Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #164

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Alpha Omega M.D. -Episode #164

…”I can’t believe Frieda is gone, James,” Alpha laments, “she was so strong”…

1908-001

At a corner cafe, on a darkened Boston street, three old acquaintances are getting together for the first time since the aftermath of the Galveston hurricane in 1900.

Endlichoffer Chalet-001The reason for this get together is a sad one, the passing of Frieda Endlichoffer in August of 1908. She had fallen, breaking a rib that pierced a lung, preventing her precious mobility and pot-stirring dexterity. She had forgotten that she rolled up the front room rug, whereby felling her and the arm load of freshly air dried bed linens. She lays there for five hours, before her husband, Laura Bell and Maggie Lou return from a shopping excursion to Tallahassee. Dehydrated and weak, her 75 year old heart could not stand the strain. Doc Ziggy did not have the chance to save her. She died alone. Her private doctor and der Liebling was five helpless miles away.

Lawyer Ferrell, wife Abigail and pre-med student Alpha Omega Campbell discuss short term plans, i.e. traveling back for Frieda’s funeral.

I can’t believe she is gone, James,” Alpha laments, “she was so strong, like Blue Boy the draft horse. I remember watching her work that horse after that cyclone hit, two years back. If we hadn’t showed up that Friday, she would have worked that horse… and our man Joseph half to death.”

“That is the whole point, Alpha, seventy-three year olds should happy to wake up each morning, not clean up after tornadoes,” James observes clinically.

“Doc Ziggy must be seventy-five, right? Who is keeping him from overdoing it? He is very single minded, not one to listen to three women, let alone two.” Abigail is familiar with the breed, finding the throttle control is a daunting task; male engines either rev madly or drop to the stalling threshold.

“He listens to Laura, Abbey. Frieda had a way of making him dig in his heels with her lack of tact.” A younger Campbell found out early on that you did not have to ask Frieda what she meant. If you could understand her broken English, you knew where the bullfrog croaks in the rushes. “On the other hand, he sure enough is putty in Maggie’s hands. Yessir, I do believe they can take care of him, ‘cause iffin’ they couldn’t, I’d go back in a bug’s minute I would.”

“Speaking of going back, we have our own Pullman for the trip. We expect that you will join us?” James assumes, while Alpha hesitates.

“I don’t think I’m allowed in the fancy white folk’s car; probably have to ride with the baggage.”

“Don’t play that race excuse in my around me, Campbell. Besides, if that were the case, the last case I take at Beacon Hill would be Campbell vs. B & O Railroad!”

1908  Musical Interlude


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #164


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #156

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #156

… Doc Ziggy is as proud as poppa Willy and as attending as a mother hen, having  invested 9 years, cultivating the manifest medical interest in the most unlikely of protegees…

1906-001

It is one month into 1906, most likely to be filled with many firsts and “new” things as the rest the years in this new century: the Gibson Girl, Teddy Bear, Wright Brothers, the 1st Baseball World Series, Theory of Relativity, National Audubon Society and the hamburger.

Now at age 17, Alfrey has been accepted at Boston College of Physicians and Surgeons (soon to be named Tufts University); enrolled officially as Alpha Omega Campbell for the fall term. Thanks to the Loves’ benevolent generosity, an extremely bright young man is going to get the education and medical training he deserves. He is one of three black students in a class of three hundred.

Doc Ziggy is as proud as poppa Willy and as attending as a mother hen. He has not put up the Deutsche marks, but he has invested 9 years, cultivating the manifest medical interest in the most unlikely of protegees.

“Alpha, my boy, ve have only eight months to get you ready for za University. Frieda has found some suits for you from my younger days. You must look like a doctor.”

“They don’t have those short pants and fuzzy green hat that you wore in those old pictures… do they?” Alpha is in tune with the style of the day, at the age where you realize that somebody may actually notice what you are wearing.

“Lederhosen? Unt my alpine hat? You vould look so silly.” As part of the great melting pot of the world, diverse as it may be, the visual image of a black Bavarian would be a stretch to the most imaginative. Not even Ziggy can fathom.

“Try these on, leibshon. Let’s see if I must take zem in.” Frieda has her pincushion and thimble at hand.

  “What will it be like… at college I mean?” asks Alpha, while slipping jackets on and off. Home schooling did not expose him to organized education.

“Vell, in ze homeland, the university is ze center of life. All zat is wise comes from university. It is great privilege to study in zose old buildings.” There is much reverence in this experienced voice. “I know several doctors who studied at your school, fine men, good doctors.”

“I will not let you down,” he sincerely assures, looking more scholarly by the minute, closer to his transformation in Boston by the second.

For my German speaking friends… Prost!


Alpha Omega M.D.

Protege-001

Episode #156


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #139

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #139

…There are so many wonders that titillate each of the five senses and not enough time to take it all in…

scott-joplin-imagem

William McKinley has a prohibitive favorite in musical style: ragtime. The “King of Ragtime”, Scott Joplin is here to perform, as he had at the Chicago Exposition in 1893. You do not turn down a request by the president, who is treated to the recently composed, “Maple Leaf Rag”, among other many jazz favorites in this singular format.

