of crisscrossing America’s heartland. Nor will he spend October away from his wife, who would make a wonderful first lady, should her husband be infected by the excitement of political campaigning. It is a long shot thought, but given enough exposure, the Love pair has the right metal; sound moral leadership for a global force whose population is exploding to the power of ten.

Future possibilities aside, the task of re-election is formidable. Not only is the population spread out, like seed from a cottonwood tree. Candidates must convince the electorate to go out to vote; to town halls, schoolhouses and churches, sometimes braving inconveniently poor November weather. They must be reminded, in case they have forgotten, that their forefathers have fought many battles for this very inalienable right.

But battles are something most Americans would rather forget; Revolutionary, Civil, wars with Britain and Spain. Toss in an angry native Indian unrest and you have a nation of people who are intimately aware of conflict and loss. Who can blame them for wanting to1901 Barber Dime forget?

Yet, despite negative factors at work, 14 million voters make their choices known. McKinley and Roosevelt carry two out of three voters. The last year of the 19th century goes quietly into peace and prosperity.

It is time for a fresh one hundred years


Alpha Omega M.D.

Thomas Hill “Yosemite Valley”

Episode #119


page 119 (end ch. 6)

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


page 104

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #104

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #104

…Disaster is about pulling together…

The nation’s capitol is one place where news always travels the fastest. Calvin Falstaff, the Weather Bureau chief, has precious little good news for his boss. Herbert Love receives it in the office of his new friend, President McKinley.

“The strongest hurricane ever known to to make land in North America has hit the Gulf Coast, starting about midway on the Florida Panhandle. It skirted the shoreline, strengthening as it continued west, bore diving into Texas at Galveston.” Falstaff delivers his unwelcome information with grave undertones. Houston is his hometown. “Louisiana was hit Worst Case-001pretty hard to boot.”

“What is the worst case assessment?” The President inquires as to the possible bottom line.

“There may be ten thousand casualties and three times that injured. The entire city may be homeless and to insult to injury, the bridge connecting Galveston to the mainland has been put-out. I have been told it looks like Antietam.” There are plenty fresh memories about the Civil War.

“Damn! Were we not sure that after the low has passed over Cuba that it would simply die out.” This a close to swearing as anyone will ever hear out Herb Love’s mouth, such is the magnitude of a situation where thousands of peoples’ lives are at stake… and they, as a department, provided no warning.

“That afternoon sun of the 7th evaporated probably 10 million tons of moisture and a fast approaching cold front set the stage for a hellish one-two punch,” a scientific postmortem.

Love reacts with the emotion of a private citizen. “I’m heading for home, Bill.”

Disaster is about pulling together.

“Hitch a ride on the relief train,” speaking of an army organized venture and they do not waste time, “but you best hurry, it leaves Union Station on the hour.” McKinley gives his blessing to a critical mission of mercy.

“I am on the way… oh and have my assistant wire my wife about the arrival time. Telephone lines must be down.”

“Give the people of the South a message from me. Tell them that Washington will be behind them all the way.” The man who is campaigning for re-election with a theme of “four more years of a full dinner pail” is currently concerned about the loss of a major Southern seaport, but his heart is always with the people.


Alpha Omega M.D.

“Galveston Before the Storm” by Rene Wiley

Episode #104


page 95

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #103

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #103

…John Ferrell’s  next visit uncovers three adults, one toddler and one Campbell, still in the company of potatoes, carrots and glass jars filled with a homemade assortment of preserves…

45f2e-knock-me-down-with-a-feather

I am going to check on Siegfried and Frieda, and finally ride on into town.” The plan is sound, the only way they will know what happened.

   “Do not forget Laura and the baby. Ask if they need anything from the store.”

  John is taken aback by his wife’s reference to Laura Bell’s child. He did not think she knew and now wonders what else she knows. There are more pressing matters, but it kind of makes him say, “Hmm…..”

Joseph had indeed stood fast with the livestock, saddling John’s jumpy mount in double rainbow-after-the-stormtime.

“Do your best to restore some order here, Joseph. I have a feeling we can number ourselves among the fortunate. And make sure you keep an eye out for looters. If a state of confusion reigns, those who think they are above the law may take advantage. You know where I keep the rifle. Make sure you clean it, using it only as a last resort. But we must protect what is ours.” There is a hint of anxiety in his voice, fearful what he may find in Tallahassee proper.

In the meantime, his visit next uncovers three adults, one toddler and one Campbell, still in the company of potatoes, carrots and glass jars filled with a homemade assortment of preserves. The cool damp shelter is meant to be a change from the tropical climate above, like the icebox above them in the kitchen. It makes for good sleeping weather, which they are, all snug in their blankets and in the absence of light, obviously oblivious to the new day.

Read About It

“Ziggy?” John whispers gently at the slumbering doctor. “Ziggy… don’t get up. The storm has passed, nothing serious to worry about, just downed trees and lots of rain.”

San Luis Lake has swelled up to the boards of the docks, whose boats have been deposited on this north shore. The waters of the lake are awash in grasses, leaves and branches.

“Vere did za storm come ashore?” Ziggy asks the critical question about any hurricane making landfall. And it was not just a tropical storm.

“I cannot be absolutely sure, but from where we are sitting, it looks like to the west, I guess I will find out, going in the town presently. Our telephone is on the blink.” It is amazing how easily a society can be spoiled. They have had the Bell invention for less than a year, yet it has become a sixth and seventh sense. “If you would, check on my girls… at the estate of course. I should be back late afternoon, can I get you anything?”

“Have you any veal? I am getting sick of rabbit stew.”

“Too much of a good thing my friend? I’ll see what we have in the cooler, if we have a cooler that is.”

 Disaster is about pulling together.


Alpha Omega M.D.

“After the Storm” by Tom Thomson

Episode #103


page 94