THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 74

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 74

…Miss Bouchette, can I count on you to help me out here? I will grant you blanket access with Level 1 Security status

security-level-1-001

“You could barely speak English this morning when we spoke this morning,” Roy insists.

“I have not had the honor to meet you until now; I would like to express the gratitude of all the Nepalese people for being part of the great Space Colony. My government sends its deep condolences for the horrible accident.”

This man was genuinely sincere and definitely not the Gherkin Dogma he had met right before the Colony disappeared from the Mars Mockup.

“Are you saying that you didn’t man this station until after Space Colony was taxi-001destroyed?” Roy is more confused than ever.

“That is correct Director Crippen. I was late in arriving because my taxi driver could not find Galveston Launch Facility; it seems he took a wrong turn as we left George Bush Intercontinental Airport, which is odd because you can see Colony Mission Control from many miles away.”

“Sounds fishy to me Director Roy,” Francine interjects her opinion. “I know that many cabbies are new to this country, but they cannot be blind.”

All the while digesting and deciphering, Roy is finally seeing the handwriting on the wall. As Phil Jansky’s replacement continued to ramble on about other trip delaying travails, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together:

 1)   Philip Jansky, Spatial Debris Specialist {20 year NASA employee} dies of a rare & sudden cerebral hemorrhage

2    That death occurs at a critical time in Space Colony 1’s mission, with the McKinneys on Mars surface

3)   In a scramble to replace personnel, a Nepalese technician is flown in by supersonic transport

4)  Space Colony 1 disappears from its orbit around Mars, cause unknown

“From Earth-to-Mars, no one’s laughing from here-or-there.”

5)  A rescue mission involving the premature launch of the New Mayflower is hastily thrown together

6)  One man, two manred man, blue man. A human shell game has been going on, with sketchy timelines and miss-identifications

“Time is winding down Francine and I do not have time to do a full-blown investigation. Can I count on you to help me out here? I will grant you blanket access with Level 1 Security status.”

“A good reporter never turns down the opportunity to do what she does best.” She is developing more than a casual interest in both this interplanetary intrigue and this intriguing man specifically. “You can count on me….as long as I get the exclusive.”

Roy is going to need the help…no matter what she is angling.


THE RETURN TRIP

exclusive1

Episode 74


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 72

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 72

…the man he is watching is as cool as a comet in between stars and manning his post like he belonged there…

comet

Jim Scotti’s Comet Artwork

“There is somebody in this complex from Nepal, that strange little tech named Gherkin who replaced Phil Jansky. I wonder if there is a connection.”

“And you don’t dare question someone’s qualifications. Political correctness has been the ruin of this world,” Francine adds her opinion about questioning anything about anybody… and the fallout.

Without hesitation Roy brings the room consuming monitor to life. Francine can see that it is not an ordinary one, seeming to follow Roy’s slightest gesture, the picture races through various angles of Colony Control.

A Happy Gherkin

It does come to rest, Roy’s steely blues focused on a shot of Gurkhas {not Gherkin} Shah Dhangotma. Of all the Hindi/Arab/Buddhist, Middle and Far East cultures in of this selective space community, this particular man has left him with an uneasy no-peaceful feeling; replacing a previously healthy and indispensable man in Phil Jansky. And what is worse and more telling, is that he doesn’t even know who is doing the hiring since the death of Fred Cabell. It’s enough to put his spinning head on a swivel.

But if he were the informant or the mole or the mastermind, any of the three, the man he is watching is as cool as a comet in between stars and manning his post like he belonged there. But Roy cannot clear his mind’s ear of the man’s clumsy English in the moment before Space Colony 1’s ruin.

“Keep an eye on that guy,” Francine is told, “if he makes any sudden moves, give a holler.”

She obliges and can actually be helpful after getting a few quick tips about controlling that section of the screen… with a blink of an eye.

2018 Map Before the formation of Talibanistan

Roy turns to text searches that may support his flimsy suspicion, or not. Dhangotma’s personnel file is bland and incomplete, though the Baikonur Cosmodrome is listed as experience. Even his file picture has mug shot written all over it, but it is not viewed by someone who knows a hoot about the man.

In alternating between the files and the live video, comparing it to their meeting earlier in the day, his eyes tell him ‘not the same guy’; his memory screams ‘he had jet-black hair, not dark brown’. He knows that you don’t change Spatial Debris techs like you change passwords.

“What’s he been up to?”

“He raised his hand, got up and came back a minute or two
later. My guess it was a quick pee.”

