Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #283

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 Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #283

Chapter Sixteen

INHOSPITABLE

…What George Washington Carver had done for southern agriculture, so do these men push the boundaries of blacks in medicine…

Dr. George Washington Carver by William H. Johnson

Dr. George Washington Carver by William H. Johnson

“This quite a buildin’, you have here, A.O.” Doctor Henry Palmer has known Campbell for about 25 years, going all the way back to the days when Florida A&M had a small stable of promising young black doctors. It was a groundbreaking time, one where for perhaps the first time, blacks are encouraged to expand into uncharted territories.

Henry, A.O., Clifton Moor, J. Kenty Johnson and several others help put Tallahassee Florida on the medical map with their work at the beginning of the influenza outbreak in 1918. It is an impressive My Project 18-001target for other disadvantaged youths to shoot at. What George Washington Carver had done for southern agriculture, so do these men push the boundaries of blacks in medicine.

A.O. Campbell is hoping to make Laura Bell Memorial Hospital into a regional medical center for minorities.

They really did want to help their friend and colleague. They would not have shown up for this tour if they had anything other than honest intentions. But there is the matter of research grants. Most of these men have progressed past the point of family practice, not that they think there is anything wrong with hands-on doctoring.

My Project 19-001And then again there is the matter of the research grants and we are not talking small change here. LBMH does not have a ten million-dollar laboratory. It is shiny and functional, but that will not help in finding the cure for hepatitis or cancer.

And then there is the matter of the people who provide the research grants. Most of them are of the opinion that it is more rewarding to save thousands of lives at a time, rather than three or four appointments in an hour.

Deep down, they really did believe in Alpha Campbell’s vision of treating people, regardless of race, age, or finances.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #283


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #275

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #275

…with the war over, there is babies being made left and right… and up, down and sideways…

post-war_Baby-Boom_577

Just then, two cars pull up to 224 Virginia Street. Ten professional looking men jump out of the eight doors, enthusiastically. They are anxious to see just what their colleague has been doing with his spare time.–

          –At the same time that the ten black staff physicians, some on, some off duty, check out another venue in which to uphold their oath of healing, there is a spur-of-the-moment meeting of the Florida A & M Hospital board of directors, called by the advisory board chairman, J. Leonard Lewis, who happens to be a backdoor relative of banker Lewis. That in itself inserts a stench into the coming proceedings.

“What are we going to do about Campbell’s hospital?” He opens with a very pointed question.

“What do you mean by that, J.L.,” asks Vernon L. Perry, taken aback by the tone.

V.L. –  J.L. –  A.O. –  A&M  –  L.B.M.H. – Abbreviation City.

“Here we are, understaffed as it is and a third of our doctors are AWOL, being courted by that Baby Boomrenegade Campbell!” He cannot hide his bitterness. “Look, V.L., with the war over, there is babies being made left and right… and up, down and sideways. We can’t afford to lose any one of them. Unlike Tallahassee Memorial, we are a predominantly black facility.”

Perry is just as aware of the influx of births as Lewis, but he is a friend of A.O. Campbell and he knows there is no intended competition. Rather, what is being lost in this shuffle of egos is that most of the babies Campbell will deliver would have been probably turned away at the university or delivered in a non sterile environment by a midwife.

“You don’t actually believe that he will cut into our revenue, do you?”

“He won’t charge as much as us. Don’t you think people over there in Frenchtown will find out?”

“I don’t see how doing mostly what we would consider charity work, is going to be a threat,” adds a new voice in the discussion. Mrs. John Phipps, widow of a prominent Tallahassean, turned philanthropist, discerns no menace from the diminutive doctor from Virginia Street. “He gave up a good job to pursue his dream.”

“He shouldn’t impose his dream on the other doctors.”

“You don’t get it, do you? We are not going to lose any of our staff to Campbell,” states Perry. “Anything they do is on their own time.”

blacklist

“There is one thing you don’t get, V.L. Does the name, Charles Wilson ring a bell?” The room falls silent. They are well aware that a high percentage of their operating expenses are funded by Wilson’s charitable foundation and his certain friends of a like mind. You can guess who is in control and what nefarious agendas the whole of them undertake.

“Hello?” Lewis prods.

The dissenting majority has a feeling that their poker hand has just been trumped. Wilson is a wild card none of them can top.

