Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

…Alpha O. Campbell, M.D. deserved a better fate. Gwendolyn Hoff has given it to him. Thank you for the privilege of writing this story.

A.O., God rest your soul. It has been one wild ride!…

When We Last Left

In chapters 8 and 9 we are introduced to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who is an admitted sidetrack. Company Town-001The company town Blountstown is the Calhoun County seat, but it is mere fodder for the overall story. Company towns can really be like Blountstown.

All the above, as in Episode #333, is a lead-up to our late involvement in WWI, where we meet Sir James KISS FOR CINDERELLA-001Matthew Barrie, the prolific playwright and cousin to John Ferrell. John Ferrell’s supply ship, the Panama City, never sailed, was not sunk by U-Boat submarines, though the elder Ferrell did indeed die in 1916; such a blue-blooded way to Pearson Eastman Journal-001die, helping your Scottish ancestors through a tough time.

Chapters 10 and 11 encompass that bloody 1st world war, along with the deadly influenza that started inPearson Eastman Journal-001 Europe and traveled back to the US. 30 million people died worldwide and that is about the time that Alpha Omega Campbell began practicing medicine.

After the doctor and Maggie wed in 1918, they both had affairs that produced Maggie Lou-001children. Maggie’s dalliance produced middle daughter, Laura. That little child was so fair-skinned, right banker Lewis? Alpha, for his part, did father a child; it’s just that whether it was with Camille Diaz is buried amongst the Careless Whispers. Camille is fictional.

Alice Paul did argue for the cause of the right for women to vote, which was a hard fought and contentious lead-up to the Roaring Twenties, but is window dressing for my purposes.

Those Roaring years of flappers and debauchery are bypassed here, as is the Great Depression. It Image result for r.i.pseems the author (me) does not deal well with hard times, which resurface in the closing chapters, a.k.a. the happy, or rather, calm ending. So From the Ashes emerges the mid-1930’s. We lose great characters Harv Pearson, Herbert Love and Phoebe. We’ve already left the Endlichoffer’s behind and the elder Ferrells.

James Ferrell LawyerJames Ferrell becomes the Dr.’s lawyer and we are (re)introduced to Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway – Private Eye) and her lover Sara Fenwick (Fanny Constance Caraway P.I.-001Renwick). Like the incest episode between James and Agnes, this Lesbian relationship is a glimpse into life in the South, as well as real life. This statement is not meant to offend, it’s just that things happen down there that are “different”, perhaps more frequently or just a figment of fertile fancy.

Newt Swakhammer-001       Chapters, Hospitable, Inhospitable fly us to Area 51 and an alien contact. Good ol’ Newt Swakhammer, what a guy? The government calls him a crank. But the year 1947 harbors UFO’s, as well as the brick & mortar of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital… born of Alpha O. Campbell’s spirit, the building itself is one large lightning rod; meant for good, yet attracting an LBMH-001onslaught of controversy and hardship.

We look back at Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, along 434f7-disneylandwith the world of Cinderella. And then we are bounced ahead to Michael Rennie and Walt Disney; what an odyssey of entertainment.

 

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latobsd3-001As for the remainder of THE LIFE & TIMES, not so many pages back, your imagination isLATOBSD4-001 the king. My imagination has splattered the backdrop of history from way-back 1896, all the way up to the dawn of John Fitzgerald Kennedy… Just the dawn, mind you, then you are reeled back to 1955.

Isn’t that rude? But look at the payoff. Instead of an old man in jail, we LBMHhappen upon a Laura Bell Memorial Hospital with a future. What a shame that this was not the ending to the saga of one of the first Black doctors in gwenFlorida. In my rosy reality, we all have access to Alice’s Wonderful Looking Glass.

Alpha O. Campbell, M.D. deserved a better fate. Gwendolyn Hoff has given it to him. Thank you for the privilege of writing this story.

 A.O., God rest your soul. It has been one wild ride! 

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Copyright © 2020 by Gwendolyn K Hoff   All Rights Reserved


Alpha Omega M.D.

