Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #150

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #150

…“It is James Ferrell, sir…” He endures Roosevelt’s punishing handshake and a poke in his side from his wife. “…and this is my wife, Abigail.”…

Kettle Hill

The Hero of Kettle Hill

“James, look who is at the front desk!” prompts Abigail Ferrell at the sighting of a nationaltheodore-roosevelt hero. President Theodore Roosevelt and his entourage dominate the lobby. “Is he here for our meeting?”

“No, Abbey. But I do hope Harv and Judith Eastman get here soon. What a way to launch their first issue of their photo-journalistic magazine, an interview with the Rough Rider, the hero of Kettle Hill! In fact, I am going to make sure that he does not leave before they get that chance.”

With rare aplomb, not a trait for which he is known for, he brazenly knifes through the crowd, a beeline to the leader who replaced their own friend, William McKinley.

“Excuse me, sir, Mr. President. Do you remember me?”

  Here is a young buck, dressed in lawyer clothes, but young for sure, asking a man who has met more people in his 43 years than 10 ordinary people meet in their lifetime. He politely looks up and down his lean frame, likewise taking in the equally young filly joining the fray, searching his memory.

  “No, son, you will have to refresh me. From where do we have acquaintance?”

“The Tallahassee Twelve? We counted William McKinley as a friend,” James states with visible pride.

  “Bully, I say, bully. Excuse me for the oversight, young _______?”

“James Ferrell, sir…” He endures Roosevelt’s punishing handshake and a poke in his side from his wife. “…and this is my wife, Abigail.”

  “It is a pleasure, folks. And what is it that brings you to Rochester, all the way from Florida?”

“Well, actually we came from Cambridge… Massachusetts. I am in law school there.”

   “A Harvard Man. Bully. I knew you had the ways of a bright one.”

While they had the attention of yet another president, James Ferrell advances the cause of the day.

“Mr. Roosevelt? If I may be so bold, I am here in New York representing the Beacon Hill Partners in the formation of a partnership of Misters Pearson, Love and Eastman and Miss Judith Eastman. They will be publishing a photographic journal presently.”

 “George Eastman? Harv Pearson and Herb Love! My Lord, that sounds like a winning combination to this cowboy.”

Quincy Reporter-001Sec. of Ag-001

“We have a meeting scheduled here this very hour – I am sure they would be honored to have you in their inaugural feature, if you can only wait for them.”

“Good gracious, yes!” he heartily reverberates. “Say, I think I see the former Secretary of Agriculture arriving this very minute. Over here…Herbert Love… don’t be a stranger!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #150


page 138

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


page 129

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #140

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #140

…Ziggy Endlichoffer and Alpha Campbell are brushed aside, in favor of so-called experts, as if they were a nuisance, not lifesavers…

“Stay still, sir,” implores Ziggy, who is busy plugging the torso breech with the cleanest handkerchiefs he can find. Alpha calmly assists his mentor, having learned that grace under fire is the doctor’s best friend.

“There is an ambulance on the way!” updates a very concerned Exposition official.

“No!” Ziggy protests. “He should not have a bumpy ride. Ve must stabilize him before he is moved; I think zee bullet is near his spleen!”

By now a circle of lawmen, some local, mostly Secret Service has made a pretty tight circle around McKinley’s prostrate position, with an eye out for the ambulance wagon. Anyone on the outside of this enclosure can only guess as to the condition of the man whose health they fear for.

There is an absence of the normal buzz generated by several hundred people. Stunned shock replaces it. Phoebe Love, with her husband nearby his wounded friend, chooses to do the perfect and only logical alternative to grief: prayer.

“Come near, my friends,” she beckons her known confederates, whose numbers grow upon hearing, “Our dear Heavenly Father, we come before you, broken and miserable sinners, to worship and adore you and ask for your divine healing for your devoted servant, William McKinley. Lord, he lay bleeding from a bullet delivered by one of Satan’s own. Please take him into your loving arms, show him that love, and give him a peaceful spirit, free from despair and pain. May it be your holy face he sees?

