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?…

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“The door is locked,” she 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.”

Carolyn Ford seizes the moment, “Aren’t there laws prohibiting sodomy?”

“…yes…” Lower case y, little e, small s.Image result for lower case upper case

“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 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.

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Released by Susan Swain

Episode #329


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #325

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #325

…He continues to sit on the Sheriff Joyce’s covert sex-life for all these years, but that’s not the best part – it turns out that this diddly-do continues to this day…

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“Now, tell me about that Joyce fellow, Lyn.” Robert Ford needs to know enough of the facts, to be of able support. He trusts Carolyn implicitly, not knowing her to bother with things she cannot influence, with an accent on success.

“Winthrop Joyce… Sheriff Joyce now, has been holding onto a potentially blockbuster secret.” Lyn sheriff-001Hanes knows of what she knows.

“What, did he beat a confession out of some totally innocent black man? Do you have proof about one of his cases, something that would bring him down?”

“No, I don’t know of his police work, at least nothing that would help us here. I bet that he has a spotless record, otherwise how could he have been elected Leon County Sheriff?”

   Folks in the South cherish and revere their law enforcement. Would you want one of those heavily medaled uniformed types walking up to you saying, ‘Boy, you ain’t been stealin’ watermelons from farmer Jones’ field, have ya?’ That may get you thirty days on a chain gang.

“County Sheriff is an elected position?”

“Why Robert Ford! I thought you knew all things uniformed –military or cop.”  She loves to keep her husband humble. What she has to say next would be of great interest to State, County, or local officials alike. “There was a time, before the war, really before the Depression, that then Sergeant Joyce enjoyed his visits to the county jail.”

“Okay, he loved being a policeman, what’s wrong with that?”

          “Nothing wrong with liking your job, but taking personal interest in inmates is.”

          “What do you mean by personal?”

       draw-me-a-story   “Like you are personal with me,” Index and middle fingers on both her hands are raised, implying closed quotes.

          “Ohhhh…&?*&%$#@!

          “I wouldn’t say it quite like, &?*&%$#@, but I think you get the picture, Kodak.”

          “Wow, that is intriguing, but how can you prove something like that? Isn’t the evidence trail a bit cold?”

“Normally it would, yes, excepting that head jailer is still the head jailer and the head jailer is my cousin. He continues to sit on the Sheriff’s covert sex-life for all these years, but that’s not the best part. It turns out that this diddly-do continues to this day.

“Why did your cousin bother to tell you, Lyn? Oh, I get it. He knew about you and Sara didn’t he?”

“Before I came to my senses, yes, Curt knew and he is very good at keeping secrets.” Carolyn still blushes, when the subject of her and Sara together comes up. “Cousin Curt is retiring this year and he told me that he would love to blab about now. His pension is vested and cannot be revoked by the Sheriff.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #325


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #322

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #322

…This is out of my hands, Carolyn. The Leon County Sheriff is after him and he has aced me out of this case, flat out barring me from any input…

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In the midst of this playful banter, the telephone rings. It has its origins from a Florida exchange, as suggested by the type of ring.

“I’ll get it!” she is hoping it is the call she has been waiting for. “Hello?”Image result for old telephone gif

“Miss Hanes, is that you? This is a voice from your past.”

“It is Mrs. Ford now, Joe Slater. How are you?”

“Its getting busy here, but I will always have time for you.” Detective Joe is a grizzled veteran of the Tallahassee community, including the ins and outs of everyone’s business, though not in a nosey way. He merely knows a lot.

“I’m glad for that because I’ve heard some scuttle butt about Doc Campbell; manslaughter Joe? He couldn’t hurt a fly, you know that.”

This is out of my hands, Carolyn. The Leon County Sheriff is after him and he has aced me out of this case, flat out barring me from any input.”

“What did Campbell do?”

“He treated a girl or two from Jacksonville way, you know, got them out of trouble.”

“You know what I think about abortion, Joe, I do not approve of it morally, but making it a capital offense is wrong. Penalties should fit the crime.”

“Yeah, I understand that, but one of the girls died.”

“Oh,” period, end of sentence.

“But she had been seeing another doctor back east and she was allergic to penicillin.” Slater knows the details, but he is being trumped by a shadowy machination.

“It sounds like he is being railroaded, am I right?”

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“The Pensacola & East all the way!” He refers to the railway where a young Alfrey Campbell was nearly run over by in 1896. “Somebody wants him out of the way, gal. Some see him getting in the way of progress, if you know what I mean. He and Maggie still own some fine property, though some of it is slipping into curious hands.”

