Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #242

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #242

…You don’t think that I’m going crackers, do you, Lyn?…

Going crackers-001

“Oh, Lyn,” using her pet name, “I don’t know what I would do without you,” declares Sara, Cobblestone (olla)-001subsequent to hugs and kisses therapy, currently in the cuddling mode. “When I left the house this morning, I thought it was going to be a quiet day.”

“I guess we will have to make this day quiet, Hon. I rang up Jenny Hawkins. She said was happy to get out Friends & Lovers-001of her stuffy apartment and come to work. All you have to do is tell me what designs you want her work on between customers.” Carolyn Hanes, a writer by trade and not an unaccomplished one at that, has much to do with Sara’s success as well. She is organized, detail oriented and proactive, all of which help her help Sara and her business. It does not go unnoticed.

You don’t think that I’m going crackers, do you, Lyn?

“Not any more than normal!”

“Oh, you! You would think I would have learned my lesson by now.” She mockingly pounds her partner’s chest, formerly cradling her head with bosomy comfort. “Really, I am very serious. Do you think I could have invented that bloody body in my mind?”

“Well, there are your dreams, the ones that have you flying like a bird,” an example only known by someone close. “I have vivid dreams as well, you know where I naked on a Roman daybed and you and ten lovelies are fanning and feeding me grapes. But yours seem to be real to you at the time and mine is merely a polygamous fantasy.” As a friend, it is Lyn’s duty to be honest and writers tend to be amateur psychiatrists anyhow, without the shingle dangling outside the front door.

“You don’t need ten other women tending to you, dear one,” Sara urges.

 “Yes, yes, you keep telling me that, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming.”

There is little chance that either of them would abandon one for another.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #242


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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 #233

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #233

…after fifteen afternoon and evening performances of the play, A Kiss For Cinderella, fate intervenes when laryngitis strikes the title character, meaning Abigail Ferrell is pressed into action…

Fairy Tale-001

At the same time, bad things happen to good people. Take Cinderella, for instance. What did she do that was so wrong? Her mother died and her father, the baron, marries a social climbing hag with two insecure and demanding daughters. Is it her fault that her father spinelessly ignores the fact his own daughter is dominated and subjugated, left to obey the whims of virtual strangers? Of course it isn’t, but C.S. Evan’s story is a fairy tale, improbable in its cruelty and enchanting in its ending.

And after fifteen afternoon and evening performances of the play, A Kiss For Cinderella, fate intervenes when laryngitis strikes the title character, meaning Abigail Ferrell is pressed into action; poised to ride in a pumpkin carriage, with a 12 o’clock midnight curfew. She has been waiting in the wings low these twenty days, watching Barrie’s actors work at their craft, memorizing all their moves and lines for just an occasion as this.

Abigail Smythwick

Abigail Ferrell-Ferrell

“You will do just fine, lassie,” Barrie assures, who secretly had hoped she would get the opportunity to get more than the one scheduled understudy performance onstage. He has come to know his late cousin’s daughter/daughter-in-law well, taken with her charming demeanor and graceful abidance — in a fatherly way, with an eye to missing her help when he returns to Scotland. There is an inexplicable bonding of people of the theater, perhaps due in part of doing the same thing night after night, from the first performance to the last, with small differences known only to those onstage and behind the scenes. “I can see how beautiful you are going to be in Cinderella’s gown! You and Matthew will make a charming couple, absolutely brightening the stage.”

“Thank you for the kind words Sir James, but it is only make-believe… imagine me playing the part of a girl in her teens.”

That last line is heard in passing by Agnes Ferrell, who is looking forward to abusing Abbey, as is her right as cruel step-sister, Euphronia. “Scrub the floors, get water from the well, feed the chickens, and press my green jersey dress,” she orders in a mocking tone. Her resentment of Abbey has faded over the years, coinciding with a more reasonable aligning of her love for her brother, likely tempered by the ongoing courtship of her by Gadsden County Sheriff Cyril Odz.

