Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #330

Leave a comment

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.

ISBN 978-1-4691-9018

Episode #330


page 309

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #323

Leave a comment

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.

braceT LFT

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.

atari-pitfall-001

Episode #323


page 303

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #296

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #296

…The Negro community in Florida will look back at what A.O. Campbell has done with great pride, and the promise that success is there for all who are willing to work hard…

LBMH

New Jersey was memorable for A.O. Campbell, after making the longest house call in his career. He delivered a healthy baby girl for his daughter Angela and it was nice seeing Camille Diaz again. She was so happy to be a grandmother, a tailor-made fit for a loving woman. It makes him wonder what it would have been like if she had been a part of his life. One thing for sure, she would make do with a lot less than Maggie Lou.

   He returns to Florida with a dark cloud overhead. His hospital has turned into a money pit and he has lost perhaps his greatest asset, his lawyer and friend, James Ferrell. His wife, Abbey and sister Agnes were with James to the end, trying to get him to pull through, but the antibiotics were no match for lungs filled with mucous. He used some of his last conscious moments to write a note to A.O. Campbell.Image result for watching you

Scribbled on a scrap of hospital paper, the one line read:

Be careful, Alpha. I think they are watching you. Call R. Worth Moore, he knows.

Shortly after that, the Ferrell legacy fell into the lap of the Ferrell women. Neither James nor Cyril Odz were able to produce a child and the Ferrell grocery chain, the pride of father John, was bought out by Food Fair a more national company. Why is it that a good longtime family like the Ferrells dies on the vine and the stinkers like the Lewis and Wilson clans reproduce like vermin?

The Campbells are hanging in there, but again without a male heir. With A.O. into his sixties, his empire an extension of John Ferrell – via Maggie Lou, there is a perceivable end to a historic dynasty. The Negro community in Florida will look back at what A.O. Campbell has done with great pride, and the promise that success is there for all who are willing to work hard.

LBMH-001 Success does come with a price tag. That and .75 cents gets you a ride on the bus to Panama City. That and $252.50 gets you a mortgage on a hospital. Unless he lives to be 88 years old, he probably will not see that debt retired. The plan was to pay it off in ten years, but that was contingent on other doctors, black or otherwise, working out of it.

And that did not happen. So on January 23rd of 1951, at the age of 62, when some lucky Americans retire with a pension, Mr. J.L. Lewis recommends Doctor A.O. Campbell for active staff appointment at A&M Hospital. His family simply needed the money. Vacant lots and run down houses do not pay the bills. Even the lots on Campbell Lake go unsold. Real estate taxes are gobbling up rental revenue.

Communist witch-hunts, yet another foreign war, blatant racism and back-stabbing friends, can be summed up with one word: inhospitable.


Alpha Omega M.D.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR

Episode #296


page 278 (end ch. 16)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #284

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #284

…Hospital mortgages require cash and good paying customers are out there, it’s just that, the really, really good money comes from the riskiest of all medical procedures…

Barter For Subscription by F.S. Church

Barter For Subscription by F.S. Church

Image result for time passing gifBut as the days and weeks passed, Doctor Campbell has learned the difference between the word intent and commitment. Oh sure, all his friends made an appearance at the grand reception that week in 1947. They came to acknowledge the crowning achievement of a 58 year old man of compassionate vision.

Not that the others weren’t either of those things, but what they have not, is the greatest LBMHobstacle to philanthropy. They do not own a large piece of Tallahassee acreage, let alone their own private clinic. ‘If Alpha Campbell can afford to give away his services, that’s’ good for him.’

As things turned out, it did not take as much arm twisting by a Wilson or two or a Lewis or two, as was first thought. Yes, there was the issue of funding A&M Hospital, but in the end, pure and simple jealousy rears its ugly head.

And that is what hurts A.O. Campbell the most. He doesn’t show it on the outside, he without a hateful bone in his body, but people know that the A&M gang has stayed put, behind the cover of Gibbs Hall, down Wahnish Way and the Dyson Pharmacy building.

In the meantime, there is Lettie Golden’s mother, right leg amputated at the knee and no one to care for her with the special needs of an amputee. And the Johnson twins, delivered two months early, after being turned away because the two-week stay at A&M would cost a gaudy $400! ‘Ol’ Doc Campbell has plenty of room at his clinic. He can always feed his hospital patients with the chickens and eggs and peach pies he gets for his services.’

