Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #167

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #167

… Alpha Campbell is the only person remotely qualified to perform resuscitation. He may have learned this technique from the stricken Ziggy himself…

by TheMozzy (Deviant Art)

Alpha is smart enough not to scare Maggie Lou off with talk other than friendship. He can only hope that she will be there for him, when he is a doctor and she is not off limits

For the time being, he must be satisfied with holding her hand, helping to complete an unbroken circle around the departed Frieda… surviving husband Ziggy and Reverend Watkins.

“We commit our sister, Frieda, to you, Lord God Almighty. We believe you have already taken her into your loving arms, to a place where we the living look forward to coming; the throne of everlasting grace.

  “And please help her watch over her dearest Siegfried. Comfort his heart, dry his tears, give him the strength to continue to look after Laura and Maggie.”

Strength is substituted by the opposite. Ziggy wavers for a moment, catches himself, only to crumple like a house of cards, narrowly avoiding Frieda’s earthen aperture.

Without hesitation, Alpha rushes to his mentor, removing his tie and loosening his collar. Finding no pulse, he goes to work alternately pumping the breathless man’s chest and forcing his air into the mouth. This looks so foreign, to the point of violence, but Herbert Love and John Ferrell urge the others to stay calm. After all, young Campbell is the only person remotely qualified. And who knows, he may have learned this technique from Ziggy.

Back to Life-001  “Breathe, Doc, breathe!” Alpha screams while forcing the palms of his hands onto the heart area.

“Have mercy on our souls!” calls out the Reverend. What a cruel fate to suffer; how unthinkable.

But just as all hope was lost, with resuscitating efforts having ceased, Ziggy comes to life, seemingly on his own, as if he had an on/off switch that had been accidentally tripped, then reset to on. “Vhat am I doing on za ground? You have been crying, why. Did someone die?”

 Did someone die… indeed.

“We thought you were – not more than two minutes ago,” explains his friend and neighbor, Ferrell, still dumbfounded by what they have just witnessed.

No explanation except God! claims Reverend Watkins.

“Vhy are vee in za cemetery?” he asks, before focusing his failing eyes on the headstone in the background. His chin touches a once silent chest, upon seeing the completed dates under his Frieda’s name. What had caused him to spring back from death had removed the memory of his loss. Laura, Maggie, Willy, Alpha and John, those he knows the best, surround him in loving kindness, easing the newest impact on a man who cannot remember a day without his wife.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #167


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #166

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #166

… The solemn procession stops nearest the lone freshly dug hole around, below the shade giving branches of a sprawling magnolia tree…

Fifty hours and eleven hundred clickety-clack miles later, the Atlantic Special pulls up to Tallahassee station, pretty much on time. There is the usual crowd anxiously waiting for their people to stride from one of the ten passenger cars. Those who await James, Abbey, and Alpha are conspicuous by the color of their dress; black and blacker garb of mourners.

Laughter and tears

Laughter and tears mingle together, in no particular order, randomly interspersed between everyone hugging everybody. However lousy the reason for this reunion, the undertaker’s wagon lurking down the street with Doc Ziggy is poised stoically for the regretful procession, there is an unmistakable tie that is abiding; Ferrells, Campbells, Loves – friends, lovers, kin and kindred spirit.

They leave the platform, arm in arm, coming up behind the shiny black hearse containing Frieda’s earthly vessel which is void of her heavenly soul, pointed toward the cemetery over Macomb Street way.

The solemn procession stops nearest the lone freshly dug hole around, below the shade giving branches of a sprawling magnolia tree, in front of a slab of polished gray granite labeled:
Headstone-001

Becoming a grandmother without first being a mother is a trick saved for women like Frieda, whose love for someone else’s child is selflessly unconditional. Maggie Lou is a budding young woman, with physical traits provided by a genetic mom and dad, but more than a modicum of compassion and good old-fashioned grounding, dispensed by a kindly German Frau in her twilight.

