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Sad End Happy


Chapters:Hospitable, Inhospitable flies us to Area 51 and an alien
contact. Good ol’ Newt Swackhammer, what a guy. The government
calls him a crank. But 1947 harbors both UFO’s and the bricks &
mortar of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital. Born of Alpha Campbell’s
spirit, the building itself is one large lightning rod; meant for good,
yet attracting an onslaught of controversy and hardship.

____368 Gwendolyn Hoff

We look back at Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, along with
the world of Cinderella. And then bounce ahead to Michael Rennie
Walt Disney; what an odyssey of entertainment. Can you hear the
music of Scott Joplin and Duke Ellington? The Duke was supposed to
appear in 1954, but my unplanned plot-change got in the way; putting off the other depressing, mood killing stuff.

As for the remainder of The Life and Times, not so many pages
back, your imagination is the king. My imagination has splattered the
backdrop of history from way back in 1896, all the way up to the dawn
of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Just the dawn in 1959 mind you, then you are
reeled back to days of trial in 1955.

Isn’t that rude?

But look at the payoff. Instead of an old man
in jail, we happen on a Laura Bell Memorial Hospital with a future. What
a shame. This is the way it should have ended for one of the first
Black doctors in Florida. In my rosy reality,  Alice’s wonderful Looking Glass helped me make lemonade out of lemons.

Alice meeting Tweetle Dee & Tweetle Dum

Alpha O. Campbell, M.D. deserved a better fate. Gwendolyn
Hoff has given it to him. Thank you for the privilege of writing this

A.O., God rest your soul. It has been one wild ride!


• Chapter Fifteen HOSPITALITY  292
• Chapter Sixteen INHOSPITABLE  309
• Chapter Seventeen LOOKING UP  326
• Chapter Eighteen LOOKING DOWN  343
• Chapter Nineteen Trials and Triumph  351
• Chapter Twenty CLOSURE  363


“Back to regular programming like Cracked History, World Wide Words, Quotes and Top Tenz lists for a week, before I start my next book THE RETURN TRIP.”

Science Fiction from Gwenny


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Skipping the Messy Stuff

 * Chapter Ten ALLIES  196
• Chapter Eleven BALANCE OF POWER  221
• Chapter Twelve CARELESS WHISPERS  241
• Chapter Thirteen FROM THE ASHES  258
• Chapter Fourteen LESSONS NOT LEARNED  278

All the earlier chapters are a lead-up to our late involvement in WWI,      where we meet Sir James Matthew Barrie, the prolific playwright and cousin to John Ferrell. John Ferrell’s supply ship, the Panama City, never a real ship, was not sunk by U-Boat submarines, though the elder Ferrell

____The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor 367

did indeed die in 1916; such a blue-blooded way to die, helping your
Scottish ancestors through a tough time.

10 and 11 encompass that bloody 1st world war, along with the
deadly influenza that started in Europe and traveled back to the US.
30 million people died worldwide and that is about the time that
Alpha Omega Campbell began practicing medicine.

After the doctor and Maggie wed in 1918, they both had affairs
that produced children. Maggie’s dalliance produced middle daughter,
Laura. That little child was so fair-skinned, isn’t that right banker Lewis? Alpha, for his part, did father a child; it’s just that whether it was with Camille
Diaz is buried among the Careless Whispers of reality.

Those Roaring years of flappers and debauchery are bypassed…

…here, as is the Great Depression. It seems the author (me) does not deal
well with hard times, which resurfaces in the closing chapters, a.k.a.
the happy, or rather calm ending. So From the Ashes emerges the
mid-1930’s. We lose great characters Harv Pearson, Herb Love and
Phoebe. We’ve already left the Endlichoffer’s behind and the elder

James Ferrell becomes the Dr.’s lawyer and we are (re) introduced
to Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway Private Eye) and her lover
Sara Fenwick (Fanny Renwick). Like the incest episode between James
and Agnes, this Lesbian relationship is a glimpse into life behind closed doors, as well as in real life.


