Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #161

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #161

…John Ferrell has already assessed his estate and has negotiated the storm tangle to check on his extended family…

tornado-ii-torrie-smiley

Tornado II by Torrie Smiley

   A branch is considered a stick and many of them are scattered across a quarter mile wide, five mile long path that began to the southwest, in the vast expanses of the Apalachicola forest. It had to be a twister at least that is the consensus of those left in its turbulent wake that marched steadily northeastward to rural Tallahassee, in the early morning hours of a warm early spring night, including a brush with San Luis Lake, which is usually spared any of the real weather. A direct hit surely would have razed the only two man-made compounds on the quaint body of water.

San Luis Lake-001      Now, in the post-dawn calm, with dew points equal to the 65 degree temperatures, everyone in the Endlichoffer household is wielding big sticks; cypress and jack pine strewn on the huge garden whose ground is sustaining seedlings of carrots, beets, potato and squash.

The garden is a family project, a source shared responsibility and pride. The 2000 square foot plot is ever in need of weeding, fertilizing, protection from vegetarian rodents, or watering, though this morning has provided 2 months’ worth of moisture deep into the subsoil. That a bountiful harvest is a bi-yearly event is a miracle in itself, considering that the native soil was mostly sand, without a favorable pH.

As is usually the case, in times of potential disaster, John Ferrell has already assessed his estate and has negotiated the storm tangle to check on his extended family. Laura Bell and Maggie Lou have not gone away and no matter how convenient it would have been if they did, Ziggy and Frieda would rather give up breathing than part ways with their chalet.

 John has witnessed an evolution, from desperate refuge, in the days of Princess Olla’s pregnancy, to absolute integration into the lives of the dearest old Germans you could ever find. That is why he makes the trek down a well-worn path on a daily basis, under the auspices of a morning constitutional, when it is breakfast he shares… Martha knows.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Well worn path

The Well Worn Path

Episode #161


page 150

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #157

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #157

…Harv Pearson is the nearer to the telegraphic news ticker, so he picks up the end of the two foot and adding paper ribbon, reading his way back to the busy machine…

Tickertape machine

Chapter Nine

SHIFTING SANDS

 

“What is coming through the wire?” asks Judith Eastman. “It looks unusually long.”

She is speaking to Harv Pearson, in a rare moment when they are in their Rochester office simultaneously. One or the other or both are on the road most of the time.

“Might be a test run. It’s a bit early for news and there hasn’t been anything worthwhile for weeks,” certainly not of the human interest variety, the kind that makes good pictures and good press.

They are at the mercy of the news and news makers. Beginning with their first issue of the Pearson-Eastman Journal, the blockbuster interview and pictorial of Teddy Roosevelt in the American West, they had set the standard for finding great stories, combining the two mediums into a must read for millions of readers, i.e. subscribers.

  Harv is the nearer to the telegraphic news ticker, so he picks up the end of the two foot and adding paper ribbon, reading his way back to the busy machine. He keeps adjusting his reading spectacles like they must be distorting the words.

“Does the cat have your tongue?” asks Judith playfully; curious as to why his mouth is hanging open without so much as a peep.

“We’re headed for California,” he says simply.

“Another gold rush?”

“Only if the U.S. Mint isn’t earthquake proof.”

“You don’t say.”

“Read for yourself,” he hands her the start of a frightening account. “It’s on fire, Judith, my God, it’s only after 5 o’clock in the morning there. Most people were sleeping when it hit, I would think that casualties are high.”

“We wouldn’t get there for three days.” She recounts the train ride back from Yosemite, in the Journal’s inaugural days.

“There is nothing else going on.” He laments the fluffy content of their magazine of late, though no one in their right mind would wish disaster on anyone for the sake of news. “If I know Jackson (his editor at the Quincy Reporter) we’ll be lucky if we beat him there.”

“You mean your newspaper has room in the budget for that?”

Quincy Reporter-001    “He watched me chase stories for years, not standard procedure for a small town rag, but I own it. He does not take that into account. If I told him he couldn’t, I would lose my credibility. The Reporter has the reputation of getting a big story first hand.”

“So, why don’t you sell him the Reporter?” This is not the first time she has suggested that move, for mostly selfish reasons that include taking away the one threat to his continued and permanent presence in her life. She has passed that point where she has enough emotional fuel for a return trip to her once lonely world. If only he would take that final step concerning their relationship; a proposal of betrothal instead of status quosal. “I mean, he has been running it without much help from you for five years now, something he pointed out when you were too busy to buy those new printing presses. The poor guy is working himself to death while you are doing a scant imitation of William Randolph Hearst.”


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Pearson-Eastman Journal-001

Episode #157


page 146

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #153

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #153

… No one listening to this fiery man of God, on that hot June day, really believed that Ezra Elijah is his real name…

Ezra Elijah-001

Back “home” in Leon and Gadsden Counties, Florida, big business is small and bustling city life is not. If Tallahassee were not the capital of its state and it did not have the two universities, the area more closely resembles southern Georgia or Alabama or Mississippi.

San Luis Lake-001 But it is not and that is a good thing, though as 1902 replaces 1901, there is still widespread poverty in the entire South, including Tallahassee, Midway and Quincy.

