Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #173

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #173

…The Calhoun County Sheriff applies handcuffs to Willy, without bothering to find out who was driving….

Protocol for accident situations is in its infancy, but one commonality involves involving the law.

“How come you dint tell him I was doin’ the drivin’, Willy? I ain’t goin’ to let you take a fall for me.”

Driver Licence (old)-001 “You ain’t got a license ta drive dis truck, Clete, justa car. They may throw you in jail.”

In the midst of noble intent, there comes a faint groan from the smashed auto, the first sign that it contains a driver. Willy leaps into action without hesitation, running to fetch a tire iron from its popped trunk.

“Get the bar from out the truck seat, quick like, I think we can free this door (grunting) pry on the bottom?”

“I think it’s workin’ Willy! Try a skinch lower–here she comes–pull with your hands.”

Car accident (old) That last effort finally swings the blood stained driver side door open. The painful moans are coming from the female passenger, not the driver, witnessed by his crushed skull. Between them, they pull him out, carefully placing his lifeless body to the side of the road. They are even more careful with the woman, who is suffering from unknown injuries; Willy had learned triage during his stint rescuing hurricane victims.

Shortly after completing the extrication, the police sedan peels onto the scene, a Calhoun County insignia painted on the door, closely followed by the salesman, who was true to his word. The first thing they see is Willy looking inside the expensive auto.

  “What do you think you are doing, boy?” The sheriff looks sideways at what he thinks are questionable motives.

   “The lady over there is askin’ for her bag,” he explains.

   “Are you sure you weren’t stealing it?” He is wary.

    “Please take her to a doctor. She says she is with child.”

        “Not before I take you in for killing Charlie Blount.” What a cruel coincidence.

          He applies handcuffs to Willy, without bothering to find out who was driving. “I hereby deputize you,” he pulls out a star from his pocket, handing it to the salesman. “Take both of them to the Calhoun County Jail. I’ll take care of Charlie’s girlfriend.”

          “Willy wasn’t drivin’, sheriff!” Clete is distraught.

          “Don’t be lying for that nigger, son. I have a witness who tells me different.”

 “He was tryin’ to move the truck off the wreck. I got us in this mess, when…”

 “I don’t want to hear it! Take both of them away.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

by Holly Crabapple

Episode #173


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #172

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #172

…The once speedy roadster goes no further. Its top is cut off like a can of vacuum packed food and there is no chance that whoever is under the rear deck of the Mack could have survived…

The sign had read “ROCK BLUFF 3 miles”. Had it not been for the narrowing of theOld Road sign-001 roadbed, he may not have noticed their wayward path.

“I’m sorry, Willy, I weren’t doin’ good though, eh?”

“You was, Clete.” Willy scouts for solid enough ground to make a Y-turn. If they put the truck on sand, they would be soon be on foot. “There! Puller in befo’ the bend……and give that horn a good pull.”

If there were a cemetery nearby, the occupants would think the gates of heaven were being opened, so loud the report.

Pulling off the road is easy, but Clete has yet to configure the gears to reverse and gropes unsuccessfully for the R slot in the H shift pattern. Willy has to help.

Driver School-001“It’s right… there!” One gets a “feel” for gears, which comes with repetition.

Flush with success, Clete causes the truck to lurch backward, without the recommended pull on the air horn and before Willy can confirm a previously empty roadway. It had been… ten seconds before.

From out of the roar of the 100 horsepower comes the screeching crunch of metal, the same novel chorus of sounds being repeated throughout the country. The only difference is that the Mack is an immovable object.

     The once speedy roadster goes no further. Its top is cut off like a can of vacuum packed food and there is no chance that whoever is under the rear deck of the Mack could have survived. There is equally little chance that they can pull forward, but they try anyway, with Willy at the wheel. The truck will not loosen its grip; they can only drag the Chadwick Six along and under.

Clete waves off any further attempts to free the shiny white auto, when a Model T headed for Rock Bluff stops to help.

“My God, is anyone alive in there?” asks what appears to be a traveling salesman, peering into a slight opening spewing smoke and steam.

“Ain’t heard nothin’ since they run into us, goin’ faster than Casey Jones’ train.” Clete describes what he did not see.

 “When did this happen?”

  “Ain’t been ten minutes – we’re tryin’ to get away from the car.” (fearing an explosion)

  “You were going to cut and run?” accuses the confused man.

   “Oh, nosir, nosir, we hada see ifin anybody is livin,” pleads Willy, already flustered and distraught.

   “Well, I am going back to Bristol to locate the proper authorities. I believe it is the Liberty County seat. So I recommend you wait here for us to return.” It is a stern warning by a concerned citizen, just a little bit suspicious of a Negro driving a new truck. For better or worse, he is mistaken.

Episode-001


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #172


page 160

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #171

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #171

… Willy Campbell no sooner wants to revisit those days at Fort Sumter South than modern-day Israelites have interest in building pyramids in Egypt…

Willy and Clete have a good two hours work unloading Love material and loading Blount goods, with Clete having to shoulder much of the work. It seems that because of Willy’s parentage, he is not allowed inside any building, except the outhouse. Come to think about it, they have not seen a single dark skinned person since they got here, unheard of in the South.

