Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #20

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #20

…When two human beings hit it off, female/male in this case, the chemistry can be notable and not easily mistaken…

“You are burning daylight. Lake Killarney ain’t around the corner, Martha, closer to Georgia

Panhandle Dawn

than Tallahassee.” There is genuine concern in John Ferrell’s voice. He loves his family, though the time he spends working helps makes up for a general shortfall of attention given to him.

Perhaps the stabilizing factor in their relational equation is the former Martha Gaskell, eight years his senior. She had already graduated from Vassar College, the all-girl school in Poughkeepsie, when she met an 18 year old Scottish freshman from Columbia University. She is in the big city researching topics at its arts library. Young John has a part-time job as a research assistant. Martha thinks John does a wonderful job. She visits with him frequently, not coincidentally, whenever their paths cross in a library that covers a New York City block.

When two human beings hit it off, female/male in this case, the chemistry can be notable and not easily mistaken. It must be the random nature of the phenomenon, circumstances apart from the machinations of mankind. Sometimes we are much better off leaving it in the hands of the Master. It is heavenly great, and what’s more, a part of a real plan; as plotted by God, who knew us even before we were born.

The attraction is deeply mutual, to the point that Martha is taken home to Florida for a visit. During Christmas break of 1879, she meets his family, who own a small general store in Tallahassee, saving every penny to give their son a chance at a better life, the American dream.

We now find Martha and John embracing, at Christmas in July, 1896, unaccustomed to being apart. They rarely spend a day apart; their four post brass bed with two permanent impressions in its feather mattress.

John Ferrell waves heartily at the cloud of dust speeding away at the machine-driven pace of twelve miles per hour.

Paul Cezanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire (1897)


 Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #20


page 19

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #19

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #19

Chapter Two

LEON TO GADSDEN

…Introducing the Ferrell family of Tallahassee…

The midday sun shines bright at Ferrell Hillside Estate, especially so in July, when the heat and humidity drive man and animal to a shaded area; for comfort and health. The natural kettles of the Mission Hills, on the northwest outskirts of 1896 Tallahassee, soak up the moist warmth like a sponge. Jack pine trees, trimmed with wisps of Spanish moss, dot the rolling knolls, thereby binding the loose sandy soil.

In the middle of this scenic bowl are the stately buildings that are the core of Hillside Estate. Several well maintained barns, framed by white wooden fences comprise the “farm” portion of the property. The three story house at the epicenter keeps the Ferrell clan in grand style, with the glistening waters of San Luis Lake in the distance. The pointed gables outnumber Ferrells on this four sided granite structure, a building more likely to be seen in New York City than Florida, but that is Martha Ferrell for you. This house is her castle, mostly because she needed coercion and coddling to an ‘Indian infested land surrounded by Confederate rebels’. These days, it would take a civil war to get her to move.

1897-Daimler Grafton Tourer

1896 Model-Daimler Grafton Tourer

And move she does in her new Daimler motorcar, the one favored most by British royalty. She is hitting the open road on the just opened Thomasville Road, on her carefree way to Lake Killarney and a female friend who lives in the small Irish enclave there. She is wearing a white eyelet cotton frock, which gracefully follows the contour of her classically generous figure. Her perfectly coiffed strawberry blond hair is topped off by a wide-brimmed driving bonnet.

This little jaunt will use up the rest of this day and most of the next, with a side-trip to drop off children James and Agnes at a day camp at Maclay State Park, which is on the dusty trail.

“Agnes–James! Joseph has the auto started; let us be on our way!” The Ferrells’ manservant uses his field-honed muscles to crank the new engine into motion. Hopefully there is a capable someone at her destination or every time she needs a restart. No matter. Will she not look fine standing beside it regardless?

The Ferrell children arrive, prim and proper, if not overdressed for camp, armed with huge bags stuffed to the point where rope is needed to keep them from bursting at the seams.

“Please put our bags in the boot, Joseph.”

Looking at the available space in the rear, or rather the lack of said, the Negro helper says, “Yessum Ma’am, I thinks I can do it.”

On his way up the path from the stable, is John Ferrell, husband to Martha, father to 16Ferrell's Grocery-001 year old James and 14 year old Agnes. He has stabled his Saddlebred stallion, after spending the morning at Ferrell’s Grocery chain’s largest store; taking care of a good sized business, five miles and 45 minutes away on horseback from their San Luis Lake home. He slaps off the dust that has accumulated on his person, mostly because there are far more dirt roads and streets than hard surfaced, even in the Capitol city; three plus years from the approaching twentieth century.

