Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #300

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #300

…“SARA!!! Oh, honey, where on earth have you been?” That worldly reference, perhaps contrasting where she may have been for the last seven days was a Freudian slip…

freudian-slip-001

It could have been that homemade rum, or consuming relief that they had made it across the Atlantic Ocean without tasting its salty water, but he didn’t remember why he awoke in this woman’s bed. What he did not know, is that Lyn was merely guessing. He says nothing.

Image result for go jump in the lake

Typography Digital Art – Go Jump In The Lake by Misty Dille

“Don’t worry, Captain Ford. When a person is making history, nobody should question what it takes to do it.”

He wasn’t expecting such a benign reaction. “You are hard to figure out Lyn… never ceasing to amaze me,” he states without hesitation. “Most women I know would tell me to jump in the lake, or in my case, jump from a plane without a parachute.”

“No parachute? That’s a little harsh Bob, but I will consider the lake.” She enjoys toying with his noble nature. It keeps him on his toes. “And you can take me out of the “amazing” category. I just happen to be a grand observer of mankind. There was no reason for you not to take comfort in the arms of a kind stranger. One never knows when the next day will be their last. I know what makes people tick.

          That’s why I write, to share those observations in the form of characters, either creating new ones or using live subjects for a template, like you in real life or the fictional, Ace Bannion. I try to make them as real as possible and as you know, they aren’t always perfect.” She is dead serious. “So what do you say? Let’s give the Pacific Clipper its proper place in history!”

“If it were up to me and me alone, I would say why not. But there are the rest of the guys to consider. If I can get Rod and the others to chime in, with their side of the story, well then what the Pacific Clipper-001hell,” he knows that historical month-long flight needs to be told. It may as well be done right, by the people who lived it. “What a bunch they were. I can tell you things… well maybe not. We’ll have to leave some things out. These guys have to face their families.”

“More stories of passionate native women along the way, no doubt?”

“I’m not going to say anything else. We’ll let Brownie and the guys decide whether they stick their necks out or not. Come to think of it, none of the crew ever found out that Sara turned up alive. Maybe it is best if we end the story at the La Guardia harbor. Yeah, I have seen some of them here and there in the meantime, but we do not want to stir up any more controversy than we already have.”

“Great points! I like the way you think.” She gets fired up at the start of each new project. Once the commitment is made, it is usually full steam ahead… usually. “But, we aren’t going to start any project until we have Sara’s life straightened out.”

Another person has entered the room in time to hear her name. “Did I hear my name?”Image result for where have you been

“SARA!!! Oh, honey, where on earth have you been?” That worldly reference, perhaps contrasting where she may have been for the last seven days was a Freudian slip.

“What do you mean? I just stepped out for a few minutes, needed to walk off a sore calf. I stretched it a bit doing a double reverse pirouette.”

Deep down, Carolyn wants to inform Sara that: a minute in her world is seven days anywhere else. But the reference to dancing and the fact that she was still wearing leotards and slippers, what would be the use?


Alpha Omega M.D.

Art by Sera Knight

Art by Sera Knight

Episode #300


page 284

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #288

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #288

…The changes in Sara may be more obvious, but Lyn’s metamorphism manifests itself right where she lives and cannot be avoided…

Conspiracy in the Cactus-001

“Some-one or some-thing did something to you during those six years and I intend to find out exactly what it was and how to correct it.”

“That’s swell, Lyn, but while you and Captain Ford do that, you and I are drifting apart. Sure, we’re friends, that’ll never change, but we used to be lovers, Lyn. I may not remember what I did yesterday, but I do recall sleeping in the same bed.”

Lyn knew that this subject would come up sooner or later, preferably the latter. Her feelings for Sara had changed, somewhere between 1941 and forever. What happens when you think a person is dead? There is the process of grieving, which is basically saying goodbye. Is goodbye a one-way switch?  Or was it the six-year separation that put out the fire? The changes in Sara may be more obvious, but Lyn’s metamorphism manifests itself right where she lives and cannot be avoided.

“I can’t put my finger on it, Sare, but neither of us is the same person. It’s like the Pacific Clipper changed our lives forever.”

