Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #11

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #11

  …We are here to raise a wonderful woman, wife, mother and human being to meet and be with our Lord and Savior…

Funeral-001

Attending Maggie Lou’s casket are six pallbearers and as well as members of the Strong and Jones Funeral Home, who try to blend in with the proceedings; innocently sticking out with businesslike insincerity, professional mourners, if you will.

Pastor Johnson, on the other hand, could not be more sincere, as if it were his blood sister, instead of sister in Christ, laying still and cold in front of him. He summons the word of God and the courage of David, to properly honor her memory.

BOOK PIC 6 002

A.O. & Maggie Lou

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered this day, a woefully sad day indeed, to raise a wonderful woman, wife, mother and human being to meet and be with our Lord and Savior, who sits at the right hand of God Who reigns in heaven, until the day he comes to judge the living and the dead; the day we believers anxiously await. Our dear Maggie Lou has the privilege to experience this first hand. She is surely a blessed addition to a heaven filled with cherubim and seraphim.”

“Amen, sweet Jesus!” shouts one amongst the many. Pastor Johnson glorifies the Lord most effectively, if not exceedingly.

“A man and Amen to the maker and taker, Father to all, lover of man, Wonderful Counselor!!!” Hands lifted to the heavens, hearts on fire, soaring past cathedral roof and the autumn clouds above.

Pastor adjusts the vest of his three piece suit, runs his hands through his totally gray hair, and corrects his wire rimmed glasses, thereby composing himself as best he can for the rest of the service. It is a memorial observance for the ages.

And even though there are few dry eyes, (the exception displayed mainly by those who attend because of obligation, guilt, or just to be seen) the sincere majority is left with a genuine sense of comfort, verily unsurpassed joy. The past hour has been pure revelation, as they usher Maggie to the steps of Heaven’s Gate.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Related image

Episode #11


page 12

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #10

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #10

…the good reverend Pastor Bill Johnson gazing down at his assembling flock and guests, from the top stair of his church entrance…

Faith Resurrection Baptist Church

A solemn motorcade has assembled in front of Faith Resurrection Baptist Church. Directly behind the funeral director, is the same extended-body black Lincoln that whisked A.O. Campbell to his temporary freedom. Trailing behind, in a considerable line, are those less mobile, nevertheless devoted admirers of what Maggie Lou and her surviving husband mean to the community. As he suffered at Starke, in silence, in disgrace, they were out of sight, out of mind.

Without Doc Campbell in the socially lagging Frenchtown neighborhood, they suffer of body. Without Maggie, they are down one friend. Despite the incalculable disparity in the lifestyle the Campbells have enjoyed and that of, say Lilly Chevis, it can never be said of Maggie, ‘That woman is so uppity, livin’ in that huge house and all. And can you imagine havin’ black servants? How nervy can you get?’ Yes, Lilly Chevis helped out at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, a two story edifice named after Maggie’s mother, their shared kinship is the byproduct of most relationships that include the Campbell’s by habit. Holidays, birthdays, baby dedications, church socials, graduations and sadly, funerals are shared experiences of the community family; each occasion warm and full to the brim.

The Campbell world, the one not fully revealed to Lilly: the university functions, cotillions, fund raising dinners for the politically given and all black ties affairs.

Yet today, none of these detract from the deep sense of neighborhood.

Consider all of the above. These are what bring a throng of mourners to Faith Resurrection B.C.E., the good reverend Pastor Bill Johnson gazing down at his assembling flock and guests, from the top stair of his church entrance. Neither he nor any of his parishioners can recall this house of God’s capacity being so threatened. Although the Sunday after the Tallahassee soldiers arrived back from World War II was greatly packed with grateful souls.

Ushers Harwood, husband to former Campbell nurse, Lettie Golden and Dr. V.L. Perry, the president of Florida A&M, make the most of “Faith’s” interior, including the little used balcony. For this service, there are extra honoring voices behind the pulpit, which is right behind the flower covered casket.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #10


page 11

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #9

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #9

…  Samuel Goldblatt III thought he might be able to sneak one past these Southern bumpkins …

Sneaky Sam-001

“Campbell’s property on Tennessee Street is worth millions to you, yet you’ll get it for pennies on the dollar,” the doctor’s son-in-law complains.

“Speaking of percentages, you’ll be getting a good fee for your part, you know blood moneythat,” chimes in George Lewis, the handler of the title arrangements.

“That is blood money to me, George and you best make sure that the Leon County Clerk will see you as the aggressor in this matter,” he implores.

“You will take the money I bet?”

No answer, is his answer.

“Let’s get past the pettiness and get right to the meat, men.” Samuel Goldblatt III does not linger on such trivial things as fragile human emotion. “Ten thousand dollars an acre is the agreed on price, am I correct?”

Samuel Goldblatt III

“It is ten thousand, only if I am the managing partner in the hotel,” Charles Wilson asserts. “Fifty thousand per if I’m not.” Ironically, the latter would obviously be best for the Campbells. But this is not about their welfare, rather the personal gain of the vultures.

Why do we need you Wilson? We could have leveraged our way into your Plaza, you know.”