“Why do you hate me so, Euphronia? I work my fingers to the bone, wear your tattered hand-me-downs and you still treat me so much dirt beneath your feet.”

Abbey’s ad-lib to Agnes’ exaggerated ordering does not go unnoticed. “That is not one of your lines, Abigail, but I do believe it would be a good addition. I will find the right spot for it before the next performance,” states the producer/director/playwright, who is always open to spontaneity, fully aware that certain of the audience are repeat patrons and they enjoy subtle changes in the script.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Cinderella scene

Episode #233


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #232

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #232

…Attorney James Ferrell stands, tall in the glow of justice done, with a feeling that he has just participated in a piece of genuine history…

Suffrage Part One-001

“Your honor, I would ask the court to dismiss the charges against my client,” pleads attorney Ferrell on behalf of the 34 year old woman seated beside him, having returned to Florida to face the court. “No crime has been committed.”

Courtroom Sketch

“I object, your honor! Mr. Ferrell obviously has an interest in Miss Paul’s cause, even to the point ignoring the laws of the state of Florida,” entreats an assistant district attorney.

“Normally I would agree with you, counselor,” states the robed arbiter, who has soberly (and secretly) already reviewed this case and nothing anyone will say this day will change his decision, “but I have interviewed witnesses of that January meeting and I believe that Miss Paul had no way of knowing the magnitude of response she would receive, meaning the size of her audience and the logistics required thereof.” He reaches for a paper handed him by the bailiff, holding it up for interested parties to see. “This a copy of a permit issued in the name of Alice Paul, requesting and granted permission to hold a rally on 20 February 1920. There are no stated restrictions herein.”

“Why didn’t you tell me she had a permit!” yells the chief of police at his lead detective. They are caught with their pants down, having had proceeded with their hearts, not their heads.

  “I am not in favor of wasting the time of this court, not to mention forcing this woman with great inconvenience,” castigates the judge. He reviews the evidence, the paper trail, if you will, continuing, “I should never have allowed this to degrade to this point Miss Paul, and the state of Florida owes you an apology. Case dismissed. This court is adjourned.”

“All rise,” urges the bailiff. The entire chamber does so, populated mostly by credentialed newspapermen and photographers, interested in this story of national merit.

James Ferrell stands, tall in the glow of justice done, with a feeling that he has just participated in a piece of genuine history.

“I want to thank you,” Alice Paul tells her Florida attorney, not a stranger to courtrooms around some of the other 47 states, but such is her dedication to the cause of suffrage. “I never know how situations like this are going to turn out.”

“You can thank Mrs. Love for my services and as for me; I guess I just happened to be holding the goose when it laid the golden egg.”

“I’ve been called many names, but never a goose, Mr. Ferrell, but if I have enhanced your career, I am pleased. Perhaps this is a precedent and I can be left alone.”

“Your cause is just and please call on me if you are wronged again.”

“Forgive me if I if I wish never to see another courtroom.”

“Yes, I see your point. You deserve better.”

  Sometimes:


Alpha Omega M.D.

Lawyer in Courtroom by Robert Fawcett

Episode #232


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #231

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #231

…“Has the entire world gone mad?” There is no stopping this Renaissance caveman…

World Gone Mad

“Someone is going to pay for this… that Paul broad, yeah, I’ll walk her to the station if I have to!”

So he bravely enters the rotunda, but this time he is recognized and they do not allow him to pass. The guards, already in place at the state run institution, are merely listening to Alice Paul, nary viewing her as any threat to society, leaving her to complete her forum. But not Sam Schuster, damn it; she is embarrassing him at every turn and he is out his police car! He has to walk back to the TPD station, to retrieve backup, to capture that evil riotous creature that is polluting the minds of previously content women of his city.

