Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #119

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #119

…McKinley and Roosevelt carry two out of three voters, so the last year of the 19th century goes quietly into peace and prosperity…

1900 elction

The way it looks, especially considering the response of his government to its greatest natural disaster, save the rare and powerful earthquakes that hit the Missouri territory and the Mississippi River valley in 1811 and 1812, William Jennings Bryan will fail once again. You cannot time a catastrophe any better. All of Bryan’s warnings about imperialism and need for free silver will fall on generally deaf ears.

1900 population

But the United States is still comprised of pockets of population, some large, some small and you best not take anything for granted. McKinley will not. Vice-president in waiting, Theodore Roosevelt, joins the campaign train, as the well-traveled locomotive stays out on the rail-trail, playing to multitudes, by 19th Century standards.

Herb Love is the lead dog, making sure each successive city on the railway system is properly notified of the Presidents’ coming. Local political organizations take it from there. Whether they are a part of the majority party or not, the presence of the President, past, present or future is a big deal and the perfect opportunity to align yourself with a winner.

Hurricane-001

Love diversifies his mission, recruiting telegraph operators for the Weather Bureau reporting program, along the way. There is no use Sec. of Ag-001wasting this unique chance of crisscrossing America’s heartland. Nor will he spend October away from his wife, who would make a wonderful first lady, should her husband be infected by the excitement of political campaigning. It is a long shot thought, but given enough exposure, the Love pair has the right metal; sound moral leadership for a global force whose population is exploding to the power of ten.

Future possibilities aside, the task of re-election is formidable. Not only is the population spread out, like seed from a cottonwood tree. Candidates must convince the electorate to go out to vote; to town halls, schoolhouses and churches, sometimes braving inconveniently poor November weather. They must be reminded, in case they have forgotten, that their forefathers have fought many battles for this very inalienable right.

But battles are something most Americans would rather forget; Revolutionary, Civil, wars with Britain and Spain. Toss in an angry native Indian unrest and you have a nation of people who are intimately aware of conflict and loss. Who can blame them for wanting to1901 Barber Dime forget?

Yet, despite negative factors at work, 14 million voters make their choices known. McKinley and Roosevelt carry two out of three voters. The last year of the 19th century goes quietly into peace and prosperity.

It is time for a fresh one hundred years


Alpha Omega M.D.

Thomas Hill “Yosemite Valley”

Episode #119


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 117

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #117

…John Philip Sousa thrills young and old with robust marches, including his popular composition, Stars and Stripes Forever

A billowing plume of smoke and steam can be seen on the western horizon. It is not stationary, as if from a barn fire or bonfire, rather this cloud slowly dissipates, reforming ever nearer to an absolute throng of people gathered at the Quincy train station. Someone has painted the town red… and white and blue for a special patriotic occasion.

And this is not a bashful bunch, to be sure. It is not often that the President of the United States of America comes to your town, let alone a bandmaster of some renown like John Philip Sousa. He thrills young and old with robust marches, including his popular composition, Stars and Stripes Forever.

Appropriately, this is the tune that Sousa and his big brass band are playing when the trail of smoke and steam comes to a squeaky stop.

 The Presidential train, with fewer cars than it started with, but more people than it started with (mostly the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club, who will be sticking to local projects until they get married and have children), is greeted by riotous enthusiasm. The small town is packed to overflow with: 1. anyone who remotely knows any of the returning heroes,  2. is a supporter of the fashionable President, 3. is or pretends to be a member of the working press, governors, senators, congressmen, mayors dogcatchers, or 4. just about everybody who was born and breathing.

Gadsden Goslings

Distinct and above the rest is the McKinley reviewing stand, doubling for its usual use as home team bleachers of the local ball club, the Gadsden Goslings of the Northern Florida Baseball League. Martha Ferrell has parceled out the seating on the stand in a fair manner, making sure the majority of well-wishers are not offended, even though it is a thankless, impossible task. But it is quite difficult to be mad at someone as sweet as she. If you are, chances you would be considered a stiff-necked scalawag or some other enemy of God and country.McKinley Train

The passenger cars are at the rear, with the last wooden carrier already positioned in campaigning configuration; an enlarged deck of sorts overhanging the rear wheels, with a bright brass railing guarding the semicircle; designed for the President to wave from while the train steams through towns along the countryside. One person getting a look at a Presidential candidate may garner him ten votes.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #117


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #116

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #116

…I am going to give those people a “welcome home” they will never forget…

Inspiring words, among other accounts, pass by the desk of the President of the United States. These are his people, the people of Herbert Love’s world and he could not be more proud. So moved is he that he breaks from his long-held tradition and leaves his handicapped Ida in the care of Major Walter Reed. The imitable and nearly invisible V.P. Garret Hobart (a lame duck by most accounts) is entrusted with Washington D.C.

I am going to give those people a “welcome home” they will never forget.”

Time to Remember-001And so he does, while rushing off to the state capitol of Florida, with most of the Washington press corps tagging along. “The gratitude of this nation will not be a mime’s cheer.” William McKinley is not just a decent man. He is forward looking in his direction, yet he seldom ignores the needs and the desires of the few. This is an important quality for a country that is expanding nearly as fast as its rapidly improving sectors of communication and travel.

