Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #11

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #11

  …We are here to raise a wonderful woman, wife, mother and human being to meet and be with our Lord and Savior…

Funeral-001

Attending Maggie Lou’s casket are six pallbearers and as well as members of the Strong and Jones Funeral Home, who try to blend in with the proceedings; innocently sticking out with businesslike insincerity, professional mourners, if you will.

Pastor Johnson, on the other hand, could not be more sincere, as if it were his blood sister, instead of sister in Christ, laying still and cold in front of him. He summons the word of God and the courage of David, to properly honor her memory.

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A.O. & Maggie Lou

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered this day, a woefully sad day indeed, to raise a wonderful woman, wife, mother and human being to meet and be with our Lord and Savior, who sits at the right hand of God Who reigns in heaven, until the day he comes to judge the living and the dead; the day we believers anxiously await. Our dear Maggie Lou has the privilege to experience this first hand. She is surely a blessed addition to a heaven filled with cherubim and seraphim.”

“Amen, sweet Jesus!” shouts one amongst the many. Pastor Johnson glorifies the Lord most effectively, if not exceedingly.

“A man and Amen to the maker and taker, Father to all, lover of man, Wonderful Counselor!!!” Hands lifted to the heavens, hearts on fire, soaring past cathedral roof and the autumn clouds above.

Pastor adjusts the vest of his three piece suit, runs his hands through his totally gray hair, and corrects his wire rimmed glasses, thereby composing himself as best he can for the rest of the service. It is a memorial observance for the ages.

And even though there are few dry eyes, (the exception displayed mainly by those who attend because of obligation, guilt, or just to be seen) the sincere majority is left with a genuine sense of comfort, verily unsurpassed joy. The past hour has been pure revelation, as they usher Maggie to the steps of Heaven’s Gate.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #11


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #10

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #10

…the good reverend Pastor Bill Johnson gazing down at his assembling flock and guests, from the top stair of his church entrance…

Faith Resurrection Baptist Church

A solemn motorcade has assembled in front of Faith Resurrection Baptist Church. Directly behind the funeral director, is the same extended-body black Lincoln that whisked A.O. Campbell to his temporary freedom. Trailing behind, in a considerable line, are those less mobile, nevertheless devoted admirers of what Maggie Lou and her surviving husband mean to the community. As he suffered at Starke, in silence, in disgrace, they were out of sight, out of mind.

Without Doc Campbell in the socially lagging Frenchtown neighborhood, they suffer of body. Without Maggie, they are down one friend. Despite the incalculable disparity in the lifestyle the Campbells have enjoyed and that of, say Lilly Chevis, it can never be said of Maggie, ‘That woman is so uppity, livin’ in that huge house and all. And can you imagine havin’ black servants? How nervy can you get?’ Yes, Lilly Chevis helped out at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, a two story edifice named after Maggie’s mother, their shared kinship is the byproduct of most relationships that include the Campbell’s by habit. Holidays, birthdays, baby dedications, church socials, graduations and sadly, funerals are shared experiences of the community family; each occasion warm and full to the brim.

The Campbell world, the one not fully revealed to Lilly: the university functions, cotillions, fund raising dinners for the politically given and all black ties affairs.

Yet today, none of these detract from the deep sense of neighborhood.

Consider all of the above. These are what bring a throng of mourners to Faith Resurrection B.C.E., the good reverend Pastor Bill Johnson gazing down at his assembling flock and guests, from the top stair of his church entrance. Neither he nor any of his parishioners can recall this house of God’s capacity being so threatened. Although the Sunday after the Tallahassee soldiers arrived back from World War II was greatly packed with grateful souls.

Ushers Harwood, husband to former Campbell nurse, Lettie Golden and Dr. V.L. Perry, the president of Florida A&M, make the most of “Faith’s” interior, including the little used balcony. For this service, there are extra honoring voices behind the pulpit, which is right behind the flower covered casket.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #10


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #9

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #9

…  Samuel Goldblatt III thought he might be able to sneak one past these Southern bumpkins …

Sneaky Sam-001

“Campbell’s property on Tennessee Street is worth millions to you, yet you’ll get it for pennies on the dollar,” the doctor’s son-in-law complains.

“Speaking of percentages, you’ll be getting a good fee for your part, you know blood moneythat,” chimes in George Lewis, the handler of the title arrangements.

“That is blood money to me, George and you best make sure that the Leon County Clerk will see you as the aggressor in this matter,” he implores.

“You will take the money I bet?”

No answer, is his answer.

“Let’s get past the pettiness and get right to the meat, men.” Samuel Goldblatt III does not linger on such trivial things as fragile human emotion. “Ten thousand dollars an acre is the agreed on price, am I correct?”

