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


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #267

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #267

…Please give me some details about how things turned out. I had planned on being there, when you get to New York, you know, for my book and all…

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS by Mario Ortiz Martinez

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS by Mario Ortiz Martinez

Answers prove to be too slow in coming. As much as he regrets having to do so, it is time to ascend into yet more of the unknown.

“I am truly sorry, Miss Hanes, but we are leaving within the hour. May I assume you will be staying behind?” Ford has to keep the Clipper moving. He has two dozen other people he is responsible for and he cannot be sure of what lies ahead.

“I understand, Captain Ford. At least we have the British to look out for us.” She hangs her head in despair.

 “I know you’re worried to death and it may be small consolation, but until a body is found….”

“Okay, yes, thank you,” Lyn cares not to think about unaccounted bodies and such. “I pray that the rest of your journey goes well.” She scribbles an address and a telephone number on a scrap of paper. “Please give me some details about how things turned out. I had planned on being there with you in New York, you know, for my book and all.

“I will do that, Lyn.” he promises.

She appreciates the kiss on the cheek by a true gentleman.

Questions WO Answers-001

Answers are not forthcoming; two days after Sara vanished into the Ceylonese night. In a strange way, at least bruised and battered body would be tangible evidence.

“An innocent civilian woman becomes the first victim of a Pan American Clipper trip”

… the newspaper headline may read. Instead, Carolyn Hanes is obliged to play an agonizing waiting game, at the mercy of authorities on a huge island off the southern coast of India.

With tears streaming down her face, ten days and no news later, Carolyn Hanes changes the text of her manuscript. The man in the blue suit is much more dangerous than they had 1937 CC P.I.-001suspected. Neither he nor Fanny Renwick is ever seen again. Constance Caraway has only a film-less camera to remember her by. Constance will always be Constance, and retirement to a life of seclusion will never happen, as is the case with her creator. Both author and a fictional heroine move on, without their right hand gal.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Questions WO Answers-001

Episode #267


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #266

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #266

… “PAA should not stand for Postmortem American Airlines.” Words can be weapons, particularly when used by a professional like Lyn…

Words are Weapons-001

“She’s not onboard, Miss Hanes,” reports 1st Officer Brown, Sara’s escort for the evening and not feeling real good about now. “It seems she never made it back.”

Lyn is wondering if life is about to imitate art. In her book tentatively titled, Constance Caraway: The 1937 CC P.I.-001Hawaiian Spy, Fanny Renwick disappears while following the man in the blue suit. Lyn is hoping upon hope that Sara is merely lost, just as Fanny had after being spotted and subsequently ditched by the blue suited suspected spy.

Sure, that is it. She will turn up soon, all safe and sound.

“We’re not leaving until we find her, are we Captain? The mechanics haven’t completed repairs on that cylinder in number three engine.” Rod Brown is seriously concerned about Sara and not just because she was his “date”. He had had his eye on her ever since they left San Francisco. It is without reciprocation that he now acts.

  “Don’t worry, Rod. She can’t have gone far. I have already informed the British authorities about Miss Fenwick and you can head up a search team of your own. Now get cracking, we’ve only about 24 hours before we have to take off for Karachi.”

 “Pakistan?”

 “Yet another glamorous destination. Pan Am should make you guys pay for an around-the-world tour like this one.”

fords-flight-route

“It seems that your Miss Fenwick is not the only person who has been reported missing,” reports a British Army security person to 1st Officer Brown and Carolyn. “Another civilian, a Ceylonese woman and one of our Army nurses vanished about the same time.”

 “All women, what’s up with that? Is there some sicko out there?” Rod Brown fears a rapist is on the loose.

 “Normally, I would make the same assumption folks, but we have had no previous reports of assaults on women, especially since the disappearances were in the vicinity of Embassy Row. We are not talking back alleys or poorly lit streets.”

 “What about that blinding light we’ve heard about? Is that cause and effect or just coincidence?” Lyn is leaving no stone unturned.

 “We don’t know Miss, although our base radar did spot a strange blip on their screens at the same time as the light. When the light went out, the bogey was gone. Frankly, nothing in our skies can move that fast.”

“Three people do not just vanish into thin air, Sergeant. I suggest you redouble your search. PAA should not stand for Postmortem American Airlines.” Words can be weapons, particularly when used by a professional like Lyn.

