THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 100

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 100

…You seem to be quite popular with the ladies Roy, you know, pot roast and old lace…

ladies-night-001

“Here are the New Mayflower heroes, together again,” a stray female employee from LSC/Okaloosa and longtime crusher on Roy speaks with a hint of sarcasm. “Doesn’t a heroes-001crisis make for strange bedfellows?”

Roy has been deflecting loosely-founded assumptions with phrases like, ‘not dating’, ‘a misunderstanding’, ‘they are just friends’, etc… etc……

“In that case Roy, the next time you come over to Lovell, I’ll have a good “home cooked” dinner waiting for you, you remember where I live right?” The woman is smug, glaring at Francine as if to imply that the TV personality has rudimentary domestic skills.

“Yes, I mean no, well maybe I will keep that in mind,” he replies diplomatically, having dated the older woman briefly, but not more than once, that is if you don’t count that Christmas party in ‘22.

After the parade of miss-takers and assumers has dried up, there comes the arsenic-and-old-lace-001opportunity for the rubber to hit the road. “That was very sweet of you, including me with your gift that is,” her words mitigate, her intentions questionable. “You seem to be quite popular with the ladies Roy, you know, pot roast and old lace,” she cannot resist countering that panhandle (FL) pussycat.

“She was a decent secretary, but as for her cooking?”

“I’m giving you a hard time Roy. Like I said, it was nice to include me, but I did look a little clueless, some warning would have helped me not look so… clueless.”

“I was caught off guard when I saw you walking in right behind me. I thought it would be a thrill to have you giving them a gift… my lame reasoning behind that gadget and the card, I love those boys.”

“And they love you, that is plain to see, you are a great guy.”

cell-phone-001“Can I get you another drink?”

“One more, then I need to be going. My phone is lighting up my purse.”

“The station calls you on your days off?”

“No, I have been avoiding my fiancée, some boring media banquet he wanted me to go to. Sometimes he treats me like a station commodity, not a future wife.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Image result for clueless artwork

Clueless from #lordmesaart

Episode 100


page 95

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

…“And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy…

For Roy, sleep come mercifully quick; dreams not so sweet. —

“Mr. Crippen,” the day custodian had been dispatched to look for the New Mayflower Mission Director, “wake up, they are looking for you.”Image result for the seventh day

He looks at the blood splattered wearable tech on his wrist, “Okay its 0630, even God rested on the seventh day.”

“It isn’t that you aren’t supposed to sleep sir, it’s that no one knew where you were, after what happened and all…”

Francine  I mean Miss Bouchette and I were taking a blow, she has left, I am here and New Mayflower is safely on its way to Mars, right my friend?”

Related image

Iconic still from the 1902 Georges Méliès silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon)

“Last I heard it absolutely dusted the moon on the way by and Commander Stanley reports that spirits are high… except he was curious about what all the fire and explosions were.”

“Just a big-bang sendoff compliments of our friends from Korea and Talibanistan.” This guy still doesn’t know what Roy was talking about, as Sunday bleeds into Monday.

“Oh, by the way, Braden King checked in at 0600 and he would like you call him when you have time.”

“Time—so precious so fleeting and he seems to work through every second of it.”

Call him Double Duty King… and Roy is advised to answer any call, any time.

Roy brings himself into the flow of the daylight reality, tips his imaginary hat to the custodian and completes the circuit that sends his image and voice out to King Ranch, the finest 2500 acres this side of Venus.

Braden is waiting on his end of the 5×5 screen, “Is the Roy Crippen Action Hero?” He has seen the raw security video of the brouhaha early this morning. “And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy; Superman’s girlfriend downgraded to Underdog’s poochie pal.

“OOOooo easy buddy, I just happened to see you protecting her from that copter-full of bad guys.”

“You mean there is a digital record of that stuff?”die-hard-001

“Don’t you dare act like nothing happened Crippen! That was the greatest footage ever, needs a title, like DIE HARD MARS.”

“Oh swell, we have real heroes waiting for us to pick them up and I am a candidate for the Medal of Honor, come on?”