“Who is helping him, Joe? He must have representation.”

          “Well, that is part of the problem. James Ferrell passed away a couple years back and R. Worth Moore is no James Ferrell.”

          “Enough said. Bob will fly me in tomorrow. I will call from the airport.”

          “You got it, Lyn and I wouldn’t waste any time getting here.”

          “One more thing….Who is the Sheriff of Leon County??”

          “W. P Joyce.”

          “Hummm,,,,,,,,, interesting.”

She knows something.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #322


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 320

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 320

…On an otherwise quiet day in September, the eighth to be exact, Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is indicted on one count of manslaughter (Franich) and two counts of abortion (Pyle/Evans and (Bailey/Ferber)…

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  In all three of these cases of needy white girls, there are more-than-sufficient reasons to turn down the money, turn his back on future problems and turn his clinic back into a legitimate hospital.

Image result for humanitarianAfter all, he had invited his fellow black doctors to practice their medicine there at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital. Instead of coming alongside this good humanitarian, standing tall and strong in solidarity for the poor and disadvantaged of Florida, they turn their collective backs, choosing the safe sheltering walls of Florida A & M’s University Hospital.

A.O. Campbell is getting old. He could have used the help; help with keeping his skills current, help with not being the lone private practicing physician in the Frenchtown community.

Instead, this kind and good man is left to his own devices, even traveling to the remotest regions of North Florida, virtually giving away his services. Those he treated did not have the resources of their Image result for no butswhite counterparts. His reputation grew, but his personal wealth leaked away with every passing year.

 

And yes, he was now drawing attention, but not for the good he was doing, but for violating Florida’s anti-abortion laws. But, but, but he was helping girls in trouble.

No buts about it.

 

On an otherwise quiet day in September, the eighth to be exact, Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is indicted on one count of manslaughter (Franich) and two counts of abortion (Pyle/Evans and (Bailey/Ferber).

  Thus began the fall of this 67 year old doctor, failing in health, with an unlikely Florida avalanche of evidence poised to bury him. No looking back for what ifs.

          Listen closely, there on Virginia Street and you will hear, “Things are looking down, Maggie.”

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Episode # 320

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page 301 (end ch. 18)

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #319

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #319

…As a direct result of leaving the care of A.O. Campbell, Audrie Franich infects, reacts to an antibiotic treatment from another doc and her frail body gives up the ghost…

Image result for give up the ghost painting

Give up the Ghost by Vincent Xeus

“But…” Ifs and buts may as well be candy and nuts. The Franich girl is quickly becoming a victim of yet another misjudgment. First, she gets pregnant by her merchant marine husband, who goes out to sea and leaves her alone. Secondly, she goes to a white Jacksonville doctor, who makes a lame attempt at an illegal medical procedure; abortion without getting your hands dirty… plain lazy. Then, to correct the second misstep, Doc Campbell is compelled to restore a pre-pregnancy state for young Audrie, the lesser of the previous evils, but it now leads to the final wrong in an error-packed 5 months.

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In the intervening month, Audrie Franich, the young mother of two children, dies. As a direct result of leaving the care of A.O. Campbell, she infects, reacts to an antibiotic treatment from another doc and her frail body gives up the ghost. Mother of Audrie, Mary Gray will be at the deathbed, convinced that her daughter is telling her that it is Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell who performed an abortion on her. Not a doctor in Jacksonville or another at Havana.

Image result for attracting attention

All this time, A.O. has been drawing unwanted attention to himself. Despite repeated warnings by his legal counsel, Campbell receives other young white women with different, yet similar conditions as Audrie Franich.

One such is seventeen and unmarried. Her future husband insists that she have an abortion. He will pay for it for now, and then they can marry. Are they getting things backwards? Yes of course, but in 1955, women do not have children out of wedlock, at least the respectable ones. The baby delivers anyway, but lives just two days.

Another woman, who cannot keep straight who she is married to and when, needs an abortion to align her life properly. She cannot have the child of the man she is divorcing, because her new husband would not approve. This picture is so convoluted that the doc is unable to separate out the facts from the fiction. What does he do? Yes of course, he tries to help, even though this patient ingested large doses of quinine in a “do-it-yourself” attempt.


