Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

…Alpha O. Campbell, M.D. deserved a better fate. Gwendolyn Hoff has given it to him. Thank you for the privilege of writing this story.

A.O., God rest your soul. It has been one wild ride!…

When We Last Left

In chapters 8 and 9 we are introduced to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who is an admitted sidetrack. Company Town-001The company town Blountstown is the Calhoun County seat, but it is mere fodder for the overall story. Company towns can really be like Blountstown.

All the above, as in Episode #333, is a lead-up to our late involvement in WWI, where we meet Sir James KISS FOR CINDERELLA-001Matthew Barrie, the prolific playwright and cousin to John Ferrell. John Ferrell’s supply ship, the Panama City, never sailed, was not sunk by U-Boat submarines, though the elder Ferrell did indeed die in 1916; such a blue-blooded way to Pearson Eastman Journal-001die, helping your Scottish ancestors through a tough time.

Chapters 10 and 11 encompass that bloody 1st world war, along with the deadly influenza that started inPearson Eastman Journal-001 Europe and traveled back to the US. 30 million people died worldwide and that is about the time that Alpha Omega Campbell began practicing medicine.

After the doctor and Maggie wed in 1918, they both had affairs that produced Maggie Lou-001children. Maggie’s dalliance produced middle daughter, Laura. That little child was so fair-skinned, right banker Lewis? Alpha, for his part, did father a child; it’s just that whether it was with Camille Diaz is buried amongst the Careless Whispers. Camille is fictional.

Alice Paul did argue for the cause of the right for women to vote, which was a hard fought and contentious lead-up to the Roaring Twenties, but is window dressing for my purposes.

Those Roaring years of flappers and debauchery are bypassed here, as is the Great Depression. It Image result for r.i.pseems the author (me) does not deal well with hard times, which resurface in the closing chapters, a.k.a. the happy, or rather, calm ending. So From the Ashes emerges the mid-1930’s. We lose great characters Harv Pearson, Herbert Love and Phoebe. We’ve already left the Endlichoffer’s behind and the elder Ferrells.

James Ferrell LawyerJames Ferrell becomes the Dr.’s lawyer and we are (re)introduced to Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway – Private Eye) and her lover Sara Fenwick (Fanny Constance Caraway P.I.-001Renwick). Like the incest episode between James and Agnes, this Lesbian relationship is a glimpse into life in the South, as well as real life. This statement is not meant to offend, it’s just that things happen down there that are “different”, perhaps more frequently or just a figment of fertile fancy.

Newt Swakhammer-001       Chapters, Hospitable, Inhospitable fly us to Area 51 and an alien contact. Good ol’ Newt Swakhammer, what a guy? The government calls him a crank. But the year 1947 harbors UFO’s, as well as the brick & mortar of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital… born of Alpha O. Campbell’s spirit, the building itself is one large lightning rod; meant for good, yet attracting an LBMH-001onslaught of controversy and hardship.

We look back at Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, along 434f7-disneylandwith the world of Cinderella. And then we are bounced ahead to Michael Rennie and Walt Disney; what an odyssey of entertainment.

 

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latobsd3-001As for the remainder of THE LIFE & TIMES, not so many pages back, your imagination isLATOBSD4-001 the king. My imagination has splattered the backdrop of history from way-back 1896, all the way up to the dawn of John Fitzgerald Kennedy… Just the dawn, mind you, then you are reeled back to 1955.

Isn’t that rude? But look at the payoff. Instead of an old man in jail, we LBMHhappen upon a Laura Bell Memorial Hospital with a future. What a shame that this was not the ending to the saga of one of the first Black doctors in gwenFlorida. In my rosy reality, we all have access to Alice’s Wonderful Looking Glass.

Alpha O. Campbell, M.D. deserved a better fate. Gwendolyn Hoff has given it to him. Thank you for the privilege of writing this story.

 A.O., God rest your soul. It has been one wild ride! 

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Copyright © 2020 by Gwendolyn K Hoff   All Rights Reserved


Alpha Omega M.D.