“Leave your modesty behind in your office Roy, ‘cause right now you are the hottest thing going, every device on Earth has your image #1 on iTunes 10G,” in an instantaneous society, word travels at the speed-of-light. “Every network morning news show has been bugging me to get you to appear on their show and you can blame Sweet Polly for the pub. Missy Bouchette’s been on the air here in the Tri-county for two hours, giving her up-close-&-personal tale of intrigue, danger, and heroism.”

Roy does not respond; Braden cannot keep still….


THE RETURN TRIP

newsroom-001

Episode 92


page 87

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 88

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 88

…So what does shy and conservative Roy Crippen do next? He utilizes an isolated corner of Colony Mission Control to plant a very intentional kiss on Francine’s unsuspecting lips!…

 

“T-minus 00:05.00 and counting all systems go in the launch of the deep-space New Related imageMayflower. The sky is high and we have two important people waiting for us.”

Braden next-to-last call illustrates the emotional nature of the coming mission and the dedication of the space program as a whole.

“What do you say we find ourselves a front row seat,” Roy puts an arm around her, “I know the guys in the box office.”

She rests her head against his cozy clavicle and together they walk away from the smoky mess back on the tarmac, like two teenagers fresh from a movie midnight double feature.

double-feature-001

The several hundred yards, indulgingly used to unwind, has eaten most of the time left in the fast-ly fleeting midnight launch of the New Mayflower. As they and their military entourage re-enter Colony Mission Control there is a trifling two minutes remaining until liftoff.

So what does shy and conservative Roy Crippen do next? He utilizes an isolated corner of Colony Mission Control to plant a very intentional kiss on Francine’s unsuspecting lips!

No inhibition, no resistance, and no time left to speak. Actions always speak louder than words.t-minus-to-launch-001

“T-minus 00:00:30 seconds, gantry is clear,” green and go…. ”we have liftoff of the New Mayflower rescue mission to Mars with Commander Rick Stanley at the helm.”

A distinct sense of pride washes over Roy as he and Francine watch the deep-space shuttle knife its way into the night sky. To pull this together is such a short period of time is a feather in everyone’s cap. Amid the exhilaration of a successful gantry getaway, each and every person has stowed their prayers in its cargo hold, a petition that includes keeping the McKinneys alive long enough to benefit from NASA’s hasty rescue mission.


THE RETURN TRIP

First Kiss by Jeffrey Koss

Episode 88


page 83

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 87

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 87

…“And you found out that I am a sucker for a beautiful girl with a gun pointed at her head!”…

Big Red Lollipop by Donna Pomponio

“You are bluffing.”

“Am I?” Roy Crippen retorts.

Perhaps because his ears were burning from the flush of embarrassment, or out of shear frustration, he rips off his elastic face/mask, revealing the fire in his eyes. He is also nobody’s’s fool.

Rather than reacting irrationally, he decides to act on a more limited target, while outwardly staying cool.

Enough time has ticked off the countdown clock that Roy can sense the reversing of fortunes.

His assumption is premature, upon seeing Gherkin Dogman turn calmly, raise his weapon and aim it at Francine’s head. Without hesitating he dives headlong into the man, a tackle with the greatest execution, causing the furious spray of bullets to go straight up.

With the noose of reinforcements closing in around them and Gherkin/whomever intentions clear to his men, they are firing in an instant… not at Francine but in the direction of Gantry #2, with the Russian-made jetcopter rising off the ground, pivoting to fire its lethal boom-001payload.

By the time the copter has turned, a good-guys Image result for good guysshoulder-fired missile takes it down in a fiery heap and not a single hostile bullet finds its mark, while the foreign boots-on-the-ground are mowed down like so many weeds.

Roy Crippen has the lone survivor of the raid pinned beneath him, pretty much alongside where Francine spent those terrifying few seconds. Both she and he are very fortunate survivors, given the fact that they were the only participants without a gun.

Francine is lucky in another sense: 100 out of 100 journalists would have given their right arm to be at the scene of the 21st Century’s most compelling stories. But that wasn’t on her mind right now, “That was the bravest thing I have ever seen Roy, live or on video.”

“Had to save that “space-plane”, right Gherkin?” he says while looking down. And you found out that I am a sucker for a beautiful girl with a gun pointed at her head. In the fog of conflict, Roy reacted the only way he knew how. (Never give a sucker an even break)

He actually was thinking of her first, even before his precious Space Colony.t-minus-to-launch-001

They are soon surrounded by Mission Control Marines.

