Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

…as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people…

Eleven of the original dozen return to the Hotel Niagara. No, no one gets lost or killed – merely waylaid. It is no surprise that Harv stays behind, to explore the merits of night photography. His pass key may go unused. “Don’t you worry about me,” he tells them. They do not, but it does not prevent the adults from using their imagination.

The carriage ride back to Ferry Street is jam-packed with cross talk, about favorite dishes, the champagne, the President, the Statlers Hotel, but mostly Harv and Judith Eastman.

“Some people have a monopoly on luck,” laments Jacques Francoise, feeling like the wallflower at a cotillion; lonely, jealous and unchosen.

“Luck has little to do with it, my boy,” counsels Herbert Love, the benefactor of a successful marriage. “Harv has held out for the very same thirty years that Phoebe and I have been married. He had his chances along the way, but never the right woman. It takes courage not to marry out of loneliness. So, as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people.”

“The moral of the story is?” asks the other applicable party, Jacob Haley.

“I would say, ‘He who hesitates is not always lost’.”

“It’s more like, ‘Don’t put a fox in an empty henhouse’,” jokes Ziggy, whose world is far less complicated, rarely resorting to lofty theory.

He gets an elbow in his ribs for his trouble. “Shush, Siegfried! You can be such a visenheimer.” Frieda would know.

Wisenheimer-001

They are back at the hotel before poor Jacob & Jacques can be humiliated any further, returning to a staff that attends to them in earnest, not contempt. One can only hope that this small piece of attitude adjustment is a highly infectious disease, spreading faster than a million, million mosquitoes carrying yellow fever.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #137


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

…“Well, if James becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jefferson Davis could ever say anything different…

Jefferson and Varina Davis

John, Martha, James and Abbey Ferrell claim an adjacent room at the Hotel Niagara that actually has a door on their common wall. The kids are happy that it locks from both sides, thereby opening only when both parties consent; like now when both ladies have donned their Sunday best and the guys, well they are still guys, caring less about who sees them and in what state.

“This is the cat’s pajamas!” proclaims James, pulling every cord, drawer, knob, fob, bob and contraption within his reach, which is far more than when he toddled around getting his hands into everything as a kid..

 “Don’t you mean the cat’s meow?” John surmises the meaning. “The latest thing, I -the-cats-meowsuppose.”

“Yes, of course,” says the nouveau Bostonian. “I suspect that the South is becoming isolated from the rest of the world.”

“James, you very much sound like that primitive desk clerk,” Martha points out. “We sent you to Harvard to become a lawyer, not a judge; judgment coming only by wisdom. If you return to Tallahassee with notions like this, it is you who will be the stranger.”

Big City-001“There is much to be said in account of Southern charm, son,” John Ferrell seeks to temper mother’s stern posture. “If you do not use it, you will lose a valuable tool. Please do not become one of those slick city swindlers.”

“I plan to steal money from widows, defend murders and thieves and perhaps change the law that says students must listen to their parents.”

  Sarcasm has its place, just not here & now..

“Do not worry, Father, I keep him in his place,” Abbey assures. “You see, we are not known as the toast of New England. Somehow, somewhy, fellow students call us, “Jeff and Varina”.”

          “Oh my!” They all know what that represents; former President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis and his wife. “James is far more handsome than Mr. Davis,” Martha claims and accurately so.

“Well, if he is becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jeff Davis could ever say anything different and Ferrell had and has an autographed copy of his book, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

“Me thinks we doth dwell too much. The hour hath come to get ourselves to thee carriage.” James Shakespearian-izes the fleeting nature of the moment, lightening the mood from the grip of the South’s mostly forgettable history.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode # 129


page 118

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #127

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #127

…The young bag-toters have been instructed to be especially kind to people from all nations, even the old Confederacy and do so happily…

Confederate Flag Art

By the time the balance of adults catch up to Alfrey, the marquee of the Hotel Niagara 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.

There are bellboys aplenty to unload belongings and take them to rooms, which will be the entire eighth and top floor of the granite building; seven deluxe rooms reserved for these people of the South. The young bag-toters have been instructed to be especially kind to people from all nations, even the old Confederacy and do so happily.

  The same cannot be said for the desk clerk. There is a solid possibility this older red-haired man had either lost loved ones in the war or some such scarring that has yet to heel. Actually, a truth that will never be made available to the offendees, the desk blocks their view of a wooden leg, gained at Gettysburg. It has had forty years to shrink from dry rot. In true fact, it is his attitudes that have failed the test of time.

“I cannot seem to find your names here. I will be glad to telephone the other hotels to see if they have room….for how many? 12?” He disdainfully counts disbelieving heads. “It will be hard find rooms with the Exposition and all. Some of the nicer hotels do not accept darkies.”

“You know, the more I hear you speak, the less I am impressed.” Newspaperman Harv Pearson, the most aggressive personality of the group takes control, better equipped to handle ignorance than the rest. “You best check your register again and when you find the names in our party, you best check your personnel department to see if you have a job tomorrow.”

The man is momentarily disarmed, but regains his lone foot quickly, replying with thick Irish brogue. “I don’t know who you are, frankly I don’t care. You rebels aren’t welcome here!”

The growing commotion attracts the attention of the Niagara’s manager. “What seems to be the problem, folks? We do not want any trouble.”

“Your man here does not know his job. He cannot find our reservations.” The hair on the back of Pearson’s neck is bristled.

The clerk takes the manager aside to plead his case in private. After he is satisfied, the manager answers, “I do not know who made the booking, but we require a cash deposit. We have received no such monies.”

The publisher of the Quincy Reporter is stymied. Herbert Love, with his typically calm demeanor, steps in to ask, “If President McKinley were to reserve rooms, would you ask him for a deposit?”

“Preposterous! We do not have time for this nonsense.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Confederacy

Henry Kidd

Episode #127


page 116

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 (McKinley) 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 Statlers Hotel, 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 Big City-001doubly 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.

“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 Hotel Niagara 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 (along with the White House) 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

1901 America

Episode #126


page 116