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.”

blacklist

“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 #274

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #274

…Campbell hopes to have any of his colleagues from Florida A & M Hospital, who would like to practice out of LBMH, do so…

Loving Hold

Loving Hold by Marla Oliphant

“You haven’t stopped movin’ since you got back from Mayo,” complains Maggie Campbell. He continues Vertical-001Vertical-001his flitting around, having done it for the entire year leading up to the completion of LBMH. This time, an equally busy man covered with powdery white dust, gets his attention.

“The second floor won’t be finished for another week, Doctor Campbell,” reports the general contractor for the Laura Bell Memorial Hospital.

  “We’re goin’ to have a reception this Friday, whether you’re finished or not. I would appreciate you makin’ sure there ain’t a mess on the first floor. I expect maybe fifty people or more and I will need the room.”

“Don’t you worry bout a thing, Doc; I’ll make sure the guys clean up good. Heck we won’t be doin’ anything on Friday anyway, mostly waiting on those special doors you need.”

“As long as there is a front door, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital will be open for business on Saturday. My Project 18-001In fact, I’m having a group of doctors over this afternoon for a tour.” Campbell hopes to have any of his colleagues from Florida A & M Hospital, who would like to practice out of LBMH, do so. There is such a great need for health care in the back streets of Frenchtown, no one doctor should shoulder the load, let alone the expense, of treating the less fortunate. It is his noble cause, but he also hopes that the other black physicians will eagerly take up the call. “Maggie, would you drop in our nurses, make sure they will be at the reception. Have you seen the trucking company yet? Those stainless steel examinin’ tables should have come in from Pittsburgh already.”

BOOK PIC NURSES 001

A.O & his Nursing Staff

“Alpha Campbell, you’re actin’ like a mother hen, I swear. You know Lilly Chevis is my best friend and head nurse. I think she has the girls ready. Let the good Lord take care of the details and you take care of those doctor friends of yours. I had Cook make two big pitchers of lemonade, oh and some of those finger sandwiches you like so much.”

“Oh, Maggie, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” True enough. Without her inheritance from John Ferrell, thirty or so years ago, there is no huge house, no chauffeur driven Cadillac, no servants, no parties at the country club; just the prestige of being a respected physician. And the hospital? Forget about it. They would be living on love and not much more, which is not so bad, because that is just what they actually share. It just so happens they get a new car every year, has four people on their household staff and they have their very own hospital right across their driveway.

“Let’s get this thing going, Alpha.” She spreads her arms out to encompass the entire whiteness of LBMH. “Maybe you will be able to deliver our first grandchild here. Laura tells me that she and Franklin are tryin, to have a baby.”

“That would be somethin’ Maggie!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

"God is Like a Mother Hen" Mosaic from the church of Dominus Flevit - Jerusalem

“God is Like a Mother Hen” Mosaic from the church of Dominus Flevit – Jerusalem

Episode #274


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #271

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #271

… A blank stare is the mystery woman’s default answer to most questions. She simply doesn’t remember… much…

 

Meanwhile Caption-001“This is 1947, Miss ______?” wonders United States Air Force Sergeant Vincent Smith of a woman who is sitting up in a hospital bed at the military facility near Alamogordo, NewHolloman AFB-001 Mexico. She was found standing on the main runway at Holloman Air Force Base, in the middle of a moonlit night two days ago. It is only the full moon that saves her from being run down by a jet airplane taxiing to a midnight takeoff. “Okay, let’s forget your name for now. What is the last thing you remember?”

 “Dancing.”

 “Dancing. That makes sense, considering the dress you were wearing when they found you. Can you tell me where you were dancing and perhaps how you managed to find your way onto the most highly guarded military base in the world?”

A blank stare is the mystery woman’s default the answer to most questions. She simply doesn’t remember… much. “Pearl Harbor – can’t go back, the Japanese…”

The man is puzzled why she always goes back to 1941. Maybe she was a prisoner of the Japanese? “That was six years ago,” he explains once again.

20140323psychiatry“No,” the woman insists, “we are leaving for Pakistan in the morning. I have to get back to the Clipper.”

The base psychiatrist, who has since come into the room, having dealt with this mysterious lady from the beginning, has been slowly putting some of the clues together. “I think she is talking about the Pacific Clipper, Vince, you know, the one Bob Ford flew for Pan American. When the bleeping Japs hit Pearl, he had to fly back to New York by the seat of his pants.”

