Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #75

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #75

…Amanda Campbell can only hope that her husband will return before his oldest son Hosea vanishes into the filthy cracks of life in the big city…

.Hosea-001

A worried mother keeps all those fearful imaginings to herself, taking sole comfort in the company of her faithful daughters, Agnes and Francis cuddling in bed like baby birds in a nest.Debauchery-001

Light sleeps falls hard, extending to the dawn of a new day, when Amanda Campbell hears feet clamoring through the door of her house. She thinks it is Willy safely returning. Instead, she discovers Hosea, strung out and hangdog from a long night of unimaginable debauchery.

“You’re a disgustin’ sight, Hosey!” she proclaims. “How are yo goin’ to work in your soory state?”

“It’s Saturdee, Ma, ain’t gotta milk ‘em ‘til Mondee–goddam cows’ll have some udder damn fool pullin’ their tits.”

“There’s no talkin’ like that in this house. God’ll strike you dead some day, you’ll see.” There toughloveis a surprizing lack of respect in her words. Some would say that she is disowning him, tired of trying to change his philandering ways. Hosey Campbell is sixteen, with the look of a man twice his age. Even on the plantation he seemed to be involved in all the shady goings on.

 “You ain’t gonna do nuttin to me, woman,” asserts Hosey, rebellion in full bloom.

“I cin put you on da street boy and don’t tink I won’t!”

Threats are all she is left with.

“That be jist fine wit me. I knows a guy headed fo Jersey. There’s big money up dere on what dey call da Boardwalk and I’ma goin’ to git me sum.”

She never thought her warning would meet immediate, if not, unwelcome results. So much hurt had been allowed to fester. A mother ignores her forgiving instincts, letting Hosea extract every earthly possession he can fit in a burlap bag. She is frozen in place, unable to move or speak on the behalf of her family. She can only hope that Willy will return before his oldest son vanishes into the filthy cracks of life in the big city.

In fifteen short minutes he amasses his things, in a bag made of carpet. At 5:45 A.M. there is no sign of Willy, the only person able to derail this runaway steam engine called “pride”.

A wordless hug is exchanged at the door, no mention of love or the future, just the fading empty warmth of a struggling family.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #75


page 69

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #74

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #74

…This night, when her husband does tarry in rural Tallahassee, Amanda is thinking the worst…

Back in Quincy, there is a struggle of a different sort; the remnants of two families, one staying the course, the other wondering if it will survive sudden changes.

Phoebe Love’s unconditional love for her husband and her God allows her the freedom to trust that everything is all right.

Amanda Campbell, on the other hand, whose tenuous insecurities dominate her previously ignorant consciousness, worries unnecessarily and labors mightily with a son who will forever test his boundaries. Hosea Campbell is smart, but not in a book taught way.

Hosea Campbell

This night, when her husband does tarry in rural Tallahassee, Amanda is thinking the worst. It does not help that Hosea, after completing his duties at the creamery, specifically milking the many head of Jersey milk cows, he pulls his regular disappearing act. Mother suspects that he is up to no good, but has no good ideas as how to shackle a 16 year old, who dresses in fancy clothes of his own acquire and has friends that are much older. The fact that he smokes cigarettes is not as bothersome as the late hour escapades that leave him reeking of alcohol and in need of a swift kick in the morning for motivation.

And even though Willy is usually fast asleep at eight o’clock in the evening, at least he is there for moral support.

Where could he be?

Wayward worries include bands of marauding blacks, like those that had escaped from Sumter South the day of insurrection, seeking booty from revelers along the road to Tallahassee. The true only between them and the Campbells is that the Campbells were “lucky in Love” so-to-speak.. Those who have not gone north to find employment, lingering aimlessly, are surviving on the leftovers or ill-gotten gains, above the law.lions_tigers_and_bears

Or, perhaps they had a broken wheel on that huge ice wagon. They may be forced to sleep in the middle of nowhere, under the stars, potential prey for lions & tigers & bears. Poor little Alfrey would be a mere appetizer for the hungry beasts. Her precious Alfrey must be in danger.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #74


page 69

Land-speed Record – WABAC to 1898

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WABAC Machine-001

Land Speed Record

In an Electric Car!

1898 Land-Speed

Don’t blink

On December 18, 1898, French race car driver Gaston de Chassaloup-Laubat set the first recognized World Record for Land Speed at an unimpressive 63.13 kilometers per hour (39.25 mph).  (Note: For Land Speed Record we are referring to human steered vehicles powered by a motor of some type, and not considering bicycles or horseback riding.)

waybac-machine

Under the hood

Gaston was driving a Jeantaud electric car for his record run, and at that time when automobiles were in their infancy it was not yet clear which means of propulsion would become preeminent, whether gasoline, electric, steam or diesel powered motors.

Over the next couple years Gaston and his arch rival Camille Janatzy would trade the record status back and forth in an ever increasing raising of the bar.  When Janatzy set a new record in 1899 as the first man to drive a car over 100 kph (62 mph) the record stood for a whopping 3 years (105 kph/65 mph).  Also in 1899, “Mile a Minute” Murphy rode a human powered bicycle over a 1 mile course in 57 seconds, over 60mph!  (The current bicycle speed record is 167 mph.)

The Next Fast Thing

The record setting Jeantaud electric car was a chain drive primitive affair that produced only 36 horsepower.  Steering was done with a vertical stick that was attached to history‘s first known steering wheel, when other cars were steered with a tiller.  The car was rebuilt and won back the land speed record 2 more times, for a distinguished career of having set the Land Speed Record 3 times in all.  In fact, the first 5 times the record was set it would be in electric cars, before steam powered cars eclipsed the electrics and finally gasoline powered cars became king of the hill.

The record attempt would first come to the United States in 1904 when Henry Ford drove one of his early creations to the record setting performance, this time on frozen Lake St. Clair near Detroit.  By 1927, almost every Land Speed World Record set was accomplished in the United States, though not always by Americans.  The current record is held by the Thrust SSC, a jet powered car, at a supersonic 763 mph, set in 1997.  (Note: The Ford 999 was powered by an 18.9 liter/ 1150 cubic inch 4 cylinder engine!)

Land-speed Record

– WABAC to 1898