Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #142

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #142

…Aw heck, Judith, you know I’m just a small town paper guy. I am grateful for any scraps you send my way…

Small Town Boy-001

“Now that was one hell of a picture!” asks Harv Pearson of Judith Eastman. The two of them have been literally attached at the hip since their serendipitous meeting. Together they are taking photographic journalism to another level. Pictures taken at the Pan-American Exposition are gaining form in one of the three baths of liquid in this very dark room. A dim red bulb allows them to see their work, but little else.

“I was actually setting up for John Philip Sousa. When I heard the shots I turned the tripod, approximated the angle and snapped.” The President had not reached the ground in the aforementioned image; a moment frozen in time, for human eyes to see, now and forever.

“You do realize that you have a pretty good look at the gunman…..here?”mckinley_assassination-P

“I thought so,” Judith agrees, “though at first that bandage on his hand looked like real wound dressing”

“So, how many duplicates does this make?” This particular picture is in great demand, making Judith an Eastman known in her own right. She is not exactly Matthew Brady, but neither is he and dying in a charity ward like him is not in her long-range plans.

“Ten, but do you remember what a time we had getting the government to release it for publication?”

“Don’t remind me. All my articles on the assassination ran with file photographs of McKinley.”

“Well, how soon we forget,” she quips with mock indignation.  “What about all the other pictures of the Exposition, including everyone and his brother with the President! Were they but chicken feed to you?”

Harv does his best backpedal, lest he be banished from her good graces. He can ill-afford to lose either her technical skills or her friendship, especially since he is not far from expressing his undying love for this incredible woman. If you throw in the national magazine the pair is envisioning, he cannot let professional considerations to be divisive.

Quincy Reporter-001“Aw, heck, Judith, you know I’m just a small town paper guy. I am grateful for any scraps you send my way.”

“Don’t give me that poor old country boy routine.” She parts the dark to embrace him, fully appreciating that authentic charm. His nose for news and unfailing loyalty do not hurt his chances either. “Hurricanes and assassination and who knows what else have given you the most respected by-line I’ve seen in years. Your name has been mentioned in the same breath with Horace Greeley. Small town, my eye!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Small Town America by Tom Brown

Episode #142


page 130

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #157

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #157

…Harv Pearson is the nearer to the telegraphic news ticker, so he picks up the end of the two foot and adding paper ribbon, reading his way back to the busy machine…

Tickertape machine

Chapter Nine

SHIFTING SANDS

 

“What is coming through the wire?” asks Judith Eastman. “It looks unusually long.”

She is speaking to Harv Pearson, in a rare moment when they are in their Rochester office simultaneously. One or the other or both are on the road most of the time.

“Might be a test run. It’s a bit early for news and there hasn’t been anything worthwhile for weeks,” certainly not of the human interest variety, the kind that makes good pictures and good press.

They are at the mercy of the news and news makers. Beginning with their first issue of the Pearson-Eastman Journal, the blockbuster interview and pictorial of Teddy Roosevelt in the American West, they had set the standard for finding great stories, combining the two mediums into a must read for millions of readers, i.e. subscribers.

  Harv is the nearer to the telegraphic news ticker, so he picks up the end of the two foot and adding paper ribbon, reading his way back to the busy machine. He keeps adjusting his reading spectacles like they must be distorting the words.

“Does the cat have your tongue?” asks Judith playfully; curious as to why his mouth is hanging open without so much as a peep.

“We’re headed for California,” he says simply.

“Another gold rush?”

“Only if the U.S. Mint isn’t earthquake proof.”

“You don’t say.”

“Read for yourself,” he hands her the start of a frightening account. “It’s on fire, Judith, my God, it’s only after 5 o’clock in the morning there. Most people were sleeping when it hit, I would think that casualties are high.”

“We wouldn’t get there for three days.” She recounts the train ride back from Yosemite, in the Journal’s inaugural days.

“There is nothing else going on.” He laments the fluffy content of their magazine of late, though no one in their right mind would wish disaster on anyone for the sake of news. “If I know Jackson (his editor at the Quincy Reporter) we’ll be lucky if we beat him there.”

“You mean your newspaper has room in the budget for that?”

Quincy Reporter-001    “He watched me chase stories for years, not standard procedure for a small town rag, but I own it. He does not take that into account. If I told him he couldn’t, I would lose my credibility. The Reporter has the reputation of getting a big story first hand.”

“So, why don’t you sell him the Reporter?” This is not the first time she has suggested that move, for mostly selfish reasons that include taking away the one threat to his continued and permanent presence in her life. She has passed that point where she has enough emotional fuel for a return trip to her once lonely world. If only he would take that final step concerning their relationship; a proposal of betrothal instead of status quosal. “I mean, he has been running it without much help from you for five years now, something he pointed out when you were too busy to buy those new printing presses. The poor guy is working himself to death while you are doing a scant imitation of William Randolph Hearst.”


