Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #140

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #140

…Ziggy Endlichoffer and Alpha Campbell are brushed aside, in favor of so-called experts, as if they were a nuisance, not lifesavers…

“Stay still, sir,” implores Ziggy, who is busy plugging the torso breech with the cleanest handkerchiefs he can find. Alpha calmly assists his mentor, having learned that grace under fire is the doctor’s best friend.

“There is an ambulance on the way!” updates a very concerned Exposition official.

“No!” Ziggy protests. “He should not have a bumpy ride. Ve must stabilize him before he is moved; I think zee bullet is near his spleen!”

By now a circle of lawmen, some local, mostly Secret Service has made a pretty tight circle around McKinley’s prostrate position, with an eye out for the ambulance wagon. Anyone on the outside of this enclosure can only guess as to the condition of the man whose health they fear for.

There is an absence of the normal buzz generated by several hundred people. Stunned shock replaces it. Phoebe Love, with her husband nearby his wounded friend, chooses to do the perfect and only logical alternative to grief: prayer.

“Come near, my friends,” she beckons her known confederates, whose numbers grow upon hearing, “Our dear Heavenly Father, we come before you, broken and miserable sinners, to worship and adore you and ask for your divine healing for your devoted servant, William McKinley. Lord, he lay bleeding from a bullet delivered by one of Satan’s own. Please take him into your loving arms, show him that love, and give him a peaceful spirit, free from despair and pain. May it be your holy face he sees?

We also want to bring his sweet wife Ida before you. Guard her from the fear that will soon come to visit. Give her no reason to grieve prematurely, soften this cruel blow in ways that we your people can only marvel at.

Father GOD, make us a people who love and serve you in all the things we say and do; mere players in your grand orchestral plan.

          “And all His people said……”

“Amen!” rolls like thunder across the plain of souls.

 

McKinley & Cortelyou

“Cortelyou–my wife–be careful how you tell her–oh, be careful.” This is an instant where he cannot effectively protect his frail spouse, fearing not for his well-being, but that of Ida.

“Yes, William, I will be gentle,” promises his attending secretary.

The Exposition electric ambulance knifes through the humanity to gather up William McKinley for surgery at Erie County General Hospital, a nearly two mile bone jarring ride.

“If you insist on taking him on this monstrosity, let us attend him.” Ziggy Endlichoffer and Alpha Campbell are brushed aside, in favor of so-called experts, as if they were a nuisance, not lifesavers.

“Thank you, friends,” is all McKinley can say from on the stretcher, powerless to overrule a situation he cannot control.

************************

A pall is cast upon such a promising September day in the first year of this new century. One career is ended as another is just beginning.


Alpha Omega M.D.

lincoln_mckinley_garfield_assassination_poster_collectible

Episode #140


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

…There are paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer, due to unexpected gaps  on a typical boardwalk….

Buffalo

Buffalo the Boom Town

 

The crowd now has begun to disperse, most likely signaling an executive dismissal. As the female Floridians go about the task of locating their hotel, The Niagara, Herbert Love informs the group that their presence is requested by William McKinley at the Hotel Statler, for cocktails and dinner. The womanly conversation does an about-face; ‘What are you going to wear?’ replaces, ‘Ferry Street should be a few blocks west of here’.

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Buffalo is a true boom town, which is obvious by the amount of new construction aside from that of the Exposition. A recent dose of hydroelectric power generated at Niagara Falls has ballooned population from 90,000 after the Civil War to a turn of the century 350,000, establishing it as New York State’s second city.

And paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer; a moratorium on looking down to avoid those annoying, mostly unexpected gaps in carefree strolling on a typical boardwalk.

As this group of tourists traverse downtown, there is a guy’s arm for every girl, making it doubly easy to look ahead, for valuable street signs, or up to gawk at buildings ten times taller than those at home. Even for those considered worldlier, this city is as impressive as they may see for a while.

Big City-001       “There is, I’sa mean goes our bags,” points out Willy Campbell, who earlier had helped the porter of the 12:10 Southern load the right cargo on the horse drawn carriage provided by their hotel.

“Look, he is turning right. Alfrey run up to that street and see where he turns again.” Herb Love advises, the younger Campbell gladly obliges the request, sprinting nimbly through cross traffic to see the wagon go two blocks north on Elmwood Avenue, then make a left.

