Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #125

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #125

…Doubtless, few other married couples have only one set of in-laws, they being shared parents…

“I married my…”

William McKinley turns his attention to the gathered throng, reveling in a moment that every politician, or even want-to-be ones, dreams of; being President of the United States and addressing hundreds of admiring citizens. He has truly reached the pinnacle of his career.

  “On behalf of the fine people of Buffalo, organizers, engineers, builders and volunteers, I would like to invite you an exhibition of marvels and wonders, feats of science and ingenuity, culture, art and music. The Pan-American Exposition will go down in history as one of the Western Hemisphere’s greatest achievements!”

“President McKinley is quite an orator, is he not,” comes a voice from behind the Ferrells, who like the rest were listening forward. All of a sudden, they were not expecting the obvious. John pivots not to a stranger, but the big, beautiful smiles of of James and Abigail.

“Ohhh my, Martha, looks who is here! We were so inspired by Mister McKinley, we lost track of time.”

“You would never have found us, Father… Mom, ummmm, how are you? You look great!” James hugs his mother. She squeezes him within an inch of asphyxia. Abbey gets cradled by John. Doubtless, few other married couples have only one set of in-laws, they being shared parents. It is tough to figure out without the family history in previous pages herein. “Yes, I mean it Father, have you ever seen more locomotives in one spot! We arrived from the other direction, ten tracks away! It was our good fortune to hear some chap telling another that word was the President was waiting for the 12 o’clock Southern and here we are.”

“You are becoming quite the big city gadabout, are you not?”

Abigail lends her ear to John’s assertion. “My dear no, Father. He still knows little of Boston proper and is known himself to lose his way in the Law Building on campus.”

James accepts Abbey’s assessment of his guide skills without refute. He has learned to set aside his male pride, reluctantly nodding. All of his eggs are in the legal basket. Abbey can have that navigator job.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Lost Directions by Ann-McLaren

Episode #125


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #124

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #124

The former, actually still, country businessman Love has adopted a very distinguished look; a splash of dashing with a pinch of pomp

Dashing-001

Painting by adlovett

“James’ train may not be in as yet, so don’t get your hopes up and try not squeezing them to death if they are there.” The fact is that the Ferrells have no idea of who will be there or even what the Buffalo rail depot looks like…

Pan American stamp

Pan-American Commemorative Stamp

  …until the long steam engine grinds to a halt at a bustling dock. There must be 10 similar trains, at different stages of loading or unloading, if there is one. But the train bearing the dozen Floridians has a unique distinction–it is the only one with a Presidential greeting party. It may be ‘ho-hum’ to certain passengers on the 12:10 Southern, but the opportunity to actually see a sitting President in person has most of the others irresistibly transfixed.

The McKinley entourage shifts to the car that sees Herbert Love emerging first. The former, actually still, country businessman has adopted a very distinguished look; a splash of dashing with a pinch of pomp. He is automatically, if not unanimously, assuming leadership for his group, advancing them to forty square feet of empty platform.

“How have you been, Herb?” The two embrace at once.

“Good, good, but it has been a busy year for you, has it not?” Love asks rhetorically.

“I am afraid that Ida is feeling much neglected this year. I guess the days of running the country from the White House are gone for good.” He seems to long for the good old days. “Say, we should not ignore the rest of my friends.

 “Welcome to the Queen City of the Lakes!” He broadens his focus. “How are you all? John, Martha…..Doc Ziggy and Frieda. And Willy Campbell, did you bring me any of those wonderful cigars?” He bends slightly, seeing he is close to the ground himself, to scoop up the young Campbell, “And you, Alpha, has Ziggy showed you how to remove tonsils? Mine have flared up and I have an important speech tomorrow.”

“If we removed your tonsils, Mister President, you could not speak for four days. I would recommend a sulfa drug to treat your symptoms.

          “Well, well, Master Campbell, you would be a strong candidate for Surgeon General in…what… 1918? Well, I am afraid I will not be able to make it to five terms in office, but I will put in a good word.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Queen City

Queen City of the Lakes

Episode #124


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #123

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #123

…Anticipation to see the newlyweds  is building…

“Do I look alright, John?” Martha Ferrell fidgets with the mound of hair atop her head, he being the mirror in the absence of one. She is afraid that if she goes to the washroom, sheLegacy-001 will miss their entrance to the station. She pictures James and Abigail waiting and waving.

“Yes you do Ma’am,” answers John–rather the conductor. And he is not lying. She wears her 48 years very well, perhaps because her 19 Century vogue hour-glass figure intrigues the male eye. “We will make the Buffalo station within the hour,” he offers as a more relative addendum.