“Then why has his hair color changed?” On a thin whim he says, “Let’s pay Gherkin a visit.” With time dwindling, hunches played trump hunches ignored.


 THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 72


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 65

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 65

…Celeste would have laughed had she not popped her light on, fearfully recognizing the cause of Sam’s fall, “That is a body!”…

surprise-leonard-filgate

Surprise by Leonard Filgate

“Damn!” Sam galumphs into spread-eagle prostrations. “Maybe we should be using the helmet lights,” he taps the side of his head to do so, to light their way and expose the upright-cancelling offender.

“Whooaa!” he springs to his feet like a wrestler scoring 2 points on a lightning-quick reversal {and low gravity}.

Celeste would have laughed had she not popped her light on, fearfully recognizing the cause of Sam’s fall, “That is a body!”

dead-alien

Sampson backs off a few steps, so they can both see a space traveler of unknown origin, who hadonyx-black-001 met his doom several steps from the entrance. The not-of-this-neighborhood being had the rough configuration of a human; a pair of legs and one arm… at his side and the other extended out, as if to retrieve a black object, like the one they found minutes before.

IT must be a device of some kind, though either she or Sam could get theirs to so much as light up. While Sampson inspects the spaceman, Celeste further fondles her gizmo, hoping to solve its mysterious function. Had it been a ray gun, she would have blasted everything around her, but gladly it was not.

They area is spared laser fire, but she finally gets it to do something, somehow causing a momentary digital Related imagesound, hummmm in the key of C, “Hmmm! Come on, work you dumb thing!”

Then, without notice or noise to that matter, what they had guessed to be the front door, opens in a flash.

“Looks like you found the invitation Cel,” utters Sam as they must do something other than stare.

star-crossedUpon further review, this must be the star-crossed vehicle’s version of an airlock, but it didn’t do either of these guys any good, “Bodies two and three,” he point to the floor.

But as fast as the outside door opened, it closes itself.

Celeste, who could apparently operate her black oval, coaxes the set of parallel and perpendicular lines to open the interior door, followed by a rush of pungent air from inside. It seemed so unlikely, but after all these unknown years, this ship still had some operational time left in the tank.

The combination of gasses inside looked good to the mass spectrometer, but something about the Martian environment caused these life forms to expire and caution needs to displace curiosity. “Oxygen is at 20 big ones Cel!” 20% is surplus good.

Near proper amounts of nitrogen and hydrogen gases are present, along with 2 inert and 1 unknown, defying classifications on the current Periodic Table.

“I believe it’s safe to go inside, what do we have to lose,” states gambler Sam, revealing his new what-do-we-have-to-lose state-of-mind.


THE RETURN TRIP

newfoundlander-sketch-001Episode 65


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #329

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #329

…Sodomy versus abortion…” Carolyn’s open palms represent the scales of justice; one lowers the other raises and back again. “Which is the greater offense?…

jail-cell-001

“The door is locked,” Lyn states.

“Here, I can open it…”

  The four of them enter, getting a wide eyeful of Winthrop Joyce, in a compromising position with a man in a prison-striped jumpsuit, pulled down for all to see. There is a lag in time between the unexpected opening of the medical room door and the shocked expressions of the two men therein.

Harry Morrison is in the lead, he turns in haste, pushing the other three away. But the damage is already done.

“I’m sorry you had to see that, folks.”

Image result for lower case upper caseCarolyn Ford seizes the moment, “Aren’t there laws prohibiting sodomy?”

“…yes…” Lower case y, little e, small s.

“Don’t you think States Attorney Hopkins should know about what is going on in Leon County?”

NO!” Upper case N, big O.

In the vacuous silence of the cold concrete and steel hallway, Morrison is allowed to let the heat of the moment bring his blood to a boil. There isn’t much he can verbalize to explain away what they had just seen.

Lyn breaks the silence, in her own inimitable and anticipated way. “We are all adults here.” In between latobsd3-001words, you can hear the leaky faucet in the lavatory in the room release one more drip.

Sodomy versus abortion…” Her open palms represent the scales of justice; one lowers the other raises and back again. “Which is the greater offense?

“No difference,” admits Morrison. Cousin Curt nods.

“We haven’t seen Dr. A.O. Campbell yet. Where is he?”

“He’s in the Negro cell block downstairs, but I see where you’re going and you can back up a mite. A girl died after being treatment by him.”

“Come – come now. I read the deposition of one, Dr. Sapp and it seems he has been given a pass on the eventual fate of Audrie Franich. You have taken his word and thrown away the key concerning Alpha Campbell.”

