Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #217

Leave a comment

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


page 204

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #216

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #216

Movie Clapboard-001

One Room Schoolhouse by Norman Rockwell

“That is almost more than I can bear!” exclaims Miss Maxwell, sitting down on a bench and stabbing the grass with the tip of her closed parasol. “It seems to me Rebecca never has any respite. I had so many plans for her this next month, in fitting her for her position, and now she will settle down to housework again, and to nursing of that poor, sick, cross old aunt.”

 “If it had not been for the cross old aunt, Rebecca would still have been at Sunnybrook; and from the standpoint of education advantages, or indeed advantages of any sort, she might well have been in the backwoods,” returns Adam.

  “That is true; I was vexed when I spoke, for I thought an easier and happier day was dawning for my prodigy and pearl.”

  “Our prodigy and pearl,” corrects Adam.

  “Oh, yes!” she laughed. “I always forget that it pleases you to pretend you discovered Rebecca.”

  “I believe though those happier days are dawning for her,” continues Adam. “It must be a secret for the present, but Mr. Randall’s farm will be bought by the railroad. We must have right of way through the land, and the station will be built on her property. She will receive six thousand dollars, which, though not a fortune, will yield her three or four hundred dollars a year.

 “There is a mortgage on the land; that paid, and Rebecca self-supporting, the mother ought to push the education of the oldest boy, who is a fine, ambitious fellow. He should be taken away from farm work and settled at his studies.”

 “We might form ourselves into a Randall Protection Agency… Limited,” muses Miss Maxwell. I confess I want Rebecca to have a career.”

 “I don’t,” Adam says promptly.

 “Of course you don’t. Men have no interest in the careers of women! But I know Rebecca better than you.”

 “You understand her mind better, but not necessarily her heart. You are considering her for the moment as prodigy; I am thinking of her more as pearl.”

“Well,” sighs Emily Maxwell whimsically, “prodigy or pearl, the Randall Protective Agency may pull Rebecca in opposite directions, but nevertheless she will follow her saint.”

“That will be fine by me,” says Adam apprehensively.

“Particularly if the “saint” beckons your way.”

 Judith/Miss Maxwell concludes the scene with a provoking smile.

Image result for standing ovation gif

  “Bravo! What a scene!” Mary cannot contain herself.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Scene board-001

Episode #216


page 203

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #215

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #215

…California is so different from New York on the 7th of October when fall is firmly entrenched in the East…

Silent Movie Subtitle-001

As the convoy containing her husband limps into New York, Judith Eastman has already shot four scenes in four days. By all accounts, she is doing a credible, if not inspired job. The majority of her scenes are with Mary/Rebecca, providing for a comfort zone, for a stranger in a strange land.

Silent Movie Subtitle-001  California is so different from New York. It is the 7th of October; fall is firmly entrenched in the East, when a sixty degree day is a treat. In Los Angeles people wear heavy jackets when it’s sixty degrees. Back in Rochester, you are considered flaky if you don’t dress like a normal person and have a full-time job; there are Californians who don’t wear shoes, do wear tropical shirts and do nothing but surf the waves of the Pacific Ocean all day.

The remainder of Judith’s scenes is shot with Harry Langdon, someone she considers a boorish lout, who gives her no help whatsoever and seems to take great pleasure in embarrassing her. But his spiteful actions come to a screeching halt, when Mary catches him in the act, calling Judith names behind her back. From then on, Harry sticks to playing the role of Mr. Adam Ladd.

     Judith will never find out that it was Mary who was the cause of a sudden change in the way he treated her. Mary Pickford has great clout in the industry, even rumored to be setting up a consortium of actors and actresses and directors, including D.W. Griffith, matinee idol Douglas Fairbanks and Charley Chaplin. You do not want to mess with little Miss Mary.

Pickford now pauses to watch the following pivotal scene. She hears what the movie going audience will read on the bottom of the screen.

Silent Movie Subtitle-001


Alpha Omega M.D.

Film Reel #9 by The Artwork Factory

Episode #215


page 202

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #211

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #211

…D.W. Griffith, the best cinematizer around, envisions movies with sound. Can you imagine not having to have an orchestra in the theater…

Orchestra Pit

“I am feeling guilty. Harv may be on the western front, knee high in mud or maybe worse.” She does not know that, in fact he is quite safe and the tide of the war has turned for the Allies.

