Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #31

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #31

… James Ferrell would rather study schoolwork than dance with adolescent debutantes who ‘have all the sense that God gave the Dodo bird’, as he puts it…

Silly Girls

By the grace of God, and a little luck, August 21 does arrive as scheduled.

The entire day is dedicated to preparing for the Cotillion, which includes the making of Grandma Ferrell’s special punch, whose secret ingredient is rumored to be the state of Georgia’s best XXX hoochinoo. The thirty gallon stainless steel milk can mixture should go a long way to assure a good time will be had by all, should they sample even one innocent glassful.

Juicing the fresh Florida oranges, peaches and grapefruit was the hardest part of the process, but that was done two fermenting months ago. The carbonated ginger ale and phos-ferrates are added just this day, as volume fillers; so sweet and so lethal.

Primping occupies the remaining three hours, most importantly to the females. However, the annual struggle with James Ferrell to get in the proper spirit, disappoints all in the family, though shocking none. He is actually a girl magnet, which may explain his reticence, because he would rather study for the upcoming school year than dance than dance with adolescent debutantes who ‘have all the sense that God gave the Dodo bird’, as he puts it.

This year, his 16th, resistance to his suit of clothes seems curiously mild, not the chest thumping bravado that may disguise changes that show signs of his coming of age.

  Martha Ferrell reminds her son but once. “Miracles never cease to amaze,” she tells Agnes, who is clinching the corset that shrinks the woman’s waist by two full inches.

Abigail Smythwick is going to be there.” Agnes knows the reason for her brother’s sudden cooperation. She is the daughter of Jefferson Smythwick, born in her father’s sixth decade to the silence of her mother’s dying heart (during childbirth).


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #31


page 29

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #30

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #30

… Princess  Olla holds up the Paris creation against her body, not about to let on that she herself has spent time wearing it…

Cotillion dress

That same Friday night, in the less contentious environs of Tallahassee, society’s’ finest prepare for tomorrow and the anticipated Summer Cotillion. It unofficially marks the average annual easing of the “lazy days”, as the sun mercifully starts to drop from its zenith overhead. Shadows begin to lengthen and the dogs come out from under their back porches.

Martha Ferrell prepares for the event by unpacking her favorite gown, first checking for damage from last year’s gala, i.e. footprints on the hem from ballroom challenged partners, or traces of champagne and hors d’oeuvre or third most likely culprit, moth-eaten holes. Lastly, and most important of all, the issue of whether her almost five gallons fits into this three gallon (satin) container.

“What do you think, Agnes?” She does an awkward pirouette in the dress, tailored for her six years ago; a present honoring her fortieth year.

“Maybe we could let out the sleeves some. It looks tight above the elbows.”

“Yes I think you are right.” She confirms the mirror’s reflecting truth, without vain regret.

Agnes is wearing a gown that her mother wore the year before she was born. She has matured at an scary rate, nearly… no definitely surpassing mom’s womanhood; filling in the spaces and providing the kind of cleavage that may well cause the hormone levels of men aged twelve to infinity to rise measurably.

“My, haven’t you blossomed, my dear. Girls are developing faster every year, it seems,” Martha concludes correctly.

Two generations of “real” women are joined by an admirer of both.

“Why Nessie, I remember your mamma when she wore that dress, her first Cotillion I reckon. So beautiful and so graceful,” He muses, then reconsidering, “But you better wait some years before you become a mother. If you weren’t my daughter, I would guess you for a twenty year old college girl.  You are saving yourself, aren’t you?”

“Oh, Daddy,” Agnes (Nessie) blushes, which rhyme with messy, a nickname, as well as her bedroom comportment, “of course I am. You don’t allow me to have suitors!”

Cotillion dress“All right, point well stated.” She is behind many of her peers and he knows it. “It’s just that you look so grown up.” John turns his attention to his wife. “And as for you my dearest, forget about altering your dress.” He peeks around the corner, into the hall to motion to Olla. “I think this one will assure of being belle of the ball.”

  Olla displays the Paris creation, this time merely holding it up against her body, not about to let it be known that it was her own very skin which spent time as Martha’s surrogate mannequin.

The new owner rushes to it, stroking the rose colored satin, admiring the Parisian lace and trying not to shed tears of joy.

The incredible irony of the moment is lost on the ignorant.

  • “Oh mother, you must try it on straight away,” encourages Agnes.
  •  Before she obliges, Martha turns to say, “John Ferrell, life with you is one big surprise.”
  •  John Ferrell is telling himself, ‘Wheeewww, I’m sure glad she will never know the truth’.
  •  Princess Olla/Laura Bell mutters, “Surprises ain’t always good ones, Miss Martha,” under her breath.

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #30


page 29

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #15

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #15

…, the Governor 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.

Episode #15


page 15

Alpha Omega M.D. – Background Information

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Alpha Omega M.D.