Chapter 1 Tone-Setter for LATOBSD

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Chapter 1 Tone-Setter


LATOBSD covers roughly 60 years, more than enough trips around
the sun to both meet and say goodbye to too many fine people;
From the spring of youth, to the winter of maturity, from the dawn of unrighteousness, to the sunset of discontentment.

In the interest of accuracy, I will sort through the most flagrant
fracturing of history perpetrated by little ol’ me. Remember the
“Rocky and Bullwinkle” feature: Fractured Fairy Tales? If you are too
young . . . . here are some pictures.

So . . . . here we go, hop-scotching from through the pages of
The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor, sifting from front
to back. Feel free to leaf back to the earlier pages, to refresh your
memory. And I will try not to rush.

____The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor 365

If you want to leave well enough alone and believe that all things
I penned are true (you’d be wrong), thank you investing your time and money to read LATOBSD.

For the rest of you:

Nearly all of the main Tallahassee characters were real people.
I used their actual names and because of the volatile nature of the
events, especially in the long-ago 1950’s. If I had fictionalized their names, I could never have kept them all straight. Who they were and what was their
relation to A.O. Campbell needed to be as is. Perhaps it is due to my
simple mind, but George Lewis, Charles Wilson, Franklin McLoud,
the Dr.’s nurses, the Dr.’s attorneys, the Prosecutors, Starke Prison and
Audrie Franich, all appearing in chapter 1, are real. Their true role and actions are my guessing(s), for the sake of an interesting story.

Now, some of the machinations surrounding his trial and
subsequent imprisonment, well that is a combination of speculation
and fictionalization on my part. In the afterglow of true history, none of this tinkering affects the outcome; in real life he was tried and convicted.

I skipped the trial completely. Had I not, the book would be 50 pages longer and even more frustrating. And the book would have ended on a real downer.

Peabody and Sherman

Chapter 1  Tone-Setter

Closure — Line-by-Line LATOBSD

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Closure — Line-by-Line LATOBSD


In fact, had I been true to the facts, we would have continued on from Chapter One to 1959.

But, and it is a big (upper case BUT),

as I came to Chapter Eighteen,
LOOKING DOWN, I knew I could not bring myself to play it out
the way it really did. I began to plot an amended beginning, which
morphed into the last chapter, TRIALS AND TRIUMPH. All along,
#19 was going to be about the trial, of which I have the majority of
the original transcript here as well.

Depressing, is the only way I can portray the trial of a 67 year
old. Did he do wrong things, sure, but he was of ill health and did
not deserve the ending that ultimately came to pass. And yes, his wife
did die 1 1/2 years into his incarceration.

What did actually happen at that sad time? I don’t have anything
to go on and that is where ‘historical fiction’ comes to bear; the word f-i-c-t-i-o-n, look it up. Creation, vision, fable, fantasy, tale are all used as synonyms. I prefer the latter. LATOBSD is a tale of epic dimension.

“When it came to the time to finish-up a book that I had worked 12 years (0n and off), I found myself dreading having to leave the reader with a lonely, broken man;  no money, no wife, no medicine, no future.

“How convenient is the genre of Historical Fiction? Don’t like the facts, make something up, make something good up. Need a BFF for one of your favorite characters? How’s Mary Pickford for you?”

(does anyone even remember Mary Pickford? It is history man, learn it!)


Closure — Line-by-Line LATOBSD

Fact Checker – A Wrap-up to LATOBSD

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Fact Checker – A Wrap-up to LATOBSD

Chapter Twenty


(From the desk of Gwendolyn Kim Hoff)

A personal tour guide to deciphering the fact and fiction behind
genre of Historical Fiction.