     “Look at it this way: you will be doing your part to boost moral at home. The movies are a wonderful vehicle for people to escape, even if it is only for an hour or so. Rebecca will make the audience think of everything that is sweet and innocent.” Miss Pickford believes that with her whole heart and she is right.

Judith Eastman starts to see the point. Her magazine also entertains, through the pictures she so skillfully takes. They do not just inform. Silent films just happen to be more whimsical. “I think I am so used to the cold-hard facts, that movies seem friv…”

DW Griffith“Frivolous. That’s all right, you can say it.” She has heard that before. “There are people that say movies will never last, just a craze.

“Personally, I believe silent films are just the beginning. D.W. Griffith, the best cinematizer around, envisions movies with sound. Can you imagine not having to have an orchestra in the theater… and no subtitles? People could hear my voice, your voice!”

“Do not be offended, but I will not have long movie career. I have invested too much time in photography and my word, the Journal, to portray school teachers and who knows who. I am not getting any younger, Mary.”

          “Our makeup artists can make me look 15, Judith, and you don’t look a day over 40 without any.” Mary fiddles with Judith’s hair, trying out different of the newest styles. “You may take a liking to being a pampered actress.”

          “Let us not jump the gun. The horse belongs in front of the carriage. Never count your chickens before they hatch, when a lion lays with…”

          “I hate to keep interrupting, but I cannot take any more wisdom and we must get you packed or we or I will miss the next train to Tinsel Town.”

          “I have to tell my brother George where I am going, oh and I must turn over the magazine to the assistant editor. How long will I be gone?”

One month of chumming around and traveling with America’s Sweetheart. Who would have thought?


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #211


page 198

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #210

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #210

…I actually read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to a niece of mine when she came for a visit, way back in 1904, before I married Harv…

Rebecca by Jessie Wilcox Smith

Rebecca by Jessie Wilcox Smith

The influenza even affects the War Bond effort, halting the star-studded fundraising events. Viewed as just another way to allow the virus to spread and rightly so, the motion pictures industry pulls their precious stars from the field, of raising money for the war. As a result, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’s production is moved up, in light of the stars’ availability. Mary Pickford is being rushed to the studio and guess who she takes with her – Judith Eastman , the unlikely new face on the silver screen; no time for casting, only Mary Pickford’s word that she has the perfect person to play Rebecca’s beloved school teacher, Miss Emily Maxwell. She had originally thought her to be a good older sister, Hannah, but upon discovering that the youthful looking Judith was indeed 55 years of age, she reconsiders.

Mary Pickford on the set of the film of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (c) 1917 Apis/Sygma/Corbis

“You must be going daft. Mary, you want me to take the train out to Los Angeles with you, just like that?” Judith asks.

“You can play the part of Miss Maxwell and write the greatest article about film making ever.” Mary Pickford sounds as perky as she looks. “Did you read the book?”

Rebecca_of_Sunnybrook_Farm_Emily Maxwell  I actually read it to a niece of mine when she came for a visit, way back in 1904 or so, before I married Harv.” She thinks fondly about her dear husband, wondering where he is and what he will think when he finds out she is in California making a movie, with Mary Pickford no less. “As I recall, Emily Maxwell was Rebecca’s biggest supporter – A teacher – I guess that is not an outlandish notion.”

“That is what I want to hear!” exclaims the 25 year old star. “You are going to have the time of your life and we will be getting away from that awful influenza.

“I am feeling guilty. Harv may be on the western front, knee high in mud or maybe worse.” She does not know that, in fact he is quite safe and the tide of the war has turned for the Allies.

“Look at it this way: you will be doing your part to boost moral at home.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #210


page 197

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #204

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #204

…My next movie is titled, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and I’m sure Rebecca will need older sister…

The biggest names in silent films answer the call on the homefront, taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to bolster moral.

  Innovative and controversial director D.W. Griffith delivers immensely popular Mary Pickford, known to many as, The Poor Little Rich Girl, who is between that film and the next. It is at her New York appearance that Judith Eastman greets and meets the young heroine of celluloid fame.

