Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #164

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Alpha Omega M.D. -Episode #164

…”I can’t believe Frieda is gone, James,” Alpha laments, “she was so strong”…

1908-001

At a corner cafe, on a darkened Boston street, three old acquaintances are getting together for the first time since the aftermath of the Galveston hurricane in 1900.

Endlichoffer Chalet-001The reason for this get together is a sad one, the passing of Frieda Endlichoffer in August of 1908. She had fallen, breaking a rib that pierced a lung, preventing her precious mobility and pot-stirring dexterity. She had forgotten that she rolled up the front room rug, whereby felling her and the arm load of freshly air dried bed linens. She lays there for five hours, before her husband, Laura Bell and Maggie Lou return from a shopping excursion to Tallahassee. Dehydrated and weak, her 75 year old heart could not stand the strain. Doc Ziggy did not have the chance to save her. She died alone. Her private doctor and der Liebling was five helpless miles away.

Lawyer Ferrell, wife Abigail and pre-med student Alpha Omega Campbell discuss short term plans, i.e. traveling back for Frieda’s funeral.

I can’t believe she is gone, James,” Alpha laments, “she was so strong, like Blue Boy the draft horse. I remember watching her work that horse after that cyclone hit, two years back. If we hadn’t showed up that Friday, she would have worked that horse… and our man Joseph half to death.”

“That is the whole point, Alpha, seventy-three year olds should happy to wake up each morning, not clean up after tornadoes,” James observes clinically.

“Doc Ziggy must be seventy-five, right? Who is keeping him from overdoing it? He is very single minded, not one to listen to three women, let alone two.” Abigail is familiar with the breed, finding the throttle control is a daunting task; male engines either rev madly or drop to the stalling threshold.

“He listens to Laura, Abbey. Frieda had a way of making him dig in his heels with her lack of tact.” A younger Campbell found out early on that you did not have to ask Frieda what she meant. If you could understand her broken English, you knew where the bullfrog croaks in the rushes. “On the other hand, he sure enough is putty in Maggie’s hands. Yessir, I do believe they can take care of him, ‘cause iffin’ they couldn’t, I’d go back in a bug’s minute I would.”

“Speaking of going back, we have our own Pullman for the trip. We expect that you will join us?” James assumes, while Alpha hesitates.

“I don’t think I’m allowed in the fancy white folk’s car; probably have to ride with the baggage.”

“Don’t play that race excuse in my around me, Campbell. Besides, if that were the case, the last case I take at Beacon Hill would be Campbell vs. B & O Railroad!”

1908  Musical Interlude


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #164


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #160

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 160

… It is not like Theodore Roosevelt has not had his hands full in 1906…

Teddy Roosevelt-001

The telegraph lines have been scorching forth and back between Rochester and Tallahassee, Boston, Quincy and Washington, whose resident president insists on hosting the real Eastman-Pearson union; a somewhat shorter trip for the Southern contingent, who are far from strangers to the White House.

Alice Roosevelt

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The fact that Roosevelt’s daughter from his first marriage, “Princess Alice” as she is affectionately called by newspaper reporters assigned to Washington, is getting married there two months before the Pearson-Eastman’s, will make for a nonstop, romping-stomping celebration of family and friend. If you were not invited and you consider yourself one of the beautiful people, you would not dare admit it, for fear of becoming a social has-been.

 But it is not like Theodore Roosevelt has not had his hands full in 1906. There are hints, led by a dwindling money supply that is pointing toward an economic crisis. Ten or more years of prosperity and growth are threatened by a war between Russia and Japan, which we’ve had to play both sides to the middle, the enormous cash vacuum in the wake of the San Francisco earthquake and unprecedented railroad expansionism.

Big stick-001

Big stick-001

For the first time in recent memory, the United States has flat out outspent its income and banks do not have the money to cover the outflow. There is also a strange coincidence concerning the purchase of the rights to the Panama Canal, with all its burdens cast in iron; excavation equipment needed for the largest works project ever attempted.

Apart from the fray, the times when a leader must separate himself, Roosevelt is true to those who have aided his glorious run in the White House. No one who has ever held the nation’s highest office has enjoyed as much as he; the power, the prestige, the trappings. Someone heard him say once: “I can’t believe they are paying me for this job.”