   Well, at least she got one response. Deep in thoughtful contemplation, her John may as well be in another car. He is watching the landscape turn from empty rural to farm rural to suburban to urban. During that span, he reflects on his life. What will be his legacy? Sure he has his stores, but there are a hundred stores of one kind or another in Tallahassee.

He has fine children, all grown except for little Maggie Lou and who knows just what will come of that; Martha mostly washing her hands of the issue. He suspects that parts of the truth have already filtered into the gossip stream. ‘And I am entering my forty-fourth year. My father died when I was sixteen, he was only 45 and leaving us with only the shack we were living in,’ he thinks back with trepidation. The doctor did not know what killed him, believing he was, “Healthy, surely not,” he mutters aloud.

“Pardon me?” responds Martha to the only sounds coming out of John’s mouth for 100 miles.

“I was saying that I hope the children are healthy,” masking what he had made audible.

“It looks like we will see for ourselves in a minute.” Martha is anxious and content at the same time.

“Their train may not be in as yet, so don’t get your hopes up and try not squeezing them to death if they are there.”

Anticipation to see the newlyweds is building.

“I was saying that I hope the children are in good spirits,” repeats John F., seeing that those kids did these, in ascending order:

“It looks like we will see for ourselves in a minute.” Martha is anxious and content at the same time.


Alpha Omega M. D.

Episode #123


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #122

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #122

…The very same mix of people that freed the Campbells that heroically came to the aid of hurricane victims, plus spouses is streaking down the iron rails in luxury berths….

The two incoming trains containing the greater Tallahassee reunion are maintaining their Related imageschedule to arrive at Buffalo’s Union Station on Tuesday 4 September about the noontime; on a perpendicular intercept course.

There is a passive urgency for some on the Florida train, fore mostly John and Martha Ferrell. They have endured a season of an empty Thanksgiving, a spiritless Christmas, a hollow Easter, uncelebrated birthdays and anniversaries, all lost in the physical separation between Tallahassee and Cambridge.

It will not be long now.

The very same mix of people that freed the Campbells that heroically came to the aid of hurricane victims, plus spouses and minus the Flying Bleaker Brothers is streaking down the iron rails in luxury berths.

The passenger list is as follows:

We know what the top two names are looking forward to. As for Secretary of Agriculture and personal friend of the President, Herbert Love, he will feel most at home at the Exposition. The remainder of fine folks will be wide eyed and ready for a good time; guests of the President, again, how about that.

“Do I look alright, John?” Martha Ferrell fidgets with the mound of hair atop her head, he being the mirror in the absence of one. She is afraid that if she goes to the washroom, she will miss their entrance to the station. She pictures James and Abigail waiting and waving.

“Yes you do Ma’am,” answers John–rather the conductor. And he is not lying. She wears her 48 years very well, perhaps because her 19 Century vogue hour-glass figure intrigues the male eye. “We will make the Buffalo station within the hour,” he offers as a more relative addendum.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Buffalo Terminal NY

Episode #122


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #121

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #121

…James and especially Abbey are conspicuously Southern, which at times is looked down upon by the Northern mainstream…

Authentic-001

Just about everybody the newlyweds know in Leon and Gadsden Counties of Florida is being “railroaded” to the Pan-American Exposition by a fast-friend, President William McKinley; a friendship forged by tribulation and hardened by trustworthiness. The Exposition is a grand global event and the host would like his friends to share it with him.

“Must you always be so pragmatic, James?” Abigail’s husband has few flaws, but ever since his sights have been set on the future, the present seems generally trivial. “Loosen your tie, my love, and attempt to enjoy yourself. After all, the memories we hold of our honeymoon are soiled by the last few days. Let us have an early second honeymoon.”

“Can we ride the Ferris Wheel, can we?” he pleads like a five year old.

“This will be a cultural event, silly, not a circus!” she insists with her Southern charm, re-manifesting itself as it tends to do. James and especially Abbey are conspicuously Southern, which at times is looked down upon by the Northern mainstream. Fortunately, their university environment shields them from blatant prejudice.

Two Trunks

“Remember, there is a two trunk limit, so leave some room for my things… and keep in mind that we will be away for three days, not three months.” James knows his wife well. She is easily the finest dressed woman on campus and would give Boston’s best a run for their money. In fact, nearly a half of their apartment stowage is occupied by dresses for every possible occasion.

“It is a girl’s responsibility to be ever at her best.”

“And you are.” He takes her warmly in his arms, fully realizing what a gem he has in her. No one will ever turn his head, for if they did, psychiatric treatment may be in order.


Alpha Omega M.D.

