Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #122

1 Comment

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


page 112

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #121

Leave a comment

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


page 111

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #110

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #110

…”I told those balloon guys I would help, but I think they think I am peculiar, so they put me off, the fools…

While everyone else fearfully looks for possible shelter, John Ferrell asks anyone who will listen, “Do you know anyone who will go into the Delta?” Not many even seem to listen. Those who do, shake their head no.

He is reduced to entreating a person who looks like a bum/hobo looking sluggard, feeding pigeons on a bench along Bayou St. John. He asks him the same desperate question.

“Catfish Al,” he spits out.

John is taken aback by a response that is a possible answer.

The ragged man simply points to a rickety pier, with a strange craft lashed to its warped gray wood. An interesting chap tends to what looks like a flatboat… with what looks like a motorcar engine and fan blade mounted at the rear.

John Ferrell approaches with caution, not knowing what to make of it. He musters the courage to ask, “Mr. Catfish?”

pilot town“Close enough,” Al responds. “What do you want and why aren’t you runnin’ for the hills like the others?”

“I need to find a way to, I think they said, Pilot Town?”

“Yes, Pilot Town, a delta settlement, down the Great River Road. Hear tell the hurricane wiped it out.”

River Queen-001   More news than John really wanted to know. “I guess… I don’t know… but I do know my son and his wife are stranded on the River Queen.”

“Yea, I heard she’s mucked up.” Catfish Al is nonchalant in his account of what he knows. “I told those balloon guys I would help, but I think they think I am peculiar, so they put me off, the fools.”

“The balloons are grounded and I need to find a way to get to Pilot Town. Can you get me there?” he asks, now cautiously optimistic.

“Let’s go……….” he extends his hand begging for a name.

 “John. John Ferrell.”

  “Come on stranger John, sit yourself at my feet and grab those handles on either side.” Al pulls goggles over his eyes. “I wanted to outrace that northwester anyway.”

Al spins a blade, attached by an axis to a now noisy motor. After casting off tethers, he leaps to a high seat, increases power and away they go, skipping across the water like a skillfully tossed flat stone. They whiz up the bayou, meeting the waters of Lake Pontchartrain at a speed rarely achieved on land or sea.

“Keep your mouth shut!” Al shouts over the roar of the exposed engine and the whir of the blade.

No sooner than John turns to ask, “Why?” a swamp bug splats against his cheek. “Oh.” He scrapes the remains away.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Pilot Town-001

Episode #110


page 101

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #109

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #109

…John Ferrell can hardly contain his jubilation, but this glee will fade when the steady stream of balloons comes to an end.

City Park New Orleans

There, and anxiously waiting at the rescue staging area at City Park in New Orleans, waits John Ferrell. The balance of his group has located the harried and distressed Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club. The girls have been denied the opportunity to sample the potential pleasures of their trip, having contracted all manner of local disease. There is certainly no shortage of suffering in any category of humanity.

Fifty or more miles from the devastated delta, John has watched three balloons float silently in. Each successive disembarking leaves him disheartened, no James or Abigail among the rescued. He does notice that most of those arriving are his age or older.

He finally summons the courage to ask about them, getting the attention of a middle-aged woman. “Did you meet the young married couple on your cruise? Their names are James and Abigail Ferrell.”

Even though she is still recovering from the scary, yet spectacular flight, she responds kindly, “If they are the youngest passengers, sir, they should be on the last balloon.”

“They’re alive???!!!”

“Oh my, yes… I just feel sorry for the three lifeboats taken by the storm….. About thirty poor souls did not have a chance….. God rest their souls.”

“Many thanks to you, good Madame — for the news of my son and daughter, I mean.” He can hardly contain his jubilation, but this glee will fade when the steady stream of balloons comes to an end.

The balloon pilots convene on the makeshift tarmacadam, speaking demonstrably, and fingers pointing to the northwest horizon. It seems the military has a better handle on weather conditions than the Weather Bureau, probably because they stay in constant radio contact. Forming dark clouds are the object of their concern.

John brazenly horns in on the air-soldiers, asking, “When are the other balloons coming?”

“We just talked to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Those clouds movin’ in,” he points, “wiped out half the barracks there an hour ago. Twisters don’t make for good flyin’ weather, sir.”

John almost said something ignorant, ‘Can’t you fly over the top of them?’, but the grocer thinks his science through and reconsiders, “Will the boat be safe in a storm?”Aftermath-001

“It’s stuck pretty good in that delta mud, but a stiff wind might blow it over…”

  “What?”

   “…or a good rain may flood it back into the river. Say mister, would you help us tie down our rigs here?”

Not really. It makes more sense to panic, but as hopeless as the situation appears, he has overheard whispers of those rescued. “Alligators”, is frequently heard. He becomes determined not to allow his children to become the ancient beast’s next meal.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Medicine Bluff at Fort Sill by Barbara Vaupel

Episode #109


page 100

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #105

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #105

… Their riverboat got washed up onto Delta mud, very early into the storm surge and no one can get to it at least until the enhanced tide recedes…

Democrat-001

The Tallahassee Democrat is emerging as the print voice of Florida’s capitol city. It is in no way aligned with the political party of the same name. It is inspired rather by the inspired notion of government for and by the people; elected or replaced on the merit of their service.

    The young editor, freshly graduated from Florida State’s School of Journalism and the son of the paper’s owner, Fulton Allanson III. That would make his son, Fulton Allanson IV. He is filled with optimistic idealism and a deep love for the city of his birth, education and vocation. He has promised himself to be a defender of the truth, therefore the people who buy their newspaper.