“If I let Campbell walk, I don’t know whose head will roll.”

“Whose head will roll in a serial sodomy case against Sheriff Joyce? Just him, I doubt it. Wow, merely visualizing the newspaper headlines! Can you imagine… his wife… your wife… would-be Governor Hopkins… disgraced public officials?”

          “Fine, Miss Hanes, I get your drift.”

          “It’s Hanes-Ford and my reach goes far beyond the front page headlines of the Tallahassee Democrat.”

          “Go down and get Campbell, Deputy Curt. Make sure he has all his possessions.”

          “We don’t have his release papers,” states Curt, covering his own tracks with procedural detail.

          “I’ll take care of that.” He walks Curt to the service elevator while whispering, “Did you know what Joyce was doing?”

          “No, but he told me not to ask him why he made weekly visits… at the same time… in the same room. I know my place.”

          “I am leaving, now! Don’t screw up and by the way, you didn’t see anything, did you?”

          “Nope!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for released painting

Released by Susan Swain

Episode #329


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #316

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 316

…Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea….

Image result for merchant marine artwork

Out at Sea by Hans Breeman

“When did you notice that somethin’ wasn’t right?” Campbell had put his stethoscope to her lower belly earlier and came to an early conclusion. He wants to peel away the layers of her previous treatment. “And why did you come to me, ‘stead of Doc Wright?”

Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea.

  “Really… all the way from Jacksonville and he knows ‘bout a little ol’ black doctor in the Panhandle. Did he tell you I ain’t got a wing at my hospital for white folks? My doctor friends don’t think I have the right to fix up whites. I reckon you all must have different colored blood under that pale skin; Blue blood Confederates are you?” A.O. knows that the lies he was told as a youth, was that slaves were inferior to their white masters. He has left much of that emancipation baggage behind, though the memory of being rushed across the railroad trestle still is fresh in his 20th century mind. The saying of that time was, ‘Once a slave, white-folk-bingo-001always a slave.’

How ironic it is. White folks have the money to pay for his services, but they cannot occupy a single bed at LBMH. House calls and services rendered at FAMU Hospital do not put a dent in the $250,000 mortgage, now a mighty anchor tied around his ankle. His beds are occupied by people caught in the margins of society.

“You have to help me Doc Campbell, my baby ain’t movin’, I know it.”

“Do what’s right Mr. Campbell!” Enter Mrs. Mary Gray. She had been mulling around in the background, watching her daughter, Audrie Franich, twisting A.O.’s arm in an attempt to bring this nightmare to an end. “My little girl needs some way out of this mess.”

          Mary Gray’s tone was not at all kind, downright demanding. It was like she was making a deal with the Devil; the only way out, but distasteful none-the-less. She appears to not have much use for black folk, though it may be a fruitless prejudice, especially in northern Florida. But unavoidable does not translate into acceptance.

“Go in and see Nurse Lillie and tell her to take you to Room 205.” Down and down the slippery slope. A.O. Campbell has a soft spot for folks that have seemingly nowhere else to turn.

(Lera Lynn music featured on True Detective)


Alpha Omega M.D.

atari-pitfall-001

Episode # 316


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

… “Do you think A.O. could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce,” asks the house guest of Maggie Lou…

whats-going-on-001

“Do you want another cup of tea, Edwina?” Maggie Lou Campbell is entertaining a friend from Frenchtown. She enjoys showing off her home. 224 Virginia Street is two stories are filled with finest housekeeperthings that money can buy and kept to immaculate standards by a live-in housekeeper, who supervises the cook and the gardener/chauffeur.

“Yessum, please, Maggie. These little sandwiches is so good.” Edwina Stevens enjoys being entertained, especially being waited on by a real housekeeper, not to mention the chauffeur driven Cadillac that brought her for a visit. “Is that husband of yours workin’ late again?”

Maggie hesitates momentarily. She is beginning to suspect that her dear husband is involved in something suspicious. She has stopped going next door, as well as asking him about the details of his patients. He is paying the bills after all. “Oh yes, yes, Edwina, the man just ain’t slowin’ down.”

“Do you think he could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce.”

“He’s very busy right now, told me he’d be really late, but check in with Lilly. I’m sure she can work you in tomorrow.”

“I believe I will do just that. I got to be scootin’.”

cadillac-1952-001“I’ll have Curtis bring the Cadillac over to the clinic.” The two old friends exchange a warm hug. “I hope that Alpha can fix that foot, I hate to see you limpin’ like that.”

