Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #199

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #199

…The day I penned a letter to my dearest John Ferrell, it was the first time I had experienced the helplessness of the war,..

“I am so inspired by John’s kindness that I myself feel twinges of guilt. I see the suffering, yet continue on with my flights of fancy.”

Escapism Artist Unknown

Escapism artist Unknown

“You cannot think that, Sir James… oh yes, Matthew. If not for you and others, who write of things no one else dare have will to ponder, society would go mad with reality. Time in the theaters is one of their few escapes. If one does not let the child in us out, it dies, leaving a hardened heart.”

“So well put, Judith, I would guess that it is you who writes the words.”

“And I take the pretty good pictures,” Harv jokingly injects.

“Please forgive me, Mister Pearson, my intentions are innocent. I suppose I react too favorably to having my pride stroked by careful hands, but I feel comforted, personal vindication, you see. The day I penned a letter to my dearest John Ferrell, it was the first time I had experienced the helplessness of the war, where position and influence are thrown out the window like yesterday’s table scraps, to be fought over like the starving dogs.”

J.M. Barrie relates a tale his wife likes to tell, “My Matthew had been smitten with disease of the lungs and there were no doctors who had medicine to treat him. Then, while traveling to London, as I do regularly, I was accosted by a gang of hopeless human beings, lusting after whatever they might relieve me of.” He grabs a straight wooden stick, with a persimmon block at the bottom from beside his chair. “It was my brassie that saved me from dreadful harm!”

He tells the story often, so frequently that his wife has her line well rehearsed, “And that is the only good use for those miserable clubs that I can see.”

As in the days preceding the assault on Verdun, no one can count on prolonged periods of peace. John Ferrell receives word that his ship is leaving a day early, with worries about increased submarine activity, even to the coast of Scotland. “Damned scavengers!” They bring a premature end to the time of his life, a month of riches he will carry forth to eternity.

  “Do not let them spoil these days, John Ferrell. Hold them fast, like the smell of heather in the Highlands; until we meet in a more peaceful place.” Long soulful hugs and hopes for tomorrow.

“We will be going, as well,” Harv decides. Their launch awaits a trip to Brest, plus there is strength in numbers. They will negotiate North Sea waters and head to the cargo ship, which is loaded with whatever export goods the Scots can muster.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Haar on the Forth by Alan Reed

Episode #199


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #198

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #198

…Please tell me what it was like to be knighted by the Queen.” John tries his best to get his cousin to be the least immodest, bringing up a subject of great pride to a loyal subject…

Knighted

Knighted by Eva Hollyer

John Ferrell interrupts the polarized opinion exchange about golf, “I have heard of the sport, in fact we have a club in Tallahassee, on the university grounds.”

“Splendid! I will show you how to play when we take you up on your kind invitation to visit. It sounds like you have the perfect climate.” He grips his mashie niblick.

“Don’t be aswingin’ those things in the house James, remember the chandelier?” Mrs. Barrie warns.

“One of my best passes, it was.”

“Me thinks you should be in France, shurein the Germans would flee to home at the sight of you and that stick.”

Please tell me what it was like to be knighted by the Queen.” John tries his best to get his cousin to be the least immodest, bringing up a subject of great pride to a loyal subject, when a carriage comes barreling up the winding trail leading to the Barrie country home. “That will be Harv Pearson and his bride, the publishers of that magazine I brought you.”

“Good work… with stories that match the finest photographs I have ever seen,” high praise from an accomplished judge of word and people.

     “That is Sir James Barrie,” Judith nudges her husband, who may not know, “saw his first production in London, now he is one of the most prolific playwrights – ever.”

“Welcome to bonnie ol’ Scotland set a spell and let’s talk about the generosity of America!”

Judith, who almost never drinks alcohol, accepts a spot from the host. She is smart enough to sip, yet unable to prevent the inevitable shiver, as it burns a path down her esophagus.

“Thank you, Mister Barrie. My wife has been following your career from the beginning, as she will surely tell you later.” Harv speaks, Judith is recovering. “And it is good to see you, John. We were surprised at your cable, quite an undertaking in these troubling times.” He does not recall extreme bravery as one of this man’s character.

“Matthew, that’s what his friends call him, told us of the terrible suffering in the Isles and I was moved to gather the excess bounty that God has blessed us with and share them.”

Neither does Harv remember him as an excessively Godly man.

 “I am so inspired by John’s kindness that I myself feel twinges of guilt. I see the suffering, yet continue on with my flights of fancy.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #198


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #192

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #192

…The Lord asks us to share our brothers’ burden. I need to take up the cause, stand shoulder to shoulder with my kinsmen,…

“What does your cousin say?” asks Martha Ferrell of her husband John, who reads a letter from Scotland intensely. It is dated 22 March, 1915, received the day before Thanksgiving same year.