John Ferrell is a contemporary and friend of Allanson the third. He has made it to a room filled by typewriters and people pecking them furiously; in a glassed-off office, on hand to deal with a story of regional and global ramifications.

        The younger speaks to John’s questions about New Orleans. “The storm slammed the Mississippi Delta hardest, at the mouth of the Gulf. That is not a heavily populated area, but there were several river boat cruise ships out and they did not fare well. We obtained one ship’s manifest lists your son and daughter, adopted Smythwick… I mean, well James’ wife, you know.”

“Yeah, I do, but can you tell me what happened to their boat? Tell me straight now.”

It got washed up onto Delta mud, very early into the storm surge and no one can get to it at least until the enhanced tide recedes. There is no method of transportation able to navigate the shallow water and insufferable muck. Whoever stayed with the ship, not tossed out or foolhardy enough to board a lifeboat, is likely still alive.”

“When can you find out of the fate of my children?” pleads Ferrell to the elder Allanson.

“We have our hands full here, John,” he reminds, but we happen to have a correspondent in the Delta region and he is already checking local connections there. He followed James and Abbey around for a while, then covering the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club outing. He’s got to find out their fate as well, somewhere in Louisiana.

Mississippi River Delta

“Agnes was supposed to go on that trip, but she has not been feeling well, since the wedding that is.”

“Yes I noticed.” The Allansons had attended, knowing of which he speaks. “She should be happy she stayed behind. The rest of those socialite girls will not be straying far from the Panhandle any time soon.”

Any survivor of this most radical atmospheric outburst will count their blessings.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #105


page 96

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #100

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #100

…Ziggy has seen this cloud formation before, some twenty-odd years ago…

“Tell Ziggy to watch the skies, fo storms, Isa mean,” Willy warns his son.

The only time a boy cares about the weather is when it forces them to stay indoors, which is where the doctor awaits his protégé, not with black bag and stethoscope, but with carpenter satchel and hammer. “Bring that board vith you ven you come up, Alpha,” directs Ziggy from the balcony at the head of the stairs, “ve’ll be building Maggie za new bed.”

Retirement has offered anything but rest and relaxation for the Endlichoffers lately.  Thanks to neighbor Ferrell, Laura Bell and Maggie Lou are permanent residents at their lakeside chalet. Throw in a Negro youth, hungry for knowledge and thirsty for things unavailable under any other circumstances and you have a formula for keeping one on the young side of the street.

From Ziggy’s point of view, he actually feels younger than whence these changes started. There is a perceivable get along in his giddy up.

For Frieda, aside from a drop in the average age of her household from 65 to 40, having Laura Bell around for help and friendship has proved to be the elixir of youth as well. For a barren woman, with no hope for lineage of her doing, the occurrence of this instant family is a true gift from God. If you don’t think so, go ahead and be the one to tell her that Laura and Maggie are not her daughter and granddaughter. They are family.

That is why she has given over her sewing room for Ziggy and his neo-grandson to reconstruct.

The joyful task of making Maggie a room of her own takes most of the day, one that has featured the formation of some ominous looking clouds on the horizon. These are not the clouds that form nearly every afternoon about this time, cumulus varieties that deposit a seemingly same amount of rain. Angry and unfamiliar are they, descending on the Panhandle as quickly as a solar eclipse, and nearly as dark. What little light shines through the coming bank is jaundiced, all the while swirling like a tempest in a teapot.

Storm cellarZiggy has seen this formation before, some twenty-odd years ago. Experience tells him begin to batten the window shutters. He calmly gives orders to the rest, without letting on to the urgency of the moment.

The decent of the Endlichoffer household into the root cellar completes his task of welfare and gives away the seriousness, if the gusting winds had not already.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #100


page 91

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #99

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #99

…So once again, as father Willy continues on to the city, with milk and ice and cigar, Alfrey is left right where he wants to be…

Endlichoffer Chalet-001

It is just another Friday and as far as Alfrey Campbell is concerned, 7 September does not come soon enough. He continues to live for his weekly day with Ziggy, Frieda and Maggie. Father Willy squelches his jealousy of the situation and the man that Alfrey holds in the highest esteem, speaking of him unceasingly.

Protege-001‘Ziggy taught me _______’ or ‘Ziggy says that _______.’, is all Willy seems to hear. It is Siegfried Endlichoffer who commands the young boy’s respect, not that he disrespects his father, rather the former of the two have connected on an intellectual plain, which may as well a mountain, one Willy cannot scale.

So once again, as father continues on to the city, with milk and ice and cigar, Alfrey is left right where he wants to be; his home away from home, refuge of inner peace and knowledge. “I’lla be back sooner tadee, Alfrey, so you be ready. I ain’t likin’ da looks of da sky. Ain’t been right fo a week.”

Maggie Lou-001   “This is the week you said I could stay until Sunday, remember? You promised. Doc Ziggy needs help fixin’ Maggie a room of her own.” The sprouting black child speaks of John Ferrell’s sequestered bundle of joy.

Willy shakes his head, bewildered. His son is not nearly so eager with his chores at home, excepting his amateur veterinary duties at the dairy.

“Ya best be home fo supper den. Ziggy has ta bring ya home. Caint waste a half day doin’ livery.”

“Yes sir, Daddy,” he yells back, pumping his short legs through the wrought iron gates.

“An tell Ziggy to watch the skies, fo storms, Isa mean.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Calm before Storm-001

Episode #99


page 90