Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #62

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #62

… All your children turn out beautiful Johann, though little Maggie looks notting like your vife…

Secret Life-001

They (being John, Ziggy and Frieda) have had nearly three months to prepare, time for contemplation and reflection. But, little Maggie Lou has hastened the workings by entering the world a month ahead of schedule. Doc Ziggy thought he knew exactly when she was supposed to arrive, thanks to the only one possible cause for Laura’s condition. He also thought that he and his wife were too old to have an infant living in their house, but he was wrong, once again.

It is hard for John Ferrell to argue against Princess Olla abiding so near his home. He had nearly secured a home Endlichoffer Chalet-001in Frenchtown for his parallel family, a humble abode in a not so great neighborhood. It would have been a good place for them to grow in anonymity. Conversely the Endlichoffer’s offer a safe and loving environment, virtually assures that father John cannot forget his legacy or his responsibilities.

“She is so tiny.” It has been fourteen years since he has held a newborn, John Ferrell that is; for Ziggy, not as long. He is surprised at the fairness of the child’s skin, not totally unexpected considering his 50% contribute, but you never know; only one out of four pea plants will have white blossoms, the rest having pink. Generations have not been skipped in this unintentional crossbreeding.

 Movie - Secret Life “All your children turn out beautiful Johann,” comments one who knows, “though little Maggie looks notting like your vife.”

“Enough Ziggy!” insists John, who fails to see the irony of the moment. Most of his irony is saved for the bevy of lies and acres of deception that will constitute a lifelong cover-up. Part one of ‘The Secret Life of Laura Bell’, featuring Maggie Lou, begins this day with only the County Clerk of Courts aware of this census change; and the filled in father space on the birth certificate unavailable for public consumption.

The clerk will have her job as long as she wants it. The good news, for her, is that she had recently been appointed as clerk, replacing the former clerk who had fallen very ill. She is just two years out of Florida State University and now she has the undying support of one of Leon County’s most influential businessmen.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Maggie Lou-001

Episode #62


page 57

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #13

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #13

…Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago…

Post-funeral mingling continues…

“We’ll all be missin’ her, Doc, just like we’ve been missin’ you,” offers Edwina Stephens, longtime Frenchtown resident and friend to the family. A warm embrace is given to all in the greeting line.

Second in sequence is J. Kenty Johnson, who along with A.O., was one of the first black doctors in the former Confederacy; numbered lower than 100 for the longest time. “You had the finest possible woman, ‘specially for a doctor, A.O. A single man like me can sure ‘preciate that.”

“Thank you, Johnnie. I know I couldn’ta made it through those early years without her. She was a blessin’ to me.”

“To everyone,” it is agreed.

The slow moving, single file line produces a surprise: Hosea Campbell, the wayward older brother of the doctor, who still looks like his vocation, a purveyor of prostitution. He saunters up respectfully.

“I’ma sorry that I ain’t been ‘round these years, Alfrey,” he speaks to his brother using a nickname only the Quincy Campbells use; Alfrey actually being A.O.’s given name. It wasn’t dignified enough.

“How’d Jersey been treatin’ you, Hosey?” asks Alpha, not expecting what would be coming out of his mouth next.

“Oh well, I’m doin’ okay,” Hosey says, changing to a whisper, “but Angie is worried sick ‘bout you. Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago. She’s thinkin’ you forgot about her.”

The doctor discretely responds in muted words, “Tell Angela and her mother that I’ll be contactin’ them soon. I was fearin’ the warden’s been spying on my mail, don’t need his knowin’ ‘bout Camille.”

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Secrets are undisclosed facts. You would swear that these liberties with the truth would make a heck of a good story, if they did not make such painful truth. And it’s not as though things got this complicated overnight. Years of careless planning have contributed to current circumstances. 1919 was one interesting year, in the deep dark past and the culprit in several indiscreet situations by multiple offenders.

“Camille is married, did ya know?” Hosey is updating the New Jersey news, as they shunt to an unoccupied corner.

It has caught the doctor off balance. “Married?” There is a slight trembling in his voice, reflecting a tinge of unwarranted possessiveness.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #13


page 14

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #10

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #10

…the good reverend Pastor Bill Johnson gazing down at his assembling flock and guests, from the top stair of his church entrance…

Faith Resurrection Baptist Church

A solemn motorcade has assembled in front of Faith Resurrection Baptist Church. Directly behind the funeral director, is the same extended-body black Lincoln that whisked A.O. Campbell to his temporary freedom. Trailing behind, in a considerable line, are those less mobile, nevertheless devoted admirers of what Maggie Lou and her surviving husband mean to the community. As he suffered at Starke, in silence, in disgrace, they were out of sight, out of mind.