“Oh, Martha, they’re suffering great hardship. Nearly everything is rationed, living off their potato plot, they are. Most of the grain they grow goes to the cattle; the rest must be submitted to the war effort.” As he reads Sir James M. Barrie’s tale of woe, waves of guilt wash against his spirit, remembering the happy days of his youth, playing with James. John’s own son is named after his relative left behind, after the Ferrells abandoned the  Isle clan for a new life in Florida. “He fears his son, Matthew, will be drafted into the British Army, though a recent bout of consumption may disqualify him from battle.

“‘How ironic; spared the horrors of war by a disabling disease.’”

 “Those are his very words, aren’t they?”  She recognizes the work of a writer, albeit far from his wispy ‘Peter Pan’. “I so love his letters, every one a masterpiece unto itself.”

  “I’ve been praying about the plight of our people. We are so blessed by the lord, insulated from adversity, bounties beyond deserving. I ask myself, ‘what can I do to support my homeland an ocean away?’ My answer is never the same.”

Scotland      “What if we take a collection of goods, you know, foodstuffs, clothing, anything the Panhandle can offer that will help them survive hostilities.”

“Yes, yes, and we can hire a ship out of Panama City to carry them to Perth. How I would love to see old James again!”

It was a splendid idea until mention of him going home to the Central Lowlands enters in the back door. “Must you go to Scotland? Why put yourself in harms way?”

The Lord asks us to share our brothers’ burden. I need to take up the cause, stand shoulder to shoulder with my kinsmen, making a difference in their community.” John Ferrell lacks only a kilt. “Please wire Dundee with the news of our plan. I am going to begin gathering the cargo, I think Herb Love will jump right in with both feet, if I know him and Jacques Francoise will mix up some medicines, maybe help Matthew with his tuberculosis. And every farmer in Leon and Gadsden County will surely contribute something. I know we can fill a small freighter.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #192


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #314

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #314

… “Damn right, Carolyn! Well actually, I did not know that, but when it came to the rights to Cinderella and of Peter Pan… $500,000 drunken dollars, probably parked next to their whiskey barrel.”…

cinderella-peter-pan-001

Disney holds out his silver cigarette case, as a deal-sealing gesture would look.

“I don’t smoke, thank you.” She pauses thoughtfully, continuing, “Don’t you think that all the smoke you inhale may have long term health effects?”

          “These?” he closes the case, “Clark Gable has been smoking since he was 15 and he isn’t slowing down. 60 damn movies and he lights it up in most of them. Beside that, my doctors say I’m as healthy as Prince Charming.”

“Ah, a Cinderella reference,” she comments, then adding a historical tidbit, “Did you know that Sircigarette-smoke James Matthew Barrie has relatives in Tallahassee?”

“Damn right, Carolyn! Well actually, I did not know that, but he, or rather, his family was a sticky wicket when it came to the rights to Cinderella. And of Peter Pan… $500,000 drunken dollars, probably parked next to their whiskey barrel.” His bitterness boiled to the surface, but settles down, “By all accounts, Barrie himself was a literary genius. Too bad we weren’t contemporaries.”

Lyn Ford nods, easily empathizing with collaboration and will abandon the smoking issue for the sake of consolation. But she does not jump up and down.

“I am Walt Disney, Carolyn!”  No ego here! “Am I chopped liver in your world?”

Not exactly, Walt, more like steak tartar.” She has not made up her mind.

“Oh yes, with a thick slice of Vidalia onion on top. But you seem to be dodging my proposal.” He is used to getting is way. As he will gladly tell you, ‘I am Walt “the man” Disney!

Lyn comes up with a solution. “How about we make a hand shake agreement to start an open-ended project? No hurry, no deadlines. You are in the full flower of your creative bloom.”

          Another massive cloud of smoke rises into the California air~~~~~~


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for cinderella and peter panImage result for peter pan gif

Episode #314


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #233

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #233

…after fifteen afternoon and evening performances of the play, A Kiss For Cinderella, fate intervenes when laryngitis strikes the title character, meaning Abigail Ferrell is pressed into action…

Fairy Tale-001

At the same time, bad things happen to good people. Take Cinderella, for instance. What did she do that was so wrong? Her mother died and her father, the baron, marries a social climbing hag with two insecure and demanding daughters. Is it her fault that her father spinelessly ignores the fact his own daughter is dominated and subjugated, left to obey the whims of virtual strangers? Of course it isn’t, but C.S. Evan’s story is a fairy tale, improbable in its cruelty and enchanting in its ending.