Well readers, here we find ourselves, at the end of a book that
may have elicited one of the following reactions:

  • Surprise
  •  Dismay
  •  Confusion
  •  Confounded-ness
  •  Conflicted-ness

‘Pleased’ is my wish, but there is quite a twist from where you
thought things were headed. Was not A.O. Campbell tried and
convicted, in a court of law, of the things we read of in Chapter One?
In real life, sadly he was, pretty much the way Chapter 1 ALPHA AND OMEGA was laid out.

I myself met the granddaughter of the doctor, more than a dozen
years ago. She found out that I was writer and as many of us who set
words to page are told, ‘I have a great story that needs to be told.’ I

____364 Gwendolyn Hoff

happened to be between projects and thus began a journey that has
led me to this point.

In my files are pictures, articles and memorabilia from the life of
this Southern Black Doctor. Legendary is the word that can describe
what I have accumulated, in filed away in my office at this
moment. So much, not all of what I have written is flat-out true or to the best of my knowledge; people, places and things littered from 1896 to 1955. In fact, had I been true to the facts, we would have continued on from Chapter One in order, all the way to 1959.

To be continued………

“Recently, like a couple of days ago, I received a comment from a relative of a relative of the doctor. She was appalled and clearly in the “dismayed” segment of my readers, I believe blasting through WIF archives to read on about A.O. Campbell’s LIFE AND TIMES.

“To Pat H. and anyone else connected to Tallahassee Florida in the 1940s & 50s, it was a sad time, it was a bad time in the life of a good and decent man. And had I been able to dig up some willing family historians, LATOBSD, this piece of historical fiction may well have more closely reflected what really happened.

“But those  folks were nowhere to be found, just like the suddenly mute nurses who were witness to the whole Audrey Franich affair.”


Fact Checker – A Wrap-up to LATOBSD

Newt Swakhammer – The Star Witness of Roswell

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Newt Swakhammer


Newt Swakhammer – The Star Witness of Roswell

“Look at that! There is an ass on the runway.”

“Be nice to the man, Bob, we want him to spill his guts.”

“No, an actual donkey silly. Oh . . . . okay, he is dragging it off.
He must have seen us coming.” He tilts their plane left, then right to
signal, the flying hello. He waves them in.

“He certainly looks friendly.”

“His name is Newt Swakhammer and he was the first person to
see the crash.”

“Swakhammer? Maybe he should have had the government
change his name, too. I couldn’t make up a name like that. Hi, I’m
Newt Swakhammer.”

“Take it easy, Lyn.” Ford doesn’t want her breaking up in front of
the rancher. “Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t find him a ranch in

____316 Gwendolyn Hoff

Argentina. I have a feeling that we are the last people the Air Force
wants him to talk to.”

“Too late.” And it was.

The landing went smoothly, except for having to dodge numerous
prairie dog holes and causing a small stampede of rangy Herefords.

“Don’t you worry about them cattle, they’ll be back,” Newt
assures his guests. “We don’t get many visitors out here.”

“Are those cows the same ones you had in New Mexico, because
I could see why they would be afraid of things that fly?” Excellent
segue into the topic at hand.

“The ones that ain’t longhorns, yeah, they followed me to Texas.
You know, come to think of it, those Herefords is a skidderish bunch.
Some of ’em would be gone for days, then come on back fatter than
they was when they left out.” Newt Swakhammer seems like a guy
who lets the world happen around him. “No sense in making sense
of every little thing.”

“Did that crash last year make any sense to you, Newt?” Bob
knows that Newt knows that Lyn knows.

“Just about scared the tar out o’me, it did. I was in the house,
rustling up some grub when it hit the ground, so bright it blinded me
for a bit. Still see spots floatin’ ‘round when I’m in the dark.”

“What did you see when you went out to see what’s what?” Lyn
narrows his myopic recollection.

“What didn’t I see? Junk everywhere, a full section of land sizzlin’,
and smoking’.”

“Did you pick up anything, for a souvenir?”