Mercifully, the telephone rings. Ironically, the Clipper strikes again.

roswell debris “Lyn, meet me at the airport. I got a call from the owner of the ranch where the debris field is in Roswell. The government moved him to Texas, gave him ten thousand bloomin’ acres. No wonder we couldn’t find him. Can you believe it? He heard about us poking around town. I told you that leaving my business card at the barber shop would pay off.  This guy went back for a trim and bingo! He needs to talk to somebody who won’t treat him like a loony or a criminal like the military. He has his own landing strip!” Ford is so excited that Carolyn did not have the chance to say hello.  

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number; this is Connie’s Bakery – head crumb speaking.” She has her usual fun with him.

          “Get moving, wiseacre. We have head wind at 5,000 feet.”

          “You really know how to treat a girl, Ford, but I’ll be there in an hour anyway.”

          “Sorry, Lyn, but this is so big. I’ll have her all warmed up and ready to go.”

          “I love your enthusiasm, Bob. See you there. Bye.”

She turns to tell Sara where she is going. The back screen door is swinging closed.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for old screen door

Episode #288


page 271

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #276

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #276

…Carolyn is wearing a so-called leather bomber jacket she had been given by a returning B-17 tail gunner…

Assault on Damn Yankee by Domenic DeNardo

Assault on Damn Yankee by Domenic DeNardo

Constance Caraway… rather Carolyn Hanes is waving both arms above her head, on the tarmac of the Blue Ridge Angel-001commercial terminal at LaGuardia Airport. The roar of a taxiing twin engine Douglas DC-3 camouflages her, “Over here, Captain Ford!”, but he spots her nonetheless. He swings the impressive plane around, signaling a big thumb’s up, and a welcome sight in the window above the Constance Caraway P.I. in big bold yellow. He looks as dashing as she had remembered, an opinion slightly tainted by his heroic escapades.

Once in place, and propellers at rest, Robert Ford climbs down the cockpit ladder, his plane’s only entrance beside the cargo bay doors. Lyn has abandoned her bags and is there to apply a hardy embrace.  She is wearing a so-called leather bomber jacket she had been given by a returning B-17 tail gunner.

“Is that a bullet hole there?” He puts an index finger into Lyn’s upper left arm. “You didn’t, did you?”

ConstanceCaraway 001

Constance

“Join the Air Force, oh my, no?”

“Another Constance fan?”

“Yes, he was so cute, says he would read my stuff on the way back from a bombing run. Now, Bob, he was just a boy.” She reacts to Ford’s sideward glance.

“Well you look like a real flier, Lyn. What do say to taking my baby for a little 1600 mile spin?”

“My little cub would fit underneath one of your wings. Once we’re at altitude, I wouldn’t mind taking the controls for a few hours. What is it, a ten hour flight?”

76-regular-gasoline“Very good, Lyn, that’s what’s in our flight plan… oh, here comes the fuel truck.”

“76 octane?” Lyn reels in a Clipper memory.

“76? There isn’t a runway in the world long enough if we used straight gasoline. These engines are spoiled rotten, 110, no less, and not in five gallon cans either.” His Clipper recollection includes fueling it with five gallon cans… all four thousand gallons.


Alpha Omega M.D.

‘Aeronautical & Maritime Masterpieces’ by Peter Branksome - http://www.hamiltonwalkerart.com/

‘Aeronautical & Maritime Masterpieces’ by Peter Branksome – http://www.hamiltonwalkerart.com/

Episode #276


page 258

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #268

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #268

…After Captain Ford, his crew and remaining passengers, et al had left Karachi, their odyssey continued for another ten days…

Pacific Clipper Route      As for the Pacific Clipper, the first thing Captain Robert Ford did, once they had landed at LaGuardia Robert Ford-001harbor on January 5 1942, was to radio Colombo, Ceylon and the British Embassy there. He did call his family, knowing that Pan Am had done so in advance for him, but it is the fate of a woman he barely knew that haunts him, and as it turns out, will continue to haunt him for the rest of his life.

Pacific Clipper Take-off    After him, his crew and remaining passengers, et al had left Karachi, their odyssey Pan Am Clipper2continued for another ten days, across the Arabian Peninsula, the sands of the Sahara, the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to the tip of South America, then finally and mercifully, New York City.