“We need to get some answers soon. We will be leaving for Pakistan early tomorrow. I want that woman found.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Pan Am Clipper-001

Episode #266


page 247

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #264

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #264

…I remember a Sara Fenwick. She said she was tired and was returning to the Clipper, ma’am. That was just before the time that bright light just about blinded me…

The Vanished Flame by lowjacker deviantart.com

The Vanished Flame by lowjacker deviantart.com

“You have been so gracious, Lady Mountbatten. This has been a wonderful evening.” Carolyn Hanes loves informed discussions.

“It looks like your date has run out of gas,” the lady observes Capt. Ford face down in front of his meal.

 “He deserves the rest. I cannot tell you what a Herculean job he has been doing. He is probably dreaming about where we are going next.”

  “Perhaps he is dreaming about you, dear.”

“That would be the true definition of a dream,” she insists, while searching the room for Sara. “Please excuse me, Lady. I seem to have misplaced someone.”

What seemed to be moments ago, Sara had been bouncing off of people, in the arms of yet another bad dancer. Now, she is nowhere to be seen. Upon interviewing some of the crew of the Pacific Clipper, as well as others in the reception, Sara had stepped out for some fresh air. A girl can only have so much fun.

A quick sweep of the British Embassy grounds, results in nothing. When approached, the guard at the gate looks down at his sign-out sheet, “I remember a Sara Fenwick. She said she was tired and was returning to the Clipper, ma’am. That was just before the time that bright light just about blinded me. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

She dismisses the light connection. “Now that is funny,” Lyn thinks aloud. It was not like Sara to take off without checking in, although there were the dagger stares when eye contact was made between them.

What is a grand adventure for Lyn must be becoming a grand pain for Sara.  ‘Maybe we should just stay here with the British,’ considers the authoress in jest.

The hour is late and Lyn decides that the crew is probably ready to leave, so she returns to the banquet room. In fact, there is more yawning going on: than a hundred insomniacs on sleeping pills, at a convention for certified actuaries.

 “Let’s go back to the Clipper, guys. Keep your eye out for Miss Fenwick.” Captain Ford cares about his passengers, especially under these extreme circumstances.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Vanished into the Night

Episode #264


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #262

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #262

…“Would you do me the honor of escorting me to dinner?” asks John Ford of Carolyn Hanes, before he leaves the cabin of his weary airplane…

Meanwhile Caption-001“Is that gunfire I hear?” is the question of the moment in the passenger cabin.

Peering out the starboard side of the seaplane, for one and all to see is a submarine that is flying the Japanese flag. It has surfaced and its crew is firing the deck guns at the Pacific Clipper.

“I thought the Captain said we weren’t going to fly over any war zones?” Someone asks nervously as the flying boat pitches upward into the clouds. After several minutes they are descending down on Trincomalee, Ceylon.

Dockyard at Trincomalee, Ceylon from the Admiralty House by Harry Edmund Edgell

Dockyard at Trincomalee, Ceylon from the Admiralty House by Harry Edmund Edgell

Once safely harbored on the large island off the southern tip of India most of the crew disembarks, to be interviewed by the British Royal Air Force. They will also be guests of honor at a reception hosted by the wife of the Southeastern Asia Theater chief, Lord Mountbatten.

fords-flight-route  “Would you do me the honor of escorting me to dinner?” asks John Ford of Carolyn Hanes, before he leaves the cabin of his weary airplane. “I have been spending way too much time with the crew.”

Lyn hesitates. There is more than one dynamic at work here. “That would be wonderful, Captain.”

          It feels like a slap in the face for Sara, who is near enough to witness the perceived flirtation. It is short-lived. “Oh, and my bashful 1st Officer, Rod Brown over there, was wondering if Miss Sara would like to come along.”

          Sara Fenwick has not moved so quickly in her entire life. Imagine that, a double date? “Count me in!”

Double_Date          “Great! We will send a boat to ferry you girls ashore in a couple of hours. Oh, it’s definitely a formal affair. Let’s show them how a Clipper troop does the town!”

          “This ought to be interesting, Lyn. Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

          “I think that I am going to wear that black sequined dress. Do you have an extra pair of dark stockings?” She knows exactly what she is doing.

          “The one with the slit up to here?” she points to a spot on her thigh that is dangerously close to never-never land. “I think I’ll wear my navy blue suit, I just won’t wear a blouse under the jacket.”

         “Now that’s the essence of the evening. Let’s have some fun with this.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #262


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