Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #17

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #17

         … The warden has a burr under his saddle…

The warden has a burr under his saddle, not at all happy with the absent Attorney R. Worth Moore having gone over his head, to the Governor’s mansion no less, to spring the doctor in the first place. Yet he cannot lie about the model prisoner in question. “We hardly know he’s there. He skips meals, for instance. He doesn’t socialize… not that socializing is a healthy thing in a maximum security prison. And to tell you God’s honest truth, he’s forever reading that damned bible of his, especially after “lights out” and that aggravates us some.

“And the last thing, the one bad thing is that he’s not a very good worker. I mean we have a guy with one hand cut off who can make more license plates than Campbell, with this good hand tied behind his back!.”

That somewhat concise assessment is about what Hopkins had expected to hear. “Do you believe he is a candidate for release?”

“I do, but mostly because he is taking up good space–you know, for the hard criminals that should be at Starke.”F

“That is a flimsy reason for release, let alone clemency,” reasons Jim Stack. “There’s a dead young mother to consider here.”

“What do think about parole release, Warden Hayes? Is he a threat to society?” asks the governor back.

“Release, clemency, hell I would let him escape, I’m so sick of this case right about now!”

“Then let’s do this, I think Alpha Campbell should be a free man,” declares W.D. Hopkins.

Sneaky Sam-001 The same silence that started the meeting, are the sounds now unheard. The lone visible dissenter in the room has been patiently so, until now. He had thought he knew Samuel Goldblatt from somewhere. His name had that visual familiarity, memory of the photographic ilk. Just how he knows that name will become readily apparent.

Governor–I have important, confidential information which is critical to this proceeding,” Goldblatt asserts.

“If you object to his release, please present your evidence to the entire group.”

“It involves the F.B.I.” Those words strike fear in the hearts of men, all men, not just here in the Southern states. Remember that ‘the South will never die’, it has been said, but the J. Edgar Hoover led federal cops seem to be color blind, or at least that is how they appear on the outside.

W.D. Hopkins does not fear Goldblatt III’s invocation, merely respects it wisely. He ushers the czar of the Holiday Inns into an inner chamber. There appears to be an unfettered determination in the gate of the visitor, yet W.D. cannot imagine the connection between confidence and consequence.

Goldblatt’s resolute agenda is twisted, compared to the governor’s debatable influence.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #17


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #15

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #15

…, he views A.O. as a victim of Jobian proportions, losing vitality, family, treasures and health, nearly as fast as the biblical man of God in the Old Testament…

On this cloudy cool day in October of 1958, the lone figure of George Lewis watches from the distance, black trench-coat and wide-brimmed hat cloaking his identity. Will the death of Maggie Lou seal his and her secret beneath five feet of dirt? He has no way of knowing who knows what. He prays a silent prayer that will likely be ignored by the man upstairs.

 

Former States Attorney, now Governor of the newly dubbed “Sunshine State”, Wilbert Dexter Hopkins clears his desk of the day’s papers, just as his secretary did to his schedule, freeing this late afternoon for an important meeting. His duties in the Florida’s highest office vary greatly from when he was a lead prosecutor. He now leads an entire state instead of star witnesses.

  Today, however, the two elected positions become one. On the very same day he had granted special leave for Alpha Omega Campbell, he meets with the key players in the doctor’s interment at Starke; he being the prosecutor who doggedly pursued the old man’s conviction, disregarding the health of the defendant or compelling evidence to the contrary. But he was two years younger then and on the fast-track to political affluence. And at the age of 30, respect for your elders exists in the void between pre-adolescent youth and middle age. Thus the quest for career wins out over decency; the word “decent” does not appear in the Alternative Lawyer’s Handbook.

Now, two years older chronologically, but ten years more humane and doubly decent, W.D. Hopkins has a change of heart. Curiously, he views A.O. as a victim of Jobian proportions, losing vitality, family, treasures and health, nearly as fast as the biblical man of God in the Old Testament.