Without Doc Campbell in the socially lagging Frenchtown neighborhood, they suffer of body. Without Maggie, they are down one friend. Despite the incalculable disparity in the lifestyle the Campbells have enjoyed and that of, say Lilly Chevis, it can never be said of Maggie, ‘That woman is so uppity, livin’ in that huge house and all. And can you imagine havin’ black servants? How nervy can you get?’ Yes, Lilly Chevis helped out at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, a two story edifice named after Maggie’s mother, their shared kinship is the byproduct of most relationships that include the Campbell’s by habit. Holidays, birthdays, baby dedications, church socials, graduations and sadly, funerals are shared experiences of the community family; each occasion warm and full to the brim.

The Campbell world, the one not fully revealed to Lilly: the university functions, cotillions, fund raising dinners for the politically given and all black ties affairs.

Yet today, none of these detract from the deep sense of neighborhood.

Consider all of the above. These are what bring a throng of mourners to Faith Resurrection B.C.E., the good reverend Pastor Bill Johnson gazing down at his assembling flock and guests, from the top stair of his church entrance. Neither he nor any of his parishioners can recall this house of God’s capacity being so threatened. Although the Sunday after the Tallahassee soldiers arrived back from World War II was greatly packed with grateful souls.

Ushers Harwood, husband to former Campbell nurse, Lettie Golden and Dr. V.L. Perry, the president of Florida A&M, make the most of “Faith’s” interior, including the little used balcony. For this service, there are extra honoring voices behind the pulpit, which is right behind the flower covered casket.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #10


page 11

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #6

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #6

…What bittersweet irony for a family gathering…

Outside the tall barbed wire crowned concrete wall, past a solitary entry, today turned exit, awaits an entourage worthy of the preeminent boxer of this day, Sugar Ray Robinson, replete with a long black limousine, armed guards and one important addition; the Campbell family complete. R. Worth Moore has managed to assemble the three girls, two of their husbands and those precious grandchildren.

Throw in some Tallahassee tag-a-longs, friends and such, with card-carrying members of the Southeastern Medical Society and you have a mobile armada, of loving proportions. The only thing missing from the fleet is the Frenchtown High School marching band. Their bus is in the shop.

Alpha Omega Campbell, M.D. passes through the restrictive threshold of his temporary home, amid cheers, tears and warden-ly leers, the latter is on hand to remind the doctor that he is expected to return. This makeshift celebration does, after all, resemble a triumphant return to civilian life.

“We miss you, Daddy!” His daughterly namesake, Alpha, is the first to express the most simple of salutations. The Mizzels had flown in from Fort Lauderdale. Her husband Vaughn is also a doctor, as it goes for two out of the three daughters betrothed.

The McLouds, accounting for the #2 Campbell girl, Laura, is next to applying a warm stranglehold on her shorter father. Her uniquely fair skin begs an obvious question, but her stunning beauty deflects the any gossip. Franklin McLoud is in real estate, unable to attend, a pressing land deal blocks his attendance.

He looks down at a young grandchild. “And you, little Laura, the day I see you stop growing is the day I meet my Maker.”

Daughter #3, Zillah Shirley, last but not least in his heart, joins the love reunion. Youngest daughters will always be considered daddy’s little girl and with Zillah farthest away, even at her closest, this special encounter magnifies the joy. Washington D.C. is a world much removed from the old South, but people get sick, even in Camelot, despite official decrees.

  What bittersweet irony for this gathering. Death is a regrettable excuse to assemble this menagerie of a clan, but when weddings and child dedications dry up, this is what’s left.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #6


page 7

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #1

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #1

Chapter One

ALPHA AND OMEGA

… Well, it looks like they finally got him….

  Somewhere in the western United States in 1956

“Have you seen the headlines from back home, Lyn?” asks Robert Ford of his bride Carolyn Hanes. He is reading the stalwart newspaper Tallahassee Democrat.

“No, I’ve had my hands full putting your Pacific Clipper story on paper. I still can’t believe you guys made it back in one piece!” Lyn Hanes is a writer of some repute and she is working on the account of Captain Bob Ford’s historic flight back to New York City at the very beginning of World War II.

A.O. CampbellHe is nudging her into a reminiscing state of mind. “Do you remember that black doctor from Frenchtown, A.O. Campbell?”

“Oh my yes, how could I forget? What a sweet old man! He’s got to be in his mid-sixties. There is no one quite like him, for sure.” Lyn was loosely involved in the death of A.O.’s mother-in-law in 1931, a friend of a witness to be exact.