Maggie Lou’s physical traits are not lost on Alpha Campbell, who has never seen her filling out a brassiere, looking more like 16 than 11. She has suddenly filled out that space in his mind’s eye reserved for “woman”. What a few more years might do for her maturity? He is smart enough not to scare her off with talk other than friendship. He can only hope that she will be there for him, when he is a doctor and she is not off limits.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #166


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #165

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #165

… “So now I won’t know anybody,” Alpha complains, aware that he already stands out on the Tufts University campus, like a wart on Mona Lisa’s nose…

“Don’t play that race excuse in my around me, Campbell. Besides, if that were the case, the last case I take at Beacon Hill would be Campbell vs. B & O Railroad!”

It took a while for the subtle hint to sink in.Bullitin Board-001

“Last case? What are you talkin’ bout, James.”

“I have given my notice to the partners; I am leaving Boston for a nonexistent practice in Tallahassee. Heck, I was just above the janitor on the list of partners, staring five Hamilton bottoms right in the face, so-to-speak. Father has told me that most of the lawyers in Tallahassee are state legislators. Nobody there to deed land or bring suit against those mad motorcar drivers. Do you know that more people died from crashes last year than in the entire Spanish-American War?

   “And we miss the panhandle.” He gathers in Abbey’s hand. Boston is crowded and dirty, as are most cities in the Northern Colonies.

   “And nobody knows anyone. There isn’t anyone like crazy old Edna Finkle around. Up here, people like that are put into what they call a sanatorium, threats to society they say. I did one pro bono case…”

“Pro boneho?” say what, Alpha wonders?

“Pro bono, you know, without fee. I fought to keep a street urchin from going into the worst orphanage I’ve ever seen, got a couple in Cambridge to adopt him. One of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.”

“And it nearly got you dismissed from the firm,” reminds his wife, who remembers the icy stares from James’ cohorts.

“That is the very reason we are moving back. That baggage car you had planned on riding in, Alpha, there is no room, filled to the roof with our things.”

“So now I won’t know anybody,” Alpha complains, aware that he already stands out on the Tufts University campus, like a wart on Mona Lisa’s nose. Even master DaVinci could not have made him blend into the scenery.

“In four more years you can do the same thing we are doing. There aren’t any more doctors than there are lawyers down home, at least the kind that save lives, not take ‘em.”

.Hosea-001  “Say, don’t you have a brother in New Jersey? Perhaps you could see him more often,” Abbey innocently suggests.

“Both times I took the ferry to the Boardwalk, he was in jail.” Alpha hangs his head in shame.

“Anything serious? We could stop and get him out… I know some judges in Atlantic City.”

“Whores and stealin’, are you good at those things? If you were to keep him out jail, he’d ‘bout wear your pro boneho out. Hardly worth the skin on his sorry bones.”

Time for a country lawyer to go home. The country doctor will get there eventually.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Boston

Newspaper Row Boston

Episode #165


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 163

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #163

…Such terms of endearment are harmless among friends…

dummkoph

John Ferrell now confides his unilateral decision to include Maggie Lou in his newly drafted will. to his friend and neighbor, caretaker of his unforeseen burden.

"I speak German"

“Ziggy?” He regains the attention of the doctor turned logger. “I need to tell you about a change in my last will and testament.”

“Vhat?  Vhat ezz dis nonsense. You are as healthy as your finest horse, dummkopf.”

Such terms of endearment are harmless among friends.

“No, I’m not foretelling my demise. I am merely concerned about Maggie Lou’s future.” He doesn’t have to tell Ziggy of his plans now, but disaster seems to lurk beyond every turned calendar year.

“Proceed.” Ziggy puts down his saw, conceding that all the windfall wood will not be collected and cut-up in one day.

Property  “This is a legal document which I am leaving in your care. To make a long story short, it bequeaths the listed land holdings to Maggie Lou upon my death.”

“Vhat about Martha unt James unt Agnes… unt Laura? Does not Laura deserve za same consideration?”