Mister Joplin finishes this afternoon’s program to a large ovation from the several hundred fair goers. The concertmaster thanks everyone for coming and invites one and all to greet the President at a public reception commencing hence.

“Where should we go now?” asks James Ferrell, whose youthful curiosity is fueled by what amounts to a vacation for him, in the midst of virtually two solid years of university study. There are so many wonders that titillate each of the five senses and not enough time to take it all in. “I want to see the racing cars.”

As you would think, there is no consensus among the Floridians, who struggled to amass themselves here. They had been scattered for the entire morning, in pursuit of their diverse interests and separate ways it seems to be now.

They are in their indigenous groups, however. The Ferrells are not about to waste a minute of their rare together time, as do the Campbells and the Endlichoffers, even though Amanda Campbell is distracted from missing the two children she left behind in Tallahassee, in the care of Princess Olla; freedom brings on new, if not worrisome, sets of dilemmas.

Just as their milling and mulling comes to an end, heads are turned by what sounds like firecrackers. Two pops precede gasps and screams. Someone yells, “Get a doctor! The President has been shot!”

Herbert Love was close enough to feel the shock waves from the pistol reports, he searches the crowd, searching for answers to the doctor request and is relieved to see Ziggy dragging Alpha through the gathering throng, turned angry mob.

“Am I shot?” the slumping leader gasps, not feeling the pain or the stream of flowing blood.

By this time the mob has tackled the assailant, beating him mercilessly. “Let no one hurt him.” McKinley orders in fear of vigilante justice.


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Episode #139


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #138

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #138

…Precious few human beings, whether they be murderer or monk, can resist melodic sounds that reach the ear and seem to linger for days…

Temple of Music

The Tallahassee Twelve are back at the hotel before poor Jacob & Jacques can be humiliated any further, returning to a staff that attends to them in earnest, not contempt.

But, prejudice and related injustices may disappear in one spot, only to metamorphose, reappearing in a different form and/or place. And so it does on Thursday 6 September; different mad cause, same unfortunate place.

The Temple of Music’s purpose is to bring cultures closer together by the most common thread in God’s wonderful weave. Precious few human beings, whether they be murderer or monk, can resist melodic sounds that reach the ear and seem to linger for days, leaving most without the ability to get it out, once it’s in. Should you choose this exhibition building, you are treated to continuous tunes; rhythms and beat that come from a different drum than those that come out of Broadway or one of the many other theaters where the newest music is being played.

Imperialism

by Victor Gillatt

Today, however, there is a special treat for fair goers; hundreds will have the chance to get close their newly re-elected leader. One could say he is the leader of the free world, considering that before the Spanish-American War, hardly a soul heard of the islands of the Philippines and Guam, or cared about Cuba and Puerto Rico. And no, they did not exactly defeat the Spanish Armada in the 16th Century, but we were helping to keep the peace one-half the world away, daring to stray from just defending our shorelines.

mckinley_last_photo

Yesterday, William McKinley expressed the need for sensible trade relations, which would not interrupt domestic production, rather extending outlets for forecast surpluses. Surpluses in agricultural output have been foretold by Herbert Love, who has instituted a production reporting system that will aid in the accounting of commodities for possible export.

That same Mr. Love, along with the President’s Chief of Staff, George Cortelyou, attend a mini-concert at the Temple of Music in a semi-official capacity. They flank McKinley, who seems genuinely relaxed. If you look closely you can see him tapping his feet to the Mexican mariachi band, snapping his fingers to the reggae island beat, even uttering a timely ‘iiii-eeeeee’ to Cajun/Creole melodies.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Music Lives Here

Episode #138


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #130

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #130

… North on Delaware Street, within eyeshot of Delaware Park/ the Pan-American grounds, is Statlers Hotel; a sprawling 2,100 room melting pot of humanity…

Melting Pot-001

The rest of the eighth floor has already assembled in the lobby of the hotel, which in the evening doubles as foyer for the theater. Tonight’s offering, at the Niagara straight from Broadway, for the duration of the Exposition, is, Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines. In the background, through an opened door, they can hear, “I’m Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,/ I feed my horse on pork and beans,/ And often live beyond my means,/ I’m a captain in the army.”

Alfrey Campbell laughs heartily at the singing, while Amanda scrambles to cover his ears. “Ain’t never heard nonsense ’afor. Nothin’ for a god-fearin’ chile too hears.”

She may be right, but entertainment is changing and will continue to do so, even though it stretches the moral envelope.

The carriage driver comes to the rescue. Privately, most were wondering what mode of transportation would handle their one dozen numbers. They are escorted to a two tiered horse-car, teamed to two huge draft horses who must weigh two tons together. “Not everybody can sit on top,” warns the teamster. “We will tip over if you do.”

“Let us take Alpha to za top,” asks Doc Ziggy, who is eager to share new experiences with his young protégé. “Momma unt Poppa, you come too. And how about you, Jacob?”