  Dutch by birth, a Van Roosevelt original surname, he had led the comfortable life to this point, except for a pre-teen period when he was puny and in ill health, resulting in torments from cruel mischievers. Training at the family gymnasium took care of that problem and is chiefly responsible for the rugged bravado he has displayed ever since. Wherever he goes, whoever he is with, his “big stick” is always close at hand.


Alpha Omega M.D.

1900_Teddy-Roosevelt

Episode # 160


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #159

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #159

…”Now get out of here, while I teach Miss Judith that the rooster rules the henhouse…

“Harv, Judith? Uh, here is the world of Emmeline Pankhurst.” Stanley,the copy editor lays the photos gingerly on the desk.

 Pankhursts“In all her rebellious splendor?” Harv remembers the spirit of the woman they had met in London two months before. “And those daughters of hers, what pistols they are.”

“Christabel and Sylvia.” Judith was deeply moved by these women, to the point of feeling just a bit timid by comparison. If only she could carry out her convictions like that. “I admire how they function as a unit.”

“And drove Mr. Pankhurst to an early grave.” It’s a man’s inalienable right to defend his own, in this case, a short effort.

“I am surprised to find you here, Mr. Pearson, with that earthquake in San Francisco and all,” mentions Stanley, who has watched them leave the office, to parts unknown, with bags that are perpetually packed, without so much as telling a soul.

Quincy Reporter-001

“San Francisco! We almost forgot!” It had been overshadowed by something more significant to them. Revisiting that moment, Harv shifts to lower gear. “We’re going to let the Quincy Reporter have first crack at that story. Jackson (its new publisher) deserves a good start, right Miss Judith Eastman-Pearson?”

She smiles with a heart which has peace, at long last.

“You two are final… uh… getting married?”

“That is why we like you, Stanley, you’re the brightest candle-on-the-abra,” jokes Harv, wrongfully assuming that their imminent nuptials are obvious to even the most casual of observers.

“That is great! Can I tell everyone?”

“I don’t know, can you?”

“Oh, Harv,” he relents, “may I?”

“Yes, you may, Stanley and don’t let this one give you a hard time. And if the truth be known, I practically had to drag it out of him… one stuttering word after the next.”

Now get out of here, while I teach Miss Judith that the rooster rules the henhouse.” Tongue firmly in cheek. “And stay on top of San Francisco for us. We may have to call the wedding off if things heat up.”

“It’s already on fire, no water to put it out, they say.”

“There will be nothing left for us to report about. Give the Wright brothers a call, see if they have a three-seater that will travel 2000 miles or so.” Harv had actually talked Judith into taking her camera up for one of Wilbur’s test flights, during their expose on the Dayton duo. Her knees knock at that very thought.

“Enough nonsense!” Judith screams. “Send the best available photographer out there, as soon as possible. At least the Journal will have a presence there.”

“How about me?” asks the new presence here, standing in the doorway, an Eastman himself.

“George! How long have you been there?” his sister wonders.

 “Just long enough to offer my blessing and my services, you rascals.”

Hugs, handshakes, kisses break out in epidemic proportions, as rest of the staff begins their Thursday workday with the best news they’ve heard since the unexpected size of their first bonus. Instead of advertisers waiting in line, they look forward to a reception line. No greater respect and affection can co-workers have than these.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #159


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #158

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #158

…You were going to ask me a question, Harv. When you are at a loss for words, it is invariably serious and probably very personal…

Harv Pearson is not as dense as Judith thinks. He knows that he can never be a publishing giant, not with his love for the field and his newfound passion for their magazine. Selling out to Jackson, his editor at The Quincy Reporter, is the right thing to do… but so too is marrying the woman he loves. That makes two important items he hasn’t made time for. Should either or both grow tired of his procrastination, it would literally be a crying shame.

“Judith?” He stops his preparation for a transcontinental commute to a burning San Francisco, to prevent a fire at home. “What would you say; no… I was wondering if, I mean… we haven’t really discussed this, but…”

Pop-the-Question3     “Yes!” she says with assurance.

“Yes? But I didn’t ask you a yes or no question.”

          “You were going to, Harv. I know that when you are at a loss for words, it is invariably serious and probably very personal.” It is the unspoken task for women to pry the truth out of creatures who are inherently incapable of doing it well, if at all. “So, my answer is, yes, I will marry you and it is high time; I passed the spinster line some time before I met you.”

