Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #103

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #103

…John Ferrell’s  next visit uncovers three adults, one toddler and one Campbell, still in the company of potatoes, carrots and glass jars filled with a homemade assortment of preserves…

45f2e-knock-me-down-with-a-feather

I am going to check on Siegfried and Frieda, and finally ride on into town.” The plan is sound, the only way they will know what happened.

   “Do not forget Laura and the baby. Ask if they need anything from the store.”

  John is taken aback by his wife’s reference to Laura Bell’s child. He did not think she knew and now wonders what else she knows. There are more pressing matters, but it kind of makes him say, “Hmm…..”

Joseph had indeed stood fast with the livestock, saddling John’s jumpy mount in double rainbow-after-the-stormtime.

“Do your best to restore some order here, Joseph. I have a feeling we can number ourselves among the fortunate. And make sure you keep an eye out for looters. If a state of confusion reigns, those who think they are above the law may take advantage. You know where I keep the rifle. Make sure you clean it, using it only as a last resort. But we must protect what is ours.” There is a hint of anxiety in his voice, fearful what he may find in Tallahassee proper.

In the meantime, his visit next uncovers three adults, one toddler and one Campbell, still in the company of potatoes, carrots and glass jars filled with a homemade assortment of preserves. The cool damp shelter is meant to be a change from the tropical climate above, like the icebox above them in the kitchen. It makes for good sleeping weather, which they are, all snug in their blankets and in the absence of light, obviously oblivious to the new day.

Read About It

“Ziggy?” John whispers gently at the slumbering doctor. “Ziggy… don’t get up. The storm has passed, nothing serious to worry about, just downed trees and lots of rain.”

San Luis Lake has swelled up to the boards of the docks, whose boats have been deposited on this north shore. The waters of the lake are awash in grasses, leaves and branches.

“Vere did za storm come ashore?” Ziggy asks the critical question about any hurricane making landfall. And it was not just a tropical storm.

“I cannot be absolutely sure, but from where we are sitting, it looks like to the west, I guess I will find out, going in the town presently. Our telephone is on the blink.” It is amazing how easily a society can be spoiled. They have had the Bell invention for less than a year, yet it has become a sixth and seventh sense. “If you would, check on my girls… at the estate of course. I should be back late afternoon, can I get you anything?”

“Have you any veal? I am getting sick of rabbit stew.”

“Too much of a good thing my friend? I’ll see what we have in the cooler, if we have a cooler that is.”

 Disaster is about pulling together.


Alpha Omega M.D.

“After the Storm” by Tom Thomson

Episode #103


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #99

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #99

…So once again, as father Willy continues on to the city, with milk and ice and cigar, Alfrey is left right where he wants to be…

Endlichoffer Chalet-001

It is just another Friday and as far as Alfrey Campbell is concerned, 7 September does not come soon enough. He continues to live for his weekly day with Ziggy, Frieda and Maggie. Father Willy squelches his jealousy of the situation and the man that Alfrey holds in the highest esteem, speaking of him unceasingly.

Protege-001‘Ziggy taught me _______’ or ‘Ziggy says that _______.’, is all Willy seems to hear. It is Siegfried Endlichoffer who commands the young boy’s respect, not that he disrespects his father, rather the former of the two have connected on an intellectual plain, which may as well a mountain, one Willy cannot scale.

So once again, as father continues on to the city, with milk and ice and cigar, Alfrey is left right where he wants to be; his home away from home, refuge of inner peace and knowledge. “I’lla be back sooner tadee, Alfrey, so you be ready. I ain’t likin’ da looks of da sky. Ain’t been right fo a week.”

Maggie Lou-001   “This is the week you said I could stay until Sunday, remember? You promised. Doc Ziggy needs help fixin’ Maggie a room of her own.” The sprouting black child speaks of John Ferrell’s sequestered bundle of joy.

Willy shakes his head, bewildered. His son is not nearly so eager with his chores at home, excepting his amateur veterinary duties at the dairy.

“Ya best be home fo supper den. Ziggy has ta bring ya home. Caint waste a half day doin’ livery.”

“Yes sir, Daddy,” he yells back, pumping his short legs through the wrought iron gates.

“An tell Ziggy to watch the skies, fo storms, Isa mean.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Calm before Storm-001

Episode #99


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #96

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 96

…Thankfully, with due respect to the dear departed Mr. Finkle, there are still a score of guests waiting in line; Edna is prompted to shuffle off to food and drink…

Meanwhile

In the receiving line after James & Abigail’s wedding

“Are you going on a wedding holiday?” asks Edna Finkle, one of the Ferrell Groceries’ first Edna Finkle-001and most loyal customers, thus deemed longtime observer of the Ferrell family saga.