Braden King declares, “T-minus 00:10.00 and counting all systems go in the launch of the deep-space New Mayflower. The sky is high and we have two important people waiting for us.”


THE RETURN TRIP

im-a-sucker-001

Episode 87


page 82

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #276

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #276

…Carolyn is wearing a so-called leather bomber jacket she had been given by a returning B-17 tail gunner…

Assault on Damn Yankee by Domenic DeNardo

Assault on Damn Yankee by Domenic DeNardo

Constance Caraway… rather Carolyn Hanes is waving both arms above her head, on the tarmac of the Blue Ridge Angel-001commercial terminal at La Guardia Airport. The roar of a taxiing twin engine Douglas DC-3 camouflages her, “Over here, Captain Ford!”, but he spots her nonetheless. He swings the impressive plane around, signaling a big thumb’s up, and a welcome sight in the window above the Constance Caraway P.I. in big bold yellow. He looks as dashing as she had remembered, an opinion slightly tainted by his heroic escapades.

Once in place, and propellers at rest, Robert Ford climbs down the cockpit ladder, his plane’s only entrance beside the cargo bay doors. Lyn has abandoned her bags and is there to apply a hardy embrace.  She is wearing a so-called leather bomber jacket she had been given by a returning B-17 tail gunner.

“Is that a bullet hole there?” He puts an index finger into Lyn’s upper left arm. “You didn’t, did you?”

ConstanceCaraway 001

Constance

“Join the Air Force, oh my, no?”

“Another Constance fan?”

“Yes, he was so cute, says he would read my stuff on the way back from a bombing run. Now, Bob, he was just a boy.” She reacts to Ford’s sideward glance.

“Well you look like a real flier, Lyn. What do say to taking my baby for a little 1600 mile spin?”

My little cub would fit underneath one of your wings. Once we’re at altitude, I wouldn’t mind taking the controls for a few hours. 76-regular-gasolineWhat is it, a ten hour flight?”

“Very good, Lyn, that’s what’s in our flight plan… oh, here comes the fuel truck.”

“76 octane?” Lyn reels in a Clipper memory.

“76? There isn’t a runway in the world long enough if we used straight gasoline. These engines are spoiled rotten, 110, no less, and not in five gallon cans either.” His Clipper recollection includes fueling it with five gallon cans… all four thousand gallons.


Alpha Omega M.D.

‘Aeronautical & Maritime Masterpieces’ by Peter Branksome - http://www.hamiltonwalkerart.com/

‘Aeronautical & Maritime Masterpieces’ by Peter Branksome – http://www.hamiltonwalkerart.com/

Episode #276


page 257

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #268

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #268

…After Captain Ford, his crew and remaining passengers, et al had left Karachi, their odyssey continued for another ten days…

Pacific Clipper Route      As for the Pacific Clipper, the first thing Captain Robert Ford did, once they had landed at LaGuardia Robert Ford-001harbor on January 5 1942, was to radio Colombo, Ceylon and the British Embassy there. He did call his family, knowing that Pan Am had done so in advance for him, but it is the fate of a woman he barely knew that haunts him, and as it turns out, will continue to haunt him for the rest of his life.

Pacific Clipper Take-off    After him, his crew and remaining passengers, et al had left Karachi, their odyssey Pan Am Clipper2continued for another ten days, across the Arabian Peninsula, the sands of the Sahara, the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to the tip of South America, then finally and mercifully, New York City.

Ford Map-001 The loss of one passenger will taint the joy of flying, for a flyer without parallel. Instead of retirement, he is granted two weeks leave and a reassignment to an Atlantic Clipper route. He will china_clipperdo so dutifully, if not unceremoniously.

In the two-week layover, he writes out a complete debriefing for his friend, Lyn, so she can fill in the blanks for her war mystery, The Hawaiian Spy. He promises a visit to Tallahassee on his summer vacation. Not an altogether disagreeable notion, even for her. Friendship is friendship, after all.

Pan Am ClipperPan Am Hat-001fords-flight-route1937 CC P.I.-001

As in the case of their country, they find: a lesson not learned  is the hardest lesson of all.