Samuel Goldblatt III

“It is ten thousand, only if I am the managing partner in the hotel,” Charles Wilson asserts. “Fifty thousand per if I’m not.” Ironically, the latter would obviously be best for the Campbells. But this is not about their welfare, rather the personal gain of the vultures.

Why do we need you Wilson? We could have leveraged our way into your Plaza, you know.”

“We will never know, Sam, will we? I am the sole owner of the Capitol Plaza and the only one who can pull off the land deal you need to erect your tower.” Stated like someone with clout of his own. “And I cannot stand competition, unless I have a stake in it as well.”

Holiday Inns knows full well that if they are going to make inroads into certain markets, regional lords, the holders of their dominion, will have to be players. The word “franchise” is a recent addition to popular vernacular and corporations have instituted these units to bring limited partners into the larger company umbrella. Charles Wilson is an example of a franchisee.

  Samuel Goldblatt the Third thought he might be able to sneak one past these Southern bumpkins; Fat chance.

“Sixty thousand for the lot, purchased by the Holiday Inn Corporation of America, with the Leon County Treasurer the payee, minus 5% real estate fees payable to McLoud Realty,” George Lewis enumerates. “Our attorneys will draw up the necessary papers, including the title search.”

Franklin McLoud stays seated, hands covering his face, disgusted with himself, as the others disburse, each his own way.  For $3000 dollars, he has seriously jeopardized the once proud Campbell Empire. It has been said, ‘every man has his price’, with some lower than others.

“I’ll see you at the funeral, Franklin. Try not to let this eat you alive. Leave that to the gators.” Lewis’ morose analogy disguises his true feelings. He is now the proud owner of two huge secrets – to deal with in the now and in those tenuous times to come.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #9


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #7

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 7

… The 4 conspirators are meeting in a fallout shelter, one constructed forty feet below the basement, a paranoid reaction to Hiroshima and Nagasaki…

Back to the west of the Starke Prison and a little to the north, perhaps 140 miles total, as the flamingo flies, there is the beginning of a covert transaction under way. The underlying focus of this meeting is a juicy plot of Tallahassee, on the south side of Tennessee Street. A mere five blocks south of the Oakland Cemetery, where Maggie Lou Campbell will be buried, are the six acres of land most coveted by those expanding the capitol city.

As it happens, thousands of government people, legislators and the like, rotate their stays here in Tallahassee and their home districts. In addition to that, the two universities attract transient visitors as well, many of whom are moneyed, needing to tarry the next day and beyond.

Not all too surprisingly, one of the four men at this meeting, in the bowels of the Capitol Plaza Hotel (the sole world class facility in town) is the owner, Charles Wilson. Yes, there are quite a few “motels” scattered about, typically family operations; one floor, no frills, no food. Are mom & pop ten roomers considered competition to the Plaza? The answer is no, because if they were, Charles Wilson would have his fingers in that pie. ShrewD with a “capital” D, while possessing the clout of an entrenched incumbent politician, Wilson will be a part of any hotel doings, you can be sure.

In the room as well, one constructed forty feet below the basement, a paranoid reaction to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is Samuel Goldblatt III. He represents the exploding Holiday Inn chain of hotels and motels, lodging for the masses that targets large cities and sites along newly organizing interstate highway systems connecting those cities. He is fashioned after the new breed of American businessman; a child of the Great Depression, determined never again to be poor, sometimes at any cost.

No mega-deal would get off the ground without financing. George Lewis, he of Lewis State Bank, fund-raiser for Wilson and mortgage maker for FranklinGreedy-001 McLoud, completes the quadrangle. He seems to be the uneasy-est member of the group, perhaps because of a rumored, but unsubstantiated connection to the Campbell family.

Neither he nor McLoud should be comfortable in this bunker, taking into account the nature of their business, not to mention the fact that they are expected to be numbered at Maggie Lou’s funeral.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #7


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #4

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #4

… gone are the carefree days in Tallahassee…

Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell is by no way or definition, an imposing man. Accounting for 66 inches of vertical space, balding to a tee, of mixed race to the visual exclusion of all the others, other than Negro, he is warmed by God’s spirit and in no form or manner a threat to anyone except himself. And yet, here he is in prison at Starke, Florida, closer to Gainesville than Tallahassee; seemingly nearer to hell than the Lord of grace.

  If this diminutive groundbreaker could see beyond the bars of incarceration, the world of 1958, one that is lesser for his absence, is a tranquil void, in an otherwise mischievous globe. Rampant unemployment fuels postwar inflation. Nikita Kruschev and Charles de join Dwight Eisenhower, generals all, are world leaders. The Cold War is on.

The United States first satellite orbits the earth, high above the tensions of state or of race, perhaps to relay news of school integration in Little Rock, Arkansas; good news for those in the minority, but not as bad as it should be for those who hide behind white-hooded garments, disguising any real trace of humanity.