“I think my point has been made, folks. Our policy toward working outside Florida A & M Hospital is about to be enforced.”

… Or made up…

Letter B.Letter S.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #275


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #261

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #261

…I can hardly do business in Tallahassee without dealing with the Wilsons, they own a lot of property you know…

Meanwhile Caption-001“Did you make sure that the Leon County Clerk misplaced the tax records on that land in Sherwood Park?” asks Charles Wilson of Franklin McLoud, the now husband to Laura Campbell. It should be noted that she did sleep with him, as a means to marriage, but she did not have to. She has given him access to the Campbell real estate, the 8 score parcels of them. He is using his agency to “take care” of all that property for the family.

“The one on Ridge Road?” What did you want with that land? It’s pretty low, floods easy.” McLoud tries Land Grabbers-001to discourage his consort in white collar crime, albeit lame in intensity.

  “That is perfect land to build a golf course on, Frankie. Golf is going boom after the war.”

          “Don’t call me Frankie and you have to be the only person who is already looking past the war.”

“O.K., Franklin. Looky, here, old Jack Gaither will pay for half the construction cost if we name the course after him. Just make sure that nigger doctor-in-law of yours doesn’t find out about this until after it’s built.”

  “Fine, but we best be careful about how we meet.” Guilt is written all over his heart.

The door to Franklin McLoud’s swings open without warning. “Franklin McLoud, you promised to… oh, excuse me.”

“That’s okay, dear. Mr. Wilson was just leaving,” he lies. “For the last time, I won’t that deal for you. I don’t care how much commission you offer.”

“Have it your way. Good day, Mrs. McLoud.” Wilson leaves the room with a wry smile on his thieving face.

Double dealing“What is that man doing at your office? The Wilson’s have no use for our family, you know that.”

I can hardly do business in Tallahassee without dealing with them. They own a lot of property, you know?”

“But it’s Christmas Eve, Franklin; everyone’s at the house, Alpha and Vaughn, Zillah and Bill, they are asking for you.”

  “Let’s go then.”

  She will leave out the part about whom she saw with her husband.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Real Estate Shark

Real Estate Shark

Episode #261


page 243

 

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #224

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #224

…Banker Lewis is giving special attention to one of his best customers, though he has secretly admired Maggie Ferrell-Campbell for more than her assets, if you catch the drift…

Meanwhile Caption-001“What brings you to the bank this fine day, Mrs. Campbell,” asks George Lewis, whose bank is used by most Tallahasseeans, and happens to administer the trust that John Ferrell had established for Maggie Lou. He has up close knowledge of what the young woman will take charge of in about two months 5 days and 7 hours; 61 parcels of land totaling 110 acres, some of which is coveted by various people with mixed motives.

“I would like to put this into a safe or something, don’t want anybody stealin’ it.” She pulls out a necklace out of an envelope, jewelry that is best stored away from the house… whose mortgage is held here as well.

Lewis checks his watch, five o’clock having come and gone. “Let me lock the doors and we will get you a safe deposit box.” He is giving special attention to one of his best customers, though he has secretly admired Maggie Ferrell-Campbell for more than her assets, if you catch the drift. “Right this way.”

    The safe deposit boxes occupy the back corner of the building’s second floor. They pass Lewis’ personal office on the way, he ducks in, turning on the light as they go by, grabbing a key off the wall. Number 3760, yes, just about chest high.” He does the honors, handing the rectangular metal container to Maggie.

“This can hold a lot.” She is impressed by this method of storage.

“There is only one key to this box, so take good care of it.” He not only gives her the key, he takes her hand, placing it there with both of his, lingering well beyond what is necessary for the transfer. She does nothing to end the clinch. “Let’s go to my office. We need to fill out a rental agreement.”

They are alone in the bank, but George Lewis pulls down the shade on the office door anyway. “Here we are. Maggie Lou Campbell agrees to rent box number 169 for a minimum of twelve months for a fee of ten dollars to be paid in advance.”