“At first I didn’t. Never saw anything like that stuff; gadgets, lights
still flashin’, some tin metal so thin you could see through it, even a
couple bodies. No noses on those little beggars, one of ’em still livin’
until the army showed up.”

“What did the army do with it, uh, them.”

“Carted ’em off wrapped in blankets, in a big time hurry too.
Told me they was kids in costume. Which I could believe, but that
don’t explain the grown-up I saw.”


“Yeah, some guy in a fancy blue suit, well it must have been fancy
before gettin’ singed to a crisp.”

____The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor 317

This interview was getting stranger by the minute. Little creatures,
foreign metals and a businessman; of all things, probably aboard the
identical craft that Lyn and Bob saw that same day in 1947.

“Things are starting to add up, aren’t they?” Bob Ford is astonished
at what he is hearing.

“Not only are they adding up, I think they are multiplying
exponentially. No matter what spin you put on it, these creatures
were in the business of snatching people off the planet, for God knows
what reason. I wonder how long that poor man was gone from his
family? Damn, Bob, what right do they have to pilfer people’s lives?
Look what they did to Sara, stealing part of her mind . . . . and a
kidney? What is that? It’s sick, that’s what it is.”

“Do you know someone that those beggars kidnapped?” Newt is
catching on to the thrust of their visit.

“That’s right, Newt, we have a friend who they had for six years.
She could have been on that ship when it went down. She must have
outlived her usefulness to them.” Carolyn Hanes had not taken the
time to let her bitterness surface, but now that the facts are lining up,
there is no reason to hold back.

“If they was so damned smart, what made them crash?” Newt wonders.

“I don’t know what brought them down, but it is a fitting end.”
Lyn concludes.

“Could be that city slicker done got fed up with them messin’
with him and grabbed the steering wheel.”

“Not out of the realm of possibility, Mr. Swakhammer.” Ford
knows that something bad had to happen to a space craft that had to
have traveled millions of miles to reach Earth. It was time to see some
pieces of history. “May we see those souvenirs of yours?”

“Can y’all ride a horse?”

Bob looks at Lyn, whose dress is not exactly suited for a
western-style saddle. “Can’t you drive us?”

“Not where I got that stuff, guy. Newt Swakhammer ain’t anyone’s

“What do you mean, fool?”

“I never knows when those army guys will show up and I figure
they must enough of their own goodies, ain’t gonna have mine! Got it hid good.”

____318 Gwendolyn Hoff

“Well, then let’s get going, but make sure you give me a tame
horse,” requests the ever game Florida gal.

“Ol’ Flossy will give you a good ride, Miss and you best wear
this.” He hands her a Stetson that looked like it had been hanging on
that fence post since the days of Santa Anna and the Alamo. “Say, do
you mind if Bart there goes with us?” He points to what appears to
be a hired hand, who has been eyeing their single engine plane. “He
ain’t never seen one close up.”

“We will give him a ride when we get back.”

“Hoo, doggies, you hear that, Bart, they will take us flyin’! Saddle
up Flossy and three others, we’re headed for Fer Piece!”

10,000 acres covers a lot of ground and Newt’s “Far Piece” is all
that and ten miles more. About half way to San Angelo, a solitary
butte rises out of the parched earth.

“This is the northeast marker of my spread.”

“I thought I saw a band of Comanche back there.” Lyn has never
seen so much nothing.

“Apaches, maybe, not Comanche, they’re up north, but all the
injuns is up at Twin Buttes reservation, ’bout a days ride from here.”

“This will do just fine, Newt.” Lyn takes off her hat, which has
spared her face the forces of a midday sun, and fluffs her skirt. She
spits the dust from her bone-dry mouth.

“Hey, Bart, give the lady a canteen, can’t you see she’s

Once the horses were lashed to a batch of mesquite bushes, the
quartet of long riders skirts the base of the huge rock rising hundreds
of feet straight up. Invisible from anywhere but a few feet away,
they are led through a narrow slit in the small, flat-topped mountain.
Bart strikes a match, applying it to a ring of torches, revealing Newt
Swakhammer’s secret treasure.