Besides being out of breath when he gets there, he receives little support when does. ‘We have to go home in an hour and we want to sleep in our own beds,’ is what he hears from his younger, married charges. There is but one single man on duty, and guess what–his girlfriend is at the rally, ‘I am ‘bout ready to ask that girl to marry me and you want me to arrest aSuffrage Part One-001 woman like Alice Paul. Jeez, she is a national celebrity.’

“Has the entire world gone mad?” There is no stopping this Renaissance caveman. “I’ll put all of you on report for insubordination,” he says, as he grabs the only available police car to return to the capitol rotunda, where he finds his suspect glad handing her supporters. “You are under arrest for,” he lists, “inciting a riot, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, assaulting an officer of the law, violating the public meeting law, and causing the property of the city of Tallahassee to be stolen.” The last of his “charges” sum up their validity, but he follows through with the seizure regardless.

Alice Paul spends all of an hour behind bars, with bail raised by no less than 50 women and even a handful of men who come forward at the urging of their spouses.

Courtroom by susansartgallery

“Your honor, I would ask the court to dismiss the charges against my client,” pleads attorney Ferrell on behalf of the 34 year old woman seated beside him, having returned to Florida to face the court. “No crime has been committed, with the possible exception of upsetting the apple cart.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Something Upset the Applecart from Wayne Huebner

Episode #231


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #227

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #227

…April 1920 has begun with casting for the minor parts, a charming custom that helps add local flavor to the production…

Casting Call-001

True to his word, especially now that the Atlantic Ocean is free of enemy submarines, Sir James Matthew Barrie is bringing his play, A Kiss For Cinderella, to the United States; Tallahassee specifically. This is quite a coup for a Southern city with a population of less than 70,000. The news has spread quickly through the theater world, leaving New York’s Broadway wanting, immediately establishing Florida’s capitol a destination of some note.

The buzz about the April 10th 1920 premier is all around, well except for Martha Ferrell, whose buzz is mainly a bug up her behind, claiming still that it is Barrie’s doing that her husband was taken from her (even though he was a adulterating, lying, “will” changing man). Everybody else is very excited about this fairy tale translated for the stage, which will be the Auditorium on the Florida State University campus.

Stepmother-001    April has begun with casting for the minor parts, a charming custom that helps add local flavor to the production. There is plenty of talent in these parts, or at least people who think they have it. Auditions are well attended, with some being the last person you would think has any leaning for the stage. Some will need an extensive make-over, like Phoebe Love, who has actually won the part of the evil stepmother, displacing the actress who was traveling with the production and not at all pleased by the demotion. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde. It may be the only time you will witness Phoebe acting contemptibly mean.

Stepsisters Cinderella

“Stepsisters returning home after the ball” by Arthur Rackham

Others are cast as extras, and a chosen few are understudies, ready to step in if a star falls ill or loses his or her voice. Agnes is one, learning the role of Euphronia, not the role she coveted, but at least she would be the prettier of the evil stepsisters. ‘Drat! Wouldn’t you know that Abbey would get the part of Cinderella?’ Herb Love is the natural choice for the Baron, so that would mean if circumstances were right, it is he who would let Cinderella’s stepmother bully and belittle her, equally out of character.

James Barrie has chosen his son, Matthew for the part of the prince, not so much nepotism, as Matthew is an actor of good repute and he is lucky to have corralled him for this one month engagement.

Baron Cinderella

@CostumeKen

King, queens, princes, step family and extras work long hours rehearsing stage blocking and speaking parts. Barrie is a stickler for perfection and even though he did not write Cinderella, C.S. Evans did, his adaptation is crisp and demands much of his actors.

And the costuming——whew——-Cinderella has more than a dozen changes herself, quite an arrangement of rags and riches. But for the sake of a happy ending, in this case many happy endings, it is well worth the effort.

 


Alpha Omega M.D.

Cinderella

Aschenputtel by silhouette animation shadow master Lotte Reiniger

Episode #227


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