 

Advance scouting pays off. By the time the balance of adults catch up to Alfrey, the marquee of the Niagara Hotel and Theater is in plain view. Ferry Street turns out to be a very interesting area. The buildings are older, but not run down, probably dating back to just after it was burned down by a combined force of British and Iroquois Indians in 1813. There is also a ferry at the end of the street, hence the name. It is the mode of choice when crossing the Niagara River to Ontario, Canada.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

City Street

1900 America

Episode #126


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #125

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #125

…Doubtless, few other married couples have only one set of in-laws, they being shared parents…

“I married my…”

William McKinley turns his attention to the gathered throng, reveling in a moment that every politician, or even want-to-be ones, dreams of; being President of the United States and addressing hundreds of admiring citizens. He has truly reached the pinnacle of his career.

  “On behalf of the fine people of Buffalo, organizers, engineers, builders and volunteers, I would like to invite you an exhibition of marvels and wonders, feats of science and ingenuity, culture, art and music. The Pan-American Exposition will go down in history as one of the Western Hemisphere’s greatest achievements!”

“President McKinley is quite an orator, is he not,” comes a voice from behind the Ferrells, who like the rest were listening forward. All of a sudden, they were not expecting the obvious. John pivots not to a stranger, but the big, beautiful smiles of of James and Abigail.

“Ohhh my, Martha, looks who is here! We were so inspired by Mister McKinley, we lost track of time.”

 

“You would never have found us, Father… Mom, ummmm, how are you? You look great!” James hugs his mother. She squeezes him within an inch of asphyxia. Abbey gets cradled by John. Doubtless, few other married couples have only one set of in-laws, they being shared parents. It is tough to figure out without the family history in previous pages herein. “Yes, I mean it Father, have you ever seen more locomotives in one spot! We arrived from the other direction, ten tracks away! It was our good fortune to hear some chap telling another that word was the President was waiting for the 12 o’clock Southern and here we are.”

“You are becoming quite the big city gadabout, are you not?”

Abigail lends her ear to John’s assertion. “My dear no, Father. He still knows little of Boston proper and is known himself to lose his way in the Law Building on campus.”

James accepts Abbey’s assessment of his guide skills without refute. He has learned to set aside his male pride, reluctantly nodding. All of his eggs are in the legal basket. Abbey can have that navigator job.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Lost Directions by Ann-McLaren

Episode #125


page 115

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #124

The former, actually still, country businessman has adopted a very distinguished look; a splash of dashing with a pinch of pomp

Dashing-001

 

Painting by adlovett

“Their train may not be in as yet, so don’t get your hopes up and try not squeezing them to death if they are there.” The fact is that the Ferrells have no idea of who will be there or even what the Buffalo rail depot looks like…

Pan American stamp

Pan American Commemorative Stamp

        …until the long steam engine grinds to a halt at a bustling dock. There must be 10 similar trains, at different stages of loading or unloading, if there is one. But the train bearing the dozen Floridians has a unique distinction–it is the only one with a Presidential greeting party. It may be ‘ho-hum’ to certain passengers on the 12:10 Southern, but the opportunity to actually see a sitting President in person has most of the others irresistibly transfixed.

The McKinley entourage shifts to the car that sees Herbert Love emerging first. The former, actually still, country businessman has adopted a very distinguished look; a splash of dashing with a pinch of pomp. He is automatically, if not unanimously, assuming leadership for his group, advancing them to forty square feet of empty platform.

“How have you been, Herb?” The two embrace at once.

“Good, good, but it has been a busy year for you, has it not?” Love asks rhetorically.

“I am afraid that Ida is feeling much neglected this year. I guess the days of running the country from the White House are gone for good.” He seems to long for the good old days. “Say, we should not ignore the rest of my friends.

      “Welcome to the Queen City of the Lakes!” He broadens his focus. “How are you all? John, Martha…..Doc Ziggy and Frieda. And Willy Campbell, did you bring me any of those wonderful cigars?” He bends slightly, seeing he is close to the ground himself, to scoop up the young Campbell, “And you, Alpha, has Ziggy showed you how to remove tonsils? Mine have flared up and I have an important speech tomorrow.”

          “If we removed your tonsils, Mister President, you could not speak for four days. I would recommend a sulfa drug to treat your symptoms.”

          “Well, well, Master Campbell, you would be a strong candidate for Surgeon General in…what… 1918? Well, I am afraid I will not be able to make it to five terms in office, but I will put in a good word.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Queen City

Episode #124


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Alpha Omega M. D. – Episode #123

…Anticipation to see the newlyweds  is building…

The two incoming trains containing the greater Tallahassee reunion are maintaining their schedule to arrive at Buffalo’s Union Station on Tuesday 4 September 1901 about the noontime; on a perpendicular intercepting course.

Holidays-001

There is a passive urgency for some on the Florida train, fore mostly John and Martha Ferrell. They have endured a season of an empty Thanksgiving, a spiritless Christmas, a hollow Easter, uncelebrated birthdays and anniversaries, all lost in the physical separation between Tallahassee and Cambridge.