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– Final Episode

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #329

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #329

…Sodomy versus abortion…” Carolyn’s open palms represent the scales of justice; one lowers the other raises and back again. “Which is the greater offense?…

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“The door is locked,” Lyn states.

“Here, I can open it…”

  The four of them enter, getting a wide eyeful of Winthrop Joyce, in a compromising position with a man in a prison-striped jumpsuit, pulled down for all to see. There is a lag in time between the unexpected opening of the medical room door and the shocked expressions of the two men therein.

Harry Morrison is in the lead, he turns in haste, pushing the other three away. But the damage is already done.

“I’m sorry you had to see that, folks.”

Image result for lower case upper caseCarolyn Ford seizes the moment, “Aren’t there laws prohibiting sodomy?”

“…yes…” Lower case y, little e, small s.

“Don’t you think States Attorney Hopkins should know about what is going on in Leon County?”

NO!” Upper case N, big O.

In the vacuous silence of the cold concrete and steel hallway, Morrison is allowed to let the heat of the moment bring his blood to a boil. There isn’t much he can verbalize to explain away what they had just seen.

Lyn breaks the silence, in her own inimitable and anticipated way. “We are all adults here.” In between latobsd3-001words, you can hear the leaky faucet in the lavatory in the room release one more drip.

Sodomy versus abortion…” Her open palms represent the scales of justice; one lowers the other raises and back again. “Which is the greater offense?

“No difference,” admits Morrison. Cousin Curt nods.

“We haven’t seen Dr. A.O. Campbell yet. Where is he?”

“He’s in the Negro cell block downstairs, but I see where you’re going and you can back up a mite. A girl died after being treatment by him.”

“Come – come now. I read the deposition of one, Dr. Sapp and it seems he has been given a pass on the eventual fate of Audrie Franich. You have taken his word and thrown away the key concerning Alpha Campbell.”

“If I let Campbell walk, I don’t know whose head will roll.”

“Whose head will roll in a serial sodomy case against Sheriff Joyce? Just him, I doubt it. Wow, merely visualizing the newspaper headlines! Can you imagine… his wife… your wife… would-be Governor Hopkins… disgraced public officials?”

          “Fine, Miss Hanes, I get your drift.”

          “It’s Hanes-Ford and my reach goes far beyond the front page headlines of the Tallahassee Democrat.”

          “Go down and get Campbell, Deputy Curt. Make sure he has all his possessions.”

          “We don’t have his release papers,” states Curt, covering his own tracks with procedural detail.

          “I’ll take care of that.” He walks Curt to the service elevator while whispering, “Did you know what Joyce was doing?”

          “No, but he told me not to ask him why he made weekly visits… at the same time… in the same room. I know my place.”

          “I am leaving, now! Don’t screw up and by the way, you didn’t see anything, did you?”

          “Nope!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Released by Susan Swain

Episode #329


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #328

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #328

…we are proud of our enforcement of the laws of Florida, in fact, we have been assembling a case against a Negro doctor who we’ve been watching all summer…

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There is a black sedan bearing Leon County tags pulling through the service entrance to the Leon County Jail at half past the hour. When 5:00 approaches, another car, this time with Florida official license plates, enters the fortified gate. The guards allow passage for both, without question.

It is by way of the front gate that Carolyn and Bob Ford enter the jail, carrying a note signed by Cousin Curt, Head Jailer of Leon County. Curt has already welcomed the Assistant States Attorney, who will join them on a tour of the facility. carolyn-hanes-001

“It a pleasure to meet to you Miss Hanes. You are one of Tallahassee’s true treasures.”

“You are too kind, Attorney Morrison. I have been keeping an eye on my hometown for some time. California is so different and a world away from the Old South. Laws seem to be so liberal in comparison, you know, like abortion.”

“Yes Miss Hanes, we are proud of our enforcement of the laws of Florida. In fact, we have been assembling a case against a Negro doctor who we’ve been watching all summer. He is at this jail right now.”

“Is that Alpha O. Campbell?” Lyn asks, not so innocently.

          “Why, yes. How did you know about him?”

          “I had a good friend who was a witness, way back in ‘31, when his mother-in-law was killed.”

          Morrison raises his eyebrows.