Welcone to-001

“Let’s get out of this place, Willy, it gives me the creeps.” Not only is Clete exhausted, he is perplexed. In Quincy, Willy is a respected member of the community. Hank Blount makes it clear that he or any other Negro would not be welcome in the future.

Fort Sumter-001The best sight for Willy, in the past three hours, is Blountstown in the rear view mirrors. Memories from his days at Fort Sumter South had been confined to unpleasant late night dreams… until he meets Hank Blount. The icy stare that pretends Willy is not there, speaking to a third party to communicate, being refereed to as “those people”, are reminiscent of the management skills of Jefferson Smythwick.

  He no sooner wants to revisit those days than modern-day Israelites have interest in building pyramids in Egypt.

He is so disturbed, in fact, those five miles out of Hell Town, he pulls over to give Clete his big chance at navigating the Mack. It’s his lack of concentration, not confidence in Clete that prompts him to do so. No matter why, Clete is like a kid in at a candy jar. If he can drive his brother’s Peerless (auto), this should be easy.

But there is a difference between the manual driving of the machine and knowing where you are going. Willy is so busy watching Clete’s shifting mechanics that he doesn’t see him veer to the left (north) at the first fork in the road. The sign had read “ROCK BLUFF 3 miles”. Had it not been for the narrowing of the roadbed, he may not have noticed their wayward path.

“We ain’t headed fo Quincy, Clete, musta zigged when we shoulda zagged. We’ll hafta git this beast turned ‘round.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Barn at the Fork in the Road by Betty Sue

Barn at the Fork in the Road by Betty Sue

Episode #171


page 159

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #170

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #170

… The Blountstown General Store is considering Love Dairies as sole supplier of milk and associated products, as well as growing demand for Savannah Cigar tobacco products…

Driver School-001

Willy can tell the difference in power and handling from the 1906 model that he drives, mostly on hills where, even fully loaded, they do not bog down.

“I be puttin’ her in a lower gear, Clete, like this,” he pumps his left leg twice on the left peddle, while shifting a stick back towards him. The sound of the engine becomes more earnest, but their speed of 15 miles per hour is maintained.

“That looks easy ‘nough, Willy. When are you goin’ to let me take the wheel?”

“Somewhere on the way back, likely on that open stretch we passed a ways ago.” He would rather do all the driving, but that defeats the purpose of training.

Welcone to-001This day they have Road 12 to themselves. The route begins to wind close to Blountstown, calling for caution, especially on the inside of corners. On roads designed for wagons and autos, there is not room for anything but the Mack truck. Whenever Willy cannot see around a corner, he pulls on the air horn cord. That usually keeps the way clear.

Once safely within the Blountstown village limits, they locate the new center for directions in towns across the country; the gas/service station replaces the local diner. There is usually one per town, as is the case in this one on the Apalachicola River. With a grunt and a mumble, a grease smeared hand points to Blountstown General Store, which is next to the Blountstown Barber Shop on one side and the Blountstown Saloon on the other. One wonders who either founded or owns the town. You are right.

The general store is considering Love Dairies as sole supplier of milk and associated products, as well as growing demand for Savannah Cigars-001Savannah Cigar tobacco products. Both are important staples to this typical mill town, but mill owner, Hank (you guessed it) Blount, wishes this fair priced and prompt company could supply a third staple Love Dairies2-001for his workers: whiskey.

If it were not for the profitable backhaul, which is the avoidance of running an empty truck back to warehouse, bartered quantities of lumber and flour; produced in Blountstown with the aid of rushing river water, channeled through paddle wheel and electric generator (Blountstown Power & Light), dealing with Hank Blount would have been out of the question. Herb Love has heard disturbing rumblings from the city, 25 mile southwest of Quincy, but images of a thousand families in need of nourishment tilts his better judgment.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Company Town-001

Episode #170


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #169

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #169

…Now, this is how you drive a truck: this is the throttle, that the brake and always look in both directions when you come to a place where another road meets the one you’re on…

WIF Travel-001

Ten Cents on the Dollar

Willy Campbell is pretty darn good at most of the things he does. He is best at leading by example; watch me and you will see how to do it. Wrapping those pungent Loyal Campbells is an example; this is how you do it: pick a leaf from the premium drying rack, place 2 ounces of blend 23, fold it into a cylinder, etc… and you get a perfect cigar. Now, this is how you drive a truck: this is the throttle, that the brake and always look in both directions when you come to a place where another road meets the one you’re on. What? Well, whoever gets to that point first can go through first, unless you are turning left, then the person to the right does, if he is going straight. What? Polite drivers always signal which direction they are going, with their left arm. What if they don’t? Then you guess and hope you are right.

