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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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #96

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 96

…Thankfully, with due respect to the dear departed Mr. Finkle, there are still a score of guests waiting in line; Edna is prompted to shuffle off to food and drink…

Meanwhile

In the receiving line after James & Abigail’s wedding

“Are you going on a wedding holiday?” asks Edna Finkle, one of the Ferrell Groceries’ first Edna Finkle-001and most loyal customers, thus deemed longtime observer of the Ferrell family saga.

“Yes, Mrs. Finkle. We are taking the train to New Orleans. It sounds like an exciting city.”

“Oh my, yes, I should say. I remember when Mr. Finkle was alive; we spent a month there one week,” as opposed to when he was dead. “It is a spicy town though, filled with people that seem to defy the conventional.”

They are kind to the eighty-something woman, if for no other reason than she is a walking billboard for their stores; gladly singing the praises, all the while during her weekly four hour assembling of her week’s worth of goods.

“We will be staying at the Vieux Carre …………”

“The Olde Square, my yes. Mr. Finkle so loved the food in that part of town. I believe we left before the yellow fever outbreak, you know, back in 1878.” The well-meaning elderly woman is doing nothing to help the Crescent City’s unhealthy reputation, but youngsters have an air of invulnerability about them, tending to ignore danger, in exchange for adventure.

Thankfully, with due respect to the dear departed Mr. Finkle, there are still a score of guests waiting in line; she is prompted to shuffle off to food and drink. “I’ll take one of those, sonny.” She is handed a glass of champagne, grabbing a back-up, claiming, “I cannot stay long— close to my bedtime, you know.”


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Episode # 96


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #95

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #95

…In the time it takes to land a mother lode bass, Reverend Watkins gladly introduces Mr. and Mrs. James Ferrell to his temporary and mixed congregation…

Wedding Bells-001

In the time it takes to land a mother lode bass, something Reverend Watkins knows something of, he gladly introduces Mr. and Mrs. James Ferrell to his temporary and mixed congregation. And unlike the new game of baseball, where raucous players and fans protest the umpire’s questionable judgment by booing and perhaps defaming his mother, these proceedings conclude with polite applause; though there is a noticeable gap between Agnes Ferrell’s white satin gloves, her heart not being quite right.

oddsOn the other hand, Martha and John are delighted, seemingly reborn in each other. It was not this way two days ago, which would point to the existence of miracles. So wide was the chasm between them, that the distance earth and the sun seemed closer.

Martha’s catatonic comportment, a distant empty stare, has wound itself up like a spring loaded retractable shade. She has pulled herself together for Abbey, the girl’s only mother figure.

Likewise, John seems to have set aside his other world, Laura and Maggie Lou apparently on the way to a stable life of their own. In the reception line they are fourth and third from the end, a line punctuated by the newlywed couple.

    Chances are no one would have predicted this good looking and happy sequence of people, back as late as 1896, when Abigail Smythwick was a daughter of one of the last plantation owners in the Panhandle, James was pegged as a better candidate for the priesthood than a career in law, John Ferrell’s amorous tryst made him a better candidate for “Adulterer of the Year” and Martha’s ignorance of her husband’s doings and daughter’s taboo love interest nearly cost her her sanity.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #95


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