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Pearson-Eastman Journal-001

Episode #157


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #152

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #152

…In a single hour, there is hatched a magazine named the Pearson-Eastman Journal, thus beginning a fresh era of reporting world events and the people in and around them…

Pearson-Eastman Journal - Changing cover

 

After Roosevelt leaves, just like that, the lobby empties, leaving the Pearson-Eastman partnership feeling like they have been run over by a Conestoga wagon. Instead of five foot high wheel marks and hoof print across their backs, they are reminded who is a celebrity and who is not, at least not yet.

  “We have a conference room reserved on the second floor. After that unexpected development, we best not put the cart before the horse.” James’ budding professionalism shows.

The group as a whole is conspicuous by the formality of their dress, for a day that is still considered young; an outward sign that these folks mean business. They file into a good sized rectangular room with military precision, greeted by a hostess who is there to tend to their every creature comfort. She uncovers a lavish fruit tray, which is flanked by carafes filled with piping hot coffee and tea. Flaky croissants are magnets to six sets of hungry hands, as they situate themselves randomly, checking egos at the door.

“This is very impressive, James,” Harv observes while observing.

“I agree,” adds George Eastman. “This gives me some ideas for my boardroom.”

“We at Beacon Hill want to demonstrate how much your business means to us.”

  “We are all in agreement about the arrangements,” says Herbert Love, “but I am equally overwhelmed by your securing our audience with Teddy Roosevelt, let alone him inviting our magazine out to the frontier states. You guys should get some great photographs. I hear the scenery is majestic.”

“You all are coming, aren’t you?” asks an assuming Judith.

“Not this time sweetie. I cannot speak for Herbert, but regular business will more than occupy me. Train travel and tents are not on my agenda… and Judith? How are you on horseback? … and Harv, are you a closet Rough Rider?”

“Hey, smarty pants, we know our way around a stable in Florida, right Herb?”

Panhandle Pete

“That’s right Panhandle Pete!” he affirms with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Oblivious to discussions of the first company trip, Abbey Ferrell distributes copies of the Articles of Incorporation to the principles. In a single hour, there is hatched a magazine named the Pearson-Eastman Journal, thus beginning a fresh era of reporting world events and the people in and around them.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Covered Wagon Show (3)

Wagon Train Headed West

Episode #152


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #151

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #151

…Teddy Roosevelt is headed for the American West to survey our national treasures; Mountains, streams, forests and plain…

America the Beautiful

By now the entire lobby of the Rochester Arms is abuzz, as word of this affair has spread throughout the building and beyond. When Eastman, Eastman and Pearson arrive on the scene, they must fight their way through to an unexpected, though not unfamiliar gathering.

Journalism-001     “What is this? My God George – Harv darling, that is Teddy Roosevelt talking to Herbert! And James Ferrell and Abbey too. Do you realize what an opportunity this is?”

Judith de-cases her favorite camera, while strategically directing George’s assistant for maximum coverage from two lenses. George, for his part, moves in to try to use his influence for the direction his sister seems to be headed, but finds that young Ferrell has already accomplished that task. He gives the thumbs up signal to Judith. Harv’s freshly sharpened pencil is busily transposing verbal responses to his impromptu questions.

“I fully realize that you are just two months into the job of the Presidency, having promised to keep up William McKinley’s policies, but word around the country is that you intend to set controls on the monopolies that are forming or have already formed in certain critical industries in the United States. Firstly, is this true and if so, what are the specifics of that plan?”

“Whoa there, Mr. Pearson. That is one hell of a question and as soon as I figure out what is was, I will answer it.”

“Does the term “trust buster” sound familiar?”

“You sure don’t beat around the bush, sir. I guess that is why I have taken notice of your work. Like me, you tend to take no prisoners.”

National Park-001   It is clear that Roosevelt is not ready to be forthright just yet. However, he does offer this fledgling magazine an opportunity for a noteworthy first issue.

“George, Mr. Pearson, lovely Judith, friend and servant of the people, Herbert Love: I am headed for the American West to survey our national treasures; Mountains, streams, forests and plain which I want to present as a legacy for the future. But winter is knocking at the door, so it is imperative that we leave next week.” He extends his arms, as to encompass the aforementioned Eastman-Eastman-Pearson-Love.

Astonished glances are exchanged between the interested parties.

“If that was an invitation, we accept.” Pearson and the president shake hands. James Ferrell winces in the background, sympathies for Harv’s pencil hand.

Bully  “Bully. We’ll have quite a time!” Roosevelt loves adventures. “But don’t bother packing many suits, not suited for horseback. Get it? Suit -suited?

“Well, I believe you have a meeting and I have a train blowing off steam at the railyard, probably wondering if I decided to walk back to Washington. See you next week, good people.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #151


 

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