Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #234

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #234

…an Atlantic Ocean away from those snippily cruel London critics, who would not blink twice at the opportunity to carve up the performance of these rank amateur Americans…

KISS FOR CINDERELLA-001

Indeed, they will be able to deliver their lines in front of assembled loved ones in what is billed as “Tallahassee Night” for A Kiss for Cinderella. Every single local talent, from extras to actors, is to be front and center, stage one, in the glare of the spotlight. Some of the provincials never thought they would get a chance to appear in this immensely popular production, but Sir James is a consummate professional and an Atlantic Ocean away from those snippily cruel London critics, who would not blink twice at the opportunity to carve up the performance of these rank amateur Americans.

So committed is Barrie in this whimsical tale of fantasy and live theater that he even puts his own son on the shelf, in favor of James Ferrell, who is to be surreptitiously inserted during the play, at the second appearance of the nameless, nonetheless, handsome Prince. Fresh off his celebrated victory for the women’s rights movement, it should be easy to fit a glittery shoe on his own real-life wife, while looking the part of dashing royalty.

The front two rows of spectator boxes at Florida State University’s Lewis Auditorium are dominated by a who’s who of these life and times:

Row One

George Lewis and wife

Fairy Tale-001

Martha Ferrell

George Eastman

Harv Pearson and Judith Eastman

Cinderella Author C.S. Evans

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks

Row two

A.O. and Maggie Lou

Laura Bell

Sheriff Cyril Odz

Jacques Francoise and Jacob Haley

Colonel Billy Mitchell

Tallahasse Mayor Holmes

Most everybody else in town can, if only briefly, be seen on stage, including the ever popular Flying Bleaker Brothers, who don’t jump as high as they used to, don’t travel as much as they used to, but as court jesters to Cinderella’s Prince’s kingdom,  they fit the bill to a tee.

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  Fairy tale backdrop aside, that was truly a magical evening, one well earned. It had been a long couple of decades, fraught with good and bad, tragedy and triumph, honesty and deception. And for the people of the panhandle of Florida and those they have touched, the world will never be the same. The times in which they live seem to changing so quickly, especially when you compare 1920 to the second half of the 19th century, when they were borne.

Vertical-001

Vertical-001   Addition by subtraction may be the best way to describe it. The automobile has altogether replaced the horse and buggy. The airplane has supplanted the dream of flying. Regional skirmishes now become world wars…

Worldliness has taken the place of sound moral innocence. When innocence is collectively lost, it can only be recovered a little bit at a time, one soul at a time.

For Alpha Omega Campbell, the times that he knows and places he goes, have gone from purely clear and simple to a 180 degree turn that leads to a future changing before his very eyes. In November of 1920, he learns that Camille Diaz has given birth to a daughter, Angela Ophelia. He had to have been really overwhelmed.

Just one month earlier, his dear Maggie Lou gave birth to a daughter, named for her mother Laura Bell. This beautiful little child is curiously light skinned, beyond what one would ascribe to the Cherokee influence of his wife. He was overwhelmed then.

  Listen closely and you can hear the careless whispers.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #234


page 219 (end ch. 12)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #185

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #185

…We are living in exciting and dangerous times, you young people who have been called to the care and healing of your fellow man…

Tufts School of Medicine

Tufts University graduates are encouraged to take in fluids and the Dean edits some of the pomp and circumstance, skipping past the salutatorian, a disappointed young woman from Maine, who was asked to introduce the main speaker, former President and recent unsuccessful “Bull Moose” candidate, Theodore Roosevelt.

(#26) responded readily to an inspiring letter sent by Willy and Amanda Campbell, with the help of the Loves. He is moved by the expressed feelings of former slaves, turned proud parents of a real doctor, keeping in mind everything Willy had gone through in Blountstown late in 1908 and his passion for the oppressed.

Roosevelt is very much a beloved figure, his impeccable character something to be admired and emulated by aspiring professionals. He has never been a doctor, but he is intimately familiar with the trade due to his rough and tumble lifestyle, not to mention a bullet to the chest before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, just nine months before.

  “We are living in exciting and dangerous times, you young people who have been called to the care and healing of your fellow man. Most of you will go to cities and towns in nearly every state in our proud union. Some of you will discover new medicines from the leaves of tropical plants. Others will put their life on the line to tend to wounded soldiers; you have my advanced gratitude.

“And then there is Alpha Omega Campbell and his Dad.” He motions for the revived subject to join him at the podium, along with Willy, from the rear. “From out the midst of the shadow of slavery comes one of the finest young men I have ever had the chance to meet. I am told, by his proud parents, Willy and Amanda that he is returning to the Tallahassee area to serve the needs of the Negro community.

 “Gentlemen and Ladies, these are true American heroes!” He gives them a mighty bear hug.

Judith Eastman makes this a true P-E J moment, a photographic record of a life-changing event; a world leader and a world changer.

The entire graduating class of 1913 rises and cheers, tossing their hats high into the air. They are joined in celebration by the entire plaissance of attenders.

