Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #303

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #303

“Curtis, is that you? What did you see?” Curtis did not answer the doctor’s question because he did not know what he saw…

back-door-001

It is not long before Curtis pulls up on Virginia Street. Rather than trying to raise the older woman to her feet, he runs to the front entrance, but he finds the door locked. He peers through the only window that does not have a drawn shade. There is no one at the front desk. There is always someone at the front desk.

“Don’t you be fretting’ Miss Edwina, I’ll go around back.” Curtis knows these grounds like the back of his hand and he knows Doc never locks the back door while somebody is in the building. He happens upon nurse Lilly, who is wrapping something in a small bag. Doc Campbell pokes his head out of the door.

lbmh3-001 “Put that in the cooler with the others fetuses. We’ll take care of them tomorrow.” He is startled by a glimpse of his driver, just ten feet away. “Curtis, is that you? What did you see?”

“Miss Edwina Stevens is out front, she hurt her leg bad.” Curtis did not answer the doctor’s question because he did not know what he saw.

“I’ll be out there quick.” A.O. turns to whisper to Lilly, “You finish packing Missy, oh and unlock the front door.” He then runs to the front of the clinic, bloodstained white lab coat and all.

“Help me get her a wheel chair, Curtis; it looks like her ankle is broke.”

“The door is locked, Doc,” he says while A.O. proves him wrong.ball-chain-001

“Take her Room 2, Curtis; she will be spendin’ the night.” He turns edgily toward his wife’s friend, whose brittle old bones are giving out one after another.  “I will be in to put a splint on your ankle in a minute, Edwina. Take two of these for now.”

The doctor heads down the hall toward the back. His other patient is waiting for the final touches to the procedure that ended her baby’s short life. The grief she is beginning to feel, will shift to unwelcome baggage, uncomfortable feelings that she will carry around, like a ball and chain for the rest of her life.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #303


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #301

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #301

…The white father shakes A.O.’s hand like it is covered with slime, offering the doc only a limp and halfhearted appendage. “No one can find out about this, you understand?…

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braceT LFT“Oh, my dear, sweet, glorious Lord, have mercy on this ol’ man. You have given us so much, blessed us ‘seedinly, but it still ain’t enough. I have to help out those poor young girls that is wit child and no accounts for boyfriends or husbands. An’ there’s some bad ones out there callin’ theyselves doctors that’ll be butcherin’ them girls. They be best off wit someone who can care proper for ‘em.

“Now I ain’t askin’ for any trouble. I’ma goin’ to need your devine pretectin’. There is folks that would love to visit me in jail.”

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It had been a long day at the hospital for Alpha Campbell. There has been a big run of the flu making it rounds through Tallahassee’s 1952 growing population. It isn’t the killer variety that killed millions back in 1918, but it transmits very well, too well and he has all he can do to make it back in time to meet a late night patient at his clinic. He is tired and hungry, but there is an extremely anxious father in his waiting room, with an equally nervous daughter, soundly pregnant, in tow.

“I don’t want to lose my baby, daddy. Can’t I raise it at home?  Okay, I’ll get a job then and findmy_little_girl1 a place of my own.”

“You are goin’ to graduate high school, Missy and that’s that. There ain’t a man, well a good one anyhow, in Duval County who’d marry a whore with a baby.”

That last phrase was uncalled for. There are many girls in the South who do not complete their secondary education; most of the time, people of the town neither notice nor care. Women stay home, raise a family, while their husbands go out and win the bacon.

At least that was what it was like before the Second World War. ‘It is hard to keep them in the home, once they’ve built a battleship’. Missy’s mother was one of those women in the shipyards of Jacksonville. Missy’s father, having lived through that, will not have his little girl doomed to factory work. She is going to have an abortion, finish high school and hopefully marry a good man who will take care of her, so she can raise him handfuls of grandchildren… someday.

“I’ll need to keep Milicent four days.”

“It’s Missy, doctor.” He is getting names mixed up. Milicent was the name of his first abortion patient, years ago.

“Oh yes, Missy. So, come back on Thursday, you can take her home then.”

