Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #12

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #12

…”I keep this picture with me always,” A.O. relates sadly…

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The entire front right pew rises, there to pass in front of the open mahogany casket enveloping the unique blended beauty of Maggie Lou Ferrell Campbell; part Cherokee Indian, part black, part Scot, an Oster mix of unlikely combination. She is dressed in her favorite pale green satin dress; the very one A.O. has given her to wear on Easter Sunday, 1955.

Upon seeing his beloved, so real, so eternally quiet, he turns to his daughters and pulls out a bent picture from his coat saying, “I keep this picture with me always.” It says on the back:

Me and Mrs. Campbell—–Easter Day 1955

The year our tribulations began. At the time,

we had no thought of the gathering storm

that broke loose in August; you see no

apprehension in our faces. Thanks for looking.’

“Mamma’s as beautiful as ever, the way I think of her always,” adds Laura Campbell lovingly. She has been joined by her husband, a late arriver, who actually did care for his mother-in-law, though he betrays her in the present.

“And where have you been, Franklin McLoud? We waited and waited for you. Alpha and Vaughn brought us here and thank God they did, little Laura was crying for her grandpa.”

Children are a good source of guilt.

No answer.excuses

“What could be so important that you could be so late?” Good question.

As if he could explain. He was supposed to be one of the pallbearers.

“The funeral director had to take your end of the casket. Do you know how embarrassin’ that was?” Laura is usually quiet, slow to anger. Had she known the real reason for his absence, the present anger may have turned violent.

He takes his place beside Laura, silently, dutifully and deceitfully.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #12


page 13

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 228

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 228

…The P.I. talks to her people before the Comiskey Park Greater Chicago Crusade Revival Grand Finale…

Reflection CC-fm-001

Constance  is not done reflecting.

“And finally we have THE scientist whose half-life was nearly no life, all because he found out that, that not only he, but just about everyone else had gotten one thing wrong. All this fuss over how old things are! If you can shave years off my age, by all means please do!”

“You would need a huge miracle for that CC!” Ace either douses the nostalgic mood or fans the flames of a tabooed subject.

“At least Worth is a true gentleman,” Fanny chimes in, “he wouldn’t make fun of my age.”

“That’s right, Sweet Crumbs.” Worth drops the other shoe. “All I know is that if youName Tag 1-001 wore high heels, you’d have to duck under the clouds!”

“Sweet Crumbs, oh my, that is a riot!!! Hey Sweet Crumbs, do you give ol’ Worth some of your sugar?”

“Sweet Crumbs is going to strangle Gator, yes the Liti-Gator as in alligator, but notName Tag 1-001 before we make an announcement.” Fanny Renwick rises above the “pet name game” to deliver breaking news. “Worth and I are going back to Tallahassee tomorrow. Doc Campbell needs some help, so Eddie and especially you Rex keep an eye on the house… and make sure that the city of Chicago doesn’t evict the horses.”

“Not to worry Fan, you know that I must have a cousin who works for the city streets and sanitation, buildings, water, fire,” Eddie D. guesses.

Fanny looks at his wife, “The Dombroski’s/Baxter’s got it covered, right Edie?” who nods supportively, appreciating the man who she almost lost twice.

Eddie's Cousins-001Seal of Approval-001Eddie Story-001Checker-Cab

“Why do I doubt your cousin-power Eddie?” Fanny pauses to bolster spirits on a more personal note. “I hope we can keep both Florida and Chicago working Connie. The local gumshoes here are pretty lame, as are the ones who aren’t are on the take. But you know that we cannot abandon our friends back home, they keep me grounded and it will do us well to stay connected.”

As the weeks in Chicago rolled on, away from their first Christmas outside the Panhandle, the ground that needed covering was wide and it meant that Constance and Fanny had to operate independently of the other. With the unofficial addition of Ace and Worth to the team, the once inseparable women have learned to adapt quite well.

“As long as we can be flexible, you know, when another hot case falls in our laps, I know we can do it Fan.” The two best friends embrace each other in a way that almost encourages the others to give them some privacy.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 192

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 143

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 143

MeanwhileFanny is in Tallahassee

 … the check is made out to The Consolidated Association of Surgical Hospitals, I leave off the “the”…

What can you tell me about old man Lewis,” Fanny Renwick has examined the finances of the married couple in question and is narrowing down the irregularities. She is speaking with someone who should know plenty about the banker. Not only does Lewis own the mortgage to LBMH, but Alpha Campbell suspects that his wife may have had a tryst with him. Had he not had an affair of his own, it would have been more of an issue.

