Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #311

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #311

…”I can’t seem to let the flying saucer thing go.” Carolyn Hanes is fascinated with this new medium. “Writing for the movies is so fun. I can make, what I imagine in my head, materialize on the screen.”…

the-day-the-earth-001

“When did you write this and why didn’t I know about it?” A husband is asking his wife about something she chose not to share with him.

“The Clipper story is in the can and with you out flying, I get bored. With Constance on the shelf, I needed a challenge, something new. So, when Robert Wise approached me, I couldn’t turn him down. I wanted this to be a surprise.” Carolyn Hanes is pleading guilty for the crime of omission.

“Surprise? The Day the Earth Stood Still?” This is really far out.”

Science_Fiction

“What do you mean? My fiction can hardly keep up with our reality. I can’t seem to let the flying saucer thing go.” She is fascinated with this new medium. “Writing for the movies is so fun. I can make, what I imagine in my head, materialize on the screen.”Image result for hollywood

“I know our story of the Pacific Clipper wasn’t all that exciting for you, but I have to hand it to you Lyn, you really know how to make up for it. Hollywood? Wow!”

“I was hoping we could visit Sara in Atlanta before going out to the left coast. It’s opening night of the ballet festival and I promised to be in the front row, cheering her on.”

“Geez, Lyn, the ballet? I’d rather be sitting in a dentist chair. Isn’t my tuxedo at the cleaners? I hear my mother calling me. I was going to grease the muffler bearings tonight.”

 “Robert Ford!” That works every time.


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Episode #311


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 300

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #300

…“SARA!!! Oh, honey, where on earth have you been?” That worldly reference, perhaps contrasting where she may have been for the last seven days was a Freudian slip…

freudian-slip-001

It could have been that homemade rum, or consuming relief that they had made it across the Atlantic Ocean without tasting its salty water, but he didn’t remember why he awoke in this woman’s bed. What he did not know, is that Lyn was merely guessing. He says nothing.

Image result for go jump in the lake

Typography Digital Art – Go Jump In The Lake by Misty Dille

“Don’t worry, Captain Ford. When a person is making history, nobody should question what it takes to do it.”

He wasn’t expecting such a benign reaction. “You are hard to figure out Lyn… never ceasing to amaze me,” he states without hesitation. “Most women I know would tell me to jump in the lake, or in my case, jump from a plane without a parachute.”

“No parachute? That’s a little harsh Bob, but I will consider the lake.” She enjoys toying with his noble nature. It keeps him on his toes. “And you can take me out of the “amazing” category. I just happen to be a grand observer of mankind. There was no reason for you not to take comfort in the arms of a kind stranger. One never knows when the next day will be their last. I know what makes people tick.

  “That’s why I write, to share those observations in the form of characters, either creating new ones or using live subjects for a template, like you in real life or the fictional, Ace Bannion. I try to make them as real as possible and as you know, they aren’t always perfect.” She is dead serious. “So what do you say? Let’s give the Pacific Clipper its proper place in history!”

“If it were up to me and me alone, I would say why not. But there are the rest of the guys to consider. If I can get Rod and the others to chime in, with their side of the story, well then what the Pacific Clipper-001hell,” he knows that historical month-long flight needs to be told. It may as well be done right, by the people who lived it. “What a bunch they were. I can tell you things… well maybe not. We’ll have to leave some things out. These guys have to face their families.”

“More stories of passionate native women along the way, no doubt?”

“I’m not going to say anything else. We’ll let Brownie and the guys decide whether they stick their necks out or not. Come to think of it, none of the crew ever found out that Sara turned up alive. Maybe it is best if we end the story at the La Guardia harbor. Yeah, I have seen some of them here and there in the meantime, but we do not want to stir up any more controversy than we already have.”

“Great points! I like the way you think.” She gets fired up at the start of each new project. Once the commitment is made, it is usually full steam ahead… usually. “But, we aren’t going to start any project until we have Sara’s life straightened out.”

Another person has entered the room in time to hear her name. “Did I hear my name?”Image result for where have you been

“SARA!!! Oh, honey, where on earth have you been?” That worldly reference, perhaps contrasting where she may have been for the last seven days was a Freudian slip.

“What do you mean? I just stepped out for a few minutes, needed to walk off a sore calf. I stretched it a bit doing a double reverse pirouette.”