  ‘That was easy’, Pearson thinks to himself. Had he known what little effort it took, this proposing thing, he would have spared Judith’s sofa the imprint of his body.

“Well it’s a good thing we are doing this legal. I believe the common-law statute was just Common Lawabout ready to kick in.” Harv injects humor into a laughable situation, taking her perplexed person into his loving embrace. “You know that this changes everything, don’t you?”

“Yes, if you mean that you are losing that “big brother” camouflage… or that you will drop that nasty habit of squashing your passion. It’s not healthy, you know, having a lion inside the body of a pussy cat. We’ve wasted precious time in a cage and I intend to let you out.”

Emmeline

He responds to her metaphor, however corny, even to the point where it is she who must apply the brakes to their passion, which has found its way to an office settee. “Harv, honey, Stanley will be here any minute with the proofs of Emmeline Pankhurst.” She is speaking of English “suffragette” whom they are featuring in this month’s issue.

“I guess it is back into the cage.”

“Now don’t you pout,” she reassembles unfastened articles of her clothing, though she would have preferred not to.

Stanley, the lab technician, strolls into the tail-end of the compromising scene, unaware of how close he was to viewing his bosses in a new and revealing light. Fortunately his pupils are still dilating from the darkroom black.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Huckleberry Hound “The Lion Tamer”

Episode #158


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #157

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #157

…Harv Pearson is the nearer to the telegraphic news ticker, so he picks up the end of the two foot and adding paper ribbon, reading his way back to the busy machine…

Tickertape machine

Chapter Nine

SHIFTING SANDS

“What is coming through the wire?” asks Judith Eastman. “It looks unusually long.”

She is speaking to Harv Pearson, in a rare moment when they are in their Rochester office simultaneously. One or the other or both are on the road most of the time.

“Might be a test run. It’s a bit early for news and there hasn’t been anything worthwhile for weeks,” certainly not of the human interest variety, the kind that makes good pictures and good press.

They are at the mercy of the news and news makers. Beginning with their first issue of the Pearson-Eastman Journal, the blockbuster interview and pictorial of Teddy Roosevelt in the American West, they had set the standard for finding great stories, combining the two mediums into a must read for millions of readers, i.e. subscribers.

Harv is the nearer to the telegraphic news ticker, so he picks up the end of the two foot and adding paper ribbon, reading his way back to the busy machine. He keeps adjusting his reading spectacles like they must be distorting the words.

“Does the cat have your tongue?” asks Judith playfully; curious as to why his mouth is hanging open without so much as a peep.

“We’re headed for California,” he says simply.

“Another gold rush?”

“Only if the U.S. Mint isn’t earthquake proof.”

“You don’t say.”

“Read for yourself,” he hands her the start of a frightening account. “It’s on fire, Judith, my God, it’s only after 5 o’clock in the morning there. Most people were sleeping when it hit, I would think that casualties are high.”

“We wouldn’t get there for three days.” She recounts the train ride back from Yosemite, in the Journal’s inaugural days.

“There is nothing else going on.” He laments the fluffy content of their magazine of late, though no one in their right mind would wish disaster on anyone for the sake of news. “If I know Jackson (his editor at the Quincy Reporter) we’ll be lucky if we beat him there.”

“You mean your newspaper has room in the budget for that?”

 “He watched me chase stories for years, not standard procedure for a small town rag, but I own it. He does not take that into account. If I told him he couldn’t, I would lose my Quincy Reporter-001credibility. The Reporter has the reputation of getting a big story first hand.”

“So, why don’t you sell him the Reporter?” This is not the first time she has suggested that move, for mostly selfish reasons that include taking away the one threat to his continued and permanent presence in her life. She has passed that point where she has enough emotional fuel for a return trip to her once lonely world. If only he would take that final step concerning their relationship; a proposal of betrothal instead of status quo-sal. “I mean, he has been running it without much help from you for five years now, something he pointed out when you were too busy to buy those new printing presses. The poor guy is working himself to death while you are doing a scant imitation of William Randolph Hearst.”


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Episode #157


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #152

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #152

…In a single hour, there is hatched a magazine named the Pearson-Eastman Journal, thus beginning a fresh era of reporting world events and the people in and around them…

After Roosevelt leaves, just like that the lobby empties, leaving the Pearson-Eastman partnership feeling like they have been run over by a Conestoga wagon. Instead of five foot high wheel marks and hoof print across their backs, they are reminded who is a celebrity and who is not, at least not yet.