The woman of 24 years has a girlish quality about her, as real in person as on the silver screen. Judith harkens back to the day when she was young, when there weren’t laugh lines or crows feet on her supple skin, 30 years whence. “Please excuse me, Miss Pickford, but may I say that you look the same in person… as you do in the movies I mean.”

  “My career will be over when the studios cannot fashion me into a girl of sixteen,” the star speculates, twirling her ringlet curls with one hand, holding a cigarette in the other. That visual image of adulthood is as out of place as can be. The next thing you know, the Pope will be running a house of ill-repute. “And if I don’t stop smoking, makeup will have to paint my teeth white.”

“To what do you credit the popularity of the movies, Miss Pickford?”

“It’s Mary to you honey.”

“If you insist… Mary, but you must excuse me for viewing you as a fictional character, even legendary.”

 “I think that’s your answer, Judith. Motion pictures allow the actors to be places and do things that are not real,” Mary describes. “Now, you are real and I bet you would be surprised to know that I am a huge devotee of your magazine, your articles, and the pictures of course, have been a big part of my schooling. I learned more from you than any of the tutors I’ve had since I was five.

  “And I’ve always wondered what you look like. You could be in pictures. You are a beautiful woman, it’s a shame you’ve spent all your time behind a camera instead of in front of one.”

“You are too kind Mary. Thank you for liking our magazine and if you ever need a mother in one of your movies, I live in Rochester, New York State.”

“Don’t laugh, that can be arranged. My next movie is titled, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and I’m sure Rebecca has an older sister. You look too young to be my mother.”

“I won’t be holding my breath.” She does not take the girl seriously.

“Can my manager use your camera? Yes? Why don’t we stand over by that fence, next to that lilac? Okay, we’re ready, Sam. Big smile!”

Hey, Hollywood, here comes Judy E.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #204


page 191

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #203

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 203

…Woodrow Wilson does what he had hoped could be permanently avoided. The addition of American forces changes the Great War into the 1st World War…

The United States of America is about to be pushed to the brink. That very January, the crafty British have intercepted what amounts to a German proposed alliance with Mexico; making promises of regained territory and financial aid, in return for Mexican aggression should their neighbors to the north lose neutrality. Unrestricted submarine warfare is added to that brazen new strategy. They will be sinking a few more ships, but they are going to find out that Poncho Villa is no Attila the Hun.

Even a dove has its breaking point; kindly cooing will turn into fearsome protection of its nest. Woodrow Wilson does what he had hoped could be permanently avoided. The addition of American forces changes the Great War into the 1st World War.

Ironically, April 1917 also marks the opening of the Pearson-Eastman Journal’s War Bureau in Paris. The war, whichever tag you place on it, has dominated their pages ever since the untimely demise of John Ferrell. Never mind the fighting, the string of human interest stories is unending and Harv Pearson has inserted personality into an otherwise faceless and grossly inhuman exercise.

And for the first time since their meeting, back in ‘01, they are working independent of the other. It is not a palatable arrangement, each month of life apart is subtracted from their total, but they will find that spreading out their unique talents is expeditious.

Patriotic border

 Judith is handling the domestic front, watching the nation pull together for a patriotic cause. With most of the healthy men rushing to save Europe from advancing German forces, women take up the slack, working in the factories and shipyards, tilling the land, caring for the sick. Some of the pictures she takes are strangely surreal, the face of America changing in unrecognizable proportions.

Other of her photojournalistic endeavors take on a familiar pretense, as she rubs elbows with stars of silent motion pictures; some rocketing to larger than life status. Movies have captured the imagination of America and indeed the world, giving millions of people shared experiences. Theaters may be hundreds of miles apart, but the magical motion sequences are the same.

One easy way to support the boys “over there”, is to buy Liberty Bonds, even though investors would get a higher rate of return from railroad issued paper. To further entice greenbacks from prosperous pockets, movie stars are asked to be headliners at bond rallies. The biggest names in silent films answer the call, taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to bolster moral: Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Buster Keaton, and Rudolph Valentino.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin selling Liberty Bonds

Episode # 203


page 190