End of Chapter Fourteen


Author’s note:

What I enjoy most about writing Historical Fiction is being able to weave stories, like Robert Ford’s Pacific Clipper WWII ordeal, into the fabric of ***Alpha Omega M.D. – Granted he never actually had a passenger go missing from his Pan Am Clipper on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but what fun it was to include characters Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway) and Sara Fenwick (Fanny Renwick) in on one of the most amazing stories that no one knows about.

One sunny Sunday, while knee-deep in writing this book, I came upon a feature article in the Chicago Tribune’s Travel Section. Somewhere in my old-fashioned stack of research material is that article. At the time, I could not put it down, nor could I let it rest.

As it is with the construction of any book, one writes one-day-at-a-time and a once well-planned story takes a sudden turn. And so it did; from a story about a kindly Southern doctor – to a fictional fiction writer who takes a holiday aboard one of Pan American Airways flying boats, WWII breaks out, she loses her companion and blah, blah, blah etc…

I would like to thank the faithful readers of the Writing is Fun-damental (WIF) blog, for allowing me to share my book, along with this amazing story with you. – Gwen

*** THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR – ISBN 978-1-4691-9018 Xlibris Publishing

For the real story behind the Pacific Clipper, (Daley, Robert, 1980, An American Saga, Juan Trippe and His Pan Am Empire, Random House, New York)  follow the link below:

Captain Robert Ford’s Factual Pacific Clipper Story

Pacific Clipper-001



Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #268


page 249 (end ch. 14)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #236

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #236

…In Herbert Love’s world there is only black and white; grays exist only in the clouds of a dreary day or the color of his favorite suit…

What can you say about Herbert Love? Certainly not enough can be put in earthly terms, whereby only God in his holy wisdom can fathom the depth of such a person as Herb. If it were only for his impact on a single family, the Campbells, or just A.O. for that matter, his time on this world was well spent.

Sec. of Ag-001

Love Dairies2-001But it goes well beyond helping to free a family from slavery, or giving the Tallahassee area a fine, fine physician. There is the legacy of his stint as Secretary of Agriculture. It has and always will be an example for those who have followed. He was a man of conviction, never once betraying his morals or beliefs.

In Herbert Love’s world there is only black and white; grays exist only in the clouds of a dreary day or the color of his favorite suit. There is right and there is wrong and very little in-between. You would be surprised how amazingly uncomplicated life is when you live within that reality. Straightforward, upright, just; three words that best describes the man who is sorely missed in the midst of his dear country’s most trying times.

Very the same can be said for his life’s partner, Phoebe. A wise man once said, ‘There is nothing on this Earth quite like a godly woman.’ And he could not have been more right. Her sweet quiet spirit touched everybody that knew her. Not high profile, just highly noble.

Christian thing to do-001And the humbly and freely shared her wisdom with the young women of greater Quincy, some going so far as to suggest that she found a school for young ladies. The advent of the emancipated woman, so-called flappers, empowered by the right to vote and Image result for r.i.p.generous exposure of the female knee, had really taken its toll on ladylike demeanor. Had she been younger, she would have welcomed that formidable challenge. Instead, a few lucky mothers were able to rest easy, secure in the knowledge that their girls rubbed elbows with the very best. That is why perhaps the finest acting performance of all time is her portrayal of Cinderella’s wicked step-mother, otherwise trivializing a glorious septuagenarian tenure.

The Loves were special people. Neither did one dwell without the other, happily consorted, having reaped their bountiful harvest and going on to the greater reward in the Heavenly Kingdom. The world of 1935 is a poorer place without them.

Black and White” is a song written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson. The most successful recording of the song was the pop version by Three Dog Night in 1972, when it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Black, White and Grey Winter by Pimpernel

Episode #236


page 221

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #230

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #230

…”Hell, give ‘em a vote and before you know it, they’ll elect one of their own“…

Suffrage Part One-001

Led by the fiery Paul, 300 women and growing, others joining along the one-mile walk from the city park to the capitol building, make their way noisily, some toting signs and banners. Only the deaf, dumb and blind are able to ignore this feminine spectacle, the rest either dumbfounded or unable to get their automobile or carriage around the protesters.

Suffrage Poster-001       One of those inconvenienced is the chief of police, Sam Schuster. He has had a couple of his men watching what he thought was going to be a small dainty meeting. But he is on his way home, home to a dinner-less kitchen table, now thwarted by a huge crowd, Model Ts backed up for as far as the eye can see.

