Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #21

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #21

…This prompts the appearance of the upper-floor maid, Princess Olla,  having been with the Ferrells since 1888…

Upstairs Maid-001

John Ferrell waves heartily at the cloud of dust speeding away at the machine driven paceRelated image of twelve miles per hour. Had he wanted to, he and his Saddlebred could outrace them. But his horse would run out of gas sooner than their auto.

Tallahassee Women’s Club

He continues swinging both arms on his way back to the stable, retrieving a package that tagged along with him from town. The bulky box contains a surprise, not to be viewed by the lady of the house; at least until the Summer Cotillion, sponsored by the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club: Martha Ferrell current president. She is need of a show-stealing gown and this custom made Parisian dress should do the trick, the tailors being familiar with the classic lines of a woman in full bloom.

However, the August date of the ball is fast approaching, leaving no time for professional alterations. It would be nice to know if the authentic pearl buttons will meet their loops at the dress back (when worn by his wife), without a cinching girdle. Martha Ferrell will have nothing to do with those medieval devices, unashamed of her figure, unlike many of the younger members of the women’s organization, who insist on narrowing their waist to teenage proportions. Martha’s hour-glass will just have to let more sand pass to the bottom.

gownJohn agonizes about the subject, as he walks through the mouth of large oaken doors, into the emptiness of his house. After washing his hands in a hall basin, he unboxes the dress, holding it up by the shoulders, allowing it to unfurl. Layer upon layer of rose colored satin and lace could easily stand on its own.

With no one to see, he puts it up against his frame, concluding that if it would fit him, it would Martha as well. He even goes so far as to put the gown through the four-quarter pace of a lively Strauss waltz, complete with live music coming out of the front-room phonograph.

The sounds of the Danube River Valley project out of the room. This prompts the appearance of the upper-floor maid, Princess Olla, who had been repacking the dressers and armoire following the travel/camp carnage of the preceding hours. She has been with the Ferrells since 1888, so she been previously witness to things that would make a sailor blush. But this whimsical display by the man of the house is not unprecedented, though it brings abnormal warmth to hers ears nonetheless.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #21


page 20

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #20

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #20

…When two human beings hit it off, female/male in this case, the chemistry can be notable and not easily mistaken…

“You are burning daylight. Lake Killarney ain’t around the corner, Martha, closer to Georgia

Panhandle Dawn

than Tallahassee.” There is genuine concern in John Ferrell’s voice. He loves his family, though the time he spends working helps makes up for a general shortfall of attention given to him.

Perhaps the stabilizing factor in their relational equation is the former Martha Gaskell, eight years his senior. She had already graduated from Vassar College, the all-girl school in Poughkeepsie, when she met an 18 year old Scottish freshman from Columbia University. She is in the big city researching topics at its arts library. Young John has a part-time job as a research assistant. Martha thinks John does a wonderful job. She visits with him frequently, not coincidentally, whenever their paths cross in a library that covers a New York City block.

When two human beings hit it off, female/male in this case, the chemistry can be notable and not easily mistaken. It must be the random nature of the phenomenon, circumstances apart from the machinations of mankind. Sometimes we are much better off leaving it in the hands of the Master. It is heavenly great, and what’s more, a part of a real plan; as plotted by God, who knew us even before we were born.

The attraction is deeply mutual, to the point that Martha is taken home to Florida for a visit. During Christmas break of 1879, she meets his family, who own a small general store in Tallahassee, saving every penny to give their son a chance at a better life, the American dream.

We now find Martha and John embracing, at Christmas in July, 1896, unaccustomed to being apart. They rarely spend a day apart; their four post brass bed with two permanent impressions in its feather mattress.

John Ferrell waves heartily at the cloud of dust speeding away at the machine-driven pace of twelve miles per hour.