“Yeah, I have a buddy who knows one of the mechanics from that plane, said they burned 76 octane half the time,” Smith recalls. “But that was still six years ago! This is beginning to creep me out. Keep an eye on her Ben; I’m going to give Pan American a buzz. Maybe they can help figure this out.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Melancholia-Dr Sarvenaz Keyhani

Melancholia by Dr Sarvenaz Keyhani

Episode #271


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #270

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #270

I have invited every black doctor in Tallahassee to use the hospital and we will be able to treat folks, even if they don’t have no money to pay…

My Project 18-001

“Yep. I believe my doctorin’ began with my carin’ for a bird with a busted wing.” And now he is on the brink of having his Laura Bell Memorial Hospital become a reality. He can only have fond memories for the days he spent around Herbert Love, without whose love, guidance and support his very own health care facility would have remained a dream. Chances are that instead of being a doctor he would be working for the new owners of Love Dairy & Ice, taking up his father’s craft of cigar making; Honorable work, but paling in comparison to the life he Love's-001has been blessed with. Now, it is the Herbert & Phoebe Love Foundation that helps LBMH become a reality.

“You will be able to save a lot of birds with a 24-bed clinic, Doc.” Lawyer James proclaims.

“Hospital!”

“Excuse my ignorance.”

I have invited every black doctor in Tallahassee to use the hospital. We will be able to treat folks, even if they don’t have no money to pay. No one should go on sick just because they can’t afford a doctor.”

“I admire your benevolence, but you must keep in mind that you will be spending one-half of that $300,000 of your own money. And the bank will expect to be repaid for what they have lent you. And old man Lewis is not known for forgiving any amount of money owed him.”

  “I’ll be a chargin’ folks James, believe me, but only ones who have it.” A.O. is quite aware of his finances, especially as it applies to his wife. Even with the girls out the door and married, Maggie Lou continues to find ways to spend… and spend and spend some more. “But I haveta give up my day job, though I told at A&M that I can fill in a pinch.”

  “Don’t get me wrong, Doc, it’s just that I am not the type person to lay out that amount for a building. You’re exposing yourself, man! You could be cruising on to retirement, instead, your retirement money is going into that polly-annahospital. Couldn’t you work out of your house first?”

  “Can’t treat whites out my house. I’m hopin’ they will let me set up some white beds.”

“Good luck with that.” There is a sarcastic tone to his voice. He continues to be amazed at A.O. Campbell’s Pollyanna views on race relations. He has the unique ability to block out persistent injustices, choosing to focus on ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe somedays’. Maybe he is on to something, after all. “You know, Alpha, I hear they are looking for an ambassador to represent the US at the United Nations. You would be perfect for the job.”

 “Shucks, James, I’m just another country doctor, not a ‘bassador.”

“He is a country doctor, with the foundation of his own hospital being dug as we speak.” James will never cease to be amazed at the world of Alpha Omega Campbell. Nothing about him is just plain ordinary, yet nearly child-like in his simplicity.

“Speakin’ of today, I got to get packed for the Mayo Clinic.” Every couple of years, A.O. heads north to keep current in his medicine.

“There you go, Alpha. Clinic is good enough for the Mayos.”

“They have clinics in Minnesota, we have hospitals in Florida.”

How can you argue with that?


Alpha Omega M.D.

Pollyanna book cover by Tamzyn Leigh

Pollyanna book cover by Tamzyn Leigh

Episode #270


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #269

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #269

Chapter Fifteen

HOSPITALITY

…The Florida court system in 1946 is stacked up with ever increasing lawsuits, due in large part to the exponential increase in the number of attorneys…

Fast Forward-001

“You said you were going to retire this year, James,” reminds Abigail Ferrell-Ferrell to her husband.

“I said that I would consider it and I have. It’s just that Alpha has these nagging little malpractice suits thatLawsuit seem to drag on forever.” It is true. The Florida court system in 1946 is stacked up with ever increasing lawsuits, due in large part to the exponential increase in the number of attorneys and their incessant snooping and digging, for what amounts to manufacturing business.

  • If a baby is born with a birth defect, sue.
  • If a woman develops an infection after delivering the baby, sue.
  • If the husband trips on the hospital stairway while taking his crippled baby and ill wife home, sue.
  • If the receptionist looks cross-eyed at the family when they are readmitted, of course, sue.

“And that hospital he is intent on building, he is going to need as much advice as I can give.”

James Ferrell Lawyer “You are 66 years old and Alpha himself told you that ulcer you had a couple of years ago will come back if you don’t cut back.” Abbey has been the best wife a man can have, not to mention having aged, oh so well. When James looks at her, like he is now, discerning her caring and what wisdom is behind it, he cannot help but see that quaking 15 year old, the scared little girl that had just witnessed the killing of her father, at the hands of the slaves who used to attend to her every need.

“I understand where you are coming from Abbey, but you have been taking such good care of me. I have never felt better.”

There is a knock on the door of their San Luis Lake home. Abbey opens it to reveal the main topic of their discussion.

“Well, A.O. Campbell, your ears must have been ringing. We were just talking about you,” she shares.