 Maggie instinctively reaches for her purse for the agreed on fee. George stops her. “Please, no. I would like to furnish this box as a token of appreciation for your continued good patronage.” His body language implies that the ten dollars is waived for a completely different something. He ushers her to his leather couch, where again, she mysteriously offers no blatant resistance.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Happy Banker

The Happy Banker by George Condo

Episode #224


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Tape, Teflon, Velcro, Virility and Mastercard – WIF Simple

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Simple Technologies

That Changed

the World

There are numerous examples of breakthroughs that humans have used or discovered in their existence that have catapulted us to the top of the food chain. The wheel, the steam engine, the printing press, etc. These advances are known to most people, and we realize that without those things existing, we’re still in the dark ages.

But there are also lots of little blips on the timeline throughout human history of simpler things between the lines. These technologies may not have the same lustre as the heavy hitters, but if you tried to imagine your daily life without these things being developed and perfected, you would quickly see that they’re every bit as important. Here are some simple technologies that changed the world in profound ways.

10. Duct Tape

That sticky grey tape that seems to hold most of the world together these days draws its history back to the Second World War. The military used the tape to keep their ammunition boxes sealed, but quickly found that there were tons of other uses for it. What began as medical tape was found to have incredibly adhesive qualities as well as inherent waterproofing, which led to soldiers calling it “duck tape,” referring to a duck’s wicking feathers.

Once the war ended, soldiers returned home and began buying houses en masse. They also took lots of jobs with construction companies, and told their bosses about this incredibly sticky tape they used during the war. The tape was used for all sorts of HVAC applications, but mostly for holding ductwork together. So “duck tape” became “duct tape,” but in 1998, a test of common HVAC sealing materials was conducted. Duct tape came in dead last. Quack.

9. Teflon Pans

When scientists in the 1930s developed a new kind of polymer that was superbly heat resistant and uber-slippery. They used it in war, because that’s just what was going on at the time. But it took until the ‘60s when they decided that it would be great for keeping food from sticking to pans.

And it wasn’t just pans–the non-stick coating known as Teflon changed the home kitchen for good by also being applied to muffin and cake tins as well as cookie sheets. Clean up was a breeze. The coating could handle high heat. The only thing they were kind of bad at was not killing people. The workers that produced Teflon were basically poisoned by the material, and that sickness was passed on to lord knows how many consumers. One of the components in Teflon that was responsible wasn’t banned until 2014.

8. Smoke Detectors

Think of all the things you probably take for granted in our homes in the present day, and smoke detectors are likely near the top of the list. Those little gadgets have saved countless lives, yet you hardly notice them until their batteries run low. They’ve become standard and required in homes these days, so it’s hard to imagine a time when they weren’t around. And they happened by accident.

In the 1930s, a scientist in Switzerland was trying to make a device that detected poison gas in the air. While it failed to pick up the presence of the tested poison, when he lit a cigarette, the smoke did trip the alarm. It took until the late 1960s before they found their way into homes, and have now cut fire-related deaths by half.

7. Viagra

A little blue pill that’s only been around for twenty years shouldn’t have such an impact on the world that it’s had, especially since it’s not cured any major disease, instead letting men experience the wonder of full erections. But Viagra has basically changed sex around the world.

In 1991, testing began on what would become Viagra, but it was developed with the intention of lowering blood pressure. But during the studies, there was a certain side effect that the men involved could not ignore. The development of the drug headed in the direction of restoring sexual health to men, and within ten years, 200,000 prescriptions a week were being filled. It changed the way men confronted diminishing sex drives. It also helped unknown diseases related to erectile dysfunction become treated when men came to the doctor seeking Viagra.

6. Credit Cards

A fixture of every wallet known to man, the credit card is simultaneously boosting the economy and bankrupting countless people with no financial acumen. The concept of “pay us later, we’re sure you’re good for it,” and then tacking on insane interest amounts is a fairly new concept. At least in card form. But they’re ubiquitous now, with around 18 billion in use.

In 1949, businessman Frank McNamarawas at a restaurant and realized he had forgotten his wallet. This made him envision a kind of card that could be used at multiple businesses. He started Diners Club the next year, and within the next decade, more and more banks started making their own credit cards. Fast forward to present day, and Americans alone possess over a trillion dollars in credit card debt. So in less than a hundred years, we’ve done some damage, haven’t we?

5. UPC Codes

You’ve seen that little box of black lines on the side of every product you buy, even more so when you’re struggling to find them in the self-checkout line. The UPC code (Bar Code) gets scanned, the price shows up, and it’s a pretty expedient process. But how did that get to become the norm?

