Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #283

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 Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #283

Chapter Sixteen

INHOSPITABLE

…What George Washington Carver had done for southern agriculture, so do these men push the boundaries of blacks in medicine…

Dr. George Washington Carver by William H. Johnson

Dr. George Washington Carver by William H. Johnson

“This quite a buildin’, you have here, A.O.” Doctor Henry Palmer has known Campbell for about 25 years, going all the way back to the days when Florida A&M had a small stable of promising young black doctors. It was a groundbreaking time, one where for perhaps the first time, blacks are encouraged to expand into uncharted territories.

Henry, A.O., Clifton Moor, J. Kenty Johnson and several others help put Tallahassee Florida on the medical map with their work at the beginning of the influenza outbreak in 1918. It is an impressive My Project 18-001target for other disadvantaged youths to shoot at. What George Washington Carver had done for southern agriculture, so do these men push the boundaries of blacks in medicine.

A.O. Campbell is hoping to make Laura Bell Memorial Hospital into a regional medical center for minorities.

They really did want to help their friend and colleague. They would not have shown up for this tour if they had anything other than honest intentions. But there is the matter of research grants. Most of these men have progressed past the point of family practice, not that they think there is anything wrong with hands-on doctoring.

My Project 19-001And then again there is the matter of the research grants and we are not talking small change here. LBMH does not have a ten million-dollar laboratory. It is shiny and functional, but that will not help in finding the cure for hepatitis or cancer.

And then there is the matter of the people who provide the research grants. Most of them are of the opinion that it is more rewarding to save thousands of lives at a time, rather than three or four appointments in an hour.

Deep down, they really did believe in Alpha Campbell’s vision of treating people, regardless of race, age, or finances.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #283


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #274

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #274

…Campbell hopes to have any of his colleagues from Florida A & M Hospital, who would like to practice out of LBMH, do so…

Loving Hold

Loving Hold by Marla Oliphant

“You haven’t stopped movin’ since you got back from Mayo,” complains Maggie Campbell. He continues Vertical-001Vertical-001his flitting around, having done it for the entire year leading up to the completion of LBMH. This time, an equally busy man covered with powdery white dust, gets his attention.

“The second floor won’t be finished for another week, Doctor Campbell,” reports the general contractor for the Laura Bell Memorial Hospital.

  “We’re goin’ to have a reception this Friday, whether you’re finished or not. I would appreciate you makin’ sure there ain’t a mess on the first floor. I expect maybe fifty people or more and I will need the room.”

“Don’t you worry bout a thing, Doc; I’ll make sure the guys clean up good. Heck we won’t be doin’ anything on Friday anyway, mostly waiting on those special doors you need.”

“As long as there is a front door, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital will be open for business on Saturday. My Project 18-001In fact, I’m having a group of doctors over this afternoon for a tour.” Campbell hopes to have any of his colleagues from Florida A & M Hospital, who would like to practice out of LBMH, do so. There is such a great need for health care in the back streets of Frenchtown, no one doctor should shoulder the load, let alone the expense, of treating the less fortunate. It is his noble cause, but he also hopes that the other black physicians will eagerly take up the call. “Maggie, would you drop in our nurses, make sure they will be at the reception. Have you seen the trucking company yet? Those stainless steel examinin’ tables should have come in from Pittsburgh already.”

BOOK PIC NURSES 001

A.O & his Nursing Staff

“Alpha Campbell, you’re actin’ like a mother hen, I swear. You know Lilly Chevis is my best friend and head nurse. I think she has the girls ready. Let the good Lord take care of the details and you take care of those doctor friends of yours. I had Cook make two big pitchers of lemonade, oh and some of those finger sandwiches you like so much.”

“Oh, Maggie, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” True enough. Without her inheritance from John Ferrell, thirty or so years ago, there is no huge house, no chauffeur driven Cadillac, no servants, no parties at the country club; just the prestige of being a respected physician. And the hospital? Forget about it. They would be living on love and not much more, which is not so bad, because that is just what they actually share. It just so happens they get a new car every year, has four people on their household staff and they have their very own hospital right across their driveway.

“Let’s get this thing going, Alpha.” She spreads her arms out to encompass the entire whiteness of LBMH. “Maybe you will be able to deliver our first grandchild here. Laura tells me that she and Franklin are tryin, to have a baby.”

