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 #332

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #332

Chapter Twenty

CLOSURE

…From the desk of Gwendolyn Kim Hoff…

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A personal guide: to deciphering the fact and fiction behind THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR; genre of Historical Fiction.

          Well readers, here we find ourselves, at the end of a book that may have:

  1. Surprisedmixed-emotions-001
  2.  Dismayed
  3. Confused
  4. Confounded
  5. Conflicted

Not on the list, ‘6.. Pleased’ is my wish, but there is quite a twist from where you thought things were headed. Was not A.O. Campbell tried and convicted, in a court of law, of the things we read of in Chapter One? In real life, sadly he was, pretty much the way ALPHA AND OMEGA was laid out.

I myself met the granddaughter of the doctor, in the 1990’s. She found out that I was writer and as many of us who set words to page are told, ‘I have a great story that needs to be told.’  I happened to be between projects and thus began a journey that has led me to this point.

In my files are pictures, articles and memorabilia from the life of this Southern Black Doctor. Legendary is the word that can describe what I have accumulated, in fact strewn around my office at this moment. So much of what I have written is flat-out true; real people, places and things littered from 1896 to 1955. In fact, had I been true to the facts, we would have continued on from Chapter One to 1959.

arrow-down But, and it is a big BUT, as I came to Chapter Eighteen, LOOKING DOWN, I knew I arrow-upcould not bring myself to play it out the way it really did. I began to plot an amended beginning, which morphed into the last chapter, TRIALS AND TRIUMPH. All along, #19 was going to be about the trial, of which I have the majority of the original transcript here as well. 

Depressing, is the only way I can portray the trial of a 67 year old. Did he do wrong things, sure, but he was of ill health and did not deserve the ending that ultimately came to pass. And yes, his wife really did die 1 1/2 years into his incarceration.

What actually did happen during that sad time? I don’t have anything to go on and that is where ‘historical fiction’ comes to bear; the word fiction, look it up. Creation, vision, fable, fantasy, tale are all used as synonyms. I prefer the latter. LATOBSD is a tale of epic dimension.

LATOBSD covers roughly 60 years, more than enough trips around the sun to both meet and say goodbye to too many fine people; From the spring of youth, to the winter of maturity – from the dawn of unrighteousness, to the sunset of discontentment.

In the interest of accuracy, I will sort through the most flagrant fracturing of history perpetrated by little ol’ me. Remember “The Rocky and Bullwinkle” feature: Fractured Fairytales? If you are too young… click on the FFTales picture or get over it.

So… here we go, hop-scotching from through the pages of The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor, sifting from front to back. Feel free to leaf back to the earlier pages, to refresh your memory. And I will try not to rush.

If you want to leave well enough alone and believe that all things I penned are true, thank you investing your time  to read LATOBSD… a real roller coaster ride…

Tune in tomorrow


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #332


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

…A double barrel dose of help: Kenty Johnson has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge…

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A.O. is taking his new lease on life in, in the spirit in which it is presented. Even as he watches familiar landmarks pass by as they ease up to his Virginia Street address. He is thinking about the future.

Maggie is waiting on the front steps of their house. What a welcome sight. There too are daughters Alpha, Laura and Zillah and their families. Maggie is seated in a wheelchair, one and all waving a hearty ‘welcome home’.

“Thank you, gracious Lord,” he proclaims tearfully.

But that isn’t all. There are other familiar faces.

“What’s Kenty Johnson doin’ here?”  Dr. J. Kenty Johnson is with his son, himself a newly minted doctor.

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“I needed a reliable source of information about your situation and Kenty came to mind. He filled in the particulars of your life, practice and such. AND he mentioned that his son was looking to make a difference in the Tallahassee community. And did we say that he fresh from medical double-barrelschool? A double barrel dose of help: Kenty has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge.” Carolyn Hanes has placed a neat, pretty bow on a once dire circumstance.

One month ago, Alpha Campbell would have been bloated full of irrational pride, having suffered in silence for the better part of a decade. He was determined to find a way out of their money struggles and did not need outside help.

We all know what path that led him down.

“Well boys, don’t you think it is time we roll up our sleeves?”

Upon hearing Dr. Alpha O. Campbell utter that inclusive statement, his nurses who were hiding in LBMH for fear of their lives, come sprinting out the front door.

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LBMHSomehow, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital looked whiter than normal that day… From down the street, a car streaks to the emergency side entrance, a man screams out, “My wife’s water just broke! Please help!”

“Scrub up, you Johnsons; we have a baby to deliver… Edwina will get you gowns and get her to the second floor…”

… The LBMH wing for whites.

