Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #156

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #156

… Doc Ziggy is as proud as poppa Willy and as attending as a mother hen, having  invested 9 years, cultivating the manifest medical interest in the most unlikely of protegees…

1906-001

It is one month into 1906, most likely to be filled with many firsts and “new” things as the rest the years in this new century: the Gibson Girl, Teddy Bear, Wright Brothers, the 1st Baseball World Series, Theory of Relativity, National Audubon Society and the hamburger.

Now at age 17, Alfrey has been accepted at Boston College of Physicians and Surgeons (soon to be named Tufts University); enrolled officially as Alpha Omega Campbell for the fall term. Thanks to the Loves’ benevolent generosity, an extremely bright young man is going to get the education and medical training he deserves. He is one of three black students in a class of three hundred.

Doc Ziggy is as proud as poppa Willy and as attending as a mother hen. He has not put up the Deutsche marks, but he has invested 9 years, cultivating the manifest medical interest in the most unlikely of protegees.

“Alpha, my boy, ve have only eight months to get you ready for za University. Frieda has found some suits for you from my younger days. You must look like a doctor.”

“They don’t have those short pants and fuzzy green hat that you wore in those old pictures… do they?” Alpha is in tune with the style of the day, at the age where you realize that somebody may actually notice what you are wearing.

“Lederhosen? Unt my alpine hat? You vould look so silly.” As part of the great melting pot of the world, diverse as it may be, the visual image of a black Bavarian would be a stretch to the most imaginative. Not even Ziggy can fathom.

“Try these on, leibshon. Let’s see if I must take zem in.” Frieda has her pincushion and thimble at hand.

  “What will it be like… at college I mean?” asks Alpha, while slipping jackets on and off. Home schooling did not expose him to organized education.

“Vell, in ze homeland, the university is ze center of life. All zat is wise comes from university. It is great privilege to study in zose old buildings.” There is much reverence in this experienced voice. “I know several doctors who studied at your school, fine men, good doctors.”

“I will not let you down,” he sincerely assures, looking more scholarly by the minute, closer to his transformation in Boston by the second.

For my German speaking friends… Prost!


Alpha Omega M.D.

Protege-001

Episode #156


page 144  (end ch. 8)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #99

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #99

…So once again, as father Willy continues on to the city, with milk and ice and cigar, Alfrey is left right where he wants to be…

Endlichoffer Chalet-001

It is just another Friday and as far as Alfrey Campbell is concerned, 7 September does not come soon enough. He continues to live for his weekly day with Ziggy, Frieda and Maggie. Father Willy squelches his jealousy of the situation and the man that Alfrey holds in the highest esteem, speaking of him unceasingly.

Protege-001‘Ziggy taught me _______’ or ‘Ziggy says that _______.’, is all Willy seems to hear. It is Siegfried Endlichoffer who commands the young boy’s respect, not that he disrespects his father, rather the former of the two have connected on an intellectual plain, which may as well a mountain, one Willy cannot scale.

So once again, as father continues on to the city, with milk and ice and cigar, Alfrey is left right where he wants to be; his home away from home, refuge of inner peace and knowledge. “I’lla be back sooner tadee, Alfrey, so you be ready. I ain’t likin’ da looks of da sky. Ain’t been right fo a week.”

Maggie Lou-001   “This is the week you said I could stay until Sunday, remember? You promised. Doc Ziggy needs help fixin’ Maggie a room of her own.” The sprouting black child speaks of John Ferrell’s sequestered bundle of joy.

Willy shakes his head, bewildered. His son is not nearly so eager with his chores at home, excepting his amateur veterinary duties at the dairy.

“Ya best be home fo supper den. Ziggy has ta bring ya home. Caint waste a half day doin’ livery.”

“Yes sir, Daddy,” he yells back, pumping his short legs through the wrought iron gates.

“An tell Ziggy to watch the skies, fo storms, Isa mean.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Calm before Storm-001

Episode #99


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #94

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #94

…“Oh Alpha, my Alpha I think you are vun more victim of Big Daddy Bass…

Meanwhile

Out on San Luis Lake

But if the ongoing wedding has processions, fishing is of possessions—possessing a boat and pole and line and hook and bait, of calm waters and sunshine. And a friendship that spans multiple generations. Doc Ziggy and Alfrey Campbell are no-shows at the wedding, drifting about the calm water across the lake. He had told Frieda, “Veddings is too long and za people is too stuffy.”

   “Didn’t your cork move?” asks the only accomplished fisherman in the boat. The ten pound bass, posed and stuffed on a wall in his den, can testify to the retired German’s dogged diligence to the sport. “Give your pole a tug, Alpha.”

The boy obeys the elder’s expertise, gently yanking his length of cane up and to the side, as he had seen his mentor do, thereby setting his hook in the lower lip in the mouth of a large mouth… bass that is. The tethered fish tows the bobbing cork under the surface, straight to the bottom of the lake, where the fish calls home. The unexpected move by the fish causes the boy to lose grip of his pole. It too disappears under the rippling water.

Big Daddy Bass-001

The One That Got Awawy

The look on the boy’s face provokes the old German into a deep belly laugh, the kind you are powerless to stop, even though the resulting abdominal pain would warrant it. “Oh Alpha, my Alpha I think you are vun more victim of Big Daddy Bass. I have a pole or two tangled in dose veeds too!”

Young Campbell is not amused. He will not be catching any fish this afternoon.

“You called me Alpha, Doc Ziggy.” The half statement half question comes out of the blue, referring to the recent transposition of his given name, Alfrey.