Paul Cezanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire (1897)


 Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #20


page 19

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #19

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #19

Chapter Two

LEON TO GADSDEN

…Introducing the Ferrell family of Tallahassee…

The midday sun shines bright at Ferrell Hillside Estate, especially so in July, when the heat and humidity drive man and animal to a shaded area; for comfort and health. The natural kettles of the Mission Hills, on the northwest outskirts of 1896 Tallahassee, soak up the moist warmth like a sponge. Jack pine trees, trimmed with wisps of Spanish moss, dot the rolling knolls, thereby binding the loose sandy soil.

In the middle of this scenic bowl are the stately buildings that are the core of Hillside Estate. Several well maintained barns, framed by white wooden fences comprise the “farm” portion of the property. The three story house at the epicenter keeps the Ferrell clan in grand style, with the glistening waters of San Luis Lake in the distance. The pointed gables outnumber Ferrells on this four sided granite structure, a building more likely to be seen in New York City than Florida, but that is Martha Ferrell for you. This house is her castle, mostly because she needed coercion and coddling to an ‘Indian infested land surrounded by Confederate rebels’. These days, it would take a civil war to get her to move.

1897-Daimler Grafton Tourer

1896 Model-Daimler Grafton Tourer

And move she does in her new Daimler motorcar, the one favored most by British royalty. She is hitting the open road on the just opened Thomasville Road, on her carefree way to Lake Killarney and a female friend who lives in the small Irish enclave there. She is wearing a white eyelet cotton frock, which gracefully follows the contour of her classically generous figure. Her perfectly coiffed strawberry blond hair is topped off by a wide-brimmed driving bonnet.

This little jaunt will use up the rest of this day and most of the next, with a side-trip to drop off children James and Agnes at a day camp at Maclay State Park, which is on the dusty trail.

“Agnes–James! Joseph has the auto started; let us be on our way!” The Ferrells’ manservant uses his field-honed muscles to crank the new engine into motion. Hopefully there is a capable someone at her destination or every time she needs a restart. No matter. Will she not look fine standing beside it regardless?

The Ferrell children arrive, prim and proper, if not overdressed for camp, armed with huge bags stuffed to the point where rope is needed to keep them from bursting at the seams.

“Please put our bags in the boot, Joseph.”

Looking at the available space in the rear, or rather the lack of said, the Negro helper says, “Yessum Ma’am, I thinks I can do it.”

On his way up the path from the stable, is John Ferrell, husband to Martha, father to 16Ferrell's Grocery-001 year old James and 14 year old Agnes. He has stabled his Saddlebred stallion, after spending the morning at Ferrell’s Grocery chain’s largest store; taking care of a good sized business, five miles and 45 minutes away on horseback from their San Luis Lake home. He slaps off the dust that has accumulated on his person, mostly because there are far more dirt roads and streets than hard surfaced, even in the Capitol city; three plus years from the approaching twentieth century.

“Hey, you Ferrells!,” he calls out, “I’m surprised to see you still here. You are burning daylight. Lake Killarney ain’t around the corner, Martha, closer to Georgia than Tallahassee.” There is genuine concern in his voice. He loves his family, though the time he spends working helps makes up for a general shortfall of attention given to him.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Map-001

Episode #19


page 18

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #18

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #18

…Money buys influence and sometimes it prevents liberty…

Guilt-001

Samuel Goldblatt’s resolute agenda is twisted, compared to the governor’s debatable influence.

“When I told the rest that the F.B.I is involved, in the matter of former doctor A.O. Campbell’s release–they are, except it is in a more ‘round about way. They may not object to his release per se, but I know they are greatly disturbed about how many abortions are being illegally performed in this state, which is under your direction, I might add.”

The Visiting Quack Doctor null British School 18th century 1700-1799 Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T10122

The Visiting Quack Doctor

“We prosecute more doctors than some,” Hopkins brags mildly.

“No, Governor Hopkins, I believe you indict more quack butchers than you do medical doctors. The Bureau has provided me with some intriguing numbers… accompanied by some interesting names.”

“Is Dr. Sapp on the list?”

   “Yes, indeed, I believe you see my, our point. Most every country doctor does abortions, especially for girls with greenbacks in their lily white hands. I suspect those doctors remember the days when the Dixie dollar dried up. They can’t resist an easy buck, like those from families desperate to save the reputation of their dear sweet daughter.

