Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #332

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #332

Chapter Twenty

CLOSURE

…From the desk of Gwendolyn Kim Hoff…

closure-001

A personal guide: to deciphering the fact and fiction behind THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR; genre of Historical Fiction.

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

  1. Surprisedmixed-emotions-001
  2.  Dismayed
  3. Confused
  4. Confounded
  5. Conflicted

Not on the list, ‘6.. 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 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 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 fact strewn around my office at this moment. So much of what I have written is flat-out true; real 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 to 1959.

arrow-down But, and it is a big BUT, as I came to Chapter Eighteen, LOOKING DOWN, I knew I arrow-upcould 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 really did die 1 1/2 years into his incarceration.

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

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 Fairytales? If you are too young… get over it.

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          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.

If you want to leave well enough alone and believe that all things I penned are true, thank you investing your time  to read LATOBSD… a real roller coaster ride…

 

Tune in tomorrow


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #332


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

…A double barrel dose of help: Kenty Johnson has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge…

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A.O. is taking his new lease on life in, in the spirit in which it is presented. Even as he watches familiar landmarks pass by as they ease up to his Virginia Street address. He is thinking about the future.

Maggie is waiting on the front steps of their house. What a welcome sight. There too are daughters Alpha, Laura and Zillah and their families. Maggie is seated in a wheelchair, one and all waving a hearty ‘welcome home’.

“Thank you, gracious Lord,” he proclaims tearfully.

But that isn’t all. There are other familiar faces.

“What’s Kenty Johnson doin’ here?”  Dr. J. Kenty Johnson is with his son, himself a newly minted doctor.

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“I needed a reliable source of information about your situation and Kenty came to mind. He filled in the particulars of your life, practice and such. AND he mentioned that his son was looking to make a difference in the Tallahassee community. And did we say that he fresh from medical double-barrelschool? A double barrel dose of help: Kenty has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge.

One month ago, Alpha Campbell would have been bloated full of irrational pride, having suffered in silence for the better part of a decade. He was determined to find a way out of their money struggles and did not need outside help.

We all know what path that led him down.

“Well boys, don’t you think it is time we roll up our sleeves?”

Upon hearing Dr. Alpha O. Campbell utter that inclusive statement, his nurses who were hiding in LBMH for fear of their lives, come sprinting out the front door.

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LBMH

Somehow, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital looked whiter than normal that day… From down the street, a car streaks to the emergency side entrance, a man screams out, “My wife’s water just broke! Please help!”

“Scrub up, you Johnsons; we have a baby to deliver… Edwina will get you gowns and get her to the second floor…”

… The LBMH wing for whites.

(The End of the Beginning)


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #331


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #328

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #328

…we are proud of our enforcement of the laws of Florida, in fact, we have been assembling a case against a Negro doctor who we’ve been watching all summer…

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There is a black sedan bearing Leon County tags pulling through the service entrance to the Leon County Jail at half past the hour. When 5:00 approaches, another car, this time with Florida official license plates, enters the fortified gate. The guards allow passage for both, without question.

It is by way of the front gate that Carolyn and Bob Ford enter the jail, carrying a note signed by Cousin Curt, Head Jailer of Leon County. Curt has already welcomed the Assistant States Attorney, who will join them on a tour of the facility. carolyn-hanes-001

“It a pleasure to meet to you Miss Hanes. You are one of Tallahassee’s true treasures.”

“You are too kind, Attorney Morrison. I have been keeping an eye on my hometown for some time. California is so different and a world away from the Old South. Laws seem to be so liberal in comparison, you know, like abortion.”

“Yes Miss Hanes, we are proud of our enforcement of the laws of Florida. In fact, we have been assembling a case against a Negro doctor who we’ve been watching all summer. He is at this jail right now.”

Is that Alpha O. Campbell?” Lyn asks, not so innocently.

          “Why, yes. How did you know about him?”

          “I had a good friend who was a witness, way back in ‘31, when his mother-in-law was killed.”Vertical-001

          Morrison raises his eyebrows.

          “He is such a dear man, helping folks who don’t have much money. Y’all need more doctors like him, instead of taking him out of the community. I plan to do an article on his life.”  She is layering on a thick blanket of underpin to aid her plan. “Say, is not your boss going to run for Governor?”

Vertical-001 “I thought you wanted to observe our successes in the incarceration of criminals.”

          “Well yes, but wouldn’t that automatically make you States Attorney for the State of Florida?”

          “When or if Wilbert Hopkins is elected Governor, then I would run the Attorney’s office.”

          The seeds of ambition are scattered on the ground, for the seeing.the-sting-001

          “Oh, the tour, let’s continue. Is this the infirmary, Curt?” She winks at him with her far eye.

          The look on his face is screaming, ‘You are getting red hot!’

          “The door is locked,” she states.

          “Here, I can open it…”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Continued

Episode #328


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #327

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #327

…Racism aside, homophobia is a very tangible hatred. Keeping this sordid mess off the front page of The Tallahassee Democrat will supersede prosecuting a country doctor…

Image result for homophobia artwork

Joe Slater’s car slows down well before the jail’s large city block. “Here we are, you’ll have to walk the rest of the way. Folks aroImage result for well knownund here know my car, so I’m putting up the top and laying low. Come and get me if you run into trouble and don’t let that snake keep hold of you,” he warns. “Do you have another witness to Joyce’s escapades, like his wife?”