For someone who sports a Hicksville personae, the rancher
who had a spaceship drop onto his land, actually has organized his
collection in a logical way. Like items are gathered together. “I tried
to fill my truck with one of everythin’, sepptin’ the little guys.”

“You did well, Newt, though I suspect the government might
frown on your actions. But I would suggest that some of this should
be examined by scientists. I think I know someone who will be able
to help.”

____The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor 319

“I don’t know you well, Mr. Ford, but I am a trustin’ you and
Miss Lyn is who you say you is. And if you say this stuff should be
looked at, then it will, by golly.”

“Great Lyn, if you can stay here with Newt, Bart and I will ride
back and get the Cub? West Texas seems to be one big airstrip!”

“Remind you of anything, Bob Ford? You live for these adventures.”
Not unlike his partner, the one of them that takes adventure, real
or invented, and applies them to the printed page. Arrange and
rearrange words, make and remake life experiences until they tell an
interesting story.

Newt Swakhammer – The Star Witness of Roswell

“I will forever treasure this unique episode in my book THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR. The last name “Swakhammer” came about by my coming across a Dennis Swakhammer, a Canadian salesman. When I need a name for a rancher in Roswell, New Mexico, I made him a Newt.”

Police, Gators, and Son-in-Laws — LATOBSD (Ch 17 pg. 340)

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Police, Gators, and Son-in-Laws


____340 Gwendolyn Hoff

The book in question is not on top, but not on the bottom either.
If he would have sniffed January 24, the smell of a fresh pink eraser
lingers, the warmth of brand-new fingerprints hidden from the human


“This is it, officer. We can go.”

Lettie Golden has done her job.


………Sinclair Clavitt is doing his, laying out the facts and ramifications
of consistently breaking the law. “You are going to have to stop these
abortions. They are going to watch you like a hungry gator watches a bullfrog. And you will not treat white folk without havin’ a white wing in that hospital of yours. They have been lookin’ the other way,
I swear, but with this flap about the Sanders girl, that will stop. I know
enough about your, well, for the lack of another word, enemies, that
if they smell blood, your blood, you best check your back.”

“They are going to watch you like a hungry gator…..”

“They’ve been after me for years, given up by now I ‘spect,
seein’ they got the other Negro doctors to turn they backs on my

“That might be true, about some, but some others that you
actually trust, may be quietly working against you.”

“What you talkin’ about?”

“Have you seen your son-in-law lately?”

Behind-your-back Relative

“You mean, Franklin, no, but Laura says he’s been really busy.”

“Word has it that he’s been selling off property.”

“We’ve got to pay some back taxes, not to mention you and Mr.
Moore, keepin’ you busy too.”

“If you’re working at keepin’ us busy, now’s a good time to stop,”
sound advice from Sinclair Clavitt. He has taken to the 65-year-old,
doing his level best to make the doctor’s last years golden. His senior
partner, R. Worth Moore, specializes in courtroom action, leaving
the foot-soldierly duties to the younger man. But a day like today,
he could do without. “Okay, Alpha, I’m going to trust you on this.
You know what’s at stake. Just make sure you look both ways when
crossing the street.”

Police, Gators, and Son-in-Laws

“I like the way you think!” — LATOBSD (Ch 17 pg. 330)

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“I like the way you think!”

“So what do you say? Let’s give the Pacific Clipper its proper place in history!”

“If it were up to me and me alone, I would say, why not. But there
are the rest of the guys to consider. If I can get Rod and the others
to chime in, with their side of the story, well then what the hell,” he
knows that historical month-long flight needs to be told! It may as
well be done right, by the people who lived it. “What a bunch they
were. I can tell you things . . . . well maybe not. We’ll have to leave
some things out. These guys have to face their families.”

“More stories of passionate native women along the way, no doubt?”