“We also want to bring his sweet wife Ida before you. Guard her from the fear that will soon come to visit. Give her no reason to grieve prematurely, soften this cruel blow in ways that we your people can only marvel at.

“Father GOD, make us a people who love and serve you in all the things we say and do; mere players in your grand orchestral plan.

          “And all His people said……”

“Amen!” rolls like thunder across the plain of souls.

McKinley & Cortelyou

“Cortelyou–my wife–be careful how you tell her–oh, be careful.” This is an instant where he cannot effectively protect his frail spouse, fearing not for his well-being, but that of Ida.

“Yes, William, I will be gentle,” promises his attending secretary.

The Exposition electric ambulance knifes through the humanity to gather up William McKinley for surgery at Erie County General Hospital, a nearly two mile bone jarring ride.

“If you insist on taking him on this monstrosity, let us attend him.” Ziggy Endlichoffer and Alpha Campbell are brushed aside, in favor of so-called experts, as if they were a nuisance, not lifesavers.

“Thank you, friends,” is all McKinley can say from on the stretcher, powerless to overrule a situation he cannot control.

A pall is cast upon such a promising September day in the first year of this new century. One career is ended as another is just beginning.


Alpha Omega M.D.

lincoln_mckinley_garfield_assassination_poster_collectible

Episode #140


page 128 (end of ch. 7)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #119

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #119

…McKinley and Roosevelt carry two out of three voters, so the last year of the 19th century goes quietly into peace and prosperity…

1900 elction

The way it looks, especially considering the response of his government to its greatest natural disaster, save the rare and powerful earthquakes that hit the Missouri territory and the Mississippi River valley in 1811 and 1812, William Jennings Bryan will fail once again. You cannot time a catastrophe any better. All of Bryan’s warnings about imperialism and need for free silver will fall on generally deaf ears.

1900 population

But the United States is still comprised of pockets of population, some large, some small and you best not take anything for granted. McKinley will not. Vice-president in waiting, Theodore Roosevelt, joins the campaign train, as the well-traveled locomotive stays out on the rail-trail, playing to multitudes, by 19th Century standards.

Herb Love is the lead dog, making sure each successive city on the railway system is properly notified of the Presidents’ coming. Local political organizations take it from there. Whether they are a part of the majority party or not, the presence of the President, past, present or future is a big deal and the perfect opportunity to align yourself with a winner.

Hurricane-001

Love diversifies his mission, recruiting telegraph operators for the Weather Bureau reporting program, along the way. There is no use Sec. of Ag-001wasting this unique chance of crisscrossing America’s heartland. Nor will he spend October away from his wife, who would make a wonderful first lady, should her husband be infected by the excitement of political campaigning. It is a long shot thought, but given enough exposure, the Love pair has the right metal; sound moral leadership for a global force whose population is exploding to the power of ten.

Future possibilities aside, the task of re-election is formidable. Not only is the population spread out, like seed from a cottonwood tree. Candidates must convince the electorate to go out to vote; to town halls, schoolhouses and churches, sometimes braving inconveniently poor November weather. They must be reminded, in case they have forgotten, that their forefathers have fought many battles for this very inalienable right.

But battles are something most Americans would rather forget; Revolutionary, Civil, wars with Britain and Spain. Toss in an angry native Indian unrest and you have a nation of people who are intimately aware of conflict and loss. Who can blame them for wanting to1901 Barber Dime forget?

Yet, despite negative factors at work, 14 million voters make their choices known. McKinley and Roosevelt carry two out of three voters. The last year of the 19th century goes quietly into peace and prosperity.

It is time for a fresh one hundred years


Alpha Omega M.D.

Thomas Hill “Yosemite Valley”

Episode #119


page 119 (end ch. 6)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #116

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #116

…I am going to give those people a “welcome home” they will never forget…

Inspiring words, among other accounts, pass by the desk of the President of the United States. These are his people, the people of Herbert Love’s world and he could not be more proud. So moved is he that he breaks from his long-held tradition and leaves his handicapped Ida in the care of Major Walter Reed. The imitable and nearly invisible V.P. Garret Hobart (a lame duck by most accounts) is entrusted with Washington D.C.