“We will never know, Sam, will we? I am the sole owner of the Capitol Plaza and the only one who can pull off the land deal you need to erect your tower.” Stated like someone with clout of his own. “And I cannot stand competition, unless I have a stake in it as well.”

Holiday Inns knows full well that if they are going to make inroads into certain markets, regional lords, the holders of their dominion, will have to be players. The word “franchise” is a recent addition to popular vernacular and corporations have instituted these units to bring limited partners into the larger company umbrella. Charles Wilson is an example of a franchisee.

  Samuel Goldblatt the Third thought he might be able to sneak one past these Southern bumpkins; Fat chance.

“Sixty thousand for the lot, purchased by the Holiday Inn Corporation of America, with the Leon County Treasurer the payee, minus 5% real estate fees payable to McLoud Realty,” George Lewis enumerates. “Our attorneys will draw up the necessary papers, including the title search.”

Franklin McLoud stays seated, hands covering his face, disgusted with himself, as the others disburse, each his own way.  For $3000 dollars, he has seriously jeopardized the once proud Campbell Empire. It has been said, ‘every man has his price’, with some lower than others.

“I’ll see you at the funeral, Franklin. Try not to let this eat you alive. Leave that to the gators.” Lewis’ morose analogy disguises his true feelings. He is now the proud owner of two huge secrets – to deal with in the now and in those tenuous times to come.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #9


page 10

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #8

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #8

…I hope you know that this little deal of ours will blow a hole the size of the Everglades through our cover, Charles…

Laura Bell Campbell-McLoud’s husband, whose job it is to (feeble attempt) pay the property taxes on what was once 150 parcels of land owned by A.O. and Maggie, has been a knowing, if not a slightly reluctant party to the progressive dismantling of a once advancing empire. Without the doctor’s viable income stream, bits and pieces of property are liquidated, at his direction, with veiled trepidation. It is done in a way as not to draw attention, thereby preserving the Campbell good named reputation.

The reason McLoud joins banker Lewis in a fit of guilt, centers around the Tennessee Street land and its precious location. The rest of Campbell holdings are secondary tracts, save for Campbell subdivision and the adjacent lake bearing their name, on the southern boundary of the city. These downtown acres however, had been designated to house a grand hospital; Doc Campbell’s crowning achievement, replacing his black-only clinic two blocks north. Without divine intervention, a twelve story hotel will take its intended place.

I hope you know that this little deal of ours will blow a hole the size of the Everglades through our cover, Charles. How can I keep this a secret from Laura?” McLoud asks them in a shameful tone of voice.

 “If you are going to save Campbell Pond, hell, even the house and clinic for that matter; you really have no choice.”

“It’s supposed to be Campbell Lake!”

“Whatever?” states a cold Wilson. “If you remember correctly, I was the one who told you, as a friend I might add, to be more up front about the family’s sad state of affairs. But you were determined to protect the family pride. Pride ain’t worth a fiddly-dee to an old man who may die before he gets out of Starke.”

“Pride is not just about land, Wilson, although come to think of it, I believe it was your proud jealousy and lame vendetta that landed my father-in-law in the pickle he’s in now.”

“Are you tryin’ to slander my name, McLoud? He crippled my sister you know.”

“Not exactly… and Esther was tottery before she took ill.” Franklin chooses his words carefully. He is younger and less cagey than his accuser. “I mean to say, that true and pure pride is about history; what people will look back on, with a dash of entitlement thrown in. If you take away a man’s life, if he believes on the Lord, he has an eternity in Heaven to look forward to…

“…You take away a man’s possessions and you steal away his earthly identification. In the case of Tennessee Street, stealing is the right word. It’s worth millions to you, yet you’ll get for pennies on the dollar.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #8


page 9

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #7

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 7

… The 4 conspirators are meeting in a fallout shelter, one constructed forty feet below the basement, a paranoid reaction to Hiroshima and Nagasaki…

Back to the west of the Starke Prison and a little to the north, perhaps 140 miles total, as the flamingo flies, there is the beginning of a covert transaction under way. The underlying focus of this meeting is a juicy plot of Tallahassee, on the south side of Tennessee Street. A mere five blocks south of the Oakland Cemetery, where Maggie Lou Campbell will be buried, are the six acres of land most coveted by those expanding the capitol city.

As it happens, thousands of government people, legislators and the like, rotate their stays here in Tallahassee and their home districts. In addition to that, the two universities attract transient visitors as well, many of whom are moneyed, needing to tarry the next day and beyond.

Not all too surprisingly, one of the four men at this meeting, in the bowels of the Capitol Plaza Hotel (the sole world class facility in town) is the owner, Charles Wilson. Yes, there are quite a few “motels” scattered about, typically family operations; one floor, no frills, no food. Are mom & pop ten roomers considered competition to the Plaza? The answer is no, because if they were, Charles Wilson would have his fingers in that pie. ShrewD with a “capital” D, while possessing the clout of an entrenched incumbent politician, Wilson will be a part of any hotel doings, you can be sure.