The Ferrells, John, Martha and Agnes, operate on the fringe of all that is bad, their place in the community tied to the locations of their three groceries. The neighborhoods are representative of the typical Southern mix; from the affluent Capital Hills to black Frenchtown and not much in-between.

At home on San Luis Lake, they are insulated and isolated from the people they serve. Some would say on the fringe of reality as well.

Once upon a time

      John Ferrell has busied himself juggling his two very different worlds, managing to keep them separate, apparently by the infinite grace of God. For a man who can be formerly categorized as a two-timer on both religious and personal fronts, (attending church at Christmas and Easter, in addition to having children by wife Martha and Laura Bell), he has experienced a revival of such proportions that neither his wife or Laura Bell know what to think, though they do not dare turn down the blessing. They can thank a traveling Protestant evangelist named, Ezra Elijah of the American Bible League, barnstorming Florida with news of the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ; grace being a gift from God for those who believe in him.

No one listening to this fiery man of God, on that hot June day, really believed that Ezra Elijah is his real name, but after listening to him speak on heaven and hell, all they can think of is where they will go when they die. Most of the Tallahasseans watching and listening to the figure, on the back of a well-traveled wagon, are there by happenstance, curiosity seekers like John Ferrell. A core of bible toting black women knew of his coming and are escorting and exhorting him along his way, as far as their faithful walk with God will take them.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Marvel Comic’s version

Episode #153


page 141

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #145

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #145

…“Great minds think alike!” insists  Harv Pearson…

I would like to throw a goodly sum into your initial investment. I hope I am not too bold, folks, but we all know that the more cash you have in the beginning, the greater the chances are for real success.”

Pearson-Eastman, Eastman-Pearson nod to each other.

“It looks that we will have a built-in board of directors, Herbert. You have got to know that Judith’s brother, George is in for one-third… make that one-fourth, but that is where it will stop, too many cooks in the kitchen, you know.” Logical boundaries are prudent.

“Capital idea! Excuse the play on words, but I did not know what your reaction would be to my proposal.”

“Eastman/Pearson/Eastman/Love. Sounds like the partner list at Beacon Hill.” It may not be U.S. Steel, but Harv recites an impressive roster in its own right.

“And you finally have the order right… Eastman-Pearson, what do you think Mister Love?” Judith will not let up.

   Pearson-Eastman Journal-001       “I will be the silent partner,” he promises, “but I hesitate to say that the opposite is more melodic; consonant first, vowel second.”

          “All men think alike!” Judith is thwarted.

          “Great minds think alike!” insists Pearson.

          “Thinking men like women with great minds! The best of both worlds,” states Herbert Love, master of Washington diplomacy.

“You, Mister Love, will be the perfect foil for me. I look forward to our association and thank you for your confidence in our magazine.” Her appreciation is real.

“That goes for me as well, Herb. To tell you the truth, I hadn’t given you a thought and I could kick myself for not doing so earlier; it would have saved us hours of soul searching.”

The Florida end of this 1000 mile connection concludes from his heart, “Speaking of soul, remember that as children of God we must keep Him at the center of our earthly tasks. If God is in it, how can we fail?”

Enough said.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Episode #145


page 134

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #135

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #135

…Judith Eastman is much impressed with how connected these diverse individuals are to each other, including the President of the United States, of all people…

Photography-001

“I would be honored to take your picture, Mister President,” she curtseys in respect.

   “No, my dear, the honor is ours and I encourage setting the thoughts of your work aside and taking your publisher friend to the buffet. Waiter! Three bottles of your finest American champagne,” he politely commands. “I must tell Ida of this glorious evening!” One would think that teasing his house-stricken wife with stories of good times may depress her, but she can but live vicariously through a devoted husband, whom she could not be more proud. She, as well as he, is staying at the home of the President of the Exposition, John Milburn.

The famished and presentable Judith & Harv return to the table, barely able to manage consecutive bites without genuinely warm intrusions from all points on the compass. Well-wishers may be placing the carriage before the horse, but one and all are happy for the newspaperman, even the two other bachelors who, despite concerted efforts, have but their silverware in hand.

Somewhere out there, God has a woman for every man; right now, in Buffalo, there is a school administrator and an apothecary who are petitioning for that divine intervention.

oldcameraandtripod    Judith, for her part, is being a good sport, allowing herself to be drawn into the bowels of this unique collection of Southerners. She is much impressed with how connected these diverse individuals are to each other, including the President of the United States, of all people. She cannot help but feel at “home” with them; a stranger summarily accepted merely because one of the group, Harv Pearson, accepted her. They no doubt trust each other with their lives, forged in fire and hardened by trial.

Having uncased the large camera, finding just the right angle and lighting, her Eastman instincts take over. She initiates the shutter without alerting them, creating a candid portrait, frozen forever in time. Posing will come later.

Why you scamp! We weren’t prepared,” McKinley protests, presidents being experts at the pose.

“That is the point! You all are more “you” when you don’t know it’s coming……, now you do and my first picture will be the most spontaneous.”


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

say cheese

Episode #135


page 124

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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

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.

Rainbow City at Pan-American Exposition of 1901

  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

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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.

Sec. of Ag-001

Hurricane-001

Love diversifies his mission, recruiting telegraph operators for the Weather Bureau reporting program, along the way. There is no use wasting 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 to forget?

RED -McKinley (1900) BLUE – Bryan

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 110 (end ch. 6)

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