“Yes, Mrs. Finkle. We are taking the train to New Orleans. It sounds like an exciting city.”

“Oh my, yes, I should say. I remember when Mr. Finkle was alive; we spent a month there one week,” as opposed to when he was dead. “It is a spicy town though, filled with people that seem to defy the conventional.”

They are kind to the eighty-something woman, if for no other reason than she is a walking billboard for their stores; gladly singing the praises, all the while during her weekly four hour assembling of her week’s worth of goods.

“We will be staying at the Vieux Carre …………”

“The Olde Square, my yes. Mr. Finkle so loved the food in that part of town. I believe we left before the yellow fever outbreak, you know, back in 1878.” The well-meaning elderly woman is doing nothing to help the Crescent City’s unhealthy reputation, but youngsters have an air of invulnerability about them, tending to ignore danger, in exchange for adventure.

Thankfully, with due respect to the dear departed Mr. Finkle, there are still a score of guests waiting in line; she is prompted to shuffle off to food and drink. “I’ll take one of those, sonny.” She is handed a glass of champagne, grabbing a back-up, claiming, “I cannot stay long— close to my bedtime, you know.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode # 96


page 89

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #85

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #85

… The future couple, just exiting their teen years, seems to have aligned most of the cogs in the gear of life…

Harvard Law School

“It does matter how much you love her, James, you are a twenty year old pre-law student. You do not need the responsibility of a young wife. And what if you father a child? Will you drop out of Harvard to work on some dock by the sea? I would hate to see your dreams and aspiration blow away like so much dust.”

Sweetheart Tree-001      These are the concerns of John Ferrell, who has just been informed that his son intends to take a bride; the Smythwick girl they had adopted two years past. Despite the high degree of maturity that the intended couple displays, it is his voice alone that is the lone foil to their plans. Wife Martha has been drifting in and out of reality ever since her brother perished aboard the battleship Maine. And of course the ensuing brush with the sordid minutiae of an increasingly complicated family life does not help.

“Father, this should come as a surprise to you… you know how dear Abbey is to me and I cannot afford to enter another year of school without her company. The distraction of her absence has a detrimental affect on my studies, which is why I matriculate to Massachusetts in the first place.” James’ focus cannot be denied.

Abigail Smythwick“What will Abigail do in those years before you apply your craft?” John attempts to find cracks in this uncured foundation.

“I have been promised that my versatile wife is to be welcomed on the staff at the campus law library, which you know, will be of great help for me in the future. Mother has been kind enough to teach her library science. You met her in a library, right?” The question is rhetorical.

The future couple, just exiting their teen years, seems to have aligned the cogs in the gear of life. “Mother has given us her blessing.”

“I can see that my resistance is futile,” the elder Ferrell concludes, adding, “Have you told your sister?”

“No, but I plan to take Nessie for a ride over Ziggy and Frieda tonight. I will make the announcement then.”

John knows that Agnes will not take the news very well. He does not quite why, he just knows. He fears for his daughter, who has the deportment of a woman in her fortieth year, fully twenty-two years down the line.

“I wish you luck, son.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #85


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #69

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #69

…One by one, Siegfried pulls out an instrument of examination or healing, explaining purpose and use…

“Fine, fine blend I must say. Not expected from a cigar of this size.” John Ferrell is impressed.

“We are planning on boxing them in quantities of five. Here is the artist rendering of the picture on the box, wrapped in cellophane, of course,” Love foretells.

“Loyal Campbells… Mmmmmmmmm. I believe that handsome man standing next to that monster tobacco plant is you Willy?”

”Yessir, that be Mr. Love’s idee,” the soon to be somewhat famous caricature explains. He is attempting to keep Alfrey from fidgeting, suddenly bored after a long day.

“What is your name, son?”

 “Alfrey, sir.”

 “Well, Alfrey, why don’t you go into the house? I bet Ziggy has a treat for you… go ahead, don’t be bashful.”

The youngster ventures into the house. The adults talk business amidst a lingering cloud of aromatic smoke.

Ziggy is always prepared for visitors, especially children. wife Frieda provides him with a continually replenished stock of chocolate covered rum balls, an incredibly tasty treat and never turned down.

Ziggy’s handmade adult delight named, cherry bounce, is a jar of cherries aged in homemade brandy will be saved for later.

A handful of rum balls consumed, Alfrey discovers the doctor’s well-worn black bag, presenting it politely for possible exploration.