Cash flow by Annie Lee

Cash flow by Annie Lee

And the funny thing about Lewis State Bank; they do not accept barter, whether it is a Georgia peach pie or five loaves of buckwheat bread. The classic pound of flesh is a distant and impractical option. Mortgages require cash, or its equivalent, and good paying customers are out there, it’s just that, the really, really good money comes from the riskiest of all medical procedures, both professionally and legally.

Now, brain surgery may come to mind.  There’s big demand for that. It certainly is a risky medical procedure and a legal nightmare should everything be not right with the person with an extra hole in their One dollarhead. But brain surgery is not something they offer as a refresher seminar at the Mayo Clinic.

Plastic surgery is lucrative, an up and coming field with scores of, mostly women, lined up for nips, tucks and noses the size of Rita Hayworth’s. Doc Campbell has put some noses back into place, after a fall or barroom brawl, but as far as rearranging middle-aged skin… not exactly his cup of tea. Besides, leave one scar on the wrong rich lady and then you will have hell to pay.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Georgia Peach pie by Shirley Lowe

Georgia Peach pie by Shirley Lowe

Episode #284


page 265

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #224

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #224

…Banker Lewis is giving special attention to one of his best customers, though he has secretly admired Maggie Ferrell-Campbell for more than her assets, if you catch the drift…

Meanwhile Caption-001“What brings you to the bank this fine day, Mrs. Campbell,” asks George Lewis, whose bank is used by most Tallahasseeans, and happens to administer the trust that John Ferrell had established for Maggie Lou. He has up close knowledge of what the young woman will take charge of in about two months 5 days and 7 hours; 61 parcels of land totaling 110 acres, some of which is coveted by various people with mixed motives.

“I would like to put this into a safe or something, don’t want anybody stealin’ it.” She pulls out a necklace out of an envelope, jewelry that is best stored away from the house… whose mortgage is held here as well.

Lewis checks his watch, five o’clock having come and gone. “Let me lock the doors and we will get you a safe deposit box.” He is giving special attention to one of his best customers, though he has secretly admired Maggie Ferrell-Campbell for more than her assets, if you catch the drift. “Right this way.”

    The safe deposit boxes occupy the back corner of the building’s second floor. They pass Lewis’ personal office on the way, he ducks in, turning on the light as they go by, grabbing a key off the wall. Number 3760, yes, just about chest high.” He does the honors, handing the rectangular metal container to Maggie.

“This can hold a lot.” She is impressed by this method of storage.

“There is only one key to this box, so take good care of it.” He not only gives her the key, he takes her hand, placing it there with both of his, lingering well beyond what is necessary for the transfer. She does nothing to end the clinch. “Let’s go to my office. We need to fill out a rental agreement.”

They are alone in the bank, but George Lewis pulls down the shade on the office door anyway. “Here we are. Maggie Lou Campbell agrees to rent box number 169 for a minimum of twelve months for a fee of ten dollars to be paid in advance.”

 Maggie instinctively reaches for her purse for the agreed on fee. George stops her. “Please, no. I would like to furnish this box as a token of appreciation for your continued good patronage.” His body language implies that the ten dollars is waived for a completely different something. He ushers her to his leather couch, where again, she mysteriously offers no blatant resistance.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Happy Banker

The Happy Banker by George Condo

Episode #224


page 209

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #143

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #143

…with Eastman’s talent for capturing the moment on nitrocellulose and Harv having the knack of being in the right place at the right time, this venture, into an established literary format, may well succeed…

Judith Eastman responds to poor-mouth Harv Pearson, “Hurricanes and assassination and who knows what else have given you the most respected by-line I’ve seen in years. Your name has been mentioned in the same breath with Horace Greeley. Small town, my eye!

“And I don’t mean to change the subject, but have you found a hot-shot lawyer to draw up our partnership papers yet?”

“Oh yes, for the Pearson-Eastman Journal?”  Harv suggests. Judith rolls her eyes at the order of the surnames. He ignores her exaggerated pantomime, prefacing his real answer with, “Do you remember that young couple, the Ferrells?”

“Yes…?” She recalls them as handsome and young.

“Well I thought it would be good business to give the lad, James, his first taste in contract law.”

“Is he old enough to vote?” she wonders aloud.

