Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #82

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #82

…This is Mayor Herbert Davis Love of Quincy, Florida for President William McKinley…

“The Mayor is above gossip!” Herbert L. declares, while lifting the receiver off his well-hung wall-hung Bell invention.

As he cranks the handle on the side, a light lights on the Quincy switchboard. Millie’s job is to know whom each light belongs. “Where can I direct your call, Mr. Mayor?” she asks dutifully.

“I have a long distance call to DC 7-1900, if you please.”

“Why, that number would get you Washington. The letters D and C tell me that.” She can hardly contain her curiosity.

“I am aware where I am calling, Millie, please connect me.” He is attempting to stifle further inquisitory participation.

White House Switchboard

She does so, in spite of her nosy-type leanings. It solicits this response: “This is the Executive Mansion. Who is calling and what the nature of your business is.” Millie nearly topples from her chair.

This is Mayor Herbert Davis Love of Quincy, Florida for President William McKinley. He is expecting my call.”

“Incoming operator, please vacate your connection.” Millie is foiled by electronics superior to hers. “Yes, Mr. Love, you are on the list of incoming callers. The President is attending the First Lady with afternoon tea in the Green Room.”

Green Room

Ida McKinley

Herb knows, as do most interested Americans, that Ida McKinley has been an invalid, ever since her four month old daughter and mother died in the same year. The death of their older daughter in 1876, three years later pushes her over the edge. The President’s devotion to her is legendary. “I do not wish to disturb him. Perhaps you can ring me at a more convenient time,” Herbert Love insists.

Without a word from the mansion operator, a strong male voice comes on the line. “Thank you for your prompt reply, Mr. Love. May I presume that this fine day finds you well and that you will rescue me from the vexing problem I am facing?”

Direct and to the point. Love presumes that presidents do not deal much in small talk; pressing matters must fill in any cracks of his day. The Boer War in South Africa, as well as the Boxer Rebellion in China, which has seen numerous United States citizens murdered in a purging of foreigners, must certainly consume his days and nights. Adding to that, the care of his treasured wife and one wonders when this man has to take a breath.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #82


page 75

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

…”The telephone is a wonderful invention, but I fear that our operator will spread our affairs about faster than you can say—busybody”…

Quincy Telephone-001

It is not every day you get a letter from the President of the United States of America.

Wife Phoebe is right there, reading aloud, matching Herbert word for word. Meeting at the end, she asks, “Well, what do you think of that, Mr. Love?”

He does not answer her immediately, awash in colliding thoughts. When he has composed himself, he explores, “Please tell me that taking this post would not turn our world upside down? What lies beyond the horizon? We have such a comfortable life; I would hate to give it up.”

“God has the plan for our lives, Herb, you know that. We are but a wink in His eternal eye and only become aware of that plan in bits and pieces. Sometimes, He will wait until the last moment to open a door previously unseen through our myopic perspectives.

Love's-001    “Perhaps we should view this as divine guidance. How else would the government of the United States take notice of our Panhandle doings?” Phoebe Love has always been the best sounding board any man can have. She abides now, by grace through faith. She trusts in the Master’s plan, the common behavioral trait of those who believe.

“You are quite a woman, Mrs. Love. You should have been a First Lady, not just a mayor’s wife,” he proclaims with a pinch of humility.

“It’s never too late for the young, Mr. Love. Perhaps a position in Washington will leave you with a taste for greater ambition.” Whimsical as it seems, she has admired first ladies like the current, Ida Saxton McKinley, from afar. Modesty forever squelches those lofty notions. “I believe you should call the President this very minute. Do not allow a lapse in time to interfere with this great adventure… the number is on the very bottom of the telegram.”

Operator

“Millie”

The telephone is a wonderful invention, but I fear that our operator will spread our affairs about faster than you can say—busybody.

“Be kind now, Herb. Millie has a good heart; she merely lacks the art of secrecy.”

“You are too kind, dear. I will simply tell her that if I hear the word Washington from anyone, anywhere, before we make an announcement, I will tell everyone who will listen that she actually pilfered her “famous” fried chicken batter recipe from my mother, yet she lays claim to it as hers, even serving as Sunday dinner for our poor unsuspecting new pastor. He is likely going to be her next victim.”

“You will do no such thing, Herbert Love. Methinks you are the real gossip of the town, not she!”

“The Mayor is above gossip!” he declares, while lifting the receiver off his wall-hung Bell invention.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #81


page 74