          “Doc Campbell may have cleaned up after Dr. Sapp, but he was caught in counterfeit circumstances, just like folks who were holding Confederate paper,” he deduces.

“That is a lose interpretation of the law,” insists Hopkins, who should be the expert in this twosome.

“It wasn’t loose when you were States Attorney, now was it?” counters the antagonist.

Yes-buts are not relevant in the here and now. He offers no retort.

“I’ll tell you what, W.D. … may I call you that can I not?” He is sarcastic. “Our hotel will be completed in less than a year. That would be a right fine time for ol’ Doc Campbell to be freed.”

A $1000 bill is stuffed into the breast pocket of his Italian-made suit. That is where Wilbert Hopkins had seen the name of Samuel Goldblatt III before; on the contribution rolls of his gubernatorial campaign.

   Money buys influence. Sometimes it prevents liberty.

Hopkins allows the money to stay in his pocket, but its filthy aura will benefit some charity, not him. He is ashamed to return to the parole meeting and the mostly negative reaction that awaits him there.

Wilbert Dexter Hopkins saves his own skin, at the expense of his conscience.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #18


page 17 (end Ch. 1)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #17

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #17

         … Warden Hayes has a burr under his saddle…

Warden Hayes, can you tell me what kind of prisoner Alpha Campbell has been?”

The warden has a burr under his saddle, not at all happy with the absent Attorney R. Worth Moore having gone over his head, to the Governor’s mansion no less, to spring the doctor in the first place. Yet he cannot lie about the model prisoner in question. “We hardly know he’s there. He skips meals, for instance. He doesn’t socialize… not that socializing is a healthy thing in a maximum security prison. And to tell you God’s honest truth, he’s forever reading that damned bible of his, especially after “lights out” and that aggravates us some.

“And the last thing, the one bad thing is that he’s not a very good worker. I mean we have a guy with one hand cut off who can make more license plates than Campbell, with this good hand tied behind his back!.”

That somewhat concise assessment is about what Hopkins had expected to hear. “Do you believe he is a candidate for release?”

“I do, but mostly because he is taking up good space–you know, for the hard criminals that should be at Starke.”

“That is a flimsy reason for release, let alone clemency,” reasons Jim Stack. “There’s a dead young mother to consider here.”

“What do think about parole release, Warden Hayes? Is he a threat to society?” asks the governor back.

“Release, clemency, hell I would let him escape, I’m so sick of this case right about now!”

“Then let’s do this, I think Alpha Campbell should be a free man,” declares W.D. Hopkins.

Sneaky Sam-001The same silence that started the meeting, are the sounds now unheard. The lone visible dissenter in the room has been patiently so, until now. He had thought he knew Samuel Goldblatt from somewhere. His name had that visual familiarity, memory of the photographic ilk. Just how he knows that name will become readily apparent.

“Governor–I have important, confidential information which is critical to this proceeding,” Goldblatt asserts.

“If you object to his release, please present your evidence to the entire group.”

“It involves the F.B.I.” Those words strike fear in the hearts of men, all men, not just here in the Southern states. Remember that ‘the South will never die’, it has been said, but the J. Edgar Hoover led federal cops seem to be color blind, or at least that is how they appear on the outside.

W.D. Hopkins does not fear Goldblatt III’s invocation, merely respects it wisely. He ushers the czar of the Holiday Inns into an inner chamber. There appears to be an unfettered determination in the gate of the visitor, yet W.D. cannot imagine the connection between confidence and consequence.

Goldblatt’s resolute agenda is twisted, compared to the governor’s debatable influence.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Florida-1958-license-plate

Episode #17


page 16

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #16

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #16

…I regard inmate Campbell as a prime candidate for the mercy of this state…

Justice-001

The Now Governor of Florida is presiding, having arranged the meeting of probable interested parties. “Let me begin by saying, as prosecuting attorney in the case: The State of Florida versus Dr. A.O. Campbell, I believe that under most circumstances the majority of a sentence should be served by a defendant. With that being said, as Governor I have the power to grant clemency, as I see fit, according to the laws of this state.” Hopkins leans back in his high backed reclining leather chair, fingers massaging both eyes, aching for the lack of rest. “In light of recent events, including the death of his wife, as well as a persisting heart condition, I regard inmate Campbell as a prime candidate for the leniency of this state.