The preceding instructions are not the words of Willy Campbell, who makes a mean cigar, but could not describe the rules of the road if he wanted to; there are no official rules, although there is certainly the right way and the wrong way. He will show Clete Wilsup the right way, on the way out to Blountstown. There should not be many motorcars on the road on a Saturday morning, maybe just enough to get the feel for sharing the road.

Map-001 It is late summer and the roadbeds are good and dry, as opposed to wet and muddy when travel will build character or fray your nerves. You do not get a choice of which one you end up with. Today is a good day for a novice.

The new Mack truck was delivered last week and has not been running more than five hours since. It has that “new” smell, a smell that defies description; it just smells “new”. The relatively veteran Willy can tell the difference in power and handling from the 1906 model that he drives, mostly on hills where, even fully loaded, they do not bog down.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #169


page 157

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #168

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #168

Meanwhile

…To be sitting behind the wheel of a five ton truck is quite different from handling a team and wagon…

September Sunrise by Elizabeth Fraser

But when the sun sets, it also rises. Life picks up where even the most defining of moments leaves off. For some, like Alpha, must Image result for sunrise gifmake their way back to a foreign place, departing from recognized comfort, for the promise of a bright future. For others, like his father, the everyday grind marches on. Not that there is no change, but old habits die hard. Change may be uncomfortable, but necessary.

And if you work for a man like Herbert Love, you can expect to be on the cutting edge of change. To be sitting behind the wheel of a five ton truck is quite different from handling a team and wagon. But to be a teamster, is to be an expert of the transportation of goods, as well as a trooper. Few of these teamsters are yet expert at navigating the inconsistent roadways in these monster vehicles. It can be said that Willy has done a good job of mastering the delicate balance of power and control, although from high in the noisy cab of the Mack truck, motorcars look like darting little rodents. He liked it better closer to the ground.

When Herbert Love decides to expand their territory out to the west, Jackson and Calhoun Counties, another smoking behemoth is to be added, officially making a fleet. Fleet is plural for ____?____… well it is plural nonetheless, which means they must train another driver. Though the job description is pretty clear, just what the qualifications are, is not.

Frank, the dairy pasteurizer, would make a good driver, but who would then keep the bottled milk fresh. Frank’s brother, Clete, who is in bottling, seems to be the next best choice. He is much younger than Frank, perhaps an egg or two short of a dozen, yet is always eager to learn. Eager will get you far in Loves’ world.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Two Eggs Short of a Dozen by Carol Chretien

Two Eggs Short of a Dozen by Carol Chretien

Episode #168


page 157

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #151

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #151

…Teddy Roosevelt is headed for the American West to survey our national treasures; Mountains, streams, forests and plain…

America the Beautiful

By now the entire lobby of the Rochester Arms is abuzz, as word of this affair has spread throughout the building and beyond. When Eastman, Eastman and Pearson arrive on the scene, they must fight their way through to an unexpected, though not unfamiliar gathering.

Journalism-001     “What is this? My God George – Harv darling, that is Teddy Roosevelt talking to Herbert! And James Ferrell and Abbey too. Do you realize what an opportunity this is?”

Judith de-cases her favorite camera, while strategically directing George’s assistant for maximum coverage from two lenses. George, for his part, moves in to try to use his influence for the direction his sister seems to be headed, but finds that young Ferrell has already accomplished that task. He gives the thumbs up signal to Judith. Harv’s freshly sharpened pencil is busily transposing verbal responses to his impromptu questions.

“I fully realize that you are just two months into the job of the Presidency, having promised to keep up William McKinley’s policies, but word around the country is that you intend to set controls on the monopolies that are forming or have already formed in certain critical industries in the United States. Firstly, is this true and if so, what are the specifics of that plan?”

“Whoa there, Mr. Pearson. That is one hell of a question and as soon as I figure out what is was, I will answer it.”

“Does the term “trust buster” sound familiar?”

“You sure don’t beat around the bush, sir. I guess that is why I have taken notice of your work. Like me, you tend to take no prisoners.”

National Park-001   It is clear that Roosevelt is not ready to be forthright just yet. However, he does offer this fledgling magazine an opportunity for a noteworthy first issue.

“George, Mr. Pearson, lovely Judith, friend and servant of the people, Herbert Love: I am headed for the American West to survey our national treasures; Mountains, streams, forests and plain which I want to present as a legacy for the future. But winter is knocking at the door, so it is imperative that we leave next week.” He extends his arms, as to encompass the aforementioned Eastman-Eastman-Pearson-Love.

Astonished glances are exchanged between the interested parties.

“If that was an invitation, we accept.” Pearson and the president shake hands. James Ferrell winces in the background, sympathies for Harv’s pencil hand.

Bully  Bully. We’ll have quite a time!” Roosevelt loves adventures. “But don’t bother packing many suits, not suited for horseback. Get it? Suit -suited?

“Well, I believe you have a meeting and I have a train blowing off steam at the railyard, probably wondering if I decided to walk back to Washington. See you next week, good people.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Blowing Off Steam

Episode #151


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