I am going to give those people a “welcome home” they will never forget.”

Time to Remember-001And so he does, while rushing off to the state capitol of Florida, with most of the Washington press corps tagging along. “The gratitude of this nation will not be a mime’s cheer.” William McKinley is not just a decent man. He is forward looking in his direction, yet he seldom ignores the needs and the desires of the few. This is an important quality for a country that is expanding nearly as fast as its rapidly improving sectors of communication and travel.

In less than two months there will be a presidential election of 1900, so this trip to Florida may do wonders for McKinley’s patchy Southern support. Herb Love does not have a widely public personae, so his best friend cannot garner him support, only Love’s little slice of the Panhandle and not much more below the Mason-Dixon Line.

But this September of disaster and the related stories of heroism and triumph over adversity, may well translate into popular votes in November.

Speaking of popular, the Republican nominating committee and attending convention had decided that the office of vice-president needed upgrading. They choose Spanish-American War hero and current governor of New York state Theodore Roosevelt, to replace the ignoble Hobart, who was merely a crony of first term financier, Marcus Hanna. So it’s out with old and in with that “damned cowboy”. In political circles, that is a term of endearment.

Enough of back-door politics though.

There has not been a preponderance of “full dinner pails” in the South since the Civil War, though steady progress can be seen.  But in the wake of the hurricane, whose fury should have been given a name that progress has been set back.

As it turns out, it is not too late to cash in on the workings of the Love complement, as reported by Harv Pearson and spread nationwide by everyone’s source for news: large sheets of thin paper with black ink printing on it; singular to each city, bound by unwritten rules of fairness and confidentiality. Because of the efforts of hurricane heroes and revealing reporters, the sitting President should receive a beaucoup bump in popularity. Luck and timing is a politician’s greatest ally.


Alpha Omega M.D.

welcomehome

Episode #116


page 106

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #114

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #114

…When it comes to avoiding bad weather, it is wiser to duck a one-two punch, than stop it with your face…

Acting Secretary of Agriculture Herbert Love and his bride Phoebe have seen more than Sec. of Ag-001enough devastation before they can reach the major Gulf of Mexico port that once was Galveston. The flattened buildings and depopulation are not very out of the ordinary for a storm such as this. You need to know what it looked like before, to understand the devastated after. But as a presence, the Presidential Train and all its trappings are comforting still, though the Loves are not exactly well known.

Herb Love delivers a reassuring speech to those very ready to receive; those who cannot find hope in their circumstances and see him as an answer to earnest prayers of intercession. Beside the presence of the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and a trainload of goods, tents and fresh water, the most tangible evidence that the survivors of the Galveston/Houston area can hold on to is the promise of the Army Corps of Engineers. They are planning to erect a seventeen foot high seawall between them and anything the Gulf of Mexico can dish out.

In addition to a concrete wall, which is designed to manhandle nature, Love tells them about establishing a network of observers for the purpose of reporting climatic conditions, both in the United States and without. The region’s scientific community of countries are banding together, including those unfriendly on other levels, such as Cuba and Mexico; or the misunderstood, including the Bahaman Islands and the British West Indies.

(Sam Rabin Art)

When it comes to avoiding bad weather, it is wiser to duck a one-two punch, than stop it with your face.

Down in New Orleans, they can tell you something about taking two blows on the button. And just ask the good folks of Greater Tallahassee, who have spent the past number of days living and breathing something could have avoided and remained mainly ignored or neglected. But they did not, standing tall in a world where humanitarianism is becoming a lost art.

The Levee at Canal Street

Sure, John Ferrell had a vested interest, a personal agenda, as did those concerned about the well-being of the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club, but what this grouping of ordinary everyday people has accomplished is amazing.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #114


page 104

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #109

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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


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