“Maggie Lou represents the future. I do not want the magistrates to decide the exact line of parentage; leaving this portion of my estate to my blood child should not cause the smallest stir… except from my family, which will be richly taken care of. We are speaking of a million dollars or more of business and personal holdings, to be split among them, as compared to patches of mostly unoccupied land in the currently less desirable sections of Tallahassee.

          “Mind you, that yes, they do not have prior knowledge of these properties, but neither have they legitimate rule over whom I leave them to.

          “Princess Olla, or as we refer to as, Laura Bell, will have insurmountable difficulties in administrating her part of my will; too many doubts and lingering bitterness will surround my passing. That is why I have established a living trust, appropriating this portion to Maggie at and not before the age of 21.

  Ziggy-001       “And until then, please live a long life, for the sake of Laura. Her very essence is life on San Luis Lake. In Frenchtown, she will be just another black woman with a light-skinned baby. In your house, she is family.”

The proceeding soliloquy is awakening legal propriety in a previously unenlightened cohort. “I am afraid that eet eez me wheech eez zee dummkopf. Of course I vill guard that vich you leave, Maggie Lou – or Frieda vill for zat matter. You can count on us, Johann.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Maggie Lou-001

Episode #163


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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


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #155

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #155

…It is now four years hence, Maggie Lou is nine and Alfrey Campbell’s  future is being decided…

Among the crowd is a woman with her son. She had heard, from their Baptist preacher the .Hosea-001Sunday before, that Ezra Elijah would be passing through and is there to have him pray for the soul of wayward son, Hosea. Amanda Campbell has raised her family to love and fear God. Alfrey is there, still under her wing, Hosea is not. She prays for his soul in wretched Atlantic City.

Amanda and John are side by side, entreating God for different reasons. She sees the tears streaming down the face of a man she knows has accepted Jesus, embraces him, sharing the love of God.

It is a moment that 13 year old Alfrey will never forget; one of those life-defining moments. Here stands a man (John F.) he respects, vulnerable and broken, repenting before the Lord. He will never look at Maggie Lou quite the same. In light of what he knows about her father, she no longer is just another little girl, rather a human being that will need all the loving support she can get. He will be there for her as a true friend, not just the younger sister premise he had been working from. He wonders what she will be like in a decade.

Vertical-001    It is now four years hence (1906), she is nine and his future is being decided.

“Vat is you answer, Mr. Love? I know dis is much to ask, but Frieda and me, ve squeak by on our savings. Ve have not za resources for six years medical school.” Siegfried Endlichoffer has known for years that he must hand over the shaping of Alfrey Campbell into a real doctor. Until now, he did not know how to go about it.

“You know how I feel about the Campbells, Ziggy. Willy and his family are very dear to me. Ever since they were freed from that 19th century incarnate, Smythwick, they have been an absolute blessing and a joy.

Ziggy-001     “Heck, every time I light up a Loyal Campbell cigar… but only one a day, Doc…”

“Ya, ya, Mr. Love and you do not inhale, correct?”

“One fine cigar enjoyed and visions of a business that may have crumbled while I was serving the country in Washington. And I have it on good authority that Willy has long since ceased wondering why his only remaining Child spends more time at San Luis than here, helping shoulder some of his father’s burden.”

“Are you angry vith me?” the 70 year old German probes sheepishly.

Love's-001  “No, no, I did not mean to imply that. I do not believe God created Alfrey for manual labor.”

Love motions for Phoebe, who is cleverly keeping tabs on the conversation under the guise of setting the dining room table, knowing the precise time to include her; usually just before she starts clearing her throat uncontrollably.

“Phoebe, would you pour us a cognac? We have something important to discuss.”

“Cognac?  Cognac it is.” Her Herbert does not take a drink very often, especially since his father literally drank himself to death.

“Thank you, dearest… please sit while I tell you what Doctor Endlichoffer has proposed to me – I mean to us.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

philanthropy

Episode #155


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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

– 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


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