– Tallahassee Florida

Map-001


Tallahassee, Florida
State capital
City of Tallahassee
Top, Left to Right: Tallahassee Skyline, Florida Capitol Buildings, Unconquered statue of Osceola and Renegade at FSU, FAMU's Marching 100, Old St. Augustine Canopy Road, and Cascades Park

Top, Left to Right: Tallahassee Skyline, Florida Capitol Buildings, Unconquered statue of Osceola and Renegade at FSU, FAMU’s Marching 100, Old St. Augustine Canopy Road, and Cascades Park
Flag of Tallahassee, Florida
Flag
Official seal of Tallahassee, Florida
Seal
Nickname(s): “Tally”
Motto: “Florida’s Capital City”
Location in Leon County and the state of Florida
Location in Leon County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 30°27′18″N 84°15′12″WCoordinates: 30°27′18″N 84°15′12″W
Country United States
State Florida
County Leon
Established 1824
Government
 • Type Commission–Manager
 • Mayor John E. Dailey
Area
 • Total 103.5 sq mi (268 km2)
 • Land 100.3 sq mi (260 km2)
 • Water 3.2 sq mi (8 km2)
Elevation[2] 203 ft (62 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 181,376
 • Estimate (2014) 188,107
 • Rank 126th, U.S.
 • Density 1,809.3/sq mi (698.6/km2)
 • Urban 240,223 (153rd)
 • Metro 375,751 (140th)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 32300–32399
Area code(s) 850
FIPS code 12-70600
GNIS feature ID 0308416
Website www.talgov.com

Tallahassee /ˌtæləˈhæsi/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Leon County, and is the 126th largest city in the United States. Tallahassee became the capital of Florida, then the Florida Territory, in 1824. In 2010, the population was 181,376, and the Tallahassee metropolitan area is 375,751 as of 2014. Tallahassee is the largest city in the Northwest Florida region.

Tallahassee is home to Florida State University, ranked the nation’s forty-third best public university by U.S. News & World Report. It is also home to the Florida A&M University, one of the country’s largest historically black university by total enrollment. Tallahassee Community College is a large community college which serves mainly as a feeder school to both Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Tallahassee qualifies as significant college town with a student population exceeding 70,000.

Tallahassee is a center for trade and agriculture in the Big Bend (Florida) region and Southwest Georgia and is served by Tallahassee International Airport and Interstate 10. As a capital city, Tallahassee is home to the Florida State Capitol, Supreme Court of Florida, Florida Governor’s Mansion, and nearly 30 state agency headquarters. The city is also known for its large number of law firms, lobbying organizations, trade associations and professional associations, including the Florida Bar and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. It is also a recognized regional center for scientific research, and home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.


 Alpha Omega M.D.

People, Places, Things

Main Characters:

DOCTOR ALPHA OMEGA CAMPBELL

MAGGIE LOU CAMPBELL

ALPHA CAMPBELL (Mizzel) – #1 Campbell daughter

LAURA BELL CAMPBELL (McLoud) – #2 Campbell daughter

ZILLAH CAMPBELL (Shirley) – #3 Campbell daughter

FRANKLIN MCLOUD (LAURA BELL)

R. WORTH MOORE – A.O. Campbell attorney

GEORGE LEWIS – Lewis State Bank

Supporting Characters:

Frank Lightfoot – Starke Prison Guard

Warden Hayes – Starke Prison Warden

Charles Wilson – Capital Plaza Hotel

Samuel Goldblatt III – Holiday Inn Hotel Founder 

Vaughn Mizzel (Alpha husband)

Bill Shirley (Zillah husband)

Lettie Golden – Campbell nurse, family friend

Reverend Bill Johnson – Pastor Faith Resurrection Baptist Church

Places & Things:

TALLAHASSEE FLORIDA

FLORIDA STATE PRISON AT STARKE FLORIDA

LEWIS STATE BANK

HOLIDAY INN

FRENCHTOWN

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR is a book that I worked on from 1995 to 2006. It is Hi Fi (historical fiction) that runs from 1896 to 1959. Alpha Omega Campbell M.D. was a real man who began practicing medicine in Tallahassee Florida in 1913.

“And though the man was real (b. 1889 d. 1977) I use his life as a framework for recounting the turn-of-the-century past, all the way thru to his trial for manslaughter in the death of a girl he treated at his clinic. Most all the direct scenes concerning the doctor were real, but I take the events along the way and shape them in a refreshing way. No one else writes Hi Fi (Historical Fiction) like I do.

“Beginning  in March 2-19 I will be posting the book, which has been published and available in print (ISBN 978-1-4691-9018), much like the way I posted CONSTANCE CARAWAY IN 2018, . Feel free to ask questions of me as you read. When you see a book laid out in blocks/scenes, you are able to digest it ONE DAY AT A TIME.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

– Tallahassee Map

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #14

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #14

…There is no moment so defining/sad as the body lowering into the ground…

“Married?” There is a slight trembling in his voice, reflecting a tinge of unwarranted possessiveness.

“Yeah, an Italian policeman, Amelio is his last name. Nice guy treats her real good too.”