Deep down, Carolyn wants to inform Sara that: a minute in her world is seven days anywhere else. But the reference to dancing and the fact that she was still wearing leotards and slippers, what would be the use?


Alpha Omega M.D.

Art by Sera Knight

Art by Sera Knight

Episode #300


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #299

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #299

…“She was quite a dish, I hear. A bronze skinned beauty with fetching brown eyes that could consume a mere mortal man,” she says with a writer’s flair…

Beautiful Caribbean by Colin Garland

Beautiful Caribbean by Colin Garland

I know you and I never really talked about it… but we were lovers.”

There, she said it out loud.

Ford has had to deal with the notion before this moment; yet another slightly askew aspect to the last half of his life. “I figured as much, watching you two interacting on the Clipper and such.”

Lyn takes a step back. “No wonder that subject never came up. And to think I was terrified of what you would think, if you knew about us.” It wasn’t that Lyn never liked men. She and Sara just kind of happened. “Then why did you? … You asked me to the reception?! … Oh I get it divide and conquer! Get those girls apart and you would win my heart, was it?”

on-my-mind“Well, sort of. I really did need an escort you know and you do clean up real good,” even though he had his hands full at the time. “I was quite taken with you Lyn, I must say, but the heart thing was not foremost on my mind. And my 2nd officer, Rod, he wouldn’t stop talking about that Sara woman. Yes, we had been away from base for a while, but we were both unattached. No harm in trying.  It seemed like a natural fit for the evening and we didn’t have any expectations. Hell, we were staring 12,000 miles of  in the face… half the world away from New York and no charts to guide us.”

“I was just giving you a hard time Bob, you guys were perfect gentlemen.” More than that, she recalls she had a great time and liked the feeling of being on a man’s arm for a change. “You know, this is a great-great story, one that should be told. It would be a shame to let it slip into the cracks of history.” The gears in Lyn’s brain were grinding away. Constance Caraway could use some time off, The Hawaiian Spy-001surely having to do with that Ace Bannion guy, so, “Would you be open to collaborating with me…”

“Isn’t that what your book The Hawaiian Spy was about?”

“I meant collaborating on a book about you … and the flight of the Pacific Clipper. A story like that almost tells itself. And I can get it right from the horses’ mouth. I’m regret missing the last half of your odyssey.”

Ford inserts a pregnant pause in the previously running conversation. There is more to the story than she wants to know. He waits for the right time to let slip a gem, “But then you would find out about that girl in Port ‘O Spain.”

Lyn counters by subtly raising her eyebrows. She maintains a matter-of-fact facade. “She was quite a dish, I hear. A bronze skinned beauty with fetching brown eyes that could consume a mere mortal man,” she says with a writer’s flair.

Image result for writing with flair   How cool was that?

Now he is confused. He thought he coming of as ‘I was only kidding’, but there was that one night when they were refueling. It could have been that homemade rum, or consuming relief that they had made it across the Atlantic Ocean without tasting its salty water, but he didn’t remember why he awoke in this woman’s bed.

What he did not know, is that Lyn was merely guessing. He says nothing.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Writing with…

Episode #299


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #288

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #288

…The changes in Sara may be more obvious, but Lyn’s metamorphism manifests itself right where she lives and cannot be avoided…

Conspiracy in the Cactus-001“Some-one or some-thing did something to you during those six years and I intend to find out exactly what it was and how to correct it.”

“That’s swell, Lyn, but while you and Captain Ford do that, you and I are drifting apart. Sure, we’re friends, that’ll never change, but we used to be lovers, Lyn. I may not remember what I did yesterday, but I do recall sleeping in the same bed.”

Lyn knew that this subject would come up sooner or later, preferably the latter. Her feelings for Sara had changed, somewhere between 1941 and forever. What happens when you think a person is dead? There is the process of grieving, which is basically saying goodbye. Is goodbye a one-way switch?  Or was it the six-year separation that put out the fire? The changes in Sara may be more obvious, but Lyn’s metamorphism manifests itself right where she lives and cannot be avoided.

“I can’t put my finger on it, Sare, but neither of us is the same person. It’s like the Pacific Clipper changed our lives forever.”