“Thank you, doctor.” The white father shakes A.O.’s hand like it is covered with slime, offering the doc only a limp and halfhearted appendage. “No one can find out about this, you understand?

The common threads that tie every one of these illegal procedures together: ‘No one can find http://www.dreamstime.com/-image2615801about this.’ ‘Bring your affairs to Doc Campbell in Tallahassee and he will keep things private.’ Sure, that claim is not exclusive to abortion, not with venereal disease and mastectomies out there, but when a white girl shows up at the back door of LBMH, odds are that she is pregnant, though not for long.

“Oh, yessir, you can count on that.” A.O. has no intentions sharing nature of his less-than-legal sideline with anyone, including family. Only his nurses, like Lilly Chevis, know the extent of the doctor’s circumnavigation of the laws of the state of Florida and she is none too comfortable with her involvement. She and Lettie Golden will continue to help out, driven by their loyalty to a truly good man.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #301


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 292

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #292

… It is so ironic that James Ferrell occupies room 209 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, not the hospital he fought so hard to save…

Meanwhile Caption-001Down where the rubber meets the road, nearer to God than Alpha Centauri, James Ferrell clings to life Image result for where the rubber meets the roadafter a ghastly battle with pneumonia. He had been working himself harder than ever, warding off the ever increasing blows being thrown at Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell. In his attempt to maintain A.O.’s flawless reputation, which has become a full time chore, Ferrell put his own health at risk. Having a physician for a client should be a good thing, but in this case, the doctor is not in the house.

He is in New Jersey to visit brother Hosey. No – that was the company line. Angela Ophelia Diaz is expecting any day, nine months pregnant with a certain Florida doctor’s second grandchild. He had not completely severed his ties with mother Camille Diaz, the woman who took him under her wing when he really needed it, and has been checking in from time to time over the past thirty years. He was motivated by his overriding sense of responsibility, being the pregnant girl’s father and all and not having financially supported either of them… other than an occasional birthday present.

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Meanwhile, his attorney was juggling real estate in an effort to keep Laura Bell Memorial Hospital afloat. Legitimate revenues are not paying the bills, other than the rental properties, and even some of them have fallen into disrepair. Roofs need roofing, broken windows remain broken, and tenants are becoming untenable.

It is so ironic that James Ferrell occupies room 209 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, not the hospital he fought so hard to save. Lilly Chevis is at his side, personally attending to him as a representative of LBMH, helping to make the 70 year old man as comfortable as possible.

He was always stopping by the clinic, making sure the bills were being paid and keeping track of the patient register. There have been whispers about late night visits by mostly young white women. He suspects that abortions comprise the bulk of those calls.

Ferrell has been dying a little bit at a time, with the knowledge that the doctor will be indefensible somewhere down the line. The racial climate leading up to 1950 has been spiraling downward. It is becoming fashionable to flaunt the differences between whites and blacks. Whites feel they can be openly hateful and blacks are becoming increasingly vocal in protesting injustice, which has a polarizing effect that trickles down to the otherwise ambivalent. Unfortunately for people of color, the law comes down on the side of prejudice and that can scare the best of lawyers.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Hanging by a thread by Do Ho Suh, textile and thread sculpture

Episode #292


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #285

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #285

…A.O. takes a closer look at the pretty high-schooler, likely with a good husband and a big house, full of children, in her future…

The American Dream by Kay Crain

The American Dream by Kay Crain

What are the long term ramifications in the world of Dr. A.O. Campbell? For months since his hospital opened, the vultures have been circling above Virginia Street, no, not an impatient Image result for vultures circling gifbanker waiting for his money, but a threat of a different nature. Regrettably, by feeding these persistent vultures, it serves a master, the needy or the needful. Up until recently, the doctor has resisted the temptation of the most controversial operation that is performed, yesterday, today or tomorrow.

“I’ll pay you anything you want, Campbell. We were told that you are the one doctor in the Panhandle we could trust to keep our affairs private.” A white man, probably in his late forties, has come all the way from Jacksonville… unsolicited. He has a young woman with him. She is trembling.

          “You’re askin’ me to do somethin’ that ain’t legal here in Florida.” A.O. is standing firm on this issue. “My job as a doctor is to preserve life, not end it.”