“His wife will find out soon enough, but I have someone else in mind.” Merely exposing prisoner sexual abuse would not spring the doctor. “Assistant State’s Attorney Morrison will be there. He thinks that I am conducting an interview for a piece on model prisons.”

“Whoa, Harry Morrison… he is putting the case against Campbell together – never liked Doc Campbell much. I heard him call A.O. a little monkey one time.”

“That’s quite disgusting, but what he is going to see will make him think twice about using Winthrop Joyce for corroboration.” Racism aside, homophobia is a very tangible hatred. Keeping this sordid mess off the front page of The Tallahassee Democrat will supersede prosecuting a country doctor for doing the biding of connected parents. “Thank you so much, Joe. I cannot tell you what a huge favor you are doing for me. I know one doctor who will be eternally indebted as well.”last-chance

“I hardily suggest that he cease and desist from doing abortions. This happens to be “a onetime chance” to get off the hook. I will not do this again.”

“Understood,” as clear as the church bell chiming four times, time to put the plan into action.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #327


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #326

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #326

… “Dang, those pesky Dodgers! The Yanks will have trouble beating ‘em in the Series.” Slater is a baseball fan…

The Brooklyn Dodgers In Ebbets Field by Bonnie Siracusa

The Brooklyn Dodgers In Ebbets Field by Bonnie Siracusa

“Carolyn Hanes, you look absolutely wonderful! Why has everyone else aged but you… you don’t look a day over forty,” gushes Joe Slater. He looks right past an obviously invisible Bob Ford.

the-sting-001  “Thanks, Joe, but you look good your own self,” she deflects the niceties, in favor of pressing business. “Have you talked to Cousin Curt this morning?”time-zones-001

“Yes I have and he says that Joyce is due for his visit at 4:30 this afternoon.” He takes his eyes off of Lyn to look at his watch, whose little hand is on the 3 and the big hand is on the seven.

          “My watch is still set to California time,” Lyn laments.

          “It’s three thirty-five,” he converts, roughly.

          “No time to waste, is there? Let’s go, Bob.”  Suddenly visible, he is accidentally introduced.

In the heat of a Florida August day, top down and whizzing back to the city, the three are headed for County Jail straightaway. In the background, on the car’s AM radio, the Brooklyn Dodgers are thrashing Philadelphia.

“Dang, those pesky Dodgers! The Yanks will have trouble beating ‘em in the Series.” Slater is a baseball fan.

  “Talk out by us is that the Dodgers may be moving.” Bob Ford is too.

Image result for new york baseball giants

New York Baseball Giants

          “Noooo… you’re kidding me?”

          “Los Angeles.”

          “Hey, you’re all right Mr. Ford,” male bonding. “And you can have that Jackie Robinson, he wears me out.”

          “And the Giants?”

          “California can have them too.”

          They will.the-sting-001

          “Boys, boys, can we stay on track here?” True to the specie, the girl gets her way.

           Joe switches the radio to off. “The game is lost anyhow… damned Dodgers.”


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Episode #326


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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.”


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Episode #325


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #324

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #324

…A 1954 teal Ford Coupe convertible streaks down less traveled roads to Tallahassee’s “new” Regional Airport…

Image result for airport control tower 1960

Municipal Airport – photographer Bill Malone

“This is FREDERICK ALPHA GEORGE 1610, requesting permission to land on runway 2-9er,” ever the pilot Bob Ford asks.

          “Affirmative FREDERICK ALPHA GEORGE 1610, descend to 1000 feet, decrease speed to 120 mph.”

          “Roger that tower, we’re coming in… hello Tallahassee Regional.”

“Hello Florida indeed,” Lyn chimes in. She is exhausted from the six hour general aviation flight, with two stops, one for fuel & one potty break. Her near 60 year old bladder does not hold as much as it used to. “After we set down, taxi me to the terminal, I want to get Slater to pick us up post-haste.”

“Is he off duty?”

“He better be, ‘cause what we are going to do would get him fired.”

“Do not wreck another man’s career.”

Carolyn Hanes is not about to do that. Even though there is score to settle, Joe Slater’s anonymity is assured.

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A 1954 teal Ford Coupe convertible streaks down less traveled roads to Tallahassee’s “new” Regional ford-coupeAirport. Joe Slater is responding to a telephone call from Carolyn Hanes-Ford, a woman he has always admired from afar, mainly because, in times past, he had heard the rumors about her and Sara Fenwick.

  Deafening were the whispers; when two women live together and never seen in the company of men. Two women, who are extremely attractive at that, more than a few times, when then a young patrolman, did Joe resolve to ask Miss Hanes out, only to have the words stick to his tongue or waft harmlessly into thin air.

For now, he is content to help an acquaintance from the past, help a good and respectable man from her past. Here she is, famous beyond Florida and successful surpassing the cause that she is pursuing. He can’t resist scaling that same righteous mountain.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #324


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