THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

…I knew Crip would come after us…

“This is the ship we named NEWFOUNDLANDER, they call it Explorer here. Your mother and I stumbled on it, buried in 40 centuries of Martian dust and it came from these people,” Sampson points out.

“”Without it,” Celeste adds, “I hope you realize that we may not have lasted long enough to greet the New Mayflower.”

“And we had to step over Cerella’s dead ancestors to get in….”

“Sampson McKinney!” Celeste warns. Cerella is amused at their interaction.

“Sorry Queenie,” he continues, “but once we got in and found out life support was still operating, we had it made in the shade; air, water, food {well their version of it}, everything we needed to wait out the rescue mission. I knew Crip would come after us.

“Do you know what happened to Colony?” Deke wonders why the issue had not been broached.

“Frankly it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“A Korean killer satellite.”

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Whether mischief-maker or meteor, no differences Deker, but it definitely was an ‘oh-shit’ moment!”

“We just had one of those, Dad,” Gus recounts.

“I bet you did Gussy, I bet you did! Hey, let’s take you on a tour of Explorer, our home away from home for the first 5 years of Sister Sammy’s life; a month or so on Mars and the rest on our way here.”

Fingering the perpendicular/parallel lines, just as she had done on Mars twenty-two years ago, Celeste ushers the group in. It looked lived in. The signs that she, Sampson, and Deimostra had indeed spent considerable time here were all over, including Sammy’s (Deimostra) first attempts at art.

Space art

2nd Grade Painting, Aylana Wray, The Classical Academy – Central, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

For a while, when they were allowed, the guys are preoccupied by the mechanics of curiosity; looking at every instrument and device and discussing possible theoretical function, among themselves like kids in a candy store. Sampson has the expertise to correctively intervene, dispelling excusably errant notions from these SOL newbies.

As they tour the more boring lower sections of the Eridanus Explorer {NEWFOUNDLANDER}, Deimostra takes her turn as tour guide, “This is the room I was born in.”



Episode 257

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #216

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #216

Movie Clapboard-001

One Room Schoolhouse by Norman Rockwell

“That is almost more than I can bear!” exclaims Miss Maxwell, sitting down on a bench and stabbing the grass with the tip of her closed parasol. “It seems to me Rebecca never has any respite. I had so many plans for her this next month, in fitting her for her position, and now she will settle down to housework again, and to nursing of that poor, sick, cross old aunt.”

 “If it had not been for the cross old aunt, Rebecca would still have been at Sunnybrook; and from the standpoint of education advantages, or indeed advantages of any sort, she might well have been in the backwoods,” returns Adam.

  “That is true; I was vexed when I spoke, for I thought an easier and happier day was dawning for my prodigy and pearl.”

  “Our prodigy and pearl,” corrects Adam.

  “Oh, yes!” she laughed. “I always forget that it pleases you to pretend you discovered Rebecca.”

  “I believe though those happier days are dawning for her,” continues Adam. “It must be a secret for the present, but Mr. Randall’s farm will be bought by the railroad. We must have right of way through the land, and the station will be built on her property. She will receive six thousand dollars, which, though not a fortune, will yield her three or four hundred dollars a year.

 “There is a mortgage on the land; that paid, and Rebecca self-supporting, the mother ought to push the education of the oldest boy, who is a fine, ambitious fellow. He should be taken away from farm work and settled at his studies.”

 “We might form ourselves into a Randall Protection Agency… Limited,” muses Miss Maxwell. I confess I want Rebecca to have a career.”

 “I don’t,” Adam says promptly.

 “Of course you don’t. Men have no interest in the careers of women! But I know Rebecca better than you.”

 “You understand her mind better, but not necessarily her heart. You are considering her for the moment as prodigy; I am thinking of her more as pearl.”

“Well,” sighs Emily Maxwell whimsically, “prodigy or pearl, the Randall Protective Agency may pull Rebecca in opposite directions, but nevertheless she will follow her saint.”

“That will be fine by me,” says Adam apprehensively.

“Particularly if the “saint” beckons your way.”

 Judith/Miss Maxwell concludes the scene with a provoking smile.

Image result for standing ovation gif

  “Bravo! What a scene!” Mary cannot contain herself.

Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #216

page 203

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #55

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #55

…Father and I have petitioned the courts of both Gadsden and Leon County to allow Abigail to be a permanent part of our family…

And Abigail makes three Ferrell kids

Martha Ferrell has taken this family aspect to the next level. She chooses this warm and fuzzy outing as an opportunity to spring some exciting news on all but her husband. “Children, I want to sit down on this bench,” pointing to the one outside Simpson’s Drug Store.

Abigail sits dutifully on one end, with Agnes charging to the spot next to her, leaving James for the other end and none too pleased. He rarely strays too far from Abbey’s side. His sister manages to do what Mother has not been able to do; separate the two young and taken hearts.

Abbey, as is her nature, creates a compromise. She unseats herself, scooting Nessie to one side, while placing her in the middle. Done.

James’ version

“Thank you children… Abigail. It is important we be civil. We have some wonderful news for us all.”