          “He is such a dear man, helping folks who don’t have much money. Y’all need more doctors like him, instead of taking him out of the community. I plan to do an article on his life.”  She is layering on a thick blanket of underpin to aid her plan. “Say, is not your boss going to run for Governor?”

“I thought you wanted to observe our successes in the incarceration of criminals.”

          “Well yes, but wouldn’t that automatically make you States Attorney for the State of Florida?”

          “When or if Wilbert Hopkins is elected Governor, then I would run the Attorney’s office.”

          The seeds of ambition are scattered on the ground, for the seeing.

          the-sting-001“Oh, the tour, let’s continue. Is this the infirmary, Curt?” She winks at him with her far eye.

          The look on his face is screaming, ‘You are getting red hot!’

          “The door is locked,” she states.

          “Here, I can open it…”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Continued

Episode #328


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #324

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #324

…A 1954 teal Ford Coupe convertible streaks down less traveled roads to Tallahassee’s “new” Regional Airport…

Image result for airport control tower 1960

Municipal Airport – photographer Bill Malone

“This is FREDERICK ALPHA GEORGE 1610, requesting permission to land on runway 2-9er,” ever the pilot Bob Ford asks.

          “Affirmative FREDERICK ALPHA GEORGE 1610, descend to 1000 feet, decrease speed to 120 mph.”

          “Roger that tower, we’re coming in… hello Tallahassee Regional.”

“Hello Florida indeed,” Lyn chimes in. She is exhausted from the six hour general aviation flight, with two stops, one for fuel & one potty break. Her near 60 year old bladder does not hold as much as it used to. “After we set down, taxi me to the terminal, I want to get Slater to pick us up post-haste.”

“Is he off duty?”

“He better be, ‘cause what we are going to do would get him fired.”

“Do not wreck another man’s career.”

Carolyn Hanes is not about to do that. Even though there is score to settle, Joe Slater’s anonymity is assured.

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A 1954 teal Ford Coupe convertible streaks down less traveled roads to Tallahassee’s “new” Regional ford-coupeAirport. Joe Slater is responding to a telephone call from Carolyn Hanes-Ford, a woman he has always admired from afar, mainly because, in times past, he had heard the rumors about her and Sara Fenwick.

  Deafening were the whispers; when two women live together and never seen in the company of men. Two women, who are extremely attractive at that, more than a few times, when then a young patrolman, did Joe resolve to ask Miss Hanes out, only to have the words stick to his tongue or waft harmlessly into thin air.

For now, he is content to help an acquaintance from the past, help a good and respectable man from her past. Here she is, famous beyond Florida and successful surpassing the cause that she is pursuing. He can’t resist scaling that same righteous mountain.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #324


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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 #322

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #322

…This is out of my hands, Carolyn. The Leon County Sheriff is after him and he has aced me out of this case, flat out barring me from any input…

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In the midst of this playful banter, the telephone rings. It has its origins from a Florida exchange, as suggested by the type of ring.

“I’ll get it!” Lyn is hoping it is the call she has been waiting for. “Hello?”Image result for old telephone gif

“Miss Hanes, is that you? This is a voice from your past.”

“It is Mrs. Ford now, Joe Slater. How are you?”

“Its getting busy here, but I will always have time for you.” Detective Joe is a grizzled veteran of the Tallahassee community, including the ins and outs of everyone’s business, though not in a nosey way. He merely knows a lot.

“I’m glad for that because I’ve heard some scuttlebutt about Doc Campbell; manslaughter Joe? He couldn’t hurt a fly, you know that.”

This is out of my hands, Carolyn. The Leon County Sheriff is after him and he has aced me out of this case, flat out barring me from any input.”

“What did Campbell do?”

“He treated a girl or two from Jacksonville way, you know, got them out of trouble.”

“You know what I think about abortion, Joe, I do not approve of it morally, but making it a capital offense is wrong. Penalties should fit the crime.”

“Yeah, I understand that, but one of the girls died.”

“Oh,” period, end of sentence.

“But she had been seeing another doctor back east and she was allergic to penicillin.” Slater knows the details, but he is being trumped by a shadowy machination.