“I’m not going to say anything else. We’ll let Brownie and the other
guys decide whether they stick their necks out or not. Come to think
of it, none of the crew ever found out that Sara turned up alive.
Maybe it is best if we end the story at the LaGuardia harbor. Yeah, I
seen some of them here and there in the meantime, but we do not
want to stir up any more controversy than we already have.”

“Great points! I like the way you think.” She gets fired up at the
start of each project. Once the commitment is made, it is usually full
steam ahead, usually. “But, we aren’t going to start any project until
we have Sara’s life straightened out.”

Another person has entered the room, in time to hear her name.

“Did I hear my name?”

“SARA!!!!!! Oh, honey, where on earth have you been?” That
worldly reference, perhaps contrasting where she may have been
recently was a Freudian slip.

“What do you mean? I just stepped out for a few minutes, needed
to walk off a sore calf. I stretched it a bit doing a double reverse


Lyn wants to inform Sara that a minute in her world is seven days
anywhere else, but the reference to dancing and the fact that she was
still wearing leotards and slippers, what would be the use?

“I like the way you think!”

Candy & Nuts — LATOBSD (Ch. 17 pg. 328)

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Candy & Nuts

If if and buts were…….

Candy and Nuts All-in-one YUM!

“When Sara gets back this time, I cannot believe I’m going to say
this, but I think we should tell Sgt. Smith what is going on. One of
these times she won’t come back and we will be kicking ourselves in
the ass for not trying to get help. We don’t know how to deal with
things like this and I’m not sure I want to suffer in silence.”

“Could be a corporal by now, he hasn’t handled this whole mess
very well, because if he had, he would have kept Sara from the
beginning, none of this would have ever happened. I think the whole
bunches of them were caught off guard.” If ifs and buts were candy
and nuts, we’d all have a very merry Christmas. “In a way, I wish I
never had gone there.”

Ouch, that hurts Bob!

“Without New Mexico, you would be without one interesting book and one terrific guy, I’ll have you know.”

“That’s supposed to be my line, mister. What has happened to
that humble, quiet Bob Ford? Has he been abducted as well?”

____328 Gwendolyn Hoff

“I don’t remember anything about last night.” His face goes
blank, feigning a vacated mind. Bad choice. Last night was pretty
memorable in the romance department. It gets him a punch in the
arm. “Ouch, seriously, maybe they will do a better job of protecting
her. We don’t even know when she was snatched this time, or if the
aliens have her at all. Maybe she forgot where she was and is just
plain lost. We are running out of options.”

“I know, Bob, but I feel like we are abandoning her. She doesn’t
have any friends beside us.”

“What about her family?”

“Her mom and dad are dead and her brother won’t have anything
to do with her, ever since she moved in with me. He could not get
past how close we were.” Lyn draws a breath from a hidden part of
her being. “I know you and I never really talked about it . . . . , but
we were lovers.” There, she said it out loud.

Ford had had to deal with the notion before this moment; yet
another askew aspect to the last half of his life. “I figured as much,
watching you two interacting on the Clipper and such.”

Lyn takes a step back. “No wonder that subject never came up.
And to think I was terrified what you would think if you knew
about us.” It wasn’t that Lyn never liked men. She and Sara just
kind of happened. “Then why did you? . . . . You asked me to the
reception . . . . oh, I get it! Divide and conquer. Get those girls apart
and you would win my heart, was it?”

“Well, sort of. I really did need an escort, you know and you
clean up real good.” He did have his hands full at the time. “I was
quite taken with you Lyn, I must say, but the heart thing was not
foremost on my mind. And my 2nd officer, Rod, he wouldn’t stop
talking about that Sara woman. Yes, we had been away from base for
a while, but we were both unattached. No harm in trying. It seemed
like a natural fit for the evening and we didn’t have any expectations.
Hell, we were staring 12,000 miles in the face, half the world away
from New York and no charts to guide us.”


Candy & Nuts