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Episode #319


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #317

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #317

…The fact that A.O. was not considering his dealings with Audrie Franish as an abortion has distracted him…

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As Audrie is taken to the second floor room, where numerous hand-sized lives have been taken, without having had the chance to fulfill God’s intended purpose. This beleaguered doctor, assailed by both needs and the needy, has forever wrestled with the moral aspect of this one small corner of his business. Just what does his Maker and God, looking down from above, see? Is He sorely disappointed with the man, born Alfrey Campbell, or does He gaze with compassion and grace? A devout servant and worshiper has a single soiled corner in an otherwise spotless house.Image result for medical symbol

Alpha Campbell, the doctor, speaks with a new desk nurse named Edwina Stephens. “When I’m done packin’ the girl, make sure that Miss Franich comes back for two more days of packin’ of the uterus. It’s a damn shame I can’t keep her here. What would be the harm in it?”

“Yes, sir, Dr. Campbell, three days,” Edwina is new and nervous. So new, that she is making the worst possible of innocent mistakes. One of her duties is the appointment book. She was not around in 1954. Had she been, the woman she has replaced, Lettie Golden, would be having a coronary, as would Attorney Sinclair Clavitt. Back then, there were but a scant 15 minutes between that appointment book and infamy.

The fact that A.O. was not considering his dealings with Audrie Franish as an abortion has distracted him. More lessons not learned.

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“I want to be there with my baby!” mother Mary cries out.

“This needs to be a complete sterile area, Mrs. Gray. Please wait in the hall.” Head nurse, Lillie Chevis, is a skilled doctor’s right hand. She has been with Dr. Campbell since he opened his hospital in 1947. She had left Florida A&M Hospital because she shared A.O.’s vision. But only her height exceeds her employer, nursing skills notwithstanding.Image result for sterile

“Thank you Lillie…

A.O. has been packing her cervix with sterile gauze, when after two or three more times the uterus would reject the dead fetus.

It is important that she does not miss a packing, lest infection set in. It is a gradual process, but a known way of encouraging the womb to empty itself. No need for invasive surgery.

Image result for concord florida“We will repeat this packin’ until you go into labor. Then you come a callin’ in a big hurry and we will be done.”

For young Audrie it is a tedious process, traveling back and forth from her Daddy’s house at Concord, Florida is not her idea of solving her problem. Concord is no more than a speck in the Panhandle; map makers have ignored it with unsettling regularity. Daniel Boone would have had a difficult time finding it, with directions, a compass and a local Seminole Indian companion.

“Yes, Doc Campbell, I just want this whole thing over.”


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“Daniel Boone – The Home Seeker – Cumberland Valley” c. 1940 by N.C. Wyeth

Episode #317


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 309

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 309

… “We have a warrant to search the premises, nurse.” One of Tallahassee’s finest is in the company of Attorney Jordan Essington of Jacksonville…

Reliable Lettie Golden is working at LBMH this day and needs no prompting in locating the ledger book appointment-book2from two years ago. She was not working that evening in question, but she did book the appointment. She is able to go directly to the right page. “Here it is Mr. Clavitt… Sanders.”

“Good work, Lettie. Now do you see why it is a good idea using a pencil instead of a pen to take down names?” He removes Missy Sanders from the 7:00 p.m. space with a clean eraser. A clean fresh eraser is the key, leaving behind nary a trace of graphite. The lone entry for the evening is the admission of Edwina Stevens, the one of broken ankle fame; must have taken all night to set it proper. That’s going to be their story and they’ll stick to it.

“We are going to change the rules here,” the lawyer continues, “and I want you to promise me that you’ll stick to them. But let’s get over to George’s Store to talk this out. I’d rather you weren’t here A.O., in case the police show up. Lettie? Put that book away like no one has seen it since it was filed.”search-warrant-001

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“We have a warrant to search the premises, nurse.” One of Tallahassee’s finest is in the company of Attorney Jordan Essington of Jacksonville. They expect to encounter some resistance, perhaps in the form of foot dragging or pleading of ignorance. Neither is present here at LBMH.

Lettie is a God-fearing woman, not well versed in lying or covering up, but she would perjure herself if and when the doctor’s career was on the line. She is polite, while trying not to look as if she were expecting them. “Yes, officer, what can I do for you?”

“We need to have Doctor Campbell’s appointment book from 1952, specifically January 24.” Fifteen minutes earlier, they would have found what they were expecting to find.

          “This is 1954, sir. I don’t rightly recall where it is, but I’ll do my best to find it. I ain’t the head nurse, but I knows a few places where it might be.”

          “Do your best and I’m sure you will find it.”

  Lettie goes to the back storage rooms and basically spends the ensuing half-hour praying, pretending like she was having difficulty. She tries the patience of the men in the lobby.


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Episode # 309


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