Protege-001

“Let us go to my office unt see vat ve can see.” He takes Alfrey by the shoulder, ushering him to an impressive room with walls of books, most of them labeled with letters unfamiliar to the lad who doesn’t read English yet, let alone German. They sit down on a black leather sofa, fully ten feet long. One by one, Siegfried (given name) pulls out an instrument of examination or healing, explaining purpose and use. A life-size skeleton, a scary presence for one who has never seen, serves as a visual aid in the detailed explanation.

“Put these into each ear… put za metal horn der.” Ziggy serves as a flesh and blood skeleton, providing a strong heartbeat for Alfrey to hear. “Is that not someting?”

Alfrey cannot speak, for his intense interest. If Ziggy is the water, the young Negro boy is a sponge.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Ziggy’s Office

Episode #69


page 64

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #66

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #66

…We’re almost at the Ferrells and alls we got left is couple bottles of milk, a block of ice and one lonely box of cigars…

Love Dairies-001

For those along the delivery route to Tally and back, they see what looks like lifelong business partners, pursuing the same goal. Together, the unlikely pair comprises one of the greatest natural hedges against prejudice that exists in the post-Civil War Florida, let alone the remaining rebel states.

Willy Campbell, for all his many travails, is younger than he may seem. The life of a slave is an arduous one, the hard work and sun taking a preemptive toll on his physical appearance. There is a 15 year difference in age of the two men, but you wouldn’t know it or even guess who is older, although he has never been more content. If nothing else, he feels younger.

 “Ain’t that sumpin’, Mr. Love? We’re almost at the Ferrells and alls we got left is couple bottles of milk, a block of ice and one lonely box of cigars,” Willy counts as their wagon rocks forth and back down the dusty road.

“Which is what we had to save back for samples,”Love Dairies2-001 Love reminds, thinking about all the potentiality of this trip. “Heck, if we had brought a gross of cigars and the milk from ten cows we could have sold them. In fact, I am going to make this a weekly trip. I hope we can figure out a back-haul.”

“Maybe Mr. Ferrell will have sumpin’ to take back with us,” Willy speculates.

“So right good fellow.” Herbert is so comfortable in the company of this responsible and reliable man. “Would you be willing to make this run every week? It would be a good way to end the week and we would be well stocked to meet possible increases in demand.”

    “Make sense to me, good way to see the country,” concludes a man who had seen precious little beside Fort Sumter South for much of his life.

“We are an hour late for our appointment, Willy,” Love worries. “I hope John Ferrell will not be put off.”

Their initial entrepreneurial venture to Tallahassee takes more time than they had guessed. Even though they started before the break of dawn, it is already 1:00 P.M. and they have but pre-winter daylight with which to operate; only six hours to make it back to Quincy.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Map-001

Episode #66


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode 65

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #65

… “Alfrey is a bright boy, Willy. He will do well at whatever he does.” Love means what he says. Unfortunately for Willy, cigar making may be setting his sight too low….

Young A.O.-001

“That is it, by golly! Picture this: Our five-pack cigars in a box with a window to view them and a picture of you standing proudly beside one of your seven foot tobacco plants. We will call them Loyal Campbells——get it? Royal Melbournes and Loyal Campbells!” Herbert Love can see it plain as day.

Loyal Campbells-001

Willy responds modestly, partly because he has never seen a picture of himself, only reflections on glass or other shiny objects. The artist rendition that Herbert Love has in mind will nearly immortalize Willy Campbell, the very essence of tobacco growers in America.

“I knows you will do right by me, sir,” he correctly trusts, “and can we take Alfrey with us when we call on the Ferrells? Ima tryin to light a fire under him, not much inerested in tobacco, caint figure out a direction.”

“He is a bright boy, Willy. He will do well at whatever he does.” Love means what he says. Unfortunately for Willy, cigar making may be setting his sight too low.

“Say, for tomorrow, let’s load half the wagon with ice and half with milk. No use wasting a trip.” Ever the consummate businessman, he figures that before they get to Hillside Estate, Love Dairies-001they will be stopped by folks wanting and needing what the wagon holds. With an eye to the future, as soon as Herbert can devise a better mode of transportation, he is toying with delivering house to house, not just store to store.

The next day, someone who flirts with the top of the world and his protégé, someone who has previously flirted with inconsequentiality, join forces for an exploratory mission of marketing and good will. Neither man is aware of all the possible ramifications of the trip, across rough roads and many stops along the way, leading to an end only God himself knows of the conclusion.

For those along the way, they see what looks like to lifelong partners, pursuing the same goal. Together, they comprise one of the greatest hedges against prejudice that exists in the post-Civil War Florida, let alone the remaining rebel states.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #65


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