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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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #141

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #141

Chapter Eight

DEEDS TO A DYNASTY

…Normalcy, or some semblance of it, has returned to those of Florida involved with that brush with Washington celebrity…

1600 Pennsylvania

Normalcy, or some semblance of it, has returned to those of Florida involved with that brush with Washington celebrity, i.e. William McKinley. With his death, which came after all but Herbert Love and Harv Pearson had returned home, you could say that nothing would be the same.

Tallahassee 12-001

  • The Ferrells, the John’s and James’s, separate once again to their south and northeast venues, profoundly affected by the experience.
  • Doc Ziggy may never regain his faith in his healing contemporaries, still cursing their handling of “his patient”, McKinley.
  • Alpha Campbell has set his young sights on medical school, though at 13 years of age, he first must successfully negotiate puberty.
  • The pharmacist and the teacher, forever lumped together, will proceed from here with an acute sense of mortality.
  • The elder Campbells, whose lives are least altered, because of an uncomplicated mind set, contentedly care for Love properties and watch their second son blossom into someone they can barely fathom.

Even Herbert Love’s world ratchets back to a simpler time. James Wilson has recovered from his lengthy battle with poor health, a reprisal of his role as Secretary of Agriculture within two months of the Roosevelt, Theodore administration installation on 14 September 1901. Wilson’s immune system fights off the Black Plague; there is no amour to protect McKinley from shots fired by an East European anarchist who has no other agenda than to get notoriety by killing a world leader, any leader would do. With the loss of his friend, Love knew that his dalliance with national politics should end and that he can be proud of what he accomplished in his thirteen months. If they need him or his advice, they know where to find him: City Hall, Quincy, Florida.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #141


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

…as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people…

Eleven of the original dozen return to the Hotel Niagara. No, no one gets lost or killed – merely waylaid. It is no surprise that Harv stays behind, to explore the merits of night photography. His pass key may go unused. “Don’t you worry about me,” he tells them. They do not, but it does not prevent the adults from using their imagination.

The carriage ride back to Ferry Street is jam-packed with cross talk, about favorite dishes, the champagne, the President, the Statlers Hotel, but mostly Harv and Judith Eastman.

“Some people have a monopoly on luck,” laments Jacques Francoise, feeling like the wallflower at a cotillion; lonely, jealous and unchosen.

“Luck has little to do with it, my boy,” counsels Herbert Love, the benefactor of a successful marriage. “Harv has held out for the very same thirty years that Phoebe and I have been married. He had his chances along the way, but never the right woman. It takes courage not to marry out of loneliness. So, as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people.”

“The moral of the story is?” asks the other applicable party, Jacob Haley.

“I would say, ‘He who hesitates is not always lost’.”

“It’s more like, ‘Don’t put a fox in an empty henhouse’,” jokes Ziggy, whose world is far less complicated, rarely resorting to lofty theory.

He gets an elbow in his ribs for his trouble. “Shush, Siegfried! You can be such a visenheimer.” Frieda would know.

Wisenheimer-001

They are back at the hotel before poor Jacob & Jacques can be humiliated any further, returning to a staff that attends to them in earnest, not contempt. One can only hope that this small piece of attitude adjustment is a highly infectious disease, spreading faster than a million, million mosquitoes carrying yellow fever.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #137


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #136

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #136

…In the first staged pose, she has the President sitting in a chair and the Tallahassee Twelve surrounding him…

Judith Eastman goes about arranging her subjects with a bubbling fountain as the backdrop. In the first staging, she has the President sitting in a chair and the Tallahassee Twelve surrounding him. The second same, Alpha Campbell is seated on the floor, between McKinley’s knees. A third group shot, has the commander-in-chief is flanked by Herbert and Phoebe Love, just as they have stood by him through war and peace.

    The adept photographer flows through a series of individual requests:

  1. John, Martha, James and Abbey.
  2. Willy, Amanda and Alfrey.
  3. Ziggy, Frieda and Alfrey.
  4. Herb and Phoebe alone.
  5. Frick and Frack/Jacob and Jacques.

And just about everybody alone with the President.

“I have only two exposures left,” an exhausted Judith tells them.

“If you show me how to work your camera, how about and you and the Prez?” offers Harv Pearson.

“I would like that and–Mister Love would you then take a picture of Harv and me?”

Both men takes his turn behind the lens.

Harv snaps off a beauty, Judith shaking McKinley’s hand. Somewhat hammy, yet quite dignified.