There is plenty of time for him to figure out what he can charge organizers with, though he is wise to let this run its course, for fear of being beaten by purses and parasols. On average, the chief runs a tight ship, nonsense and mischief are usually short-lived. He considers this nonsense on a very large scale. ‘We want the right to vote, ha, that’s a good one. What does a woman know about politics? Hell, give ‘em a vote and before you know it, they’ll elect one of their own.’ He is speaking to himself, about to change his mind. ‘This is bullshit–I’m going to break up this skirt party, arrest that woman fillin’ their heads with foolishness.’

He gets out of police car, puts on his official police hat, grabs his TPD megaphone and wades into the sea of estrogen driven humanity. He goes unnoticed, for the most part; an occasional dirty look cast his way, until he has achieved the podium on the stairs of the Capitol there for all the five hundred to see.

He turns to the crowd, speaking in the amplified cone, “Please disperse immediately! You are illegally blocking traffic!”

Break it up!

Alice Paul thinks on her feet, telling them, “That’s all right ladies, let’s go inside!”  She turns straight away, followed directly by her audience. It is like cattle on the drive and Sam Schuster does not know what do, stumbling, mumbling, finally trampled into the concrete like so many ants.

When the dust clears, he shakes off his grogginess and heads for his car, well if he had one. It is not where he left it, the traffic jam having since broken up, and someone is joyriding in a black Model T Ford with big white a star and the letters TPD on each door. “Someone is going to pay for this… that Paul broad, yeah, I’ll walk her to the station if I have to!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Police Car 1920-001

Episode #230


page 215

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #212

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #212

…Battles will continue to be fought and armistices forged, but Harv has had his fill, saying his goodbyes at his P-E J Paris office…

“The Last Victory” by Roy Grinnell.

far from the glamour of the movies, Harv Pearson has witnessed the wonder of America’s contribution to the Great War, Col. Billy Mitchell in particular. On one day in late September, watching from the ground, he sees the sky above is filled with allied Related imageairplanes, spanning the horizon and headed for Saint Mihiel. They will total 1400 or more, he learns from Mitchell and quite a sight to see at that.

The sound of all those rotary engines will forever echo in the recesses of his mind. War produces sights and sounds that no peacetime event can and places a stamp on the human souls therein.

It also helps when you are on the winning side and thanks to American contributions, i.e. the air war, submarine warfare and fierce ground assaults. An end to the Great War can be seen.

Rear Admiral William S. Sims

Battles will continue to be fought and armistices forged, but Harv has had his fill, saying his goodbyes at his P-E J Paris office, leaving a skeleton staff to tie up the many loose ends. Personally, he is thankful that they had not lost any of his rotating reporters to the war, which is not the case for other news organizations. In fact, they are the only journalistic presence not to lose a correspondent.

For his last assignment, Harv is going to go back to the U.S. on a convoy ship, under the command of Rear Admiral William S. Sims. Sims has been at it for longer than most anyone, coordinating the transport of war materials, then troops since back in ‘15. He too is making his final voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

Historical Image

USS Chesapeake Bay (DD61)

He has a wealth of stories to tell, many of them end with the sinking of one of many defenseless civilian ships. Until the Navy was allowed to convoy, a safety net surrounding as many as 10 supply ships, millions of metric tons is lost to U-boats… and the bottom of the ocean.

Were there an American naval presence around the English Channel, John Ferrell may be preparing to become the father-of-the-bride for Maggie Lou.

“How many ships have you been on that have been struck by a torpedo?” asks Harv after they have been under way for a day.

“8 too many, Mr. Pearson,” he relates with a stare straight ahead; he refuses to think about what is below the waterline of his boat, leaving that vigilant task to his around-the-clock submarine spotters. “If a cat has nine lives, I don’t want to use up that last one”

“It helps that we are traveling on a destroyer, does it not?” Harv is looking for reassurance, wanting to avoid John Ferrell’s fate at all cost. He had a bird’s eye view then and that impression haunt him long after the last shot of this horrible war is fired.

“Well yes, 5 of the boats I was aboard that got hit were civilian and before 1917. I guess the odds eventually even out.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #212


page 199