The Ferrell “children” are thinking along the lines of the family gift; maybe a new wardrobe for Agnes or a champion thoroughbred to James’ liking. Neither is the case.

Father and I have petitioned the courts of both Gadsden and Leon County to allow Abigail to be a permanent part of our family. Abigail Smythwick Ferrell. How does that sound?”

Well you could have knocked James over with a hummingbird’s feather. He has pictured (in a young man’s fancy) Abbey owning the Ferrell name by marrying her into the family, certainly not as a step-sister.

Agnes is overjoyed. The big sister she always wanted; sharing beauty tips and boy secrets and clothes… well maybe not clothes. That would require a full-time seamstress.


Abbey’s version

Abigail’s emotions fall somewhere in-between. She too has had private aspirations on being a Ferrell, again as a wife, not an adopted sibling. Womanly dreams aside, her feelings of group membership are unmistakable. She has also seen enough of Southern relations to hold hope that certain moral stigmas can be conveniently negotiable. “I would be rightly proud to consider myself a Ferrell.”

At closer examination, without a blood relative on the North American continent and few inherited friends of her father, her choices are none. Plus, she is near enough to Sumter South to have a hand in its future; quite a land holding for one so young.

“Consider it done,” assures matriarch of the family, whose involvement in Campbell matter has turned out to be a life changing experience.

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #55

page 51

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #4

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #4

… gone are the carefree days in Tallahassee…

Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is by no way or definition, an imposing man. Accounting for 66 inches of vertical space, balding to a tee, of mixed race to the visual exclusion of all the others, other than Negro, he is warmed by God’s spirit and in no form or manner a threat to anyone except himself. And yet, here he is in prison at Starke, Florida, closer to Gainesville than Tallahassee; seemingly nearer to hell than the Lord of grace.

  If this diminutive groundbreaker could see beyond the bars of incarceration, the world of 1958, one that is lesser for his absence, is a tranquil void, in an otherwise mischievous globe. Rampant unemployment fuels postwar inflation. Nikita Kruschev and Charles de join Dwight Eisenhower, generals all, are world leaders. The Cold War is on.

The United States first satellite orbits the earth, high above the tensions of state or of race, perhaps to relay news of school integration in Little Rock, Arkansas; good news for those in the minority, but not as bad as it should be for those who hide behind white-hooded garments, disguising any real trace of humanity.

Of greater relevance, gone are the carefree days in Tallahassee. On a slow summer’s day, devoid of virus and trauma, a chauffeur driven Cadillac sedan could be taking the Campbell family ensemble to watch tennis lessons, given to the youngest daughter, Zillah, who is preceded by Laura Bell and Alpha (Omega). They too have been tutored by Florida A&M’s coach in a sport not known to many Negroes.

Even more radical perhaps, are the cook and the gardener and the maids, in a grand house that is and was the envy of most folks in the Florida panhandle. It is that very jealousy, of means and possession that have precipitated the doctor’s downfall.

The fact that his dark skin has the hidden hue of a blue blood, will bar his efforts to be with his family this year.

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #4

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Defining Christmas – Mans’ Hand on Christ’s Birth

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Top 10 People Who Helped Define Modern Christmas

The modern celebration of Christmas is just kind of accepted as universal truth. However, everything that we consider to be a cliché is actually an evolution of images, which required hard work by actual people to help break into the mainstream. Some of those names are famous, and some are seeming footnotes in history. Through this list, we will try and recognize some of those who helped shape the modern mythology of Christmas.

10. Norman Rockwell


Figures such as Santa Claus definitely have more than one interpretation. They also tend to evolve. Generally though, whenever Norman Rockwell put an illustration on the Saturday Evening Post, it quickly became definitive. Rockwell’s Santa would start appearing on covers of the Post in the 1920′s. This is important in that Rockwell’s paintings would go on to influence even more influential representations of Claus later in the century. Their widespread use would even go on to serve as an inspiration for Coca-Cola’s 1930′s Christmas campaign, which many (falsely) consider to be the birth of the modern Santa Claus.

9. Tadahito Mochinaga


Tadahito Mochinaga was a pioneering stop motion animator, who worked in both China and Japan. However, it is his work with the company headed by Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass which earns him a spot on this list. The actual animation for the Rankin/Bass specials of the 1960′s was farmed out to Asian studios. This would mean that, when you watch the distinctive look and animation for Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, the look and animations were actually done by Mochinga. In that way, Mochinga influenced many of the other Rankin/Bass Christmas specials to come. His works also continue to influence how we see Christmas to this day.

8. Francis Pharcellus Church


When 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote to the New York Sun in 1897, asking if there was a Santa Claus, Francis Church had an iconic response at the ready. His famous answer of, “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” originally published on September 21, has gone on to become the most re-printed editorial of all time. While he doesn’t come out and say whether Santa is a physical being or not, he still challenges the reader (and Virginia) to imagine a world without Santa, fairies, or basically goodness and imagination at all.

“Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” has also provided a way for parents to answer a child’s delicate question with hope. It has also become a catchphrase, especially during the holiday season. It is hard to believe, but rather appropriate, that initially Church never signed his name to it. It wasn’t about him, after all. It was about something much bigger.