Herb needs not prompt the subjects of the final exposure; Eastman and Pearson, arm in arm, smiling ear to ear, perhaps at the warmth of the present, or the bright prospects in their future.mckinley-at-pan-american-exposition

“You will have to give me my leave, friends. I delivered a taxing speech toady, oh, not literally a tax speech, well you know what I mean and of course there is the reception in the Temple of Music tomorrow afternoon.” His bushy gray eyebrows furl at the thought of another long night of policy making, taking more time away from his beloved Ida.

William McKinley exits the room through a gauntlet of extended arms. No hand goes un-shook, no one goes away disappointed.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #136


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #135

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #135

…Judith Eastman is much impressed with how connected these diverse individuals are to each other, including the President of the United States, of all people…

Photography-001

“I would be honored to take your picture, Mister President,” Judith Eastman curtseys in respect.

   “No, my dear, the honor is ours and I encourage setting the thoughts of your work aside and taking your publisher friend to the buffet. Waiter! Three bottles of your finest American champagne,” he politely commands. “I must tell Ida of this glorious evening!” One would think that teasing his house-stricken wife with stories of good times may depress her, but she can but live vicariously through a devoted husband, whom she could not be more proud. She, as well as he, is staying at the home of the President of the Exposition, John Milburn.

The famished and presentable Judith & Harv return to the table, barely able to manage consecutive bites without genuinely warm intrusions from all points on the compass. Well-wishers may be placing the carriage before the horse, but one and all are happy for the newspaperman, even the two other bachelors who, despite concerted efforts, have but their silverware in hand.

Somewhere out there, God has a woman for every man; right now, in Buffalo, there is a school administrator and an apothecary who are petitioning for that divine intervention.

oldcameraandtripod    Judith, for her part, is being a good sport, allowing herself to be drawn into the bowels of this unique collection of Southerners. She is much impressed with how connected these diverse individuals are to each other, including the President of the United States, of all people. She cannot help but feel at “home” with them; a stranger summarily accepted merely because one of the group, Harv Pearson, accepted her. They no doubt trust each other with their lives, forged in fire and hardened by trial.

Having uncased the large camera, finding just the right angle and lighting, her Eastman instincts take over. She initiates the shutter without alerting them, creating a candid portrait, frozen forever in time. Posing will come later.

Why you scamp! We weren’t prepared,” McKinley protests, presidents being experts at the pose.

“That is the point! You all are more “you” when you don’t know it’s coming… now you do and my first picture will be the most spontaneous.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

say cheese

Episode #135


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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.


Alpha Omega M.D.

City Street

1901 America

Episode #126


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #113

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #113

… Residents of Gadsden County will read Harv Pearson’s accounts and count their blessings, realizing that they were merely grazed by a storm…

Image result for close call

Recovering from the Great Storm is an ongoing theme.

The same can be said for the rest of the Leon/Gadsden detachment, having set up a temporary clinic in the gymnasium at Tulane University. From all accounts, local hospitals are beyond capacity, breeding grounds that form germs and bacteria not seen here, ever. Isolating the stranded Tallahassee Women’s Club from these strange strains is seen as the sensible thing to do, as agreed on by Ziggy and Jacques. Young Alfrey is getting field training as a nurse, carrying out orders of the doctor and dispensing the medicines from the apothecary.

Willy Campbell and Jacob Haley have teamed together, joining other squads of men searching for survivors of the consecutive calamities. Sadly they overlap, with combinations of dead and injured commingling.

Quincy Reporter-001Harv Pearson has taken his journalistic independence to the streets, gathering stories of tragedy and heroism to send back to his Quincy Reporter. Residents of Gadsden County will read his accounts and count their blessings, realizing that they were merely grazed by a storm, whose right arm reared back like a boxer, only to deliver a knockout haymaker punch to the west.

But not all that Harv encounters is gloom and doom. As he roams the French Quarter, Bourbon and Royal Streets, sounds of an interesting style of music echoes through the taverns and eateries, melodically resisting the prevailing somber tones. Harv writes, ‘This “Jazz” seems to be a combination of dixielandjazzAfrican and European folk music, with dashes of blues, Dixieland and Ragtime. Improvisation and spontaneity are trademark styles of musicians, who know and live their music; a form of music like none I have ever heard.’

He continues.

‘New Orleans has grown to near 300,000 people, resilient types, who bravely shrug off adversity, all the while embracing the richness of their culture. Some would call it excess, but as I see it, these Orleanians have perfected optimism and made it their own.’


Alpha Omega M.D.

Aftermath-001

Episode #113


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