North vs South

Episode #121


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #118

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #118

…Overwhelmed, surprised, lightheaded, exhausted and downright grateful to be home are they, standing hand in hand, friendships forged by fire and sharpened one against the other…

McKinley Speech-001

On this day, it is Herbert Love and the Leon/Gadsden Nine who stand and wave to the adoring masses. Such is the power of the printed word, preceding them with truth-ly tales and a few innocent embellishments, sprinkled with a little imagination.

Democrat-001One particularly inciting article would be considered old news. Fulton Allanson IV had ferreted out an account of the liberation of the Campbell family from the clutches of Jefferson Smythwick and Fort Sumter South. Thanks to Amanda Campbell and Martha Ferrell, a special Saturday edition of the Tallahassee Democrat is printed, solely dedicated to that amazing act of liberating love.

When you add that stimulating story to current heroic escapades and a compelling pattern emerges. These are, by no measure, ordinary people. There is something about them that must be different, so different that one can only dream of such feats. The status quo is resigned complacency when compared to inspired motivation.

However cherished and immortalized, the balconied nine are privately embarrassed by the pomp attention. Overwhelmed, surprised, lightheaded, exhausted and downright grateful to be home are they, standing hand in hand, friendships forged by fire and sharpened one against the other.

When William McKinley finally speaks, people listen, “Are there any greater heroes than these fine nine people?” igniting yet another five minute ovation.

A few of the many who were helped or saved, such as James and Abbey and the humbled  young debutantes of Tallahassee are there at the fore on the ground and cheering the loudest. Martha and Agnes Ferrell, Frieda Endlichoffer, Laura Bell, Amanda Campbell – husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers are right behind them, joyous to be a reveler, instead of a mourner.

“Thank you all for your graciousness. It makes for a homecoming that none of us will likely forget,” tells Herb Love for the group. “And I would like to say that I am proud to count William McKinley as my friend! He is as fine a man as I may ever meet!”

McKinley has since boarded his train, joining an irresistibly juicy photographic opportunity (the back deck of the back car draped in American flaggery) with the most genuine intentions of course. He introduces each of the nine; from a list he has been given, though he could probably do it by heart. The nine are as individual as they are unique, easily distinguished from the other, even you had not seen them before: a mayor and his wife, a businessman, a journalist, a pharmacist, a school administrator, a cigar maker and his son, the protégé of an elderly German doctor.

  President McKinley concludes with the declaration, “I want each one of you to join me in Washington on election night, guest of the First Lady and me!”

Wow! The crowd is ten thousand strong. What a party! But only those, in those twenty minutes short of an hour at the railway depot, really believe he was inviting everyone.

“I was there with you in Philadelphia, when the Republicans acclaimed their support for you,” Herb grabs the megaphone, really getting into this campaigning thing, “and me and my good friends will be there with you and sweet Ida, when you are once again proclaimed President of our fine country!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #118


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 117

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #117

…John Philip Sousa thrills young and old with robust marches, including his popular composition, Stars and Stripes Forever

A billowing plume of smoke and steam can be seen on the western horizon. It is not stationary, as if from a barn fire or bonfire, rather this cloud slowly dissipates, reforming ever nearer to an absolute throng of people gathered at the Quincy train station. Someone has painted the town red… and white and blue for a special patriotic occasion.

And this is not a bashful bunch, to be sure. It is not often that the President of the United States of America comes to your town, let alone a bandmaster of some renown like John Philip Sousa. He thrills young and old with robust marches, including his popular composition, Stars and Stripes Forever.

Appropriately, this is the tune that Sousa and his big brass band are playing when the trail of smoke and steam comes to a squeaky stop.

 The Presidential train, with fewer cars than it started with, but more people than it started with (mostly the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club, who will be sticking to local projects until they get married and have children), is greeted by riotous enthusiasm. The small town is packed to overflow with: 1. anyone who remotely knows any of the returning heroes,  2. is a supporter of the fashionable President, 3. is or pretends to be a member of the working press, governors, senators, congressmen, mayors dogcatchers, or 4. just about everybody who was born and breathing.

Gadsden Goslings

Distinct and above the rest is the McKinley reviewing stand, doubling for its usual use as home team bleachers of the local ball club, the Gadsden Goslings of the Northern Florida Baseball League. Martha Ferrell has parceled out the seating on the stand in a fair manner, making sure the majority of well-wishers are not offended, even though it is a thankless, impossible task. But it is quite difficult to be mad at someone as sweet as she. If you are, chances you would be considered a stiff-necked scalawag or some other enemy of God and country.McKinley Train

The passenger cars are at the rear, with the last wooden carrier already positioned in campaigning configuration; an enlarged deck of sorts overhanging the rear wheels, with a bright brass railing guarding the semicircle; designed for the President to wave from while the train steams through towns along the countryside. One person getting a look at a Presidential candidate may garner him ten votes.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #117


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