(The End of the Beginning)


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #331


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #330

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #330

…Both A.O. & JOB had endured the worst that the Devil could do, short of laying a hand on them…

job_on_the_dunghill-by-gonzalo_carrasco_-_

Job on the Dunghill by Gonzalo Carrasco

Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell was released from the Leon County Jail that early September day. He had just been reading The Book of Job in his King James Version bible, when the news of freedom reached down to him. Job, a devoted servant of God, had been eyed by Satan. Surely he would abandon his God when his wealth, family and health were taken from him? Job did not.

And though the Doctor was clearly not as blameless as was Job, he had been reborn to forgiveness by the sacrifice Our Father made, in the death of his only Son; Once for all.

Job: Chapter 42, vs. 12, after all was said and done, ‘The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.’ He had endured the worst that the Devil could do to him, short of laying a hand on him. And never did he abandon his adoration of his Lord and Savior.

Renewed, restored. Admonished, advised.

“Don’t you dare think about performing another abortion, spanish-mossA.O.,” does Carolyn exhort, once they had cleared the jail’s grounds. It is a cathartic walk to Joe Slater’s four-seat automobile.

Joe had fallen asleep in the shade of an evergreen tree, a few blocks north and west of the jail, Spanish moss dangling downward, swayed by a gentle breeze. Having met his segment of responsibility, he could only stand by… horizontally.

band-aid_tin“Don’t you worry Miss Hanes, I am done with all that,” easier said than done… harder to pull off.

“Bob and I have talked this over, you know, as it applies to your cash flow. Our money would only be a Band-Aid.” She refers to the 1921 Johnson & Johnson invention of an adhesive bandage. “We believe that a white wing, or in the case of your hospital, floor, is the definitive solution. That notion that you need one makes me ill, but we cannot change the world, at least all at once. We are doing the legal footwork to make it happen. Whites will come to be treated and they will pay their way.

“Additionally, we will find you a bookkeeper. Maggie Lou is going to be on a budget, for your own good.”

Such is the gravity of the situation.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #330


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #328

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #328

…we are proud of our enforcement of the laws of Florida, in fact, we have been assembling a case against a Negro doctor who we’ve been watching all summer…

latobsd3-001

There is a black sedan bearing Leon County tags pulling through the service entrance to the Leon County Jail at half past the hour. When 5:00 approaches, another car, this time with Florida official license plates, enters the fortified gate. The guards allow passage for both, without question.

It is by way of the front gate that Carolyn and Bob Ford enter the jail, carrying a note signed by Cousin Curt, Head Jailer of Leon County. Curt has already welcomed the Assistant States Attorney, who will join them on a tour of the facility. carolyn-hanes-001

“It a pleasure to meet to you Miss Hanes. You are one of Tallahassee’s true treasures.”

“You are too kind, Attorney Morrison. I have been keeping an eye on my hometown for some time. California is so different and a world away from the Old South. Laws seem to be so liberal in comparison, you know, like abortion.”

“Yes Miss Hanes, we are proud of our enforcement of the laws of Florida. In fact, we have been assembling a case against a Negro doctor who we’ve been watching all summer. He is at this jail right now.”

“Is that Alpha O. Campbell?” Lyn asks, not so innocently.

          “Why, yes. How did you know about him?”

          “I had a good friend who was a witness, way back in ‘31, when his mother-in-law was killed.”

          Morrison raises his eyebrows.

          “He is such a dear man, helping folks who don’t have much money. Y’all need more doctors like him, instead of taking him out of the community. I plan to do an article on his life.”  She is layering on a thick blanket of underpin to aid her plan. “Say, is not your boss going to run for Governor?”

“I thought you wanted to observe our successes in the incarceration of criminals.”

          “Well yes, but wouldn’t that automatically make you States Attorney for the State of Florida?”

          “When or if Wilbert Hopkins is elected Governor, then I would run the Attorney’s office.”

          The seeds of ambition are scattered on the ground, for the seeing.

          the-sting-001“Oh, the tour, let’s continue. Is this the infirmary, Curt?” She winks at him with her far eye.

          The look on his face is screaming, ‘You are getting red hot!’

          “The door is locked,” she states.

          “Here, I can open it…”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Continued

Episode #328


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #323

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #323

…On one hand, A.O. wanted to give Maggie the world, yet when it comes to revenue streams, his compassionate heart would trump his family’s bottom-line needs…

A Lonely Path by Dan Crystalis

A Lonely Path by Dan Crystalis

A single solitary figure sits huddled against the back corner of a room; whose corners are all too near to one another. The pungent light of a dwindling candle wavers forth and back, barely illuminating the tattered pages of an obviously well read black book. Once surgically skilled hands, thumb painfully, yet knowingly to the Gospel of Saint Matthew Chapter 5 verse 4:

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”, thus saith the Lord our God, by the way of Alpha Omega Campbell, good and faithful servant. He goes to his knees to pray for the health of his dearest Maggie Lou. She has not taken her husband’s arrest very well. No other than he, has she depended on for the last 37 years of her life. What will come of her if she loses him to prison?