“I”m kinda used to this cane, here… good for scaring’ away the bad ones.” She demonstrates a good whack about an imaginary head on her way out the front door and onto the well-worn path to the LBMH next door. It is past twilight by now and she uses the cane like a blind person. She aims herself toward the lighted front entrance, but does not reach her goal. Her elevated staff is in the wrong position to keep her already ailing foot from wrenching on a loose rock. She goes down at once, howling from the extra pain.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #302


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #294

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #294

…I have become a big Constance Caraway fan… and that Ace Bannion, he cracks me up; reminds me of Bob Ford, in a rugged sort of way…

Miami International Airport 36th Street Terminal

Within hours, Lyn Hanes is walking down the corridors of Miami International Airport. Although Coppertoneshe was a Floridian, she had never been this far south. She is amazed how different it is from the Panhandle, both in climate and population. It is very warm and very military, the latter left over from WWII, and it is currently holding Robert Ford in a bunker below ground.

          As it turns out, they were looking for her to show up, not because Ford told them she would be coming, just because they had been digging for dirt on their detainee. “Please come this way, Miss Hanes.”

          She does not resist and ends up in a room by herself. It reminds her of their experience in New Mexico. It should. Old friend, Sgt. Vincent Smith comes in, flanked by new recruits.

Meet again “We meet again, Miss Hanes.”

“So nice to see you Sergeant.”

“You know I had a feeling we would be seeing more of each other. And imagine Image result for good old timesRobert Ford being here too. Just like old times, wouldn’t you say?”

“Good old times?”

“Good, only if you aren’t looking for the truth. In the meantime, I have become a big Constance Caraway fan. And that Ace Bannion, he cracks me up; reminds me of Bob Ford, in a rugged sort of way.” He is slightly sarcastic in his undertones. “Tell me, Miss Hanes, how did you ever dream up that whole space ship thing? That’s pretty far fetched stuff for Constance to get involved in.”

“I was listening to a rebroadcast of “War of the Worlds” on the radio and it gave me this idea for Constance to investigate a spaceship crash.”

“Something inspired you, but I believe it is what you didn’t tell me then and what you aren’t going to tell me now, that gave you the idea. And good old Newt Swakhammer, you know you can’t make up a name like that.”

   “There is no Newt Swakhammer in my book.”

          “Oh, you’re correct, I keep getting the real and the made up, mixed up. Old Newt seems to have a fuzzy recollection of a man and a woman, an airplane and missing government property. Constance Caraway had a strangely similar episode. It’s funny how art imitates life.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #294


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #251

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #251

… The characters, about whom Carolyn Hanes writes about, are as deep as the Grand Canyon on that claimed her mother’s life…

grand canyon lookout by harold shull

Grand Canyon lookout by harold shull

Carolyn Hanes is the daughter of author, Emerson Hough, who had raised his child in New Mexico, the best way he could since losing wife and mother, Molly Hough in a hiking accident at the Grand Canyon in neighboring Arizona. The burrow that Molly was riding reared, after being bit by a rattlesnake. The back of her head strikes one of the chiseled rocks, granite, limestone, or shale, ending her life in 1905. Carolyn was 9 years old, and though she would lead a comfortable life, she never stopped searching for a replacement. Her father never remarried, she never found another mother. Instead, she found a form of love that would fill that void.

The characters, about whom Lyn had referred to earlier, are as deep as the Grand Canyon that claimed her mom.

Yes, those fictional beings in her earlier romance novels, more popular in Europe due to their sexually liberal content, are understandably passionate, always seeking relationship over logic. Now, as she is about to turn 40 years of age, perspective has set in. Constance Caraway, and yes, even Fanny Renwick, are examples of people who are secure with themselves, mirroring their creator.

  And serious about what she does; Constance Caraway is hot on a previously cold trail. Four years ago, her beloved Sara was witness to a murder, one that goes unsolved (or unpunished) to this day. By subtly probing the lives of the families suspected of containing felonious conspirators, she has developed the story of jealousy, racism and pretense.

Constance Caraway Cover-001

  “I can’t believe this crap,” blasts the overbearing patriarch of the hotel owning monopoly. “”I don’t care if we have to steal their land… those damn darkies aren’t going to keep me from making that deal!”

          “But, Father, remember that night in ‘31? I know you pretend it didn’t happen, but it did. If you mess with that family, suspicions will be raised about that old woman.” Could this be lingering guilt, coming from a once foolish youth? Once and still and little angry that a Negros’s house could be grander than theirs?

          “That was 15 years ago, son, and she was a useless busybody. You and the banker’s kid probably did those darkies a favor.”