In the room as well, one constructed forty feet below the basement, a paranoid reaction to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is Samuel Goldblatt III. He represents the exploding Holiday Inn chain of hotels and motels, lodging for the masses that targets large cities and sites along newly organizing interstate highway systems connecting those cities. He is fashioned after the new breed of American businessman; a child of the Great Depression, determined never again to be poor, sometimes at any cost.

No mega-deal would get off the ground without financing. George Lewis, he of Lewis State Bank, fund-raiser for Wilson and mortgage maker for FranklinGreedy-001 McLoud, completes the quadrangle. He seems to be the uneasy-est member of the group, perhaps because of a rumored, but unsubstantiated connection to the Campbell family.

Neither he nor McLoud should be comfortable in this bunker, taking into account the nature of their business, not to mention the fact that they are expected to be numbered at Maggie Lou’s funeral.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #7


page 8

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #6

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #6

…What bittersweet irony for a family gathering…

Outside the tall barbed wire crowned concrete wall, past a solitary entry, today turned exit, awaits an entourage worthy of the preeminent boxer of this day, Sugar Ray Robinson, replete with a long black limousine, armed guards and one important addition; the Campbell family complete. R. Worth Moore has managed to assemble the three girls, two of their husbands and those precious grandchildren.

Throw in some Tallahassee tag-a-longs, friends and such, with card-carrying members of the Southeastern Medical Society and you have a mobile armada, of loving proportions. The only thing missing from the fleet is the Frenchtown High School marching band. Their bus is in the shop.

Alpha Omega Campbell, M.D. passes through the restrictive threshold of his temporary home, amid cheers, tears and warden-ly leers, the latter is on hand to remind the doctor that he is expected to return. This makeshift celebration does, after all, resemble a triumphant return to civilian life.

“We miss you, Daddy!” His daughterly namesake, Alpha, is the first to express the most simple of salutations. The Mizzels had flown in from Fort Lauderdale. Her husband Vaughn is also a doctor, as it goes for two out of the three daughters betrothed.

The McLouds, accounting for the #2 Campbell girl, Laura, is next to applying a warm stranglehold on her shorter father. Her uniquely fair skin begs an obvious question, but her stunning beauty deflects the any gossip. Franklin McLoud is in real estate, unable to attend, a pressing land deal blocks his attendance.

He looks down at a young grandchild. “And you, little Laura, the day I see you stop growing is the day I meet my Maker.”

Daughter #3, Zillah Shirley, last but not least in his heart, joins the love reunion. Youngest daughters will always be considered daddy’s little girl and with Zillah farthest away, even at her closest, this special encounter magnifies the joy. Washington D.C. is a world much removed from the old South, but people get sick, even in Camelot, despite official decrees.

  What bittersweet irony for this gathering. Death is a regrettable excuse to assemble this menagerie of a clan, but when weddings and child dedications dry up, this is what’s left.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #6


page 7

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #5

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #5

…The Governor has granted you special dispensation…

“You have a visitor, Doc Campbell.” The voice of guard Lightfoot pierces the night, routing the man from a spasmodic sleep. It feels like he has been daydreaming with his eyes closed.

“I ain’t been been killin’ no white girl!” yells the doctor incongruously, with conviction.

R Worth Moore-001Standing before his 6×8 foot cell, is R. Worth Moore, the attorney who was unsuccessful in refuting the testimony of the dead girl’s mother. Her daughter, in a deathbed revelation, tells her mother that it was a Tallahassee doctor who performed an abortion on her. Whether or not the privileged evidence is true, the six white males on the jury believe so. Go ahead and disregard the known fact that her then “family” doctor was a Doctor Sapp, who practiced medicine 10 miles north, in Havana. He is white; any potential holes in the testimony?

“Wake up, Doc… do you want out of here or not?” Lightfoot has a heavy hand.

You can almost smell the fresh air of freedom from inside this hell-hole.

  “A.O., I’ve come to take you to be with your Maggie!” Attorney Moore looks more disheveled than normal, because of the early morning hour, but not too far from his typically crumpled appearance; being a widower, he does not have his suits pressed as much as he should.

“Say what now Mr. Moore?” he mutters in a surrealistic daze.

The Governor has granted you special dispensation. I’m here to take you home for the funeral. Alpha is waiting for us in my car.”

“Mr. Moore went over the warden’s head, Doc,” says the guard. “Now get on your Sunday clothes before someone changes their mind.”dignity

Moore has brought the doctor’s best fall suit with him. Prison cannot take away this proud man’s dignity and the way a man dresses is the outward expression of that. Prisoner Campbell is suddenly transformed into his former self; the one who operates in the realm of the respectful and respected, as opposed to the regulars at Starke, molester, murderer and thief. How did he ever get lumped in with this motley crew?

The metamorphosis is completed when a renew-ly proud man strides confidently through the open cell door. An emotional Attorney Moore sniffles in concert with his tears, much as he had done after his closing statement on February 2nd, 1956.

“If they’ll give me my black bag back, Worth, I‘ll give you somethin’ for that.” He thinks of others before self. If one’s life motto can be summed up in six words, write the previous sentence down in The Book of Life, alongside the quiet doctor’s name.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #5


page 6