It will not be long now.

The very same mix of people that freed the Campbells that heroically came to the aid of hurricane victims, plus spouses and minus the Fabulous Flying Bleaker Brothers is streaking down the iron rails in luxury berths.

The passenger list is as follows:

-John and Martha Ferrell

-Herbert and Phoebe Love

-Siegfried and Frieda Endlichoffer

Anti-slavery-001

-Willy, Amanda and Alfrey Campbell

-Harv Pearson

-Jacob Haley

-Jacques Francoise

We know what the top two names are looking forward to. As for secretary of Agriculture and personal friend of the President, Herbert Love, he will feel most at home at the Exposition. The remainder of fine folks will be wide eyed and ready for a good time; guests of the President, again, how about that.

Anticipation to see the newlyweds is building.

“I was saying that I hope the children are in good spirits,” speaks John F., seeing that those kids did this, in ascending order:

Catfish AL-001

  1. Got married
  2. Trained to New Orleans
  3. A  delta riverboat honeymoon
  4. A hurricane travail
  5. A Catfish Al rescue
  6. Another train to Buffalo
  7. It must be nice to be young.

“It looks like we will see for ourselves in a minute.” Martha is anxious and content at the same time.


 

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Episode #123


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #122

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #122

…What will be his legacy? Sure he has his stores, but there are a hundred stores of one kind or another in Tallahassee…

Legacy-001

“Do I look alright, John?” Martha Ferrell fidgets with the mound of hair atop her head, he being the mirror in the absence of one. She is afraid that if she goes to the washroom, she will miss their entrance to the station. She pictures James and Abigail waiting and waving.

“Yes you do Ma’am,” answers John–the conductor. And he is not lying. She wears her 48 years very well, perhaps because her 19 Century vogue hour-glass figure intrigues the male eye. “We will make the Buffalo station within the hour,” he offers as a more relative addendum.

   Well, at least she got one response. Deep in thoughtful contemplation, her John may as well be in another car. He is watching the landscape turn from empty rural to farm rural to suburban to urban. During that span, he reflects on his life. What will be his legacy? Sure he has his stores, but there are a hundred stores of one kind or another in Tallahassee.

He has fine children, all grown except for little Maggie Lou and who knows just what will come of that; Martha mostly washing her hands of the issue. He suspects that parts of the truth have already filtered into the gossip stream. ‘And I am entering my forty-fourth year. My father died when I was sixteen, he was only 45 and leaving us with only the shack we were living in,’ he thinks back with trepidation. The doctor did not know what killed him, believing he was, “Healthy, surely not,” he mutters aloud.

    “Pardon me?” responds Martha to the only sounds coming out of John’s mouth for 100 miles.

“I was saying that I hope the children are healthy,” masking what he had made audible.

“It looks like we will see for ourselves in a minute.” Martha is anxious and content at the same time.

“Their train may not be in as yet, so don’t get your hopes up and try not squeezing them to death if they are there.”


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Buffalo Terminal NY

Episode #122


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #121

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #121

…James and especially Abbey are conspicuously Southern, which at times is looked down upon by the Northern mainstream…

Authentic-001

Just about everybody they know in Leon and Gadsden Counties of Florida is being railroaded to the Pan-American Exposition by a fast-friend, President William McKinley; a friendship forged by tribulation and hardened by trustworthiness. The Exposition is a grand global event and the host would like his friends to share it with him.

“Must you always be so pragmatic, James?” Her husband has few flaws, but ever since his sights have been set on the future, the present seems generally trivial. “Loosen your tie, my love, and attempt to enjoy yourself. After all, the memories we hold of our honeymoon are soiled by the last few days. Let us have an early second honeymoon.”

“Can we ride the Ferris Wheel, can we?” he pleads like a five year old.

“This will be a cultural event, silly, not a circus!” she insists with her Southern charm, re-manifesting itself as it tends to do. James and especially Abbey are conspicuously Southern, which at times is looked down upon by the Northern mainstream. Fortunately, their university environment shields them from blatant prejudice.

 

Two Trunks

“Remember, there is a two trunk limit, so leave some room for my things… and keep in mind that we will be away for three days, not three months.” James knows his wife well. She is easily the finest dressed woman on campus and would give Boston’s best a run for their money. In fact, nearly a half of their apartment stowage is occupied by dresses for every possible occasion.

“It is a girl’s responsibility to be ever at her best.”

“And you are.” He takes her warmly in his arms, fully realizing what a gem he has in her. No one will ever turn his head, for if they did, psychiatric treatment may be in order.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

North vs South

Episode #121


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