In 1948, Joseph Woodland (who had actually worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first nuclear bomb) was responding to a query from a local store owner about how to speed up the process of buying products in his store. Woodland thought about Morse Code and its simple way of giving lots of information with dots and lines, so he made that his inspiration. His innovation could describe an item and its price all at once, instead of the snail’s pace of non-automated operations that most stores suffered through. The only thing that held back progress was the lack of computers readily available to read the code, so it took until 1974 when the technology began to roll out to stores nationwide.

4. Barbed Wire

Two problems faced the American West as it grew and expanded: cattle were getting loose and trampling precious crops, and there wasn’t enough wood in those regions to build fences. The Homestead Act of 1862 made it so many people could get vast tracts of land for next to nothing, so it was important that they be able to work that land and have secure properties.

Enter Joseph Glidden of Illinois, who patented barbed wire in 1874. It wasn’t without its growing pains, as the wire trapped dumb cows by the thousands, and cowboys hated their herds being restricted by the artificial borders. And those very borders that marked a person’s property also screwed over Native Americans, as these practices left them with even fewer claims to their ancestral lands. The Homestead Act required that a person build a home and work the land for five years before it would become theirs to own. The barbed wire was a metaphorical and physical realization that their way of life was over.

3. Velcro

Zippers were still very much the rage in 1941, when Swiss engineer George de Mestral came upon an idea while walking his dog in the woods one day. He noticed how his clothing and his dog were covered in sticky burrs, the pointy little things that always prick your fingers are you’re removing them. Under a microscope, he saw how the curved hooks of the burrs met with his clothing in an almost perfect marriage. Zippers were no longer the only game in town.

Zippers tended to jam all the time. Velcro, as it would come to be in 1955 (from the French words “velour” and “crochet”) didn’t have that problem. Though originally implemented in clothing, it’s now used in everything from sporting equipment to NASA craft. And whoever began using it in little kids’ clothing should eventually get their own medal.

2. Daylight saving time

Ok, so maybe not exactly a technology, but the advent of daylight saving (it’s not “savings”, by the way) time has changed a lot about our modern world. First started in Germany in 1916 as a way to enjoy the sunshine and to conserve electricity, it began to catch on in other countries around the world soon after.

In the United States, it was started in 1918 as a wartime practice. It was repealed the next year after farmers protested; the next few decades saw back and forth fighting and different start times for daylight saving across the country. Finally in 1966, the Uniform Time Act made time, uh, uniform across the country. The central concept, energy conservation, doesn’t really seem to be a benefit though. The stuff that uses the most electricity in our homes are things that get used the more we are home, if that makes sense. It seems that the money that gets boosted into the economy by people enjoying more leisure “daytime” in the evening is enough to keep the practice in use.

1. Transistors

Think of the devices that power your everyday life: smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. They all have one thing in common at their very core, and that’s the very simple transistor. The development of the transistor signaled the developmental shift from hardware to software, and it’s why technology has surged light years ahead since its inception.

A transistor is merely a type of semiconductor that either amplifies signals or switches them. Invented in 1947, it was a device far ahead of its time, and as computing devices grew and became more efficient, so too did the transistor. Computers got smaller and became household items, while transistors shrunk down to the size of a few nanometers. Those tiny transistors are one of the only unchanged (aside from size) building blocks of the entire digital age.


Tape, Teflon, Velcro, Virility and Mastercard –

WIF Simple

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #182

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #182

…“This town deserves better! Old Blount is still fuming over swallowing his pride about the circumstances surrounding the death of his Charlie, “The Man Who Would Be King”...

P-E J is on the job, endeavoring to avoid detection. So for the rest of November, Harv has does his best imitation of a millwright, looking like he knows what he is doing with a heavy wooden tray of tools, weighing 60 pounds. Fortunately no major breakdowns occur on his watch, the machines likely fearing for their gears, so as a result, the most notable outcome of this month is a right arm two inches longer from carrying the tools. Today he is tired and hungry, but it is a day with yet another case of injustice.

“I heard one of the men telling another that the bank would not let him withdraw his savings,” Harv tells his Judith, who is tending a steaming pot of soup, the contents of which are literally indescribable. “He has a relative, somewhere near Jacksonville, who has lined up a better job for him and he needs the money to put a down payment on a house. I guess he signed some sort of contract with the bank stating he must give two months notice before withdrawing more than one-half the balance.”