7. Theodore Geisel


Quick trivia question: what was the highest-grossing domestic movie of 2000?  That would be Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole ChristmasThough many likely look back with regret on their decision to give Jim Carrey their money for that thing, it’s proof positive that the Grinch name carries a megaton of weight.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas was originally released as a book by Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel in 1957. Subsequently, generations would grow up on the animated special directed by Chuck Jones narrated by Frankenstein’s Boris Karloff. Ostensibly, Grinch is a rallying cry against the crass commercialization of Christmas. However, Grinch goes a little deeper into the psyche of what has become a universal holiday. While Grinch is certainly against commercialization, Grinch also does not seem to endorse any specific religious interpretation of the holiday. Rather, Grinch argues that Christmas has managed to develop a spirit all its own, which crosses all barriers and beliefs. In that, Christmas is allowed to bring out the best of humanity, regardless of our origins or beliefs.

6. Robert L. May


Robert L. May was working as a copywriter for the department store Montgomery Ward in the late 1930′s, when he received a curious assignment from his bosses. Montgomery Ward wanted to hand out a picture book at Christmas time in their stores, and it was May’s job to write one. May’s daughter, Barbara, was entranced by the deer at a Chicago Zoo, and her love of the creatures inspired Robert to write about a previously-unknown puller of Santa’s sleigh.

 After several revisions, and drawing from the experiences of his own childhood, May produced the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1939. it was a massive success, in large part due to Mat’s decision to illustrate Rudolph in the book. Rudolph would also go on to be immortalized in song, television, and film.

5. Haddon Sundblom


Haddon Sunblom was a noted illustrator throughout his life, who would even go on to do some risque material for PlayboyHowever, in the 1930’s, Sundblom was commissioned by the Coca-Cola company to draw Santa Claus for a campaign. The Coca-Cola Santa Claus would go on to become a definitive representation of Santa Claus for generations world-wide. The charm of Sundblom’s Santa is that he would use actual models to establish the grandfatherly appeal of the Coca-Cola Santa. Sundblom based his Santa initially on a friend of his named Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. Sundblom would later base Santa on himself. While Sundblom was not the first illustrator to do the Coca Cola Santa, his is considered the most definitive.

4. Gene Autry


Most artists would probably consider themselves lucky to have one song associated with them decades after it has been recorded. Gene Autry (the singing, acting, baseball team-owning cowboy) has two of the great seminal hits in the history of Christmas songs. Autry sang both Here Comes Santa Claus and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Autry is also the voice behind the classic recording of Frosty The SnowmanIf you add in Peter Cottontail, then Autry is nothing less than the classic singing voice of every holiday occasion. The only way he could have been any more awesome, would have been to fight robots and aliens in his films, all while dressed as a singing cowboy of course.

3. Charles Dickens


Everyone knows the classic Charles Dickens tale A Christmas CarolThe story of Ebenezer Scrooge has been told and retold through every major media form that we have several times over. The one thing we often don’t think about is how Christmas was celebrated before A Christmas CarolBefore Dickens’s work, Christmas was a community celebration. After Dickens, it was much more of a family and personal celebration.

Also, Dickens’s 1843 novel describes a white Christmas, which was supposed to demonstrate the bleakness of everybody’s lives thanks to Scrooge and his scrooginess. As a matter of fact, eastern England is very rarely subject to such conditions in December. Nevertheless, a more optimistic, idealized interpretation of snow on Christmas prevailed, and dreaming of a White Christmas is a thing to this very day. This is all thanks to Dickens, even though he didn’t mean it that way.

2. Thomas Nast


Thomas Nast was a political and cultural cartoonist in the 19th century. In addition to satirizing New York City politicians, Nast also gave us our earliest depictions of what Santa Claus should look like. Nast depicted Santa bandying about on rooftops (an idea which was first shared with Americans by Washington Irving,) and gave us the classic idea of how Santa should be dressed. To this day, the very idea of Christmas seems to recall 19th century Americana, as well as Victorian England. This is largely due to the influence of Nast. Later illustrators simply put Nast’s cartoons in a modern setting.

1. Clement Clarke Moore


Clement Clark Moore was a professor of Divinity and Literature at an New York Episcopal college when, in 1822, he sat down to write a Christmas poem for his family. Moore never intended for the poem (originally titled A Visit From St. Nicolas) to even be published. It was only at his family’s begging and insistence that Visit was published a year later. Under its revised title, The Night Before Christmas, the poem became an immediate smash success, one that’s still succeeding close to 200 years later.

The story of a man catching Santa Claus late at night is so well-known, that many do not realize its groundbreaking nature. Moore, in one little poem, all but invented Christmas mythology. He named the reindeer, was the first to call St. Nicolas an “elf,” cemented the idea of Santa going from rooftop to rooftop, and codified most every concept about Santa entering your home to leave gifts. Outside of milk and cookies, there is virtually nothing about the legend of Santa that was not influenced by this poem. There’s a good chance at least some of these ideas were already popular circulation, but the fact that Moore took the time to write them down means he is the reason we’re all celebrating Christmas today.

Mans’ Hands on Christ’s Birth