Justice2-001 As if he was a benevolent king.

“He is already in town for his wife’s funeral, so before he is taken back to Starke Prison, I am compelled to grant him his freedom.”

“Amen and hallelujah!” Dr. Palmer rejoices amid the stunned silence. “He did not kill that girl. She died because she missed a day of packing. Infection killed that girl and she was told how important it was to keep the uterus sanitary!”

“No!!!!” objects Addie Gray. “He delivered a breathin’ baby and he killed my Audrey too!”

“If the baby was alive, then why was he convicted of abortion related manslaughter? This whole case is riddled with so many inconsistencies that it should have been dismissed before it ever went to trial!” Palmer remembers the trial like it was yesterday. He doesn’t mention that a jury of his peers part of the law was ignored (6 white males).

“Well—–I mean he is a bad doctor—the baby died and so did my baby.”

“Why did your daughter travel to Tallahassee, when she was already being treated by Dr. Sapp at Havana?” Florida, not Cuba.

“Well–uh–Dr. Sapp was, uh, out–I mean of…”

“Mrs. Gray is not the one in prison. She is only here to make sure justice is served, that the complete penalty of the sentence be executed,” New States Attorney Stack interjects.

“Let us not turn this into a shouting match, people. I’ve made a simple humanitarian suggestion and want to make the right decision,” pronounces Wilbert Hopkins calmly. He does not know what a can of worms has opened, thinking it only a can of corn. “Now, if we have settled down, Warden Hayes, can you tell me what kind of prisoner Alpha Campbell has been?”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #16


page 15

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #15

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #15

…, the Governor views A.O. as a victim of Jobian proportions, losing vitality, family, treasures and health, nearly as fast as the biblical man of God in the Old Testament…

On this cloudy cool day in October of 1958, the lone figure of George Lewis watches from the distance, black trench-coat and wide-brimmed hat cloaking his identity. Will the death of Maggie Lou seal his and her secret beneath five feet of dirt? He has no way of knowing who knows what. He prays a silent prayer that will likely be ignored by the man upstairs.

Former States Attorney, now Governor of the newly dubbed “Sunshine State”, Wilbert Dexter Hopkins clears his desk of the day’s papers, just as his secretary did to his schedule, freeing this late afternoon for an important meeting. His duties in the Florida’s highest office vary greatly from when he was a lead prosecutor. He now leads an entire state instead of star witnesses.

Today, however, the two elected positions become one. On the very same day he had granted special leave for Alpha Omega Campbell, he meets with the key players in the doctor’s interment at Starke; he being the prosecutor who doggedly pursued the old man’s conviction, disregarding the health of the defendant or compelling evidence to the contrary. But he was two years younger then and on the fast-track to political affluence. And at the age of 30, respect for your elders exists in the void between pre-adolescent youth and middle age. Thus the quest for career wins out over decency; the word “decent” does not appear in the Alternative Lawyer’s Handbook.

Now, two years older chronologically, but ten years more humane and doubly decent, W.D. Hopkins has a change of heart. Curiously, he views A.O. as a victim of Jobian proportions, losing vitality, family, treasures and health, nearly as fast as the biblical man of God in the Old Testament.

In his large office, at the confluence of Pensacola, Adams, Monroe Streets and Apalachee Parkway, in the state capitol complex, are five chairs. They will be filled by, from left to right: The new States Attorney, Jim Stack; Mrs. Addie Gray, Audrey Franich’s mother; Sam Goldblatt III, he of Holiday Inns, invited at the insistence of banker Lewis; Warden Hayes; and an A.O. Campbell advocate, representing the Southeastern Medical Society, Dr. Henry Palmer.

This is not a formal hearing, i.e. recorded for posterity, though perhaps it should have, considering the ramifications.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #15


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