Worth Moore and Agatha Ambrose are also in the reception area of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, with Fanny as they investigate the financial shenanigans of their client’s husband lewis state bankAngus. Moving money, for the sake of hiding it, does not make for marital harmony and George Lewis of Lewis State Bank may be in cahoots with the Scot.

“Well ya know, he is friends with Maggie Lou,” states the doctor, “and even gave us the money for this place three years ago, $300,000 dollars.”

“That’s about how much is missing from your joint savings account,” Fanny concludes while Agatha reacts to the sizeable sum. “Where do you send your mortgage payment to Doc?”

Fanny is on to something, suspecting that missing assets were being laundered, away from prying eyes.

“It’s to one of those newfangled post office boxes they have, no street address. Heck, I could be sendin’ our money to a total stranger.

“Here, I have the number: P.O. Box 13 Tallahassee Florida USA. I tried to give it to the bank directly, but Lewis said my $289 dollars should paid by check to that there box.”

“And made out to whom?” Moore hesitates to guess.

“The Consolidated Association of Surgical Hospitals… I leave off the “the”.”

C-A-S-H is the acronym. That is not funny!” The doctor is 62 years old, but Fanny does not suspect senility. She knows what it’s like to have blind faith; trusting, innocent and the opposite of wary. “I think we should find out who rents that post office box.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 124

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 129

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 129

 …Fanny finishes her fortuitous forensic foray in Florida…

The object of Eddie Dombroski’s admiration has zoomed through her investigation with amazing speed and skill. Fanny Renwick has delivered critical damning evidence that Dr. Sapp in Havana Florida routinely shuffles potential abortion candidates over to Alpha Omega Campbell. The Tallahassee doctor needs to be rescued from his own self, particularly when it comes to the extra cash generated by illegal abortions. Yes he has a mortgage for his own clinic, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, but even more burdensome is his wife; used to having the best… of everything.

R. Worth Moore is delighted to have the ammunition to shoot a bad doc out of the water. With Fanny as his birddog, he will now be able to exercise local control over his well-meaning client. A.O. always contended that if a girl has her mind set on aborting her baby, she is going to find someone to do it, or even worse try it herself. The immorality issue aside, this old country doctor believes that he can counsel the troubled (mostly) teens, all the time recommending inclusion of the father. It’s when the male counterpart is unknown, or in places unknown, that this argument is ineffective and moot.

The absolute kick in the pants is when another doctor has started a failed abortion method and the woman is hung out to dry, unable to assign blame; it is just as illegal to seek an abortion as it is to perform one. Again, a new doctor to the case has to see the pregnancy to its end, but at whose risk? Doc Campbell has taken that risk too many times, only to be bailed out by his firecracker attorney. But longtime barrister James Ferrell’s life is at the end of its fuse and that entire forensic fortress will crumble upon his eminent passing; no Ferrell, no luck.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR (1896-1959) (ISBN 978-1-4691-9018)

Alpha Omega M.D.    Episode Catalog here @ WIF


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon.


page 112

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance…

The letters F M are scrawled on the reflective glass, using a bar of soap.

F M —- F for what? Fanny? Then what does the M represent.

The meaning of the 2 letters is secondary to the fact that Fanny is nowhere to be seen. She scampers to the order counter. “Have you seen a skinny redhead about my tall?”

No.

Connie gallops out to their empty car. She sprints back inside to report on the mysterious happenings to the guys, who fan out to cover more ground.

“I’m thinking that our close call was no accident,” Eddie concludes.

The day manager of the restaurant blocks public entry down the restroom hall, allowing Martin to legally enter to women’s facilities. “F M, frequency modulation? Not likely.” Using his other senses, he wonders, “That smell, I know it….. CHCl 3, chloroform or dichloromethane.”

“That was used as anesthesia in early surgical medicine. Doc Campbell used it at his hospital back in Florida.”

“Correct and it is the fastest way to render someone unconscious, against their will.”

“She’s been kidnapped, hasn’t she.” Constance shivers at the thought. “How in God’s name did whoever know we were stopping to eat? Were we being tailed Eddie?”

