THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 135

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 135

…Braden King recalls Roy’s turn-of-the-century (21st) brushes with death and matrimony…

“Hot dogs, pizza puffs, mac & cheese, and Kool-Aid, that’s pretty much it, but I managed to talk my way onto an adult menu.”

“That’s the food, now what about the drugs and do they make them strong enough to tame you down?”

“Tame me or tie me down? When the boys went missing, I guessed that pushed me over the edge,” the stricken man admits. “Don’t you have a real job to go to Francine?”

“Naw, I trashed that gig when I agreed to fly off to Jamaica with you-know-who.”

 

“Yeah? Wow! I didn’t see that coming.”

“Do you think I was expecting this? I have been a big fan of Roy for a while now, but that man has got into my head and I don’t think that there is a cure for what ails me.”

“You got the Creeping Crippen! You can’t get it out of your clothes and that stain it leaves on your heart does not wash out.”

“You are his best friend Braden, so tell me the truth: Why has he never married?”

He takes her aside, “Well there he was, got his first big break after becoming an astronaut, pegged to test-pilot out a nuclear powered shuttle prototype. He was engaged to a Florida socialite at the time and she didn’t like him leaving the atmosphere, especially when she learned the nickname for test pilots, it starts
with an “L”.”

“Lunar-tics?”

“That’s a good one, but no–Lab Rats,” he recalls Roy’s turn-of-the-century (21st) brushes with death and matrimony. “When he came back to Earth, she had gone with her parents to Europe and he never heard from her again. Six months later she made headlines by marrying a 70 yr. old Greek winemaker…wasn’t right for him anyhow, but he never got over losing.”

“Was he heartbroken?” Francine loves to guess.

No. She never gave him his diamond ring back. That’s what he hated losing!”

Image result for mean nurse“Out, out, out,” the floor supervisor whispers loudly, “it is past midnight and Master King has tests scheduled first thing.”

“Never mind “Nurse No-Fun”; that’s what the other kids call her.”

“Other kids?” She gives a one-armed hug, careful not to disturb all the tubes and machines. “We will see you tomorrow, Braden. Come on boys, this filly needs to pick out a bunk.”

It is Braden’s home but, “Roy’s room at the ranch is the last door on the left. It has its own bath and I told the cleaning gal you would be coming.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 135


page 166

 

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

…“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”…

 

“I have a million credits stored up in my account and it’s burning a hole in my purse. I believe that you need new swim/tennis shorts and my bikini has a strap that is about to let loose.”

“You don’t have to buy me stuff, I can get by.”

“Not with me! And I’ve always wanted to have a guy to buy things for.”

“What about Larry?” He dares to go down that road.

“Let’s not go there. I am not in a good spot on that subject.”

“As long as you deal with him straight-up, after all you did agree to marry him somewhere along the line.”

“He knows where I stand Roy. I walked out on the station, violated my contract, and told him I was leaving the country with you. I think he gets the hint. If that makes me a coldhearted bitch, then so be it.”Related image

“Hey, I’m not trying to push my luck and I certainly do not want you to change your mind. If you are a coldhearted bitch, then I guess that I have taken a liking to coldhearted bitches.”

“C-H-B is harsh, but I’m not that same cutthroat TV reporter who called NASA out of the blue. It appears that you’ve made an honest woman out of me.”

“Speaking of acronyms, c-h-b you’re not, F-blank-B stands for what?”

“Nothing.”

“Francine Nothing Bouchette… boy your parents had low expectations.”

“I didn’t get a middle name; in fact I changed my name for television. In my high school yearbook, Francesca Boucheletta was voted “Most Likely to Be Famous”, but no way that was going to happen with an Italian name like that; sounds more like a wine & appetizer.”

“An Italian with a French name?”

“How about you Roy?” He wasn’t to get off that easy.

“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”

Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen

Francine immediately does an Internet search for the name, “I do not see the family resemblance.”

“I don’t know about that, but my parents did not want me to go to medical school… and I get queasy at the sight of blood, but I do like a bloody Mary from time to time and it is noon somewhere… want to join me F blank B?”

“The best place to find out about a new town is to talk with the bartender. We need to see what’s happening around here.”


 

THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 116


page 144

 

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Pastimes That Make You Smarter

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Pastimes That Will Actually

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #166

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #166

… The solemn procession stops nearest the lone freshly dug hole around, below the shade giving branches of a sprawling magnolia tree…

Hilary W.. Baldwin

Fifty hours and eleven hundred clickety-clack miles later, the Atlantic Special pulls up to Tallahassee station, pretty much on time. There is the usual crowd anxiously waiting for their people to stride from one of the ten passenger cars. Those who await James, Abbey, and Alpha are conspicuous by the color of their dress; black and blacker garb of mourners.

Laughter and tears

  Laughter and tears mingle together, in no particular order, randomly interspersed between everyone hugging everybody. However lousy the reason for this reunion, the undertaker’s wagon lurking down the street with Doc Ziggy is poised stoically for the regretful procession, there is an unmistakable tie that is abiding; Ferrells, Campbells, Loves – friends, lovers, kin and kindred spirit.

They leave the platform, arm in arm, coming up behind the shiny black hearse containing Frieda’s earthly vessel which is void of her heavenly soul, pointed toward the cemetery over Macomb Street way.

The solemn procession stops nearest the lone freshly dug hole around, below the shade giving branches of a sprawling magnolia tree, in front of a slab of polished gray granite labeled:
Headstone-001

Becoming a grandmother without first being a mother is a trick saved for women like Frieda, whose love for someone else’s child is selflessly unconditional. Maggie Lou is a budding young woman, with physical traits provided by a genetic mom and dad, but more than a modicum of compassion and good old-fashioned grounding, dispensed by a kindly German Frau in her twilight.