“Two months? I wonder if the Banking Commission knows about that practice.” She shakes her head, causing some strands of hair to fall on her face. Greasy hands preclude her from replacing them; she blows them off instead. “I was taking pictures of all the signs with “Blount” in their name, when a woman came out of the General Store crying her eyes out. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she can’t buy food on credit. Her husband was injured on the job and he had not been paid for two months.”

“Oh yes, I think he fell from a ladder while cleaning the grain elevator. The guys didn’t know if he’d walk again, both legs were shattered.”

“Well, if he was injured on the job, isn’t he entitled to replacement income? Aren’t there labor laws that cover that possibility?”

“I’ll tell you, Jude, if James Ferrell wanted, he could represent the entire town against Blount, for one thing or another.”

“This town deserves better! Old Blount is still fuming over swallowing his pride about the circumstances surrounding the death of his Charlie, “The Man Who Would Be King”.

“I don’t know about you, but I for one have enough material to fill the entire issue.” He dips a spoon into his wife’s mottled mixture. “And I miss the food at home.”

dayjob        “You know, honey, with a month’s worth of meals under my belt, we could do without our cook. I am really getting the hang of this.”

          “I wouldn’t quit your day job, Judith.” This brush with honesty inspires a wooden spoon into flight, missing Harv, but hitting the front door, just as their pseudo-children open it.

          “What’s wrong?” the kids ask in unison, having never seen their “parents” quarrel.

          “Oh nothing kids, but I have cooked my last meal for this family!”

          In a tender moment, the room erupts with adolescent cries of joy.

          “I am sending for your parents tonight,” promises Harv. “They should be here first thing tomorrow.

          “Hooray!” shouts the boy. “I can taste Mom’s blueberry pancakes now.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

WomanCooking

“Oh nothing kids, but I have cooked my last meal for this family!”

Episode #182


page 170

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #170

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #170

… The Blountstown General Store is considering Love Dairies as sole supplier of milk and associated products, as well as growing demand for Savannah Cigar tobacco products…

Driver School-001

Willy can tell the difference in power and handling from the 1906 model that he drives, mostly on hills where, even fully loaded, they do not bog down.

“I be puttin’ her in a lower gear, Clete, like this,” he pumps his left leg twice on the left peddle, while shifting a stick back towards him. The sound of the engine becomes more earnest, but their speed of 15 miles per hour is maintained.

“That looks easy ‘nough, Willy. When are you goin’ to let me take the wheel?”

“Somewhere on the way back, likely on that open stretch we passed a ways ago.” He would rather do all the driving, but that defeats the purpose of training.

Welcone to-001This day they have Road 12 to themselves. The route begins to wind close to Blountstown, calling for caution, especially on the inside of corners. On roads designed for wagons and autos, there is not room for anything but the Mack truck. Whenever Willy cannot see around a corner, he pulls on the air horn cord. That usually keeps the way clear.

Once safely within the Blountstown village limits, they locate the new center for directions in towns across the country; the gas/service station replaces the local diner. There is usually one per town, as is the case in this one on the Apalachicola River. With a grunt and a mumble, a grease smeared hand points to Blountstown General Store, which is next to the Blountstown Barber Shop on one side and the Blountstown Saloon on the other. One wonders who either founded or owns the town. You are right.

The general store is considering Love Dairies as sole supplier of milk and associated products, as well as growing demand for Savannah Cigars-001Savannah Cigar tobacco products. Both are important staples to this typical mill town, but mill owner, Hank (you guessed it) Blount, wishes this fair priced and prompt company could supply a third staple Love Dairies2-001for his workers: whiskey.

If it were not for the profitable backhaul, which is the avoidance of running an empty truck back to warehouse, bartered quantities of lumber and flour; produced in Blountstown with the aid of rushing river water, channeled through paddle wheel and electric generator (Blountstown Power & Light), dealing with Hank Blount would have been out of the question. Herb Love has heard disturbing rumblings from the city, 25 mile southwest of Quincy, but images of a thousand families in need of nourishment tilts his better judgment.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Company Town-001

Episode #170


page 158