Ford Map-001 The loss of one passenger will taint the joy of flying, for a flyer without parallel. Instead of retirement, he is granted two weeks leave and a reassignment to an Atlantic Clipper route. He will china_clipperdo so dutifully, if not unceremoniously.

In the two-week layover, he writes out a complete debriefing for his friend, Lyn, so she can fill in the blanks for her war mystery, The Hawaiian Spy. He promises a visit to Tallahassee on his summer vacation. Not an altogether disagreeable notion, even for her. Friendship is friendship, after all.

Pan Am ClipperPan Am Hat-001fords-flight-route1937 CC P.I.-001

As in the case of their country, they find: a lesson not learned  is the hardest lesson of all.

End of Chapter Fourteen


Author’s note:

What I enjoy most about writing Historical Fiction is being able to weave stories, like Robert Ford’s Pacific Clipper WWII ordeal, into the fabric of ***Alpha Omega M.D. Granted he never actually had a passenger go missing from his Pan Am Clipper on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but what fun it was to include characters Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway) and Sara Fenwick (Fanny Renwick) in on one of the most amazing stories that no one knows about.

One sunny Sunday, while knee deep in writing this book, I came upon a feature article in the Chicago Tribune’s Travel Section. Somewhere in my old-fashioned stack of research material is that article. At the time, I could not put it down, nor could I let it rest.

As it is with the construction of any book, one writes one-day-at-a-time and a once well planned story takes a sudden turn. And so it did; from a story about a kindly Southern doctor – to a fictional fiction writer who takes a holiday aboard one of Pan American Airways flying boats, WWII breaks out, she loses her companion and blah, blah, blah etc…

I would like to thank the faithful readers of the Writing is Fun-damental (WIF) blog, for allowing me to share my book, along with this amazing story with you. – Gwen

*** THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR – ISBN 978-1-4691-9018 Xlibris Publishing

For the real story behind the Pacific Clipper, (Daley, Robert, 1980, An American Saga, Juan Trippe and His Pan Am Empire, Random House, New York)  follow the link below:

Captain Robert Ford’s Factual Pacific Clipper Story

Pacific Clipper-001



Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #268


page 251 (end ch. 14)

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #267

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #267

…Please give me some details about how things turned out. I had planned on being there, when you get to New York, you know, for my book and all…

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS by Mario Ortiz Martinez

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS by Mario Ortiz Martinez

Answers prove to be too slow in coming. As much as he regrets having to do so, it is time to ascend into yet more of the unknown.

“I am truly sorry, Miss Hanes, but we are leaving within the hour. May I assume you will be staying behind?” Ford has to keep the Clipper moving. He has two dozen other people he is responsible for and he cannot be sure of what lies ahead.

          “I understand, Captain Ford. At least we have the British to look out for us.” She hangs her head in despair.

          “I know you’re worried to death and it may be small consolation, but until a body is found….”

          “Okay, yes, thank you,” Lyn cares not to think about unaccounted bodies and such. “I pray that the rest of your journey goes well.” She scribbles an address and a telephone number on a scrap of paper. “Please give me some details about how things turned out. I had planned on being there with you in New York, you know, for my book and all.

“I will do that, Lyn.” he promises.

She appreciates the kiss on the cheek by a true gentleman.

Questions WO Answers-001

Answers are not forthcoming; two days after Sara vanished into the Ceylonese night. In a strange way, at least bruised and battered body would be tangible evidence.

“An innocent civilian woman becomes the first victim of a Pan American Clipper trip”

… the newspaper headline may read. Instead, Carolyn Hanes is obliged to play an agonizing waiting game, at the mercy of authorities on a huge island off the southern coast of India.

With tears streaming down her face, ten days and no news later, Carolyn Hanes changes the text of her manuscript. The man in the blue suit is much more dangerous than they had 1937 CC P.I.-001suspected. Neither he nor Fanny Renwick is ever seen again. Constance Caraway has only a filmless camera to remember her by. Constance will always be Constance, and retirement to a life of seclusion will never happen, as is the case with her creator. Both author and a fictional heroine move on, without their right hand gal.