Abigail Smythwick

Abigail Ferrell-Ferrell

And after fifteen afternoon and evening performances of the play, A Kiss For Cinderella, fate intervenes when laryngitis strikes the title character, meaning Abigail Ferrell is pressed into action; poised to ride in a pumpkin carriage, with a 12 o’clock midnight curfew. She has been waiting in the wings low these twenty days, watching Barrie’s actors work at their craft, memorizing all their moves and lines for just an occasion as this.

“You will do just fine, lassie,” Barrie assures, who secretly had hoped she would get the opportunity to get more than the one scheduled understudy performance onstage. He has come to know his late cousin’s daughter/daughter-in-law well, taken with her charming demeanor and graceful abidance — in a fatherly way, with an eye to missing her help when he returns to Scotland. There is an inexplicable bonding of people of the theater, perhaps due in part of doing the same thing night after night, from the first performance to the last, with small differences known only to those onstage and behind the scenes. “I can see how beautiful you are going to be in Cinderella’s gown! You and Matthew will make a charming couple, absolutely brightening the stage.”

“Thank you for the kind words Sir James, but it is only make-believe… imagine me playing the part of a girl in her teens.”

That last line is heard in passing by Agnes Ferrell, who is looking forward to abusing Abbey, as is her right as cruel step-sister, Euphronia. “Scrub the floors, get water from the well, feed the chickens, and press my green jersey dress,” she orders in a mocking tone. Her resentment of Abbey has faded over the years, coinciding with a more reasonable aligning of her love for her brother, likely tempered by the ongoing courtship of her by Gadsden County Sheriff Cyril Odz.

“Why do you hate me so, Euphronia? I work my fingers to the bone, wear your tattered hand-me-downs and you still treat me so much dirt beneath your feet.”

Abbey’s ad-lib to Agnes’ exaggerated ordering does not go unnoticed. “That is not one of your lines, Abigail, but I do believe it would be a good addition. I will find the right spot for it before the next performance,” states the producer/director/playwright, who is always open to spontaneity, fully aware that certain of the audience are repeat patrons and they enjoy subtle changes in the script.


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Cinderella scene

Episode #233


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #227

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #227

…April 1920 has begun with casting for the minor parts, a charming custom that helps add local flavor to the production…

Casting Call-001

True to his word, especially now that the Atlantic Ocean is free of enemy submarines, Sir James Matthew Barrie is bringing his play, A Kiss For Cinderella, to the United States; Tallahassee specifically. This is quite a coup for a Southern city with a population of less than 70,000. The news has spread quickly through the theater world, leaving New York’s Broadway wanting, immediately establishing Florida’s capitol a destination of some note.

The buzz about the April 10th 1920 premier is all around, well except for Martha Ferrell, whose buzz is mainly a bug up her behind, claiming still that it is Barrie’s doing that her husband was taken from her (even though he was a adulterating, lying, “will” changing man). Everybody else is very excited about this fairy tale translated for the stage, which will be the Auditorium on the Florida State University campus.

Stepmother-001    April has begun with casting for the minor parts, a charming custom that helps add local flavor to the production. There is plenty of talent in these parts, or at least people who think they have it. Auditions are well attended, with some being the last person you would think has any leaning for the stage. Some will need an extensive make-over, like Phoebe Love, who has actually won the part of the evil stepmother, displacing the actress who was traveling with the production and not at all pleased by the demotion. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde. It may be the only time you will witness Phoebe acting contemptibly mean.

Stepsisters Cinderella

“Stepsisters returning home after the ball” by Arthur Rackham

Others are cast as extras, and a chosen few are understudies, ready to step in if a star falls ill or loses his or her voice. Agnes is one, learning the role of Euphronia, not the role she coveted, but at least she would be the prettier of the evil stepsisters. ‘Drat! Wouldn’t you know that Abbey would get the part of Cinderella?’ Herb Love is the natural choice for the Baron, so that would mean if circumstances were right, it is he who would let Cinderella’s stepmother bully and belittle her, equally out of character.

James Barrie has chosen his son, Matthew for the part of the prince, not so much nepotism, as Matthew is an actor of good repute and he is lucky to have corralled him for this one month engagement.

Baron Cinderella

@CostumeKen

King, queens, princes, step family and extras work long hours rehearsing stage blocking and speaking parts. Barrie is a stickler for perfection and even though he did not write Cinderella, C.S. Evans did, his adaptation is crisp and demands much of his actors.

And the costuming——whew——-Cinderella has more than a dozen changes herself, quite an arrangement of rags and riches. But for the sake of a happy ending, in this case many happy endings, it is well worth the effort.

 


Alpha Omega M.D.

Cinderella

Aschenputtel by silhouette animation shadow master Lotte Reiniger

Episode #227


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