Unfortunately, it is partially due to her cozy lifestyle that her husband is sitting on a cold steel bench. Over the years, many of which were prosperous, Maggie Lou Campbell had become accustomed to:

  • The house maidImage result for household servants
  • Chef
  • Chauffeur
  • Gardener
  • Tailor

And whatever else she wanted within reason.

For his part, Alpha Campbell had lost perspective, as it relates to finances. On one hand, he wanted to give Maggie the world, yet when it comes to revenue streams, his compassionate heart would trump his family’s bottom-line needs. Yes, that sweet potato pie is wonderful, but the Lewis State Bank would prefer cash.

Equally unfortunate is the fact that the folks with cash in hand are those who are most desperate. Those that have not… ‘Doc Campbell, please help my baby, he won’t stop crying and I have tried everythin’ I know.’ Or, ‘If you could get this bunion off my foot, I would be so grateful.’ And lastly (badly), ‘Our doctor Image result for dollar sign gifsent us here. He said you will keep our affairs private. My baby girl is too young to have her own baby… what will people say.’ These have the dough.

  Two hundred dollars ($200) in the 1950’s is a goodly amount of money, just as the three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) is more than substantive for a private hospital. $10 soothes a colicky baby, $65 dollars pays for the surgical removal of that painful bunion, but 200 big ones will get you an abortion.

Before modern day pictures (sonograms) of a moving, womb-bound neonates, who may dissuade the mother from aborting, instead, no baby — problem solved. Maybe now Auntie Margaret will stop asking about that recent weight gain.

Perhaps most debilitating for the Campbells, is the fact that the white folks of Tallahassee are not permitted to be treated at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital; no white floor or wing for fair skinned Floridians, even if they wanted to be treated there.

          Stop and reflect upon the last paragraph.

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Black Tallahassee is minimally educated, mostly poor, but white Tallahassee is a university town, capitol to the state and very much in need of affordable healthcare.

Whites are remarkably discouraged from stepping foot into LBMH. City fathers have even diminished it by calling it ‘Campbell Clinic’, a.k.a. not worthy.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #323


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #322

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #322

…This is out of my hands, Carolyn. The Leon County Sheriff is after him and he has aced me out of this case, flat out barring me from any input…

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In the midst of this playful banter, the telephone rings. It has its origins from a Florida exchange, as suggested by the type of ring.

“I’ll get it!” Lyn is hoping it is the call she has been waiting for. “Hello?”Image result for old telephone gif

“Miss Hanes, is that you? This is a voice from your past.”

“It is Mrs. Ford now, Joe Slater. How are you?”

“Its getting busy here, but I will always have time for you.” Detective Joe is a grizzled veteran of the Tallahassee community, including the ins and outs of everyone’s business, though not in a nosey way. He merely knows a lot.

“I’m glad for that because I’ve heard some scuttlebutt about Doc Campbell; manslaughter Joe? He couldn’t hurt a fly, you know that.”

This is out of my hands, Carolyn. The Leon County Sheriff is after him and he has aced me out of this case, flat out barring me from any input.”

“What did Campbell do?”

“He treated a girl or two from Jacksonville way, you know, got them out of trouble.”

“You know what I think about abortion, Joe, I do not approve of it morally, but making it a capital offense is wrong. Penalties should fit the crime.”

“Yeah, I understand that, but one of the girls died.”

“Oh,” period, end of sentence.

“But she had been seeing another doctor back east and she was allergic to penicillin.” Slater knows the details, but he is being trumped by a shadowy machination.

“It sounds like he is being railroaded, am I right?”

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“The Pensacola & East all the way!” He refers to the railway where a young Alfrey Campbell was nearly run over by in 1896. “Somebody wants him out of the way, gal. Some see him getting in the way of progress, if you know what I mean. He and Maggie still own some fine property, though some of it is slipping into curious hands.”

“Who is helping him, Joe? He must have representation.”

“Well, that is part of the problem. James Ferrell passed away a couple years back and R. Worth Moore is no James Ferrell.”

“Enough said. Bob will fly me in tomorrow. I will call from the airport.”

“You got it, Lyn and I wouldn’t waste any time getting here.”

“One more thing….Who is the Sheriff of Leon County??”

“W. P Joyce.”

  “Hummm,,,,,,,,, interesting.”

She knows something.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #322


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