“It sounds like he is being railroaded, am I right?”

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“The Pensacola & East all the way!” He refers to the railway where a young Alfrey Campbell was nearly run over by in 1896. “Somebody wants him out of the way, gal. Some see him getting in the way of progress, if you know what I mean. He and Maggie still own some fine property, though some of it is slipping into curious hands.”

“Who is helping him, Joe? He must have representation.”

“Well, that is part of the problem. James Ferrell passed away a couple years back and R. Worth Moore is no James Ferrell.”

“Enough said. Bob will fly me in tomorrow. I will call from the airport.”

“You got it, Lyn and I wouldn’t waste any time getting here.”

“One more thing….Who is the Sheriff of Leon County??”

“W. P Joyce.”

  “Hummm,,,,,,,,, interesting.”

She knows something.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #322


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #320

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 320

…On an otherwise quiet day in September, the eighth to be exact, Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is indicted on one count of manslaughter (Franich) and two counts of abortion (Pyle/Evans and (Bailey/Ferber)…

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  In all three of these cases of needy white girls, there are more-than-sufficient reasons to turn down the money, turn his back on future problems and turn his clinic back into a legitimate hospital.

After all, he had invited his fellow black doctors to practice their medicine there at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital. Instead of coming alongside this good humanitarian, standing tall and strong in solidarity for the poor and disadvantaged of Florida, they turn their collective backs, choosing the safe sheltering walls of Florida A & M’s University Hospital.

A.O. Campbell is getting old. He could have used the help; help with keeping his skills current, help with not being the lone private practicing physician in the Frenchtown community.

Instead, this kind and good man is left to his own devices, even traveling to the remotest regions of North Florida, virtually giving away his services. Those he treated did not have the resources of their white counterparts. His reputation grew, but his personal wealth leaked away with every passing year.

And yes, he was now drawing attention, but not for the good he was doing, but for violating Florida’s anti-abortion laws. But, but, but he was helping girls in trouble.

No buts about it.

On an otherwise quiet day in September, the eighth to be exact, Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is indicted on one count of manslaughter (Franich) and two counts of abortion (Pyle/Evans and (Bailey/Ferber).

  Thus began the fall of this 67 year old doctor, failing in health, with an unlikely Florida avalanche of evidence poised to bury him. No looking back for what ifs.

  Listen closely, there on Virginia Street and you will hear, “Things are looking down, Maggie.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode # 320


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #309

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 309

… “We have a warrant to search the premises, nurse.” One of Tallahassee’s finest is in the company of Attorney Jordan Essington of Jacksonville…

Reliable Lettie Golden is working at LBMH this day and needs no prompting in locating the ledger book appointment-book2from two years ago. She was not working that evening in question, but she did book the appointment. She is able to go directly to the right page. “Here it is Mr. Clavitt… Sanders.”

“Good work, Lettie. Now do you see why it is a good idea using a pencil instead of a pen to take down names?” He removes Missy Sanders from the 7:00 p.m. space with a clean eraser. A clean fresh eraser is the key, leaving behind nary a trace of graphite. The lone entry for the evening is the admission of Edwina Stevens, the one of broken ankle fame; must have taken all night to set it proper. That’s going to be their story and they’ll stick to it.

“We are going to change the rules here,” the lawyer continues, “and I want you to promise me that you’ll stick to them. But let’s get over to George’s Store to talk this out. I’d rather you weren’t here A.O., in case the police show up. Lettie? Put that book away like no one has seen it since it was filed.”search-warrant-001

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“We have a warrant to search the premises, nurse.” One of Tallahassee’s finest is in the company of Attorney Jordan Essington of Jacksonville. They expect to encounter some resistance, perhaps in the form of foot dragging or pleading of ignorance. Neither is present here at LBMH.

Lettie is a God-fearing woman, not well versed in lying or covering up, but she would perjure herself if and when the doctor’s career was on the line. She is polite, while trying not to look as if she were expecting them. “Yes, officer, what can I do for you?”

“We need to have Doctor Campbell’s appointment book from 1952, specifically January 24.” Fifteen minutes earlier, they would have found what they were expecting to find.