“Nothin’ bad I trust. I know I have been takin’ most of your man’s time lately, probably got me on your bad side.”

“Oh nonsense, Doc Campbell, how can a sweet man like you ever cause anyone any harm?”

“I bet you that James has a few names he could offer in that category.”

“Intent is 90% of the law, Alpha and I cannot for the life of me recall you hurting so much as a pesky housefly.”

At a glance, the doctor’s diminutive stature and dapper manner of dress is proof in the putting. He is the physical image of his deportment, from the brim of his crisply brimmed hats to the tips of his perfectly polished shoes.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Intent by Terry Cullen

Episode #269


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #256

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #256

…The plight of the Negro community has not changed, yea, surely worsened by the continuing Great Depression, as the world-wide economic downward spiral is called…

Blessings III by John Holyfield

Blessings III by John Holyfield

The death of Princess Olla has never left the mind of A.O. Campbell, not merely because of the manner in which she died. Laura Bell was like a mother to him, going back to the days of his lengthy visits to San Luis Lake and that dear German couple, the Endlichoffers. These people were like family to him and seeing that his parents Willy and Amanda lived only long enough to see the Great War end, (plus a year or two), Princess Olla was his family. Oh yes, there are sisters Agnes and Francis, whom he has set up in a house in Tallahassee. And he has Hosea. Oh my, Hosey, now there is a relative for you, as in, ‘You can choose your friends, but family chooses you’.

And then there are Maggie Lou and the girls. They make sure he keeps busy. He can scarce afford not to, with three females perfecting the art of spending money. The result: he has been beguiled by the lucrative, if not, illegal, world of abortion.  ‘Somebody else will do them if’n I don’t,’ he says to himself. ‘With less skill and care,’ he adds.

   And then there is his dream of building his own hospital. He can see it there on the empty lot next to their house on Virginia Street, just a few steps from where Laura Bell was left for dead.

dream

The plight of the Negro community has not changed, yea, surely worsened by the continuing Great Depression, as the world-wide economic downward spiral is called. This is like telling a starving man that he needs to go on a diet. These impoverish people’s health suffers as bad as or worse than their jobless quagmire. And with the number of black doctors increasing yearly, what better a place to come to the aid of their own? Care would be given, regardless of ability to pay. A.O. wants to provide a place for black doctors to practice outside the present restrictive structure, to make an absolute difference in the lives of the needy.

Where will the money come from? Dream high and tread lightly.


Alpha Omega M.D.

6th Avenue Unemployment Agency by Abraham Harriton

Episode #256


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #244

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #244

…I don’t imagine the Wilson clan favors you much. From what I hear, they still blame you for their daughter’s poor condition…

Gypsies Tramps & Thieves-001

Attorney Ferrell has several suspects in mind. “What about that family who were squatting on you land on Campbell Lake? They weren’t too happy when you had my brother-in-law, you know, Agnes’ husband Chief Odz, tear down their shack and kick them off the land. That wasn’t too long ago and I am leery of desperate red-necked people with most of their teeth missing.”

“I felt nothin’ septin’ bad ‘bout that. It wasn’t even my idea to give them the boot. They shouldnt’a let their critters run loose, ‘specially those ‘noxious pigs. You could smell them all the way to city hall.”

That is descriptive enough to get Lyn to find an excuse to leave the room. “I’ll make us some iced tea.”

“No, they fit the anger profile, but I think Miss Fenwick’s nose would have been a part of her scrutiny. And then there were the clothes…” He eliminates the gypsies from suspicion. “I don’t imagine the Wilson clan favors you much. From what I hear, they still blame you for their daughter’s poor condition.

“I feel bad ‘bout that too, but you got the judge to see the facts, that they told me that she had reaction  to penicillin when she had strep throat two weeks before. Hank Palmer gives it to her over at A&M. By the time I saw her – and I was a last resort far as the family was concerned – rheumatic fever had set in for good.”

“You don’t have to convince me, Doc, but I don’t think that the facts matter to them.”

“Mister Ferrell?” Carolyn Hanes has been listening closely, knowing more than a little about intrigue and it seems a little about the Wilsons. “I may know something helpful.”

“At this point, any information would be of use.”

Sherman Wilson Inn

“Well, it has been a number of years, but I remember securing a room for an editor of mine at the time and it was at a Sherman Wilson Inn. When you mentioned that name, it made me think about what happened when I helped check the editor in.

“He happened to be black, which really has nothing to do with anything other than staying in the Negro rooms. That is not fair to begin with, but it is a precocious, what I would guess 10 year old boy, that I recall most. He refused to take the bags to the room and was as rude a young man as I ever met. The look of hate on that boy’s face is an image that I have repeated many times in my works about the South.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Revenge

Episode #244


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