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– Final Episode

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #275

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #275

…with the war over, there is babies being made left and right… and up, down and sideways…

post-war_Baby-Boom_577

Just then, two cars pull up to 224 Virginia Street. Ten professional looking men jump out of the eight doors, enthusiastically. They are anxious to see just what their colleague has been doing with his spare time.–

          –At the same time that the ten black staff physicians, some on, some off duty, check out another venue in which to uphold their oath of healing, there is a spur-of-the-moment meeting of the Florida A & M Hospital board of directors, called by the advisory board chairman, J. Leonard Lewis, who happens to be a backdoor relative of banker Lewis. That in itself inserts a stench into the coming proceedings.

“What are we going to do about Campbell’s hospital?” He opens with a very pointed question.

“What do you mean by that, J.L.,” asks Vernon L. Perry, taken aback by the tone.

V.L. –  J.L. –  A.O. –  A&M  –  L.B.M.H. – Abbreviation City.

“Here we are, understaffed as it is and a third of our doctors are AWOL, being courted by that Baby Boomrenegade Campbell!” He cannot hide his bitterness. “Look, V.L., with the war over, there is babies being made left and right… and up, down and sideways. We can’t afford to lose any one of them. Unlike Tallahassee Memorial, we are a predominantly black facility.”

Perry is just as aware of the influx of births as Lewis, but he is a friend of A.O. Campbell and he knows there is no intended competition. Rather, what is being lost in this shuffle of egos is that most of the babies Campbell will deliver would have been probably turned away at the university or delivered in a non sterile environment by a midwife.

“You don’t actually believe that he will cut into our revenue, do you?”

“He won’t charge as much as us. Don’t you think people over there in Frenchtown will find out?”

“I don’t see how doing mostly what we would consider charity work, is going to be a threat,” adds a new voice in the discussion. Mrs. John Phipps, widow of a prominent Tallahassean, turned philanthropist, discerns no menace from the diminutive doctor from Virginia Street. “He gave up a good job to pursue his dream.”

“He shouldn’t impose his dream on the other doctors.”

“You don’t get it, do you? We are not going to lose any of our staff to Campbell,” states Perry. “Anything they do is on their own time.”

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“There is one thing you don’t get, V.L. Does the name, Charles Wilson ring a bell?” The room falls silent. They are well aware that a high percentage of their operating expenses are funded by Wilson’s charitable foundation and his certain friends of a like mind. You can guess who is in control and what nefarious agendas the whole of them undertake.

“Hello?” Lewis prods.

The dissenting majority has a feeling that their poker hand has just been trumped. Wilson is a wild card none of them can top.

“I think my point has been made, folks. Our policy toward working outside Florida A & M Hospital is about to be enforced.”

… Or made up…

Letter B.Letter S.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #275


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #254

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #254

…“Too many cooks spoil the broth,” Judith recounts trouble brewing in the eastern Pacific Ocean…

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth by Liam Liberty

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth by Liam Liberty

“If I am following this correctly, there is a worldwide alert and yet the world isn’t in on it.”

“That’s about it, Mrs. Eastman. You read that thing and you would think that another world war has started.” Pan Am founder Terry Trippe recounts.

“Maybe FDR doesn’t want to rock the boat leading up to the election?” she theorizes, in an attempt to explain why the most powerful country on the planet is literally sitting on its collective hands, yea, sticking its head in the sand.

“Roosevelt is no dummy that is for sure. I just think that there are too many pots boiling on the stove… no,” he rethinks his analogy, “the pots that are boiling individually are manageable. It’s like the stoves are too far apart for one cook to supervise. We need more cooks.”

“Too many cooks spoil the broth,” Judith recounts.bracket rt

“Too few cooks and the guests go home hungry.”

Comparative phrases are flying around the passenger cabin like so many analogous ping pong balls.

“What is this,” enters the queen of silent films, “Mister Terry Trippe in a serious discussion?”

 “Me thinks my reputation precedes me, Mary. You shouldn’t believe everything you read.”

braceT LFT “Are you saying that the Pearson-Eastman Journal is a gossipy rag, Mister Trippe?” quips Mary.

  “Rag is harsh, but… “

  ”But watch it!” warns Judith, now peering through the lens of her Kodak friend. “The camera can be your friend… or not.” Click. “And my travel feature will net you priceless publicity.”

  “…it’s not what I had in mind. They do a fine job of reporting the facts.” Click.