“That would be somethin’ Maggie!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

"God is Like a Mother Hen" Mosaic from the church of Dominus Flevit - Jerusalem

“God is Like a Mother Hen” Mosaic from the church of Dominus Flevit – Jerusalem

Episode #274


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #270

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #270

I have invited every black doctor in Tallahassee to use the hospital and we will be able to treat folks, even if they don’t have no money to pay…

My Project 18-001

“Yep. I believe my doctorin’ began with my carin’ for a bird with a busted wing.” And now he is on the brink of having his Laura Bell Memorial Hospital become a reality. He can only have fond memories for the days he spent around Herbert Love, without whose love, guidance and support his very own health care facility would have remained a dream. Chances are that instead of being a doctor he would be working for the new owners of Love Dairy & Ice, taking up his father’s craft of cigar making; Honorable work, but paling in comparison to the life he Love's-001has been blessed with. Now, it is the Herbert & Phoebe Love Foundation that helps LBMH become a reality.

“You will be able to save a lot of birds with a 24-bed clinic, Doc.” Lawyer James proclaims.

“Hospital!”

“Excuse my ignorance.”

I have invited every black doctor in Tallahassee to use the hospital. We will be able to treat folks, even if they don’t have no money to pay. No one should go on sick just because they can’t afford a doctor.”

“I admire your benevolence, but you must keep in mind that you will be spending one-half of that $300,000 of your own money. And the bank will expect to be repaid for what they have lent you. And old man Lewis is not known for forgiving any amount of money owed him.”

  “I’ll be a chargin’ folks James, believe me, but only ones who have it.” A.O. is quite aware of his finances, especially as it applies to his wife. Even with the girls out the door and married, Maggie Lou continues to find ways to spend… and spend and spend some more. “But I haveta give up my day job, though I told at A&M that I can fill in a pinch.”

  “Don’t get me wrong, Doc, it’s just that I am not the type person to lay out that amount for a building. You’re exposing yourself, man! You could be cruising on to retirement, instead, your retirement money is going into that polly-annahospital. Couldn’t you work out of your house first?”

  “Can’t treat whites out my house. I’m hopin’ they will let me set up some white beds.”

“Good luck with that.” There is a sarcastic tone to his voice. He continues to be amazed at A.O. Campbell’s Pollyanna views on race relations. He has the unique ability to block out persistent injustices, choosing to focus on ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe somedays’. Maybe he is on to something, after all. “You know, Alpha, I hear they are looking for an ambassador to represent the US at the United Nations. You would be perfect for the job.”

 “Shucks, James, I’m just another country doctor, not a ‘bassador.”

“He is a country doctor, with the foundation of his own hospital being dug as we speak.” James will never cease to be amazed at the world of Alpha Omega Campbell. Nothing about him is just plain ordinary, yet nearly child-like in his simplicity.

“Speakin’ of today, I got to get packed for the Mayo Clinic.” Every couple of years, A.O. heads north to keep current in his medicine.

“There you go, Alpha. Clinic is good enough for the Mayos.”

“They have clinics in Minnesota, we have hospitals in Florida.”

How can you argue with that?


Alpha Omega M.D.

Pollyanna book cover by Tamzyn Leigh

Pollyanna book cover by Tamzyn Leigh

Episode #270


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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

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 143

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 143

MeanwhileFanny is in Tallahassee

 … the check is made out to The Consolidated Association of Surgical Hospitals, I leave off the “the”…

What can you tell me about old man Lewis,” Fanny Renwick has examined the finances of the married couple in question and is narrowing down the irregularities. She is speaking with someone who should know plenty about the banker. Not only does Lewis own the mortgage to LBMH, but Alpha Campbell suspects that his wife may have had a tryst with him. Had he not had an affair of his own, it would have been more of an issue.

Worth Moore and Agatha Ambrose are also in the reception area of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, with Fanny as they investigate the financial shenanigans of their client’s husband lewis state bankAngus. Moving money, for the sake of hiding it, does not make for marital harmony and George Lewis of Lewis State Bank may be in cahoots with the Scot.