          “My girl was knocked up by any one of three sailors, ain’t seen any of ‘em since. What do you think people are going to say? My Millicent is no whore, sir and I am a descendant of Isaiah Hart, for crying out loud!”

“Don’t you know who I am?”

“Huh?” A.O.  does not know Isaiah Hart from the Queen of Hearts.

          “The Hart family built Jacksonville and I can’t have my first grandchild being some bastard without a father.”

          “All children are made in the image of God, Mr. Hart.” Campbell has delivered every manner of baby over his 35-year career, fully 50% without clear parentage.

          “Look, we have driven all night to get here,” he fumbles through his suit coat for his money clip, “here’s four hundred dollars.”

American dream

American Dream by Luis Cruz Azaceta

He takes a closer look at the pretty high-schooler, likely with a good husband and a big house, full of children, in her future. She is sobbing uncontrollably, with a look that is calling out, ‘I just want to get this whole mess over with!’

“Forgive me, Lord,” entreats the doctor. He motions to his head nurse, “Get Miss Millicent settled on the second floor, Lilly, and get the delivery room ready.”

Like a lamb to the slaughter, Millicent Hart lambwill be the first white person treated at LBMH. It will not exactly be an occasion to celebrate.

“I will need to keep her four days, Mr. Hart, have to make sure infection does not set in. You’re welcome to stay in the hospital if you would like. Your daughter should not be alone.”

“Four days? How am I going to explain that to my wife?”

“How do I make accounts to the Almighty?” This is not the first illegal abortion performed in Tallahassee. The techniques are widely known and $400 goes a long way. Whether it is right or wrong will be left to a judge higher than man.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #285


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #269

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #269

Chapter Fifteen

HOSPITALITY

…The Florida court system in 1946 is stacked up with ever increasing lawsuits, due in large part to the exponential increase in the number of attorneys…

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“You said you were going to retire this year, James,” reminds Abigail Ferrell-Ferrell to her husband.

“I said that I would consider it and I have. It’s just that Alpha has these nagging little malpractice suits thatLawsuit seem to drag on forever.” It is true. The Florida court system in 1946 is stacked up with ever increasing lawsuits, due in large part to the exponential increase in the number of attorneys and their incessant snooping and digging, for what amounts to manufacturing business.

  • If a baby is born with a birth defect, sue.
  • If a woman develops an infection after delivering the baby, sue.
  • If the husband trips on the hospital stairway while taking his crippled baby and ill wife home, sue.
  • If the receptionist looks cross-eyed at the family when they are readmitted, of course, sue.

“And that hospital he is intent on building, he is going to need as much advice as I can give.”

James Ferrell Lawyer “You are 66 years old and Alpha himself told you that ulcer you had a couple of years ago will come back if you don’t cut back.” Abbey has been the best wife a man can have, not to mention having aged, oh so well. When James looks at her, like he is now, discerning her caring and what wisdom is behind it, he cannot help but see that quaking 15 year old, the scared little girl that had just witnessed the killing of her father, at the hands of the slaves who used to attend to her every need.

“I understand where you are coming from Abbey, but you have been taking such good care of me. I have never felt better.”

There is a knock on the door of their San Luis Lake home. Abbey opens it to reveal the main topic of their discussion.

“Well, A.O. Campbell, your ears must have been ringing. We were just talking about you,” she shares.

“Nothin’ bad I trust. I know I have been takin’ most of your man’s time lately, probably got me on your bad side.”

“Oh nonsense, Doc Campbell, how can a sweet man like you ever cause anyone any harm?”

“I bet you that James has a few names he could offer in that category.”

“Intent is 90% of the law, Alpha and I cannot for the life of me recall you hurting so much as a pesky housefly.”

At a glance, the doctor’s diminutive stature and dapper manner of dress is proof in the putting. He is the physical image of his deportment, from the brim of his crisply brimmed hats to the tips of his perfectly polished shoes.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Intent by Terry Cullen

Episode #269


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #249

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 249

…If’n a Negro had done that to a white, someone would’a been hanged by now,..