   “And…” Click.

   “And Judith Eastman is the finest photographer of the twentieth century.”

“And don’t you forget it. Now move over by that window,” Judith motions as she adroitly scales the next seat over for an angle that brings the looming land below into the picture. Click. There is a plume of smoke rising thousands of feet in the air. “That appears serious!”

“We were supposed to land there. That is one of my bases! Damn! It’s burned to the ground.”

phoenix fire by artistic puppy deviantart.com

From the ashes of the funeral pyre to the smoldering cinders of human conflict, the phoenix rises anew.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #254


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #247

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #247

…Mary Pickford has made the drive up to San Francisco to meet Judith, after having accepted an invitation to fly on the one of the first transpacific flights, eventually bound for Hong Kong…

Meanwhile Caption-001

“Oh how I wish I were your age again, Mary Pickford.” Judith Eastman reflects backward to when she was forty years old, though as regrets go, she has little reason to complain. It has been three years since she lost her partner of more than a quarter of this century. Even in his absence, she is grateful for the time she had with him and regrets not meeting him earlier in her life, yet in was not nearly long enough.

Those 26 years seemed to fly by, likely hastened by the frenetic pace of publishing a national monthly, the P-E Journal. Sure, they could have delegated more of the responsibility to very capable people, but that would have blotted out some of the greatest experiences two people could ever hope to share. She was not quite Mary’s age when Harv Pearson turned her world upside down. “My brother, God bless his soul, kept making the camera smaller, but today it seems ever heavier without the love of my life.”

Just then, one by one, the four – 1600 horsepower engines of the Pacific Clipper begin to roar, china_clipper
drowning out any words of encouragement the recently retired actress tried to give. She was going to tell Judith how young she looks and acts and how she hopes she can age as gracefully, without the Hollywood trend of plastic surgery. That is why when she reached forty, she turned her attention entirely to United Artists and her equally retired husband, the still dashing Douglas Fairbanks.

Pickford has made the drive up to San Francisco to meet Judith, after having accepted an invitation to fly on the one of the first transpacific flights, eventually bound for Hong Kong. The British crown colony has become truly an international trading center, as well as the cultural capital of the orient, and is on many’s must-see list.

“I am so glad that you invited me, Jude. I haven’t had a holiday for years. It seems every time Doug and I schedule a trip, some producer comes up with a film that will be the one. This time it is something titled, Mutiny on the Bounty.”

 “Is that gorgeous husband of yours in it?” Judith has known Fairbanks since he and Mary married in 1920, secretly fantasizing that he would swashbuckle her someday. She allowed herself that frill, mainly because she knew that this was a harmless dream about her best friend’s mate, who happens to look good flashing his pirate-parts. (hee-hee)


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #247


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #237

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #237

…the world of 1935 is poorer for the loss of certain folks…

Wash Day 1935, by Phil Dike

… but poor is not a word you would apply to Doctor A.O. and Maggie Lou Campbell. Once Maggie turned 21, back in 1918, a formidable miniature real estate empire had begun. Starting with 61 parcels (which swells to 150 at its peak) of inherited land in and around Tallahassee, it is not long before a power base is established, by of all people, a black family. And even though they travel in both circles, it is with clenched teeth and wrenched hands that the established whites of Florida’s panhandle do so. It is that quiescent force that has and will continue to smolder just beneath the ground that the Campbells tread, whether it is their own ground or not.

And no more evident is this jealous undercurrent than at the time of Laura Bell’s death on a late summer day in 1931.

Flashback-001

  “May I have a few yards of that gingham?” asks Princess Olla Laura Bell, the mother of Maggie Lou Campbell and very much the grand dame of Tallahassee’s Frenchtown. She is a frequent customer of Fenwick’s Fabriques, a fabric shop owned by the seamstress to the wealthy, Sara Fenwick. Laura Bell happens sews her own clothes, as well as her teenaged granddaughters Alpha, Laura and Zillah, though in order for those same fashion conscious girls to actually wear her dresses, she must get the input of Miss Sara, considered to be on the cutting edge of what makes its way west from Paris and south from New York. The Campbell gals are not to be seen in anything that is not contemporary. “Yes, that red un’, Missy Sara. Alpha’s gots a dance to go’ta this’n Saturdee an she dint ax me for a dress til late. I was well pleased to see yo lights burning.”