In his large office, at the confluence of Pensacola, Adams, Monroe Streets and Apalachee Parkway, in the state capitol complex, are five chairs. They will be filled by, from left to right: The new States Attorney, Jim Stack; Mrs. Addie Gray, Audrey Franich’s mother; Sam Goldblatt III, he of Holiday Inns, invited at the insistence of banker Lewis; Warden Hayes; and an A.O. Campbell advocate, representing the Southeastern Medical Society, Dr. Henry Palmer.

This is not a formal hearing, i.e. recorded for posterity, though perhaps it should have, considering the ramifications.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #15


 

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #3

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #3

…”What is today’s date?” the doctor inquires. It is hard to keep track of time, when daylight comes to your world but an hour a day…

October 21 1958-001

“My Maggie died this morning, Frank,” simply put.

Lightfoot’s face turns a whiter shade of pale. Realization of another’s mortality will shine the light on your own, producing humility and ultimately humanity.

“I am truly sorry, Doc Campbell. I didn’t mean to disrespect you.” He means what he says.

“Maybe you could put in a good word for me, with Warden Hayes I mean. He denied me a pass to go to the wake.”

“This IS a maximum security prison,” Frank states, then recants, regaining his new humanity. “You’re right, Doc. The warden should grant you a pass and I’ll volunteer to take you to…………..where are you folks from?”

 

“Tallahassee.”

“How can I forget that, state capital and all?”

Tallahassee AO-001

 

      “To be rightly correct, we hail from Quincy, in Gadsen County. But we have a family cemetery plot  at Oakland Cemetery in Frenchtown, not far from my hospital.” The mention of his clinic floods him with emotion, accent on the guilt. “My Maggie would still be alive if I had been there for her. She always needed me to guide and care for her. And where am I? I’d say I’ma wasting my retirement years, serving time for a death which I dint cause—-and now my Maggie’s gone and I have nothin’ to live for.”

“You have daughters, don’t ya? Three seems to me, ‘cause I remember all of them coming the day you came here. It was February 3rd… in’57, the same as my weddin’ anniversary.”

What is today’s date?” the doctor inquires. It is hard to keep track of time, when daylight comes to your world but an hour a day.

“Tuesday,” is the response.

“No, the date. Ain’t it October?”

“21st, yeah, October. It says so on this here new watch I got, shows the date and the day.”

“623 without her and now I don’t care about tomorrow or any other day. Take me home, Lord, I want to see my Maggie!”

“I’ll talk to Warden Hayes in the mornin’. Blow out that candle now. We’ll get you home, Doc.”

Getting Warden Hayes to change his mind will be no small task. Ten years ago, two former inmates, black and hopelessly unemployed, with too much time on their hands, kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed the warden’s 11 year old daughter. Revenge was their motive… as it is now his… an unreasonable rebuke of this 68 year old black Southern doctor in mourning.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #3


 

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #2

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #2

… “My Maggie died this morning, Frank.” Simply stated…

In the meantime, this is what we believed to have happened in 1958:

Future

candle-flame

A 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 leather-bound book. The 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 way of Alpha Omega Campbell, a good and faithful servant. He goes to his knees to pray for the soul of his dearest Maggie Lou, who has gone from this Earth to a place where the pains of loneliness and bitterness melt away like the wax of her husband’s flickering light.

So engrossed in his prayer time is he, that the looming ominous footsteps of a prison guard go unnoticed.

“I thought I smelled something down this way.” Starke Prison Guard, Frank Lightfoot, whose six and a half foot frame makes it hard to live up to his surname, catches this harmless prisoner of the state of Florida in the act of breaking lights out order–once again. “Are you making your own candles Old Man, or is your wife smuggling them in for you?”

“You going to put me on the chain gang?”

A.O. remains on his knees, the warm trail of saline sorrow reaching his dignified jaw.

“By the way, I haven’t seen your wife for a few days.” Guard Lightfoot actually had taken a liking to this Negro couple, especially considering the rest of this cold institution’s population consists of murderers, thieves, rapists and other assorted dregs.

The same could be said of Doc Campbell, who when dealing with Frank Lightfoot, felt as close to being human as one can under the circumstances. He even got the big man to get his own Bible, albeit from a desk drawer at a Jacksonville motel…….and read selected gold nugget passages that the doctor knows best, then applying it to what he knows of the guard’s life.

My Maggie died this morning, Frank.” Simply stated.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #2


 

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