“Hey, you Ferrells!,” he calls out, “I’m surprised to see you still here. You are burning daylight. Lake Killarney ain’t around the corner, Martha, closer to Georgia than Tallahassee.” There is genuine concern in his voice. He loves his family, though the time he spends working helps makes up for a general shortfall of attention given to him.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Map-001

Episode #19


page 18

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 207

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 207

the Illinois speed traps were sneakily placed, while the unlucky deer was spending his evening hours chasing after a doe.

Speed Trap

“We will race back to see how things are shaking in Chi Town,” Race rhymes with Ace.

Constance rhymes with constant, “Let’s get back in one piece.”Deer Crossing

This time Highway 20 will see them back to home base, but not before acquiring two unwanted speeding tickets and colliding with an amorous White Tail buck; the Illinois speed traps were sneakily placed, while the deer was spending his evening hours chasing after a doe. The Buick Roadmaster is a 4415 pound vehicle so the deer barely leaves a mark, but the traffic violations mean that Ace will be making June trips, back to Jo Daviess and Boone counties.

 

When they do gain the expansive Cook County, a new morning has dawned. The roads and streets leading to the U of C are welcoming and more familiar than those of the past two weeks.Libby Dead or Alive-001

Homecomings, even to temporary homes, give the sojourners great comfort. 6137 Kimbark is just as they had left it, with the noticeable remixing of Willard Libby, who is hidden no more and basking in the positive reviews from Graham crusaders, longtime colleagues and educated citizenry. He has rekindled the national debate surrounding the divergent issues of creation and evolution.

Libbyites-001The man, who spawned the people known as the Libbyites, admits to being a changed man, like a new incarnation of his former self. From inside the Graham Crusades, this scientist has bridged the intellectual gap that has always existed between science and religion, a not small task in the face of prejudicial professional bias.

Without intentionally searching for it, Willard knows what it’s like to be a part of revival.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 173

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 163

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 163

…”This is bloody bullshit. What kind of cops are you?” Constance cuts thru the nonsense…

Seal of Approval-001“You can tell quite a story Mrs. Dombroski.” states the impressed lawyer from the South.

“She learned it from that guy in the other room,” Fanny has consumed dozens (by osmosis) these past 2+ months.

At that point, the attending emergency room physician comes in to gives his two recent patients some news; neither good nor bad, “The CPD is here and they want to interview you two, and then I am going to release you, you can go home.”

“What about Eddie?” inquires Edie. She is worried about the $52 dollars a day they are paying for his hospitalization, “We don’t have insurance.”

“Mr. Graham has taken care of that — what a gem he is. He stopped in and visited all our rooms before he left.” Fanny speaks of a good man, from the soles of his Godly feet to the wavy hair atop his 6 foot frame.

“I can take you all home after you are finished with the police. The two cars I saw out there need to be pried apart,” Lawyer Moore will be looking out for Fanny and Edie’s interest from here on out, so he ushers the plain clothed investigators into 314.

“From what we can see, you pulled out into a lane of traffic and caused the other vehicle to run into you. That is a violation on your part. The driver of the other was killed in the accident thereby making it vehicular homicide. We are going to have to take you in and seeing you are from out of state, we will hold without bond.”

“But there was no driver!” Fanny is beside herself.

Constance has joined the discussion, having come to the hospital to check in on everyone.

“There was no driver, detective. You can ask the emergency room people. They did not find a driver, dead or alive.” Correct, Mr. Moore.

“We found a body behind the wheel and how else would the car get there in the first place?”

“This is bloody bullshit. What kind of cops are you?” Constance cuts through the nonsense.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 140

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 153

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 153

…while standing in the parking lot of Saint Anthony’s, there  comes the sound of screeching tires…

As for Eddie Dombroski himself, he is pretty much a slave to the ventilator that keepsPopular Mechanics him breathing. Ace has brought him a Popular Mechanics magazine, which lights him up for a moment, but he definitely is not himself.

Billy Graham has summoned the hospital’s chaplain in order to bring a united spiritual front to the visit. Eddie has had his Saint Stanislaus Parish priest stop by several times, but a portable confessional is not what the man needs. Graham is a fierce prayer warrior that can save even the lost-est of lost, given the time to do so. The chaplain then will serve as spiritual reinforcement.