“No! We’ve only gone 2 miles since we left the nunnery and we weren’t followed there or here.”

“In the world of cause and effect we have this: unknown device and missing woman. We must have a track-able gadget locked it in the trunk and we didn’t figure that out?.”

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance.”

“But I allowed us to let our guard down and Fanny is gone!” That is no ordinary woman to her. Fanny Renwick is her housemate and partner in crime.

“Don’t think the worst, Con,” Eddie, while beside his self in worry, has to maintain a clear head; he is driving.

“If she’s still alive, there are four million people here-about – about being 2000 square miles,” Eddie then proceeds to bring up the worst.

“I get the feeling that Fanny may be a pawn/bargaining chip in this widening mystery. They may be contacting us sooner than later.” Martin draws a daunting comparison.

“Like your friend, Libby?”

“Let’s head back to the house and sort through the goodies we have. Just think, in oneRelated image secluded meeting we have a famous Evangelist in Graham, an incomparable scientist in Fermi, leading Catholic figures outside Rome, not to mention Willard Libby.”

“Don’t leave out that government guy, Wolfgram. If the US State Department or FBI is involved, who knows what is going on?”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 30

Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

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

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

 

When We Last Left

In chapters 8 and 9 we are introduced to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who is an admitted sidetrack. Company Town-001The company town Blountstown is the Calhoun County seat, but it is mere fodder for the overall story. Company towns can really be like Blountstown.

All the above is a lead-up to our late involvement in WWI, where we meet Sir James KISS FOR CINDERELLA-001Matthew Barrie, the prolific playwright and cousin to John Ferrell. John Ferrell’s supply ship, the Panama City, never sailed, was not sunk by U-Boat submarines, though the elder Ferrell did indeed die in 1916; such a blue-blooded way to Pearson Eastman Journal-001die, helping your Scottish ancestors through a tough time.

Chapters 10 and 11 encompass that bloody 1st world war, along with the deadly influenza that started inPearson Eastman Journal-001 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 Maggie Lou-001children. Maggie’s dalliance produced middle daughter, Laura. That little child was so fair-skinned, right banker Lewis? Alpha, for his part, did father a child; it’s just that whether it was with Camille Diaz is buried amongst the Careless Whispers. Camille is fictional.

Alice Paul did argue for the cause of the right for women to vote, which was a hard fought and contentious lead-up to the Roaring Twenties, but is window dressing for my purposes.

Those Roaring years of flappers and debauchery are bypassed here, as is the Great Depression. It Image result for r.i.pseems the author does not deal well with hard times, which resurface 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 Ferrells.

James Ferrell LawyerJames Ferrell becomes the Dr.’s lawyer and we are (re)introduced to Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway – Private Eye) and her lover Sara Fenwick (Fanny Constance Caraway P.I.-001Renwick). Like the incest episode between James and Agnes, this Lesbian relationship is a glimpse into life in the South, as well as real life. This statement is not meant to offend, it’s just that things happen down there that are “different”, perhaps more frequently or just a figment of a fertile fancy.

Newt Swakhammer-001       Chapters, Hospitable, Inhospitable fly us to Area 51 and an alien contact. Good ol’ Newt Swakhammer, what a guy? The government calls him a crank. But the year 1947 harbors UFO’s, as well as the brick & mortar of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital… born of Alpha O. Campbell’s spirit, the building itself is one large lightning rod; meant for good, yet attracting an LBMH-001onslaught of controversy and hardship.

We look back at Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, along 434f7-disneylandwith the world of Cinderella. And then we are bounced ahead to Michael Rennie and Walt Disney; what an odyssey of entertainment.

 

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latobsd3-001As for the remainder of The Life and Times, not so many pages back, your imagination isLATOBSD4-001 the king. My imagination has splattered the backdrop of history from way-back 1896, all the way up to the dawn of John Fitzgerald Kennedy… Just the dawn, mind you, then you are reeled back to 1955.

Isn’t that rude? But look at the payoff. Instead of an old man in jail, we LBMHhappen upon a Laura Bell Memorial Hospital with a future. What a shame that this was not the ending to the saga of one of the first Black doctors in Florida. In my rosy reality, we all have access to Alice’s Wonderful Looking Glass.

 

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

 

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

 

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Copyright © 2016 by Gwendolyn K Hoff   All Rights Reserved


Alpha Omega M.D.

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– Final Episode

Contents 5-2016