Mercifully, the telephone rings. Ironically, the Clipper strikes again.

roswell debris “Lyn, meet me at the airport. I got a call from the owner of the ranch where the debris field is in Roswell. The government moved him to Texas, gave him ten thousand bloomin’ acres. No wonder we couldn’t find him. Can you believe it? He heard about us poking around town. I told you that leaving my business card at the barber shop would pay off.  This guy went back for a trim and bingo! He needs to talk to somebody who won’t treat him like a loony or a criminal like the military. He has his own landing strip!” Ford is so excited that Carolyn did not have the chance to say hello.

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number; this is Connie’s Bakery – head crumb speaking.” She has her usual fun with him.

          “Get moving, wiseacre. We have head wind at 5,000 feet.”

          “You really know how to treat a girl, Ford, but I’ll be there in an hour anyway.”

          “Sorry, Lyn, but this is so big. I’ll have her all warmed up and ready to go.”

          “I love your enthusiasm, Bob. See you there. Bye.”

She turns to tell Sara where she is going. The back screen door is swinging closed.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for old screen door

Episode #288


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #280

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #280

…Ford shrugs, Lyn is near tears, and before they can say boo, the word Clipper snaps Jane Doe out of her persistent daze…

Twiilight in a Daze by emedina13.deviantart.com

“Excuse my oversight, folks, but this case has me baffled. I used to think my name was Ben Wright, now I’m not sure.” He instructs the guards, “Tell the attendants to bring the patient.”

Female headshot-001One minute later a gaunt figure, with flat drab hair and an even more drab expression, flanked by two burly women/aides, come into the room. Bob Ford stares first at the mystery woman, then at Lyn for signs of recognition from either side. There is none. It appears he has dragged Carolyn Hanes across the arrow-downcountry for nothing.

“Do either of you recognize this woman? Could she have been a passenger aboard the Pacific Clipper, the one you reported missing?”

Ford shrugs, Lyn is near tears, and before they can say boo, the word Clipper snaps Jane Doe out of her persistent daze.“When are we leaving Captain Ford?” She says out of the blue. “Did you have a good time with that Lady, lady?” The second question is directed at Lyn, who walks up to the woman to take a closer look into her eyes. The essence of the woman she thought lost, has moved into her pupils and iris.

“Sara!” Lyn is moved, but can only move back to her seat, fearing the fragile figure in front of her.

“Did you take a picture of her when you found her?” Ford still is not convinced this is one and the same. Sara Fenwick would be 56 years old now. This woman is not.

Psychiatrist Wright opens his file, producing a photograph taken the morning after they found her standing like a statue, where she had no business being. The same blue dress, jacket cut low enough for a pretty good look at her ample breasts.

“Well, I’ll be damned, that’s her!” He points to the photo, but still cannot connect the two.

“Do you know how many morons stepped on my feet, Lyn? I felt like a rag doll, so I decided to go for a walk. Sorry I didn’t tell you where I went, but let’s go to bed. We have a big day in front of us.”

All in the room are stunned. It seems that Wright wasn’t wrong after all.

“There has been no stream of consciousness for the two weeks we’ve had her. It seems you have found the “on” switch.”

Omar the Tentmaker 1929 Thomas FRIEDENSEN

Omar the tent-maker
1929
Thomas FRIEDENSEN

“Get me out of these horrid clothes. Who designed them, Omar the Tent Maker?”

arrow-up “It is she, Doctor Wright! Only Sara would invoke the name of Omar. He’s not a tent maker, but being a seamstress and designer, she hates his designs, says they make women look thirty pounds heavier than they really are.”

“Who is Babe Ruth?” Sergeant Smith poses for further verification, albeit to trick German spies.

“A candy bar?” That is her answer.

“Ah ha! She’s not who she pretends to be.”

“This isn’t the war, Vince and what would a dressmaker know about baseball? Now let’s be serious.”

“I’m hungry, what’s for breakfast?”

“We haven’t been able to get her to eat solid food! Give her whatever she wants.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Dazed Dandelions by METAL WALL ART LLC

Episode #280


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #271

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #271

… A blank stare is the mystery woman’s default answer to most questions. She simply doesn’t remember… much…

 

Meanwhile Caption-001“This is 1947, Miss ______?” wonders United States Air Force Sergeant Vincent Smith of a woman who is sitting up in a hospital bed at the military facility near Alamogordo, NewHolloman AFB-001 Mexico. She was found standing on the main runway at Holloman Air Force Base, in the middle of a moonlit night two days ago. It is only the full moon that saves her from being run down by a jet airplane taxiing to a midnight takeoff. “Okay, let’s forget your name for now. What is the last thing you remember?”