“Yes, it is late, is it not? I am glad I told my friend Carolyn not to wait supper for me. It seems everyone is looking forward to their autumn wardrobe, though you would not think so with the weather we’ve been having.” She openly invokes the name of her roommate, someone about whom people whisper about. She and Sara are awfully close, close in a way that invites folks to wonder. ‘There is only one bedroom in that house. And have you seen them hold hands? I hear that they learned that in Paris.’

Schiaparelli, Vogue 1935

“I am going to throw in an extra yard so you can make a bolero. Everyone is wearing them,” suggests the attractive and talented clothier, all the while musing what would look best on Alpha Campbell.

“Ain’t heard of that… some kinda hat?” Uninformed does not equal ignorance.

“No, oh no!” Sara leafs through a fashion magazine to find an example. “Here, yes, very close to this,” she points, “but come to think of it, perhaps a rayon print would be better suited. It has been so oppressively hot these days.”

  “You never steer me wrong, Missy Sara. Wrap that up fo me an I’lla be goin. You should goin’ yo ownself. Bad people mull ‘round on steamy nights liken this.”

          “I have one hem to finish and I will be right behind you,” she says with a sweet smile, very much looking forward to getting home…


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #237


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #235

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #235

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

From the Ashes

          …Fifteen years. 5475 days. A lot can happen in that span of time and it has. In present day 1935, lives have changed…

Time Marches On-001

  Judith Eastman, for one, has lost both her husband and brother in the same year, of the same disease. At age 72 she has lived a rich and fulfilling life, but do not think for a moment that that matters now. She would gladly trade all that personal gratification for the companionship she now is lacking.

 The Great Depression took its toll on everyone, even those like the Pearson-Eastman’s who were financially immune to bankruptcy.

George Eastman, a man of much wealth and benevolence, lived his last years with a broken heart, so did he mourn for the ruined majority around him. During the Roaring Twenties he gave away more than $70 million to his favorite educational institutions. How was he to know, that would only be enough money to help the worse-off of the worse? He did what he could, right up until his 78 year old heart did truly break.

Harv Pearson had to see all those crushed spirits and forlorn faces twice. Having to see them in person, day after day, is difficult enough. Inserting Judith’s pictures of some of those very same into their magazine, would break his heart as well. He had survived a hurricane, dodged submarines and bullets, but could not, in the end, defeat a human condition in despair.

The Pearson-Eastman Journal, whose gripping photographs and human-interest stories became a monthly fixture in a million American households in 1901, will have life as long as Judith Eastman draws a breath.


Alpha Omega M.D.

1920 to 1935-001

Episode #235


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #217

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #217

…“No, I’m afraid I must return to the real world,” tells Judith Eastman…

Variety Pickford-001

 “Bravo! What a scene!” Mary cannot contain herself. “Oh, I wish there were a way to record that scene with every little sound, all that raw emotion.”

The movie’s director is almost in tears, of the joyful variety. He has witnessed Judith’s steady improvement, the way she has started to use body language and that face; able to express a full compliment of moods.

Her final scene even impresses the not easily impressible Harry Langdon.  His last words to her, “I will work with you any time”, are different from his first, “I will not work with an untrained, unknown East Coast frump.” He lied about the frump part, eating those words faster than he can chew.

“Thank you all. I really enjoyed the experience and I am going to miss you. My magazine work will surely now seem boring.”

“You are going to stay until we are done shooting aren’t you?” Mary half asks half urges.

“No, I’m afraid I must return to the real world. I am surprised I was able to concentrate with my husband on the other side of the world.”

“My people will arrange for your return train, and I’ll instruct payroll to cut you a check for your performance.” Businesswoman Pickford takes control. “And please promise me that if I have a role tailor-made for you, that you will answer my call.”

“I cannot promise you absolutely, but I will do almost anything for a friend.”

The pair embraces warmly, but briefly. “Scene 84 to set 5 please, places everyone,” barks the director.

“That’s me, Judith. Have a safe trip and give your husband my best. He is a lucky man.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #217


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