  “We have a conference room reserved on the second floor. After that unexpected development, we best not put the cart before the horse.” James Ferrell’s budding professionalism shows.

The group as a whole is conspicuous by the formality of their dress, for a day that is still considered young; an outward sign that these folks mean business. They file into a good sized rectangular room with military precision, greeted by a hostess who is there to tend to their every creature comfort. She uncovers a lavish fruit tray, which is flanked by carafes filled with piping hot coffee and tea. Flaky croissants are magnets to six sets of hungry hands, as they situate themselves randomly, checking egos at the door.

“This is very impressive, James,” Harv observes while observing.

“I agree,” adds George Eastman. “This gives me some ideas for my boardroom.”

“We at Beacon Hill want to demonstrate how much your business means to us.”

  “We are all in agreement about the arrangements,” says Herbert Love, “but I am equally overwhelmed by your securing our audience with Teddy Roosevelt, let alone him inviting our magazine out to the frontier states. You guys should get some great photographs. I hear the scenery is majestic.”

“You all are coming, aren’t you?” asks an assuming Judith.

“Not this time sweetie. I cannot speak for Herbert, but regular business will more than occupy me. Train travel and tents are not on my agenda… and Judith? How are you on horseback? … and Harv, are you a closet Rough Rider?”

“Hey, smarty pants, we know our way around a stable in Florida, right Herb?”

Panhandle Pete

“That’s right Panhandle Pete!” he affirms with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Oblivious to discussions of the first company trip, Abbey Ferrell distributes copies of the Articles of Incorporation to the principles. In a single hour, there is hatched a magazine named the Pearson-Eastman Journal, thus beginning a fresh era of reporting world events and the people in and around them.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Covered Wagon Show (3)

Wagon Train Headed West

Episode #152


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #151

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #151

…Teddy Roosevelt is headed for the American West to survey our national treasures; Mountains, streams, forests and plain…

America the Beautiful

By now the entire lobby of the Rochester Arms is abuzz, as word of this affair has spread throughout the building and beyond. When Eastman, Eastman and Pearson arrive on the scene, they must fight their way through to an unexpected, though not unfamiliar gathering.

Journalism-001     “What is this? My God George – Harv darling, that is Teddy Roosevelt talking to Herbert! And James Ferrell and Abbey too. Do you realize what an opportunity this is?”

Judith de-cases her favorite camera, while strategically directing George’s assistant for maximum coverage from two lenses. George, for his part, moves in to try to use his influence for the direction his sister seems to be headed, but finds that young Ferrell has already accomplished that task. He gives the thumbs up signal to Judith. Harv’s freshly sharpened pencil is busily transposing verbal responses to his impromptu questions.

“I fully realize that you are just two months into the job of the Presidency, having promised to keep up William McKinley’s policies, but word around the country is that you intend to set controls on the monopolies that are forming or have already formed in certain critical industries in the United States. Firstly, is this true and if so, what are the specifics of that plan?”

“Whoa there, Mr. Pearson. That is one hell of a question and as soon as I figure out what is was, I will answer it.”

“Does the term “trust buster” sound familiar?”

“You sure don’t beat around the bush, sir. I guess that is why I have taken notice of your work. Like me, you tend to take no prisoners.”

National Park-001   It is clear that Roosevelt is not ready to be forthright just yet. However, he does offer this fledgling magazine an opportunity for a noteworthy first issue.

“George, Mr. Pearson, lovely Judith, friend and servant of the people, Herbert Love: I am headed for the American West to survey our national treasures; Mountains, streams, forests and plain which I want to present as a legacy for the future. But winter is knocking at the door, so it is imperative that we leave next week.” He extends his arms, as to encompass the aforementioned Eastman-Eastman-Pearson-Love.

Astonished glances are exchanged between the interested parties.

“If that was an invitation, we accept.” Pearson and the president shake hands. James Ferrell winces in the background, sympathies for Harv’s pencil hand.

Bully  Bully. We’ll have quite a time!” Roosevelt loves adventures. “But don’t bother packing many suits, not suited for horseback. Get it? Suit -suited?

“Well, I believe you have a meeting and I have a train blowing off steam at the railyard, probably wondering if I decided to walk back to Washington. See you next week, good people.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Blowing Off Steam

Episode #151


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