And baby makes six. Properly balanced, except for Frieda and Amanda’s generous girth, they move away from the bustling Niagara for the awaited tranquility of the Statlers Hotel.

Or so they think.

North on Delaware Street, within eyeshot of Delaware Park/ the Pan-American grounds, is the Statlers; a sprawling 2,100 room melting pot of humanity, and filled to capacity at that. This will be their first real taste of the true scope of a hemispherical gathering.

E.M. Statler – Hotelier

“Here we are, folks. That man,” the driver points to a stately gentleman with perceived sense of purpose, “Mister Statler will take you where you want go.”

“We are with President McKinley’s party.” Herb Love logically assumes the lead, while the balance marvels at the sights.

“Yes sirs, you, all of you, are expected in the private dining room. I am your host.”

“Oh how stupid of me, my apologies for not grasping. Ellsworth Milton Statler, I am honored.”

“Please do not feel remiss. I have been mistaken for many a sundry man and occupation. I should to take to wearing a nametag like I require of my staff, but I am afraid I would be an easy target for those few dissatisfied guests. You know, ‘the mattress is too hard’, ‘I don’t like my view’ and the like,” he relates as he ushers them down endless halls. “Just this morning a man from Cuba, I believe, cornered me, wanting the Exposition to turn off the Goddess of Light at night, it keeps his wife awake. Can you imagine? Turn off that centerpiece–I said I would look into it–I lied.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Electric Building PAEX

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #120

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #120

Chapter Seven

END CAREER BEGINNING

…What a relief it is to make it to 1901, the Twentieth Century at last…

What a relief it is to make it to 1901, the Twentieth Century at last. Progress is formally measured and affirmed by the lowness of the last two numbers of the years tracked since the death on a cross by the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. Just as HE died to save the lost, so does this New Year rescue, in spirit, the United States from the scars of Civil War, deadly disease, horrible storms. Things cannot get worse, right?

The young seem to have the best chance of making the best of their world. For James Ferrell and bride Abigail, the last 12 months provides them with 1 year of marriage and the 2nd year of studies at Harvard University; on what will seem like the eternal road to lawyer-dom. Ergo, 360-some days of married living in an unaccustomed small living space in Cambridge Massachusetts, with not enough money and not enough time together.

“Won’t it be wonderful to see Mother and Father, dear?” offers Abigail in one of those rare shared moments when James does not have class and she is not working in the school library.

Ferrell's Grocery-001

“Summer school really threw our plans for a loop, Abbey. But we could not afford to traipse around Europe like Mom, Dad & Agnes are. That’s more Agnes’ style, though she may regret going after she sees the shape the groceries stores are in.”

By his talk, one can see the focus the 21 year old has. Travel is not an option.

And no sooner than his and Abbey’s shared parents return from the old continent across the Atlantic, they now journey northward to Buffalo, New York on the 12:10 Crescent Limited. It is there they will meet James and Abbey at the Pan-American Exposition.


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Episode #120


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #113

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #113

… Residents of Gadsden County will read Harv Pearson’s accounts and count their blessings, realizing that they were merely grazed by a storm…

Image result for close call

Recovering from the Great Storm is an ongoing theme.

The same can be said for the rest of the Leon/Gadsden detachment, having set up a temporary clinic in the gymnasium at Tulane University. From all accounts, local hospitals are beyond capacity, breeding grounds that form germs and bacteria not seen here, ever. Isolating the stranded Tallahassee Women’s Club from these strange strains is seen as the sensible thing to do, as agreed on by Ziggy and Jacques. Young Alfrey is getting field training as a nurse, carrying out orders of the doctor and dispensing the medicines from the apothecary.

Willy Campbell and Jacob Haley have teamed together, joining other squads of men searching for survivors of the consecutive calamities. Sadly they overlap, with combinations of dead and injured commingling.

Quincy Reporter-001Harv Pearson has taken his journalistic independence to the streets, gathering stories of tragedy and heroism to send back to his Quincy Reporter. Residents of Gadsden County will read his accounts and count their blessings, realizing that they were merely grazed by a storm, whose right arm reared back like a boxer, only to deliver a knockout haymaker punch to the west.

But not all that Harv encounters is gloom and doom. As he roams the French Quarter, Bourbon and Royal Streets, sounds of an interesting style of music echoes through the taverns and eateries, melodically resisting the prevailing somber tones. Harv writes, ‘This “Jazz” seems to be a combination of dixielandjazzAfrican and European folk music, with dashes of blues, Dixieland and Ragtime. Improvisation and spontaneity are trademark styles of musicians, who know and live their music; a form of music like none I have ever heard.’

He continues.

‘New Orleans has grown to near 300,000 people, resilient types, who bravely shrug off adversity, all the while embracing the richness of their culture. Some would call it excess, but as I see it, these Orleanians have perfected optimism and made it their own.’


Alpha Omega M.D.

Aftermath-001

Episode #113


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