Of greater relevance, gone are the carefree days in Tallahassee. On a slow summer’s day, devoid of virus and trauma, a chauffeur driven Cadillac sedan could be taking the Campbell family ensemble to watch tennis lessons, given to the youngest daughter, Zillah, who is preceded by Laura Bell and Alpha (Omega). They too have been tutored by Florida A&M’s coach in a sport not known to many Negroes.

Even more radical perhaps, are the cook and the gardener and the maids, in a grand house that is and was the envy of most folks in the Florida panhandle. It is that very jealousy, of means and possession that have precipitated the doctor’s downfall.

The fact that his dark skin has the hidden hue of a blue blood, will bar his efforts to be with his family this year.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #4


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #1

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #1

Chapter One

ALPHA AND OMEGA

… Well, it looks like they finally got him….

  Somewhere in the western United States in 1956

“Have you seen the headlines from back home, Lyn?” asks Robert Ford of his bride Carolyn Hanes. He is reading the stalwart newspaper Tallahassee Democrat.

“No, I’ve had my hands full putting your Pacific Clipper story on paper. I still can’t believe you guys made it back in one piece!” Lyn Hanes is a writer of some repute and she is working on the account of Captain Bob Ford’s historic flight back to New York City at the very beginning of World War II.

A.O. CampbellHe is nudging her into a reminiscing state of mind. “Do you remember that black doctor from Frenchtown, A.O. Campbell?”

“Oh my yes, how could I forget? What a sweet old man! He’s got to be in his mid-sixties. There is no one quite like him, for sure.” Lyn was loosely involved in the death of A.O.’s mother-in-law in 1931, a friend of a witness to be exact.

“Well somehow this nice old man is being indicted for manslaughter and abortion charges. The Democrat reports sources from police saying they have been watching his clinic for months.”

Carolyn Hanes takes exception to this revelation.

“Tallahassee has become a hotbed for bigotry lately. They cannot stomach a successful black man, threatens them somehow.” She knows it’s time for the South to do some “social” catching up.  “Both white and blacks have been jealous of him and his wife for decades.”

“Well, it looks like they finally got him.”

Hanes lets that statement roll around in her head for a while. She is known for supporting causes that are contrary to popular opinion or the administration of justice, i.e. abuse of.

“I can see the gears grinding in that pretty little head of yours.”

“I am putting in a call into one of my contacts inside the police department. Joe Slater is chief of detectives… I wonder what he knows?” She is becoming suspicious. “Joe would not hassle that old man without cause.”

Carolyn is on the phone in a minute, leaving a message with TPD dispatch, “Have him call me at Westwood 54-1954.”

What can she accomplish, here in regressive 1956 Florida, where the difference between black & white, was complete different to that of right & wrong?

Do not underestimate a writer, when on the trail of a worthwhile story…


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #1


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Down the Road

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Constance Caraway P.I.

DOWN THE ROAD

…So what is in store for the Libbyite nation?…

Eddie Dombroski and his Cousin Rex forge a solid business model with their carriage cartage. Though others will imitate, none can duplicate that Southside family legacy.

Edie D. will continue to support the husband that she came oh so close to losing; two bullets short – a hundred stories yet to endure.You can read from the archival links

Jesse James will always have a connection to Caraway & Associates, but will hang on to his Agent Daniels personae. Or is it that he is terminally tied to government service?

Sister Mary Joseph will continue to serve the Lord at the Tolentine Monastery, fifty yards or so from where a rare, stray lightning bolt struck on a fortuitous January day in 1951.

Doctor Louis Steinberg, formerly of Elgin State Mental Hospital, takes his experience with Willard Libby (John Doe) and makes catatonia his life’s study, writing many go-to books on the condition.

Martin Kamen will go on to extol the virtues of his radioisotope carbon-14, while searching other chemical corners of Creation for undiscovered gems.

Willard Libby wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of carbon-14 half-life, as it relates to dating organic elements. He ends his tenure at the University of Chicago, takes an emeritus position there and he tours the world, lecturing open, eager ears about the probable age of the Universe.

William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr. spreads God’s Word through his Crusades, counsels US Presidents (for their own good) and begins to champion the civil rights movement by his association with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Thanks to his crusades and television broadcasts, millions across the globe accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. No better man of God has there ever been made.

The members of Constance Caraway & Associates, Constance, Fanny Renwick, Ace Bannion and R. Worth Moore are united in their continuing mission: No Stone Unturned and No Place To Hide; one for all, each with a particular skill-set to contribute to the cause.

Please stay tuned. Though this is THE END to the story of Forever Mastadon, it is not an end to further adventures; forward or backward in time, Tallahassee/Chicago or the world and beyond, the fictional tales of Constance Caraway will live on, somewhere down the road.


Constance Caraway P.I.

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Forever Mastadon