Eddie has related the strange dreams he was having concerning the devil and does so to this day. There is no doubt in Graham’s mind that they are in the midst of an epic battle, the Libby Affair folks are at the epicenter of Satan’s focus.

After an hour with some of his favorite people, there is renewed spring to this hospital bed. He asks about Fanny, about every ten minutes, telling Connie that he has his wife talking to Fanny every day, compared to every other week for Constance.

As they trio prepares to leave, while standing in the parking lot of Saint Anthony’s that’s not so large that you lose your car, there first comes the sound of screeching tires, a symphony of background noise of a big city.

They barely notice the commotion, when another car rushes into their isle, blocking the path of an oncoming four wheel projectile. The blocking car is t-boned, nearly causing it to roll onto its side…………..


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 132

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 30

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 30

…”Can you pass the ketchup Marty?” He hates being called Marty…

Once they safely gain White Castle’s dining area, standing at the counter, Eddie does the ordering, “A Variety Sack of 30 and three Cokes.”

Constance picked out a booth by the front window, where Homewood meets Glenwood. “Busy street,” she comments.

“I need to use the little girls’ room,” Fanny offers, “how about you Connie?”

“No, I’ll wait until we hit the road.”

“30 divided by 4 is….,” Eddie starts divvying up the bite-sized hamburgers and yet another family factoid. “The hamburger was invented in Seymour, Wisconsin. They have a Burger Festival every year and me and the family make the drive there pretty much every year, mostly for the bun toss and the parade. Great fun.

“7.5. You can have my portion,” Martin does the math.

“Eat up. Can you pass the ketchup Marty?”

He hates being called Marty.

Conversation is spotty at the booth, perhaps having to do with that mystery briefcase in the trunk or is it that Fanny Renwick’s is conspicuous by her absence?

“It’s been 15 minutes,” Of course it is Constance who would notice the prolonged potty pause.

Just then, there was the screeching noise of spinning tires, a black four-door sedan tearing out of the parking lot, heading north on Halsted Street.

“That is the same idiot who nearly ran us off the road,” notices Eddie, who knows his automobiles. “That ain’t no family car.”

“Relax, he is long gone by now,” Constance gets up to head for the ladies room. “I am going to check on Fanny.”

A “Castle” cleaning woman points the way to the washroom when asked. It is small, three stalls.

“Fanny???” She expects a rapid response, but gets none. The privacy booths are empty, doors partially ajar.

A quick visual sweep is easy, her friend’s purse is still on the wash basin, opened to the makeup compartment but it is what she sees on the mirror shocks her. The letters F  M are scrawled on the reflective glass, using a bar of soap.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 29

 

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 19

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 19

…One of the few AT&T employees with the expertise to research telephone records happens to be of the Jewish faith…

Once the big yellow Checker cab is nestled in for a long winter’s nap, next to his wife’s 4 year old Studebaker in their alley-facing garage, a gunmetal gray 1950 Packard rolls down Garfield Boulevard toward Chicago’s famed Loop with two men in the front seat and two women in the back.

Their scheme hits pothole #1 once they reach the Illinois Bell Building. It is deserted… a communications wasteland void of operators, technicians or even a single janitor. Holidays assuredly interfere with the course of normal business, as normal people would expect, but this intrepid group of snoops is the exception to that tradition.

Fortunately for the CCPI clan, the providence-factor plays the wild-card role here today; among the 1% not observing Christmas Day is American Telephone & Telegraph technician Herman Weinstein.

One of the few AT&T employees with the expertise to research telephone records happens to be of the Jewish faith. While his family is over in Chinatown enjoying dim sum, he is busy updating the coaxial system at the central office.

Pothole #2: “We are a year away from direct-dial transcontinental communication, so we won’t find anything to or from Europe,” Weinstein explains. “However, we still hold the C band microwave air network used in conventional telegraphic traffic, so you aren’t completely out of luck.”

He works his infrastructure magic, extracting a list of messages sent to Willard Libby and hands them the results.

“You also need the records from the Long Lines Department for what number?”

“Argonne 7-2000 is the switchboard, 2427 is the extension,” one of the three visitors states.

“That is a government number. You need security clearance for that.”

“I believe this will do,” Martin flashes his Argonne N.L. identification card.

“I figured that you worked for the F.B.I, like the guys who were looking for almost the identical records two weeks ago.”

“F.B.I.?” Constance is startled by this revelation.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 18