 “Dancing.”

 “Dancing. That makes sense, considering the dress you were wearing when they found you. Can you tell me where you were dancing and perhaps how you managed to find your way onto the most highly guarded military base in the world?”

A blank stare is the mystery woman’s default the answer to most questions. She simply doesn’t remember… much. “Pearl Harbor – can’t go back, the Japanese…”

The man is puzzled why she always goes back to 1941. Maybe she was a prisoner of the Japanese? “That was six years ago,” he explains once again.

20140323psychiatry“No,” the woman insists, “we are leaving for Pakistan in the morning. I have to get back to the Clipper.”

The base psychiatrist, who has since come into the room, having dealt with this mysterious lady from the beginning, has been slowly putting some of the clues together. “I think she is talking about the Pacific Clipper, Vince, you know, the one Bob Ford flew for Pan American. When the bleeping Japs hit Pearl, he had to fly back to New York by the seat of his pants.”

“Yeah, I have a buddy who knows one of the mechanics from that plane, said they burned 76 octane half the time,” Smith recalls. “But that was still six years ago! This is beginning to creep me out. Keep an eye on her Ben; I’m going to give Pan American a buzz. Maybe they can help figure this out.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Melancholia-Dr Sarvenaz Keyhani

Melancholia by Dr Sarvenaz Keyhani

Episode #271


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #268

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #268

…After Captain Ford, his crew and remaining passengers, et al had left Karachi, their odyssey continued for another ten days…

Pacific Clipper Route      As for the Pacific Clipper, the first thing Captain Robert Ford did, once they had landed at LaGuardia Robert Ford-001harbor on January 5 1942, was to radio Colombo, Ceylon and the British Embassy there. He did call his family, knowing that Pan Am had done so in advance for him, but it is the fate of a woman he barely knew that haunts him, and as it turns out, will continue to haunt him for the rest of his life.

Pacific Clipper Take-off    After him, his crew and remaining passengers, et al had left Karachi, their odyssey Pan Am Clipper2continued for another ten days, across the Arabian Peninsula, the sands of the Sahara, the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to the tip of South America, then finally and mercifully, New York City.

Ford Map-001 The loss of one passenger will taint the joy of flying, for a flyer without parallel. Instead of retirement, he is granted two weeks leave and a reassignment to an Atlantic Clipper route. He will china_clipperdo so dutifully, if not unceremoniously.

In the two-week layover, he writes out a complete debriefing for his friend, Lyn, so she can fill in the blanks for her war mystery, The Hawaiian Spy. He promises a visit to Tallahassee on his summer vacation. Not an altogether disagreeable notion, even for her. Friendship is friendship, after all.

Pan Am ClipperPan Am Hat-001fords-flight-route1937 CC P.I.-001

As in the case of their country, they find: a lesson not learned  is the hardest lesson of all.

End of Chapter Fourteen


Author’s note:

What I enjoy most about writing Historical Fiction is being able to weave stories, like Robert Ford’s Pacific Clipper WWII ordeal, into the fabric of ***Alpha Omega M.D. – Granted he never actually had a passenger go missing from his Pan Am Clipper on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but what fun it was to include characters Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway) and Sara Fenwick (Fanny Renwick) in on one of the most amazing stories that no one knows about.

One sunny Sunday, while knee-deep in writing this book, I came upon a feature article in the Chicago Tribune’s Travel Section. Somewhere in my old-fashioned stack of research material is that article. At the time, I could not put it down, nor could I let it rest.

As it is with the construction of any book, one writes one-day-at-a-time and a once well-planned story takes a sudden turn. And so it did; from a story about a kindly Southern doctor – to a fictional fiction writer who takes a holiday aboard one of Pan American Airways flying boats, WWII breaks out, she loses her companion and blah, blah, blah etc…

I would like to thank the faithful readers of the Writing is Fun-damental (WIF) blog, for allowing me to share my book, along with this amazing story with you. – Gwen

*** THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR – ISBN 978-1-4691-9018 Xlibris Publishing

For the real story behind the Pacific Clipper, (Daley, Robert, 1980, An American Saga, Juan Trippe and His Pan Am Empire, Random House, New York)  follow the link below:

Captain Robert Ford’s Factual Pacific Clipper Story

Pacific Clipper-001



Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #268


page 249 (end ch. 14)