Ziggy reflects, “You are Alpha, the beginning and I am Omega, the end. Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, vich vas, and is, and is to come. Look it up in you mamma’s Bible. Apostle John tells us of the Kingdom come in za book of Revelation.

“You my boy, are the Alpha to my Omega. The future to my past. My greatest hope is for you to carry on for me. Your life is just now starting. Your memories of me: all the doctoring I have taught you, even how to lose a fishing pole to Big Daddy Bass, dese all will live on in you.”

All this talk is as deep as the bottom of San Luis Lake. Someday Alpha Campbell will understand what was said, but he will never forget it.

“Let’s go in. I don’t like za look of za sky.” Ziggy senses the unusual quiet and strange dark haze on the southeastern horizon, as well as the lack of wildlife. “Vere is all za birds?”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Protege-001

Episode #94


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #90

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #90

…Da cows givin’ lot less milk, hens ain’t laying right an’ I ain’t seena bird for days… even da dogs don’t come out from da porch…

Animal Panic

“Anything new… down on the farm?” asks the boss.

Willy thinks on it a spell, finally commenting, “All da animals is actin’ differnt, funny.”

“What do you mean.?”

Da cows givin’ lot less milk, hens ain’t laying right an’ I ain’t seena bird for days. Even da dogs don’t come out from under da porch. Animals is smarter than folks give propers for. Too bad they ain’t one of ‘em that can talk.”

“You are so right.” Love has no explanation his own self. “Say, how is young Alfrey doing?”

  “I sees him Tursdees an’ Fridees, you know fo da city load, but he’sa studyin’ da rest of time.” Willy is beginning to accept, perhaps even allowing himself a pinch of pride about the academic leanings of his youngest son. With Hosea off in Atlantic City, involved in who knows what, he knows he best do his best in encouraging Alfrey in what he is good at; not that he could not have learned to make a good cigar. “He’s been learnin’ all summer too, ain’t stopped to play wit da rest of da keeds an’ such, not Alfrey. Ima tinkin’ da teacher is runnin’ out of things ta teach him.”

“I will contact the tutor. He needs to be a child.” The boy is Love’s pet project, never having a son of his own, yet neither has he supplanted Willy’s role of father.

Alfrey Campbell is the recipient of the best-of-two worlds; a father grounded in good old-fashioned values and a father figure with every resource God can bestow to man. “I think he should take ten days off or so. Is there anything you can think of to keep him busy?”

Ziggy-001“Doc Ziggy has bin after him fo stayin’ evree week we’s go to da city. He takes him fishin’ or goin’ doctorin’ fo the ol’ folks thereabouts ‘hassee.”

Herb is used to “‘hassee” sans the Talla-.

“That is a wonderful idea. He has a telephone.” Not everyone does. “I will ask if this Friday would be suitable.”

“Hold up, Mr. Love’” Willy interrupts. “We’va invite here to da Ferrell boy’s weddin’ to Missy Smythwick. We could go maybe an’ just leev Alfrey behind after.”

What a convenience the telephone has become. To arrange this situation a decade ago, you would have had to send a courier, or a mail train, wasting a week or more, depending on how far away the recipient is, as opposed to minutes. The only rub is that someone needs to be within earshot of the ringing box; if not now, maybe later (And to think that people used to marvel at telegrams and organized mail delivery). One must wonder what wonder the twentieth century will bring next.

“Excellent suggestion, Willy. That way you could take Mrs. Love along with you. She did so want to attend, but with me unable to shake my duties, it looked like she would stay home.”

Love does summarize.

“We have covered a lot of ground, Willy. Thank you for your good work and leave the arrangements to me.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #90


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #69

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #69

…One by one, Siegfried pulls out an instrument of examination or healing, explaining purpose and use…

“Fine, fine blend I must say. Not expected from a cigar of this size.” John Ferrell is impressed.

“We are planning on boxing them in quantities of five. Here is the artist rendering of the picture on the box, wrapped in cellophane, of course,” Love foretells.

“Loyal Campbells… Mmmmmmmmm. I believe that handsome man standing next to that monster tobacco plant is you Willy?”

”Yessir, that be Mr. Love’s idee,” the soon to be somewhat famous caricature explains. He is attempting to keep Alfrey from fidgeting, suddenly bored after a long day.

“What is your name, son?”

 “Alfrey, sir.”

 “Well, Alfrey, why don’t you go into the house? I bet Ziggy has a treat for you… go ahead, don’t be bashful.”

The youngster ventures into the house. The adults talk business amidst a lingering cloud of aromatic smoke.

Ziggy is always prepared for visitors, especially children. wife Frieda provides him with a continually replenished stock of chocolate covered rum balls, an incredibly tasty treat and never turned down.

Ziggy’s handmade adult delight named, cherry bounce, is a jar of cherries aged in homemade brandy will be saved for later.

A handful of rum balls consumed, Alfrey discovers the doctor’s well-worn black bag, presenting it politely for possible exploration.

Protege-001

“Let us go to my office unt see vat ve can see.” He takes Alfrey by the shoulder, ushering him to an impressive room with walls of books, most of them labeled with letters unfamiliar to the lad who doesn’t read English yet, let alone German. They sit down on a black leather sofa, fully ten feet long. One by one, Siegfried (given name) pulls out an instrument of examination or healing, explaining purpose and use. A life-size skeleton, a scary presence for one who has never seen, serves as a visual aid in the detailed explanation.

“Put these into each ear… put za metal horn der.” Ziggy serves as a flesh and blood skeleton, providing a strong heartbeat for Alfrey to hear. “Is that not someting?”

Alfrey cannot speak, for his intense interest. If Ziggy is the water, the young Negro boy is a sponge.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Ziggy’s Office

Episode #69


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