  No Maggie and now no Camille, not that he ever laid claim to the latter, a comely woman of Puerto Rican decent. She was a house cleaner when a much younger A.O. Campbell found his way into her third floor bedroom, with floor length red fringe doorways. The passion they shared was love, but quite different from the comfortable version he has in Tallahassee, with Maggie owning land and buildings and fancy stuff; comfortable indeed.

Still and all, a life with Camille was always lurking in the forbidden shadows of his life. But the shadows are now gone, thick clouds masking the suns of his life.

With respects paid and proper, the funeral of Maggie Lou Campbell has a grim black hearse to the front of the procession, curtained side windows concealing the wood box, which will occupy the freshly dug hole in the Oakland Cemetery. It is a scenic graveyard, for whatever that is worth, but the Campbell 16×16 plot is Spartan, off by itself in a new section, flat and undistinguished. Compared to the grand statues, stones, monuments and vaults of some local families, this newest of holes is among tall grass, not easily to be found in the future, when people will come to pay their respects.

The four score mourners form a crescent ring around the grave, Pastor Johnson and theFuneral-001 prolific arrangements of cut flowers thereabout. There is no moment so defining/sad as the body lowering into the ground. To some, those who choose not to believe in everlasting life, it is like a door that is permanently closed, never to be opened again.  While pagans here are few, the rest feel that when the fresh dug dirt hits the mahogany lid, it is a temporary goodbye.

Yet that very finality weighs heavy on the grieving hearts, eyes burning, immersed in salted tears.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #14


page 14

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #13

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #13

…Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago…

Post-funeral mingling continues…

“We’ll all be missin’ her, Doc, just like we’ve been missin’ you,” offers Edwina Stephens, longtime Frenchtown resident and friend to the family. A warm embrace is given to all in the greeting line.

Second in sequence is J. Kenty Johnson, who along with A.O., was one of the first black doctors in the former Confederacy; numbered lower than 100 for the longest time. “You had the finest possible woman, ‘specially for a doctor, A.O. A single man like me can sure ‘preciate that.”

“Thank you, Johnnie. I know I couldn’ta made it through those early years without her. She was a blessin’ to me.”

“To everyone,” it is agreed.

The slow moving, single file line produces a surprise: Hosea Campbell, the wayward older brother of the doctor, who still looks like his vocation, a purveyor of prostitution. He saunters up respectfully.

“I’ma sorry that I ain’t been ‘round these years, Alfrey,” he speaks to his brother using a nickname only the Quincy Campbells use; Alfrey actually being A.O.’s given name. It wasn’t dignified enough.

“How’d Jersey been treatin’ you, Hosey?” asks Alpha, not expecting what would be coming out of his mouth next.

“Oh well, I’m doin’ okay,” Hosey says, changing to a whisper, “but Angie is worried sick ‘bout you. Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago. She’s thinkin’ you forgot about her.”

The doctor discretely responds in muted words, “Tell Angela and her mother that I’ll be contactin’ them soon. I was fearin’ the warden’s been spying on my mail, don’t need his knowin’ ‘bout Camille.”

Secrets-001

Secrets are undisclosed facts. You would swear that these liberties with the truth would make a heck of a good story, if they did not make such painful truth. And it’s not as though things got this complicated overnight. Years of careless planning have contributed to current circumstances. 1919 was one interesting year, in the deep dark past and the culprit in several indiscreet situations by multiple offenders.

“Camille is married, did ya know?” Hosey is updating the New Jersey news, as they shunt to an unoccupied corner.

It has caught the doctor off balance. “Married?” There is a slight trembling in his voice, reflecting a tinge of unwarranted possessiveness.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #13


page 14

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #12

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #12

…”I keep this picture with me always,” A.O. relates sadly…

BOOK PIC 6 002

The entire front right pew rises, there to pass in front of the open mahogany casket enveloping the unique blended beauty of Maggie Lou Ferrell Campbell; part Cherokee Indian, part black, part Scot, an Oster mix of unlikely combination. She is dressed in her favorite pale green satin dress; the very one A.O. has given her to wear on Easter Sunday, 1955.

Upon seeing his beloved, so real, so eternally quiet, he turns to his daughters and pulls out a bent picture from his coat saying, “I keep this picture with me always.” It says on the back:

Me and Mrs. Campbell—–Easter Day 1955

The year our tribulations began. At the time,

we had no thought of the gathering storm

that broke loose in August; you see no

apprehension in our faces. Thanks for looking.’

“Mamma’s as beautiful as ever, the way I think of her always,” adds Laura Campbell lovingly. She has been joined by her husband, a late arriver, who actually did care for his mother-in-law, though he betrays her in the present.

“And where have you been, Franklin McLoud? We waited and waited for you. Alpha and Vaughn brought us here and thank God they did, little Laura was crying for her grandpa.”

Children are a good source of guilt.

No answer.excuses

“What could be so important that you could be so late?” Good question.

As if he could explain. He was supposed to be one of the pallbearers.

“The funeral director had to take your end of the casket. Do you know how embarrassin’ that was?” Laura is usually quiet, slow to anger. Had she known the real reason for his absence, the present anger may have turned violent.

He takes his place beside Laura, silently, dutifully and deceitfully.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #12


page 13