          “Word has it that banker Lucas is the father of Doc Crandall’s 2nd bitch, Lucille. If he were to find out we killed her grandma, he wouldn’t loan us the time of day, let alone a ten story hotel. No one must ever know.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #251


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #239

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #239

…Do you think I would risk being in Frenchtown if I had not been a witness?…

Witness by Huma Birgul

Witness by Huma Birgul

“She was here, Doctor Campbell, I swear she was!” Fenwick was on medication for a secondary bout of depression, but hallucination is a side-effect she has yet to experience.

“I really should believe you, but where is the body?”

Do you think I would risk being in Frenchtown if I had not been a witness?!” she pleads.

“Tell me; judging by how you’re dressed you do not have a reason to be here at all.” He was used to having his mother-in-law drift from home to home; helping the poor with what she could, sometimes disappearing for days at a time, mostly without letting him or Maggie know.

“She bought some fabric for your daughter’s dress, she comes in often.” Frustration sets in, running her fingers through her long dark hair. “I saw four – no five white men run from here. They must have seen me coming. And it seems they saw me leave and came back to rid the street of the body.

“I would have stayed, but I was afraid she would die, I mean she may even have been dead, but either way I had to get help.”

“Come with me, Miss______?”

“Fenwick.”

“Miss Fenwick, you don’t look like a madwoman, but I’m at a loss. I will have my driver take us to the police station and you can tell them your story.”

Cobblestone (olla)-001She has not stopped scouring the area for signs of her sanity, not realizing that by dragging her feet around, any chance that traces of blood will survive in the Florida dirt to see daylight is slim.

“No. I should get home. There is someone there who will be calling the police herself, if I don’t arrive soon.” Sara could use one of Carolyn’s patented embraces; long, soft, warm – comforting, made to order in trying times or just for the heck of it. “You can get a hold of me at Fenwick’s Fabriques, over on Tennessee Street.”

“Oh, yes, I believe we own the property next door; fine location. If my mother-in-law comes in, please call me.”

Not exactly what she wanted to hear. Sara opens her mouth to protest, then pursing her colored lips, realizing that right about now that she is terminally perplexed.

Carolyn Hanes’ hug is what she needs and will surely get. There is something about unconditional affection that frees and refreshes the soul.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Now you see me

Episode #239


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #236

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #236

…In Herbert Love’s world there is only black and white; grays exist only in the clouds of a dreary day or the color of his favorite suit…

What can you say about Herbert Love? Certainly not enough can be put in earthly terms, whereby only God in his holy wisdom can fathom the depth of such a person as Herb. If it were only for his impact on a single family, the Campbells, or just A.O. for that matter, his time on this world was well spent.

Sec. of Ag-001

Love Dairies2-001But it goes well beyond helping to free a family from slavery, or giving the Tallahassee area a fine, fine physician. There is the legacy of his stint as Secretary of Agriculture. It has and always will be an example for those who have followed. He was a man of conviction, never once betraying his morals or beliefs.

In Herbert Love’s world there is only black and white; grays exist only in the clouds of a dreary day or the color of his favorite suit. There is right and there is wrong and very little in-between. You would be surprised how amazingly uncomplicated life is when you live within that reality. Straightforward, upright, just; three words that best describes the man who is sorely missed in the midst of his dear country’s most trying times.

Very the same can be said for his life’s partner, Phoebe. A wise man once said, ‘There is nothing on this Earth quite like a godly woman.’ And he could not have been more right. Her sweet quiet spirit touched everybody that knew her. Not high profile, just highly noble.

Christian thing to do-001And the humbly and freely shared her wisdom with the young women of greater Quincy, some going so far as to suggest that she found a school for young ladies. The advent of the emancipated woman, so-called flappers, empowered by the right to vote and Image result for r.i.p.generous exposure of the female knee, had really taken its toll on ladylike demeanor. Had she been younger, she would have welcomed that formidable challenge. Instead, a few lucky mothers were able to rest easy, secure in the knowledge that their girls rubbed elbows with the very best. That is why perhaps the finest acting performance of all time is her portrayal of Cinderella’s wicked step-mother, otherwise trivializing a glorious septuagenarian tenure.

The Loves were special people. Neither did one dwell without the other, happily consorted, having reaped their bountiful harvest and going on to the greater reward in the Heavenly Kingdom. The world of 1935 is a poorer place without them.

Black and White” is a song written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson. The most successful recording of the song was the pop version by Three Dog Night in 1972, when it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Black, White and Grey Winter by Pimpernel

Episode #236


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