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Questions WO Answers-001

Episode #267


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #264

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #264

…I remember a Sara Fenwick. She said she was tired and was returning to the Clipper, ma’am. That was just before the time that bright light just about blinded me…

The Vanished Flame by lowjacker deviantart.com

The Vanished Flame by lowjacker deviantart.com

“You have been so gracious, Lady Mountbatten. This has been a wonderful evening.” Carolyn Hanes loves informed discussions.

“It looks like your date has run out of gas,” the lady observes Capt. Ford face down in front of his meal.

          “He deserves the rest. I cannot tell you what a Herculean job he has been doing. He is probably dreaming about where we are going next.”

          “Perhaps he is dreaming about you, dear.”

“That would be the true definition of a dream,” she insists, while searching the room for Sara. “Please excuse me, Lady. I seem to have misplaced someone.”

What seemed to be moments ago, Sara had been bouncing off of people, in the arms of yet another bad dancer. Now, she is nowhere to be seen. Upon interviewing some of the crew of the Pacific Clipper, as well as others in the reception, Sara had stepped out for some fresh air. A girl can only have so much fun.

A quick sweep of the British Embassy grounds, results in nothing. When approached, the guard at the gate looks down at his sign-out sheet, “I remember a Sara Fenwick. She said she was tired and was returning to the Clipper, ma’am. That was just before the time that bright light just about blinded me. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

She dismisses the light connection. “Now that is funny,” Lyn thinks aloud. It was not like Sara to take off without checking in, although there were the dagger stares when eye contact was made between them.

          What is a grand adventure for Lyn must be becoming a grand pain for Sara.  ‘Maybe we should just stay here with the British,’ considers the authoress in jest.

          The hour is late and Lyn decides that the crew is probably ready to leave, so she returns to the banquet room. In fact, there is more yawning going on: than a hundred insomniacs on sleeping pills, at a convention for certified actuaries.

          “Let’s go back to the Clipper, guys. Keep your eye out for Miss Fenwick.” Captain Ford cares about his passengers, especially under these extreme circumstances.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Vanished into the Night

Episode #264


page 247

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #262

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #262

…“Would you do me the honor of escorting me to dinner?” asks John Ford of Carolyn Hanes, before he leaves the cabin of his weary airplane…

Meanwhile Caption-001

“Is that gunfire I hear?” is the question of the moment in the passenger cabin.

Peering out the starboard side of the seaplane, for one and all to see is a submarine that is flying the Japanese flag. It has surfaced and its crew is firing the deck guns at the Pacific Clipper.

“I thought the Captain said we weren’t going to fly over any war zones?” Someone asks nervously as the flying boat pitches upward into the clouds. After several minutes they are descending down on Trincomalee, Ceylon.

Dockyard at Trincomalee, Ceylon from the Admiralty House by Harry Edmund Edgell

Dockyard at Trincomalee, Ceylon from the Admiralty House by Harry Edmund Edgell

Once safely harbored on the large island off the southern tip of India most of the crew disembarks, to be interviewed by the British Royal Air Force. They will also be guests of honor at a reception hosted by the wife of the Southeastern Asia Theater chief, Lord Mountbatten.

fords-flight-route  “Would you do me the honor of escorting me to dinner?” asks John Ford of Carolyn Hanes, before he leaves the cabin of his weary airplane. “I have been spending way too much time with the crew.”

Lyn hesitates. There is more than one dynamic at work here. “That would be wonderful, Captain.”

          It feels like a slap in the face for Sara, who is near enough to witness the perceived flirtation. It is short-lived. “Oh, and my bashful 1st Officer, Rod Brown over there, was wondering if Miss Sara would like to come along.”

          Sara Fenwick has not moved so quickly in her entire life. Imagine that, a double date? “Count me in!”

Double_Date          “Great! We will send a boat to ferry you girls ashore in a couple of hours. Oh, it’s definitely a formal affair. Let’s show them how a Clipper troop does the town!”

          “This ought to be interesting, Lyn. Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

          “I think that I am going to wear that black sequined dress. Do you have an extra pair of dark stockings?” She knows exactly what she is doing.

          “The one with the slit up to here?” she points to a spot on her thigh that is dangerously close to never-never land. “I think I’ll wear my navy blue suit, I just won’t wear a blouse under the jacket.”

          “Now that’s the essence of the evening. Let’s have some fun with this.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #262


page 245

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