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.”


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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.


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Marvel Comic’s version

Episode #153


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

…“Well, if James becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jefferson Davis could ever say anything different…

Jefferson and Varina Davis

John, Martha, James and Abbey Ferrell claim an adjacent room at the Hotel Niagara that actually has a door on their common wall. The kids are happy that it locks from both sides, thereby opening only when both parties consent; like now when both ladies have donned their Sunday best and the guys, well they are still guys, caring less about who sees them and in what state.

“This is the cat’s pajamas!” proclaims James, pulling every cord, drawer, knob, fob, bob and contraption within his reach, which is far more than when he toddled around getting his hands into everything as a kid..

 “Don’t you mean the cat’s meow?” John surmises the meaning. “The latest thing, I -the-cats-meowsuppose.”

“Yes, of course,” says the nouveau Bostonian. “I suspect that the South is becoming isolated from the rest of the world.”

“James, you very much sound like that primitive desk clerk,” Martha points out. “We sent you to Harvard to become a lawyer, not a judge; judgment coming only by wisdom. If you return to Tallahassee with notions like this, it is you who will be the stranger.”

Big City-001“There is much to be said in account of Southern charm, son,” John Ferrell seeks to temper mother’s stern posture. “If you do not use it, you will lose a valuable tool. Please do not become one of those slick city swindlers.”

“I plan to steal money from widows, defend murders and thieves and perhaps change the law that says students must listen to their parents.”

  Sarcasm has its place, just not here & now..

“Do not worry, Father, I keep him in his place,” Abbey assures. “You see, we are not known as the toast of New England. Somehow, somewhy, fellow students call us, “Jeff and Varina”.”

          “Oh my!” They all know what that represents; former President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis and his wife. “James is far more handsome than Mr. Davis,” Martha claims and accurately so.

“Well, if he is becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jeff Davis could ever say anything different and Ferrell had and has an autographed copy of his book, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

“Me thinks we doth dwell too much. The hour hath come to get ourselves to thee carriage.” James Shakespearian-izes the fleeting nature of the moment, lightening the mood from the grip of the South’s mostly forgettable history.


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

…There are paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer, due to unexpected gaps  on a typical boardwalk….

Buffalo

Buffalo the Boom Town

The crowd now has begun to disperse, most likely signaling an executive (McKinley) dismissal. As the female Floridians go about the task of locating their hotel, The Niagara, Herbert Love informs the group that their presence is requested by William McKinley at the Statlers Hotel, for cocktails and dinner. The womanly conversation does an about-face; ‘What are you going to wear?’ replaces, ‘Ferry Street should be a few blocks west of here’.

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Buffalo is a true boom town, which is obvious by the amount of new construction aside from that of the Exposition. A recent dose of hydroelectric power generated at Niagara Falls has ballooned population from 90,000 after the Civil War to a turn of the century 350,000, establishing it as New York State’s second city.

And paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer; a moratorium on looking down to avoid those annoying, mostly unexpected gaps in carefree strolling on a typical boardwalk.

As this group of tourists traverse downtown, there is a guy’s arm for every girl, making it Big City-001doubly easy to look ahead, for valuable street signs, or up to gawk at buildings ten times taller than those at home. Even for those considered worldlier, this city is as impressive as they may see for a while.

“There is…  I’sa mean goes our bags!” points out Willy Campbell, who earlier had helped the porter of the 12:10 Southern load the right cargo on the horse drawn carriage provided by their hotel.

“Look, he is turning right. Alfrey run up to that street and see where he turns again.” Herb Love advises, the younger Campbell gladly obliges the request, sprinting nimbly through cross traffic to see the wagon go two blocks north on Elmwood Avenue, then make a left.

Advance scouting pays off. By the time the balance of adults catch up to Alfrey, the marquee of the Hotel Niagara and Theater is in plain view. Ferry Street turns out to be a very interesting area. The buildings are older, but not run down, probably dating back to just after it was burned down (along with the White House) by a combined force of British and Iroquois Indians in 1813. There is also a ferry at the end of the street, hence the name. It is the mode of choice when crossing the Niagara River to Ontario, Canada.


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City Street

1901 America

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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.


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Lost Directions by Ann-McLaren

Episode #125


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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.


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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.


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Buffalo Terminal NY

Episode #122


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