Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #323

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #323

…On one hand, A.O. wanted to give Maggie the world, yet when it comes to revenue streams, his compassionate heart would trump his family’s bottom-line needs…

A Lonely Path by Dan Crystalis

A Lonely Path by Dan Crystalis

A single solitary figure sits huddled against the back corner of a room; whose corners are all too near to one another. The pungent light of a dwindling candle wavers forth and back, barely illuminating the tattered pages of an obviously well read black book. Once surgically skilled hands, thumb painfully, yet knowingly to the Gospel of Saint Matthew Chapter 5 verse 4:

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”, thus saith the Lord our God, by the way of Alpha Omega Campbell, good and faithful servant. He goes to his knees to pray for the health of his dearest Maggie Lou. She has not taken her husband’s arrest very well. No other than he, has she depended on for the last 37 years of her life. What will come of her if she loses him to prison?

Unfortunately, it is partially due to her cozy lifestyle that her husband is sitting on a cold steel bench. Over the years, many of which were prosperous, Maggie Lou Campbell had become accustomed to:

  • The house maidImage result for household servants
  • Chef
  • Chauffeur
  • Gardener
  • Tailor

And whatever else she wanted within reason.

For his part, Alpha Campbell had lost perspective, as it relates to finances. On one hand, he wanted to give Maggie the world, yet when it comes to revenue streams, his compassionate heart would trump his family’s bottom-line needs. Yes, that sweet potato pie is wonderful, but the Lewis State Bank would prefer cash.

Equally unfortunate is the fact that the folks with cash in hand are those who are most desperate. Those that have not… ‘Doc Campbell, please help my baby, he won’t stop crying and I have tried everythin’ I know.’ Or, ‘If you could get this bunion off my foot, I would be so grateful.’ And lastly (badly), ‘Our doctor Image result for dollar sign gifsent us here. He said you will keep our affairs private. My baby girl is too young to have her own baby… what will people say.’ These have the dough.

  Two hundred dollars ($200) in the 1950’s is a goodly amount of money, just as the three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) is more than substantive for a private hospital. $10 soothes a colicky baby, $65 dollars pays for the surgical removal of that painful bunion, but 200 big ones will get you an abortion.

Before modern day pictures (sonograms) of a moving, womb-bound neonates, who may dissuade the mother from aborting, instead, no baby — problem solved. Maybe now Auntie Margaret will stop asking about that recent weight gain.

Perhaps most debilitating for the Campbells, is the fact that the white folks of Tallahassee are not permitted to be treated at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital; no white floor or wing for fair skinned Floridians, even if they wanted to be treated there.

          Stop and reflect upon the last paragraph.

braceT LFT

Black Tallahassee is minimally educated, mostly poor, but white Tallahassee is a university town, capitol to the state and very much in need of affordable healthcare.

Whites are remarkably discouraged from stepping foot into LBMH. City fathers have even diminished it by calling it ‘Campbell Clinic’, a.k.a. not worthy.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #323


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #316

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 316

…Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea….

Image result for merchant marine artwork

Out at Sea by Hans Breeman

“When did you notice that somethin’ wasn’t right?” Campbell had put his stethoscope to her lower belly earlier and came to an early conclusion. He wants to peel away the layers of her previous treatment. “And why did you come to me, ‘stead of Doc Wright?”

Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea.

  “Really… all the way from Jacksonville and he knows ‘bout a little ol’ black doctor in the Panhandle. Did he tell you I ain’t got a wing at my hospital for white folks? My doctor friends don’t think I have the right to fix up whites. I reckon you all must have different colored blood under that pale skin; Blue blood Confederates are you?” A.O. knows that the lies he was told as a youth, was that slaves were inferior to their white masters. He has left much of that emancipation baggage behind, though the memory of being rushed across the railroad trestle still is fresh in his 20th century mind. The saying of that time was, ‘Once a slave, white-folk-bingo-001always a slave.’

How ironic it is. White folks have the money to pay for his services, but they cannot occupy a single bed at LBMH. House calls and services rendered at FAMU Hospital do not put a dent in the $250,000 mortgage, now a mighty anchor tied around his ankle. His beds are occupied by people caught in the margins of society.

“You have to help me Doc Campbell, my baby ain’t movin’, I know it.”

“Do what’s right Mr. Campbell!” Enter Mrs. Mary Gray. She had been mulling around in the background, watching her daughter, Audrie Franich, twisting A.O.’s arm in an attempt to bring this nightmare to an end. “My little girl needs some way out of this mess.”

          Mary Gray’s tone was not at all kind, downright demanding. It was like she was making a deal with the Devil; the only way out, but distasteful none-the-less. She appears to not have much use for black folk, though it may be a fruitless prejudice, especially in northern Florida. But unavoidable does not translate into acceptance.

“Go in and see Nurse Lillie and tell her to take you to Room 205.” Down and down the slippery slope. A.O. Campbell has a soft spot for folks that have seemingly nowhere else to turn.

(Lera Lynn music featured on True Detective)


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode # 316


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #315

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 315

… Equity, in the hot summer of ‘55, comes on the form of a distressed young woman, with $200 dollars in hand and a suspected dead fetus lingering in her womb…

pitfall-001

Is there a fairy tale character like Peter Pan flitting around Laura Bell Memorial Hospital these days?

braceT LFT          As blissful and carefree things are for the Fords, the opposite is true for Alpha Omega Campbell. He is actually blissfully ignorant and seemingly carefree to the point of carelessness. Things on Virginia Street are falling into serious disrepair and the doctor’s Image result for peter pan gifcash flow has slowed to the equivalent of the leaky bathroom faucet in his and Maggie Lou’s master bedroom.

To survive these lean days of the summer of 1955, one property after another is sold at less than market value. Demand for the land that Maggie had inherited from John Ferrell, has slowed in the wake of the Korean War.      Now, post-World War II was a very different climate. Returning GI’s were snapping up parcels in cities like Tallahassee, no matter what the cost. But that was when A.O. was in the midst of his heyday and in no need of real estate equity.

Equity, in the hot summer of ‘55, comes on the form of a distressed young woman, with $200 dollars in hand and a suspected dead fetus lingering in her womb. She is hardly Tinkerbell spreading pixie dust at the back door of LBMH. Instead, a massive cloud of dank dust rises into the Frenchtown air.

Image result for sob story

“I’ve hired this musician to play a sad melody while I give you a sob story why I didn’t do my homework. It’s actually quite effective!”

  “I was bein’ treated at Havana. The doctor there gave me some awful tasting-stuff to settle my stomach. I’d been with child for four months and the mornin’ sickness was getting’ to me. My mother suggested I visit Dr. Wright, I don’t know why. He wasn’t my baby doctor; guess that he was away on holiday or such.”

          “When did you notice that somethin’ wasn’t right?” Campbell had put his stethoscope to her lower belly earlier and came to an early conclusion. He wants to peel away the layers of her previous treatment. “And why did you come to me, ‘stead of Doc Wright?”

          “Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for sob story painting

Sob Story by Schernego Roman

Episode # 315


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