Hanging from a Tree in Fog- by Lee-Avison

Hanging from a Tree in Fog by Lee Avison

“Masta Docta! Come quick!” screams the Campbell houseman as he runs through the back door of the Virginia Street home. “Da Princess is out back and she’s hurt real bad.”

This alarming news was the first they had heard of Olla’s whereabouts for more than a day and it wasn’t good news. Laura Bell would die in her own bed, getting to A.O.’s care too late to do anything for her. She had lost too much blood. James Ferrell was there when she died, as was Cyril Odz, in vain attempt to garner a positive identification of her attackers. There was only time for the grandgirls to give her a final hug, as she drifted away to the care of her Lord in the year 1931.

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That was four years ago and the hurt and outrage has not faded. “This ain’t right, Sheriff. You ain’t Justice2-001Justice2-001gonna let those pups get away with it, are you?” Maggie had lost her mother too soon.

“We’ve been hopin’ one of them would slip up and tell someone about what they did. You would think they would have blabbed about it by now.”

If’n a Negro had done that to a white, someone would’a been hanged by now, even if they din’t do it. Any one of us’ll do jus fine.”

“That’s right, Maggie and ain’t it coincidence that young Wilson was sent out of the country right after? He was helpin’ his daddy one day, goin’ to a fancy Europe school the next. Can’t you drag his woman-beatin’-ass back to ax some questions?” A.O. has no place in his life for violence.

“If we could show a motive or probable cause, the answer is yes. Until then we have to wait for him to come back to Leon County.” Attorney Ferrell is frustrated for sure, but the whole mess has taken the heat off the doctor in some other matters, namely performing an occasional abortion for white families, who want to keep their affairs private.

In recent years, it seems he is being treated with kid gloves, allowing him to operate freely in both the black and white worlds, just as easy as the other. What he doesn’t know is that one is real and the other is smoke & mirrors. The trick is recognizing the smoke for what it genuinely is.

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Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode # 249


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #245

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #245

…“What if they were liquored up? Heard tell that his uncle Rufus does some moonshinin’ out there in the hills of Georgia,” A.O. suggests

Deep Woods Still by Daniel Eskridge

“How long ago would you say that was?” asks James, who is attempting to trace the timeline for the seeds of hate..

1923 Bathing Beauties Lyn turns to Sara, “Wasn’t that right after we came back from the Mediterranean?” Sara nods eagerly. That was the trip when Lyn finally confronted her feelings for Sara; from curiosity to commitment, one of those defining markers in one’s life. “That was 1923, eight years ago.”

“Three months and five days,” Sara adds to the accuracy, minus the hours.

“OoooKaaaay,” James confirms. Sara face ratchets up several shades of red. “That would make, Charles is his name, about 18, correct? Yes. And does that fit the profile of those described young men? It does.” Sara is holding her tongue.

“I know this Charles, happens to wear a hat that you have described. He is not really stupid, he just happens to where his heart on his sleeve. I cannot believe he would be capable of something like this.”

Moonshine XXX

Alcohol Bottle xxx by lasimatteo

“What if they were liquored up? Heard tell that his uncle Rufus does some moonshinin’ out there in the hills of Georgia,” A.O. suggests.

“Booze does have a way of magnifying a man’s state of mind,” James agrees.

“It turns them into filthy animals!” so much for Lyn’s unbiased opinion of the male condition. She fails to mention that she believes that men are born that way.

“Not all of us, I hope, Miss Hanes. I had the occasion to enjoy more than one cocktail at a meeting last week and never once pinched a waitress, let alone attack an elderly woman. My wife, Abbey, even suggests I do it more often, you know, an outlet from dealing with everyone else’s problems.”

“I guess I shouldn’t let bad experiences taint my views. I apologize.”

Cobblestone (olla)-001“No need, I think I understand.” He does understand and has no problem with the domestic situation in the home he is seated. It will not affect how he feels about either of them. “Well, Alpha, I think we should be going. These fine ladies have helped us tremendously. Thank you for the iced tea. Sure tastes good on a steamer day like this.

“Try not to dwell on this matter, Sara. If you do, then these creeps will have caused another to suffer needlessly.”

It is too late for that.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #245


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