“Bully!” shades of T.R. political rallies past.

Before euphoria takes complete control, A.O. cannot pass up the opportunity to thank the two people responsible for this day, mentors of possibilities and means, in that order. ”My fellow graduates, I know it’s a hot day,” he blushes, “as my lapse in balance can attest, but I will not let this occasion pass without introducing the two men who made the School of Medicine a reality for me, Doctor Siegfried Endlichoffer and Herbert Love!” Herbert stands, while helping Ziggy conquer rusty knees. “I dedicate my future patients to the Lord God Almighty and these men, his good and faithful servants.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #185


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #176

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #176

…what may have happened to his most valued employee, his new truck and the man now pounding on his front door…

The Seminoles by James F. Hutchinson

The sound of barking blue-tick hounds spurs well-meaning fugitive Clete Wilsup on. They have trailed him all the way from the central time zone, though not entirely onEscape2-001 foot, showing no signs of giving up, regardless of jurisdiction.

Seminole Ridge is an interesting topographical feature. The ridge is a part of a 30 mile formation extending well into Georgia and is reminiscent of escarpments carved into the earth by the glaciers. Florida and glaciers are far from synonymous, but so are freedom and Blountstown.

Clete is not a spiritual man, yet he feels like he being led to the Love homestead by some unseen force, The ancient sounds of Seminole Indian drums getting louder the closer he gets. At the peak of the crescendo, the two warrior ponies greet him; he will sprint the final mile up the drive, sapping what is left of his dwindling strength.

   “Herb, do you hear a knock?” wonders Phoebe Love, making sure it is not part of a lifelike dream. Before he can answer, they hear it for sure, with an accompanying, “Mr. Love, let me in! The police is after me!”

“That sounds like, Clete. Where are my pants?” A thousand scenarios have been playing in his brain, in an impossible attempt to guess what may have happened to his most valued employee, his new truck and the man now pounding on his front door.

A chorus of whooping barks spill in with Clete. The door is latched and questions follow.

“Willy’s in the Blountstown jail. A fancy car drove into us, while I was driving, killed a Blount and they be blaming Willy. They wouldn’t listen to me, I tried tellin’ them, but this guy Blount owns the town and the law.”

Love does not hesitate in picking up the receiver on his telephone.

Leah-001“Who is the party you wish to call?” begs the graveyard shift operator.

“James Ferrell in Tallahassee.”

After a dozen or so rings, lawyer Ferrell picks up his end, completing the circuit. “I…uh…. can I call you in the morning?”

“Meet me at the homestead.”

“Herbert, is that you?”

“It is and we have a serious situation to deal with. I made a huge mistake and we have to correct it. Willy is in jail and his apprentice his being chased by dogs.”

Company Town-001 “In Quincy?”

“No, Willy is in Blountstown. Cletus is here.” Herb is beside himself. “I cannot believe I thought we could do business with that man. It sounded like he had changed.”

“Oh my. I’ll be right over.” In the short time he has been e back home, James is very aware of Blountstown justice. And the day he turns down a client who literally supports his entire practice (on permanent retainer by the Pearson-Eastman Journal) is the day he commits professional suicide.

“That was Herb, Abbey. Where are my pants?”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Pants-001

Episode #176


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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 # 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 #144

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #144

…There is no big winner in the “Who’s Calling Game” this time…

Who Calling Game-001

The photography lab telephone reverberates noisily on the wall. The mystery of who is Related imagecalling is a relatively new game played by two or more people.

 “Jackson!” Harv thinks it is his editor.

“George!” Judith guesses it is her brother.

“Herbert Love for Harv Pearson, please,” requests the caller, not recognizing Judith’s voice across a fuzzy, long distance connection.

“He is right here, Mr. Love.” She hands the receiver to Harv. There is no big winner in the “Who’s Calling Game” this time.

Your-ears-are-burning “Herb, your ears must have been burning,” greets Pearson. “I mentioned your name the very minute you called.”

“Nothing bad I pray?”

“Oh no, Herb, I’m sure you haven’t done anything bad since you wore short pants,” he flatters.

“You are too kind… say, was that Judith Eastman picking up the line? Yes? Good, because what I have to say concerns both of you. I was speaking with John Ferrell the other day and he told me that James was working on his first big project – something about you two lovebirds dreaming up a new news rag. And I mean to tell you, any undertaking that you two are involved in has to be success etched in stone.

  “Then I stopped by the bank and Finley told me that he was scrambling to come up the cash for your withdrawal. There is a reason I know this,” Love assures.

“It is a magazine, not your normal rag Herb, but go on,” Harv prompts, sharing the receiver bell with Judith; familiarly of cheek-to-cheek closeness.

“Without beating around the bush, or sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong, I would like to throw a goodly sum into your initial investment. I hope I am not too bold, folks, but we all know that the more cash you have in the beginning, the greater the chances are for real success.”

Pearson-Eastman, Eastman-Pearson nod to each other.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #144


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