“This is 1954, sir. I don’t rightly recall where it is, but I’ll do my best to find it. I ain’t the head nurse, but I knows a few places where it might be.”

“Do your best and I’m sure you will find it.”

  Lettie goes to the back storage rooms and basically spends the ensuing half-hour praying, pretending like she was having difficulty. She tries the patience of the men in the lobby.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode # 309


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #308

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #308

…As soon as the nosey attorney’s car is down the street, Clavitt heads straight for LBMH, to rectify two small details concerning this case…

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All Mixed Up by Donna Bentley

“What do you mean you’re suing the doctor because his daughter can’t have children?” Campbell Attorney Sinclair Clavitt, an associate of R. Worth Moore, reacts to his first conversation with the attorney representing the Sanders family. Missy Sanders was a patient of Doc Campbell two years ago. “There is no record of your client being a patient of A.O. Campbell and all the way from Jacksonville you say… please? You insult my intelligence, sir.”

“She is married now and her obstetrician claims that she had an abortion and that whoever did it appointment-book2damaged one of her Fallopian tubes. The odds of her conceiving a child is so slim that her doctor says any baby would be a miracle baby.”

  “I am truly sorry for the girl, but my client has no record of a Missy Hart as a patient.”

  “Missy Sanders.”

He is corrected. “Yes, that’s who I meant, Missy Sanders.” Clavitt is beginning to secretly panic. Campbell is getting his patients confused, thereby confusing his legal counsel, which is not a good thing. “I’ll give you some advice; tell the Sanders’ that they are wasting their time and yours.”

“I’m about to get a warrant to see Doctor Campbell’s appointment book from 1952.”

“We have nothing to hide. Good day.” It is an abrupt separation.

As soon as the antagonist’s car is down the street, Clavitt heads straight for LBMH, to rectify two small details concerning this case. He had previously supervised the erasure of the wrong patient in the wrong year.

After breaking every speed limit by more than ten miles per hour, he explodes into the lobby of Campbell’s clinic. “It wasn’t Milicent Hart, A.O., it was Missy Sanders!”

“I get those young girls mixed up, don’t like knowin’ their names — can’t remember their faces.”

“That’s all fine, but if we don’t erase the Sanders name from your appointment book, you can bet that a very angry grand-childless father will cause you to lose you medical license, maybe worse.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #308


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

… “Do you think A.O. could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce,” asks the house guest of Maggie Lou…

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“Do you want another cup of tea, Edwina?” Maggie Lou Campbell is entertaining a friend from Frenchtown. She enjoys showing off her home. 224 Virginia Street is two stories are filled with finest housekeeperthings that money can buy and kept to immaculate standards by a live-in housekeeper, who supervises the cook and the gardener/chauffeur.

“Yessum, please, Maggie. These little sandwiches is so good.” Edwina Stevens enjoys being entertained, especially being waited on by a real housekeeper, not to mention the chauffeur driven Cadillac that brought her for a visit. “Is that husband of yours workin’ late again?”

Maggie hesitates momentarily. She is beginning to suspect that her dear husband is involved in something suspicious. She has stopped going next door, as well as asking him about the details of his patients. He is paying the bills after all. “Oh yes, yes, Edwina, the man just ain’t slowin’ down.”

“Do you think he could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce.”

“He’s very busy right now, told me he’d be really late, but check in with Lilly. I’m sure she can work you in tomorrow.”

“I believe I will do just that. I got to be scootin’.”

cadillac-1952-001“I’ll have Curtis bring the Cadillac over to the clinic.” The two old friends exchange a warm hug. “I hope that Alpha can fix that foot, I hate to see you limpin’ like that.”

“I”m kinda used to this cane, here… good for scaring’ away the bad ones.” She demonstrates a good whack about an imaginary head on her way out the front door and onto the well-worn path to the LBMH next door. It is past twilight by now and she uses the cane like a blind person. She aims herself toward the lighted front entrance, but does not reach her goal. Her elevated staff is in the wrong position to keep her already ailing foot from wrenching on a loose rock. She goes down at once, howling from the extra pain.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #302


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