“Well ya know, he is friends with Maggie Lou,” states the doctor, “and even gave us the money for this place three years ago, $300,000 dollars.”

“That’s about how much is missing from your joint savings account,” Fanny concludes while Agatha reacts to the sizeable sum. “Where do you send your mortgage payment to Doc?”

Fanny is on to something, suspecting that missing assets were being laundered, away from prying eyes.

“It’s to one of those newfangled post office boxes they have, no street address. Heck, I could be sendin’ our money to a total stranger.

“Here, I have the number: P.O. Box 13 Tallahassee Florida USA. I tried to give it to the bank directly, but Lewis said my $289 dollars should paid by check to that there box.”

“And made out to whom?” Moore hesitates to guess.

“The Consolidated Association of Surgical Hospitals… I leave off the “the”.”

C-A-S-H is the acronym. That is not funny!” The doctor is 62 years old, but Fanny does not suspect senility. She knows what it’s like to have blind faith; trusting, innocent and the opposite of wary. “I think we should find out who rents that post office box.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 124

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 129

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 129

 …Fanny finishes her fortuitous forensic foray in Florida…

The object of Eddie Dombroski’s admiration has zoomed through her investigation with amazing speed and skill. Fanny Renwick has delivered critical damning evidence that Dr. Sapp in Havana Florida routinely shuffles potential abortion candidates over to Alpha Omega Campbell. The Tallahassee doctor needs to be rescued from his own self, particularly when it comes to the extra cash generated by illegal abortions. Yes he has a mortgage for his own clinic, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, but even more burdensome is his wife; used to having the best… of everything.

R. Worth Moore is delighted to have the ammunition to shoot a bad doc out of the water. With Fanny as his birddog, he will now be able to exercise local control over his well-meaning client. A.O. always contended that if a girl has her mind set on aborting her baby, she is going to find someone to do it, or even worse try it herself. The immorality issue aside, this old country doctor believes that he can counsel the troubled (mostly) teens, all the time recommending inclusion of the father. It’s when the male counterpart is unknown, or in places unknown, that this argument is ineffective and moot.

The absolute kick in the pants is when another doctor has started a failed abortion method and the woman is hung out to dry, unable to assign blame; it is just as illegal to seek an abortion as it is to perform one. Again, a new doctor to the case has to see the pregnancy to its end, but at whose risk? Doc Campbell has taken that risk too many times, only to be bailed out by his firecracker attorney. But longtime barrister James Ferrell’s life is at the end of its fuse and that entire forensic fortress will crumble upon his eminent passing; no Ferrell, no luck.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR (1896-1959) (ISBN 978-1-4691-9018)

Alpha Omega M.D.    Episode Catalog here @ WIF


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon.


page 112

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 123

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 123

…Constance’s “friend” Fanny is back home in Tallahassee working on a case referred to CCPI by attorney  Moore…

“Dr. Sapp speaking,” the Havana Florida doctor awkwardly answers his own office phone. Staff nurses have not made the smooth transition to office secretary, so he does not force the issue.

“My name is Fanny Stanwick from Jacksonville and I have been referred to you by our family physician.”

“Always happy to help my fellow doctors, what is your situation?” Had he not just dealt with a Jacksonville teen not all that long ago? Must be a coincidence.

“It’s not me,” Fanny does not lie about that, but she is no more a mother than a bull moose. “My daughter Millicent has missed two cycles and we are afraid she may be with child.”

“How unfortunate; has she ever missed before?”

“Well she is only…….,” she makes up a number, “…. 14.”

“That is awfully young Mrs. Stanwick.”

“It is Miss Stanwick doctor.”

An unmarried mother has a pregnant teen; if that isn’t a recipe for disaster. If he had a dollar for every white girl that had come a beggin’ to end her pregnancy, he would be rich by now. But he is rich and he has gotten many a Caucasian parent off the embarrassment hook. But he is old and he is tired of risking his retirement doing something that the state of Florida has deemed a felony.

“I’m not accepting new patients, but I do have names of good doctors who do abortions, most of them are in South Carolina though,” he is trying not to overuse that Alpha Campbell over at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital in Tallahassee, but he sees a desperate mother’s big puppy eyes and relents. “There is a Doc Campbell; he is black, but very proficient in the field.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


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