Kodak_HQ_1900

Kodak Building

“Well, just this year, but he must be the brightest student at Harvard Law School… that is what his mother said.”

“My dog, Frisky, is smart. But I don’t expect he’ll be running for Congress any time soon.” With that analogy, she summons the regular lighting in her Rochester, New York laboratory, which is just down the hall from her inventive brother George’s same.

Judith Eastman will be as formidable an associate as she is a companion. If he has any thought of pulling a fast one, perhaps assuming she does not care or notice this or that, he can take those unilateral notions and pitch them out with yesterday’s garbage.

  “I can see where you might be skeptical and I apologize for wanting to aid in the career of a hometown boy,” he invites sympathy for his cause, “but you see, he is interning at Beacon Hill Partners. The senior attorneys will be supervising the entire document.”

“Thank you for clarifying those details for me. I am betting my long range security on this magazine, Harv…” she feels fully exposed to the whims of fate, “not to mention giving myself to you… like some daffy girl in prep school.”Daffy wallpaper

  “What’s wrong with that?” It sounds perfectly normal to him.

   “It’s just not like me! I am going to be forty years old in a couple of years and I’m holding hands and kissing, not to mention making my banker very nervous.”

          “Do you think I do this every day myself?  Noooooo. My assistant editor thinks I have lost my mind. They are sending my picture to post offices asking, “Have you seen this man, he’s gone daffy?”.”

“They aren’t, are they?”

“No, silly, but you can believe my banker is feeling the pinch. I may have withdrawn 25% of their assets – the Quincy National Bank is a fancy name for 2000 life savings that probably averages less than a thousand dollars, and that is if you don’t count Herb Love.”

The new magazine will have start-up costs of nearly a million dollars, but all indications are that with Eastman’s talent for capturing the moment on nitrocellulose and Harv having the knack of being in the right place at the right time, this venture, into an established literary format, may well succeed. They are gambling that pages, filled with equal portions of word and picture, will entice Americans to make the Pearson-Eastman Journal a monthly must read.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Getty STILL LIFE / REPORTER'S DESK WITH TYPEWRITER & BOX CAMERA

Episode #143


page 131

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #18

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #18

…Money buys influence and sometimes it prevents liberty…

Guilt-001

Samuel Goldblatt’s resolute agenda is twisted, compared to the governor’s debatable influence.

“When I told the rest that the F.B.I is involved, in the matter of former doctor A.O. Campbell’s release–they are, except it is in a more ‘round about way. They may not object to his release per se, but I know they are greatly disturbed about how many abortions are being illegally performed in this state, which is under your direction, I might add.”

The Visiting Quack Doctor null British School 18th century 1700-1799 Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T10122

The Visiting Quack Doctor

“We prosecute more doctors than some,” Hopkins brags mildly.

“No, Governor Hopkins, I believe you indict more quack butchers than you do medical doctors. The Bureau has provided me with some intriguing numbers… accompanied by some interesting names.”

“Is Dr. Sapp on the list?”

   “Yes, indeed, I believe you see my, our point. Most every country doctor does abortions, especially for girls with greenbacks in their lily white hands. I suspect those doctors remember the days when the Dixie dollar dried up. They can’t resist an easy buck, like those from families desperate to save the reputation of their dear sweet daughter.

          “Doc Campbell may have cleaned up after Dr. Sapp, but he was caught in counterfeit circumstances, just like folks who were holding Confederate paper,” he deduces.

“That is a lose interpretation of the law,” insists Hopkins, who should be the expert in this twosome.

“It wasn’t loose when you were States Attorney, now was it?” counters the antagonist.

Yes-buts are not relevant in the here and now. He offers no retort.

“I’ll tell you what, W.D. … may I call you that can I not?” He is sarcastic. “Our hotel will be completed in less than a year. That would be a right fine time for ol’ Doc Campbell to be freed.”

A $1000 bill is stuffed into the breast pocket of his Italian-made suit. That is where Wilbert Hopkins had seen the name of Samuel Goldblatt III before; on the contribution rolls of his gubernatorial campaign.

   Money buys influence. Sometimes it prevents liberty.

Hopkins allows the money to stay in his pocket, but its filthy aura will benefit some charity, not him. He is ashamed to return to the parole meeting and the mostly negative reaction that awaits him there.

Wilbert Dexter Hopkins saves his own skin, at the expense of his conscience.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #18


page 17 (end Ch. 1)