Maggie Lou’s physical traits are not lost on Alpha Campbell, who has never seen her filling out a brassiere, looking more like 16 than 11. She has suddenly filled out that space in his mind’s eye reserved for “woman”. What a few more years might do for her maturity? He is smart enough not to scare her off with talk other than friendship. He can only hope that she will be there for him, when he is a doctor and she is not off limits.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #166


page 155

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #154

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #154

…The experience is surreal, almost like he is watching himself from above and does not stop until he is kneeling right in front,..

Surrealistische-olieverf-schilderijen-van-Vladimir-Kush-6

Salvador Dali

“We all are sinners, every one of us, headed for eternal damnation in the furnaces of hell. We are lost souls, with little hope of changing ourselves,” is his recurring theme.

“Hallelujah, Brother!”

“Praise God Almighty!”

These are words from those who already know.

redeemed      “But there is good news, brothers and sisters!” He throws his head back, long gray hair flying, looking up and pointing to the cloudless sky. “Jesus Christ has already died for our sins and he is reigning in heaven, waiting to take his followers up with him. All YOU and YOU and YOU have to do,” he points, “is believe on him and his blessed resurrection and you too can look forward to eternal life.”

John is one of the people he looks in the eye. Does he know my sins? He was speaking right at me.

“You can be a thief, a murderer. Perhaps you have violated your sacred vows of marriage or fathered a child with another woman. There is no use hiding from God. He already knows.”

It is 90 degrees, but John’s sweat is of the cold variety.

“If you do not have a personal relationship with God, I invite you to come forward and receive glory!”

Up until this point, Ferrell had been standing inconspicuously in the back, with no intent on being seen. Seemingly without his will, he makes his way forward. The experience is surreal, almost like he is watching himself from above. He does not stop until he is kneeling right in front, at the feet of a man that would have scared him to death prior to this life-changing day.

He is recognized by many of the gathering, but no matter, John Ferrell has taken that giant step to salvation.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #154


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #153

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #153

… No one listening to this fiery man of God, on that hot June day, really believed that Ezra Elijah is his real name…

Ezra Elijah-001

Back “home” in Leon and Gadsden Counties, Florida, big business is small and bustling city life is not. If Tallahassee were not the capital of its state and it did not have the two universities, the area more closely resembles southern Georgia or Alabama or Mississippi.

San Luis Lake-001 But it is not and that is a good thing, though as 1902 replaces 1901, there is still widespread poverty in the entire South, including Tallahassee, Midway and Quincy.

The Ferrells, John, Martha and Agnes, operate on the fringe of all that is bad, their place in the community tied to the locations of their three groceries. The neighborhoods are representative of the typical Southern mix; from the affluent Capital Hills to black Frenchtown and not much in-between.

At home on San Luis Lake, they are insulated and isolated from the people they serve. Some would say on the fringe of reality as well.

Once upon a time

      John Ferrell has busied himself juggling his two very different worlds, managing to keep them separate, apparently by the infinite grace of God. For a man who can be formerly categorized as a two-timer on both religious and personal fronts, (attending church at Christmas and Easter, in addition to having children by wife Martha and Laura Bell), he has experienced a revival of such proportions that neither his wife or Laura Bell know what to think, though they do not dare turn down the blessing. They can thank a traveling Protestant evangelist named, Ezra Elijah of the American Bible League, barnstorming Florida with news of the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ; grace being a gift from God for those who believe in him.

No one listening to this fiery man of God, on that hot June day, really believed that Ezra Elijah is his real name, but after listening to him speak on heaven and hell, all they can think of is where they will go when they die. Most of the Tallahasseans watching and listening to the figure, on the back of a well-traveled wagon, are there by happenstance, curiosity seekers like John Ferrell. A core of bible toting black women knew of his coming and are escorting and exhorting him along his way, as far as their faithful walk with God will take them.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #153


page 141

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

…as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people…

Tallahassee 12-001

Eleven of the original dozen return to the Niagara Hotel. No, no one gets lost or killed – merely waylaid. It is no surprise that Harv stays behind, to explore the merits of night photography. His pass key may go unused. “Don’t you worry about me,” he tells them. They do not, but it does not prevent the adults from using their imagination.

The carriage ride back to Ferry Street is jam-packed with cross talk, about favorite dishes, the champagne, the President, the Statler Hotel, but mostly Harv and Judith Eastman.

“Some people have a monopoly on luck,” laments Jacques Francoise, feeling like the wallflower at a cotillion; lonely, jealous and unchosen.

“Luck has little to do with it, my boy,” counsels Herbert Love, the benefactor of a successful marriage. “Harv has held out for the very same thirty years that Phoebe and I have been married. He had his chances along the way, but never the right woman. It takes courage not to marry out of loneliness. So, as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people.”

“The moral of the story is?” asks the other applicable party, Jacob Haley.

“I would say, ‘He who hesitates is not always lost’.”

“It’s more like, ‘Don’t put a fox in an empty henhouse’, jokes Ziggy, whose world is far less complicated, rarely resorting to lofty theory.

He gets an elbow in his ribs for his trouble. “Shush, Siegfried! You can be such a visenheimer.” Frieda would know.

Wisenheimer-001

They are back at the hotel before the poor boys can be humiliated any further, returning to a staff that attends to them in earnest, not contempt. One can only hope that this small piece of attitude adjustment is a highly infectious disease, spreading faster than a million, million mosquitoes carrying yellow fever.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #137


page 126

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