“Well somehow this nice old man is being indicted for manslaughter and abortion charges. The Democrat reports sources from police saying they have been watching his clinic for months.”

Carolyn Hanes takes exception to this revelation.

“Tallahassee has become a hotbed for bigotry lately. They cannot stomach a successful black man, threatens them somehow.” She knows it’s time for the South to do some “social” catching up.  “Both white and blacks have been jealous of him and his wife for decades.”

“Well, it looks like they finally got him.”

Hanes lets that statement roll around in her head for a while. She is known for supporting causes that are contrary to popular opinion or the administration of justice, i.e. abuse of.

“I can see the gears grinding in that pretty little head of yours.”

“I am putting in a call into one of my contacts inside the police department. Joe Slater is chief of detectives… I wonder what he knows?” She is becoming suspicious. “Joe would not hassle that old man without cause.”

Carolyn is on the phone in a minute, leaving a message with TPD dispatch, “Have him call me at Westwood 54-1954.”

What can she accomplish, here in regressive 1956 Florida, where the difference between black & white, was complete different to that of right & wrong?

Do not underestimate a writer, when on the trail of a worthwhile story…


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #1


page 2

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 174

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 174

…One of the two thugs getting away yelled back to his fingered friend as he fled, “We was only susposed to rough him up good…

Bronzeville

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With big city excitement, you also get big city crime. Attorney Moore will discover  that Chicago neighborhoods can change for the worse from one north-south block to the next.

Bronzeville is not a local analogy for third place in the Hospitality Olympics, more like third rate on a list of three. An unsuspecting ‘not from anywhere ‘roun here’ mark, one gold watch and a fat wallet (pocketed in a fine wool suit) are too tempting for a feckless group of teenagers who have decided, at the tender age of 14, that an education is a waste of time.

Back in Tallahassee, it has its Frenchtown, not a place where French is the native language, more akin to a dumping ground for the city poor. Moore knows when and when not to venture in that familiar territory; not so much here.

If it weren’t for a police black & white on the night beat, the beating the Floridian was getting would have been far worse. It is not enough to roll somebody for a grand or so in loot. When the victim is white, there is way too much more ‘fun’ in turning it into a blood sport.

Worth did comport himself well though, leaving one of the young men with a crushed left leg which slowed him down enough so that he could not limp away fast enough to saunter off into the town without pity. The lone good news being that he was the one with the stolen wallet and his capture was the single redeeming token of a lesson well learned.

One of the two who were getting away, with the shiny gold watch that is destined for the local pawn shop, yelled some regrettable phrase back to his fingered friend as he fled, “We was only susposed to rough him up good, Neal.” Though they were not hired to steal anything, his baggy trousers gave up a few stray Newport Menthols and a business card in the wake of his accelerating gate.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 148

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 320

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 320

…On an otherwise quiet day in September, the eighth to be exact, Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is indicted on one count of manslaughter (Franich) and two counts of abortion (Pyle/Evans and (Bailey/Ferber)…

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  In all three of these cases of needy white girls, there are more-than-sufficient reasons to turn down the money, turn his back on future problems and turn his clinic back into a legitimate hospital.

Image result for humanitarianAfter all, he had invited his fellow black doctors to practice their medicine there at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital. Instead of coming alongside this good humanitarian, standing tall and strong in solidarity for the poor and disadvantaged of Florida, they turn their collective backs, choosing the safe sheltering walls of Florida A & M’s University Hospital.

A.O. Campbell is getting old. He could have used the help; help with keeping his skills current, help with not being the lone private practicing physician in the Frenchtown community.

Instead, this kind and good man is left to his own devices, even traveling to the remotest regions of North Florida, virtually giving away his services. Those he treated did not have the resources of their Image result for no butswhite counterparts. His reputation grew, but his personal wealth leaked away with every passing year.

 

And yes, he was now drawing attention, but not for the good he was doing, but for violating Florida’s anti-abortion laws. But, but, but he was helping girls in trouble.

No buts about it.

 

On an otherwise quiet day in September, the eighth to be exact, Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is indicted on one count of manslaughter (Franich) and two counts of abortion (Pyle/Evans and (Bailey/Ferber).

  Thus began the fall of this 67 year old doctor, failing in health, with an unlikely Florida avalanche of evidence poised to bury him. No looking back for what ifs.

          Listen closely, there on Virginia Street and you will hear, “Things are looking down, Maggie.”

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Alpha Omega M.D.

indictment

 

Episode # 320

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page 301 (end ch. 18)

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