In less than two months there will be a presidential election of 1900, so this trip to Florida may do wonders for McKinley’s patchy Southern support. Herb Love does not have a widely public personae, so his best friend cannot garner him support, only Love’s little slice of the Panhandle and not much more below the Mason-Dixon Line.

But this September of disaster and the related stories of heroism and triumph over adversity, may well translate into popular votes in November.

Speaking of popular, the Republican nominating committee and attending convention had decided that the office of vice-president needed upgrading. They choose Spanish-American War hero and current governor of New York state Theodore Roosevelt, to replace the ignoble Hobart, who was merely a crony of first term financier, Marcus Hanna. So it’s out with old and in with that “damned cowboy”. In political circles, that is a term of endearment.

Enough of back-door politics though.

There has not been a preponderance of “full dinner pails” in the South since the Civil War, though steady progress can be seen.  But in the wake of the hurricane, whose fury should have been given a name that progress has been set back.

As it turns out, it is not too late to cash in on the workings of the Love complement, as reported by Harv Pearson and spread nationwide by everyone’s source for news: large sheets of thin paper with black ink printing on it; singular to each city, bound by unwritten rules of fairness and confidentiality. Because of the efforts of hurricane heroes and revealing reporters, the sitting President should receive a beaucoup bump in popularity. Luck and timing is a politician’s greatest ally.


Alpha Omega M.D.

welcomehome

Episode #116


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #98

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #98

…Reports from ships in the vicinity tell us the storm moved straight west to Haiti, where it seems to have lost its punch…

“Is there anything we can do for those people?” asks President William McKinley of his acting Secretary of Agriculture, referring to the tropical system that had just roared over a newly ceded island of the West Indies, now under the jurisdiction of the United States.

“Not really, Mr. President,” replies Herbert Love, “but only because they have not rebuilt from last year’s hurricane. The good news is that, because of Baily Kelly and his discovery, there will not be the scores of deaths from anemia. Health conditions have improved exponentially.”

caribbean

“Puerto Rico has been long-suffering, Herb; Spanish tyranny, civil war, global war poverty, hurricanes, sickness… miseries of Biblical proportions. It is no wonder that New York is filling up with immigrants, refugees and the like. I believe I would swim all there to escape that island.”

“It’s like they are row of dominoes, standing on end. If they started with 100, 75 have already toppled,” Love relates.

          “You know how I enjoy dominoes. I guess I will have to prop up the 76th.” That is McKinley’s way of telling Herb do what he can do to help them. This is how policy is formulated, as simple as a seemingly casual conversation. “By the way, where is that storm headed? Is Florida in the path?”

Sec. of Ag-001       If the Department of Agriculture were an umbrella, the Weather Bureau is an agency under it and one of great interest to a farm owner such as Herb Love. “Reports from ships in the vicinity tell us the storm moved straight west to Haiti, where it seems to have lost its punch. The lowest barometric readings are drifting into the Gulf of Mexico, where it looks that it has stalled and likely to break up.”

“I hope so.” He moves for a peek at his presidential calendar. “By this time next year, September 6th, I want Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Bahamas to return to want they were meant to be: tropical paradises.” He speaks of 1901. “I think I will pay the islands a visit after the Pan-American Exposition. I have not used the Presidential Yacht since my first year in office. We’ll need a long vacation by then, with the election and all.”

Planning so far in advance is common among heads of state. Whether or not made plans change is a matter of fate.


Alpha Omega M.D

#1 Song of 1900

Episode #98


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #84

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #84

…I do not think we have ever had a Herb in the Lincoln Bedroom, it is yours for the duration of your White House stay…

The Lincoln Bedroom

“I will dispatch my train to fetch you this very day–if that suits your schedule. It would reach you tomorrow about this time and would expect Mrs. Love to accompany you. A wife should never be separated from her husband for long stretches of time. God has made them largely frail creatures.”

“That is if you consider the Statue of Liberty frail!” Love corrects.

“Well put, good sir. My dear Ida may not be able to run to my side, but should I get on my high horse, she can turn me around with a mere look, if you know what I mean.”

“I do indeed,” agrees a kindred male spirit, who inquires further, “Shall I make reservations at a…..”

“No, no , no, Herb—-may I call you Herb?”

“Certainly.”

I do not think we have ever had a herb in the Lincoln Bedroom. It is yours for the duration of your visit, though I suggest you start your search for more permanent accommodations in the future. I will assign my personal secretary to aid you in that endeavor. Suites are in short supply here, seeing that most Senators and Congressmen take up residence during legislative sessions.” McKinley continues, “So, I will look forward to meeting you in person, Herbert Davis Love. I am sure I will not be disappointed. You are a man after my own heart and I think will have a productive, if not lasting relationship.”

“I believe so; Mr. President and we will see the day after tomorrow. That would be 14 August, yes?”

“You are a man of detail. I like that.” President McKinley thinks of a forgotten particular on his part. “Oh my, yes, I hasten to add that should pack your formal attire, as we will be entertaining a Brazilian delegation on this Saturday eve. They are a burgeoning producer of agricultural goods. It is a fortunate coincidence that you will be here for me. You can help uphold and protect our interests.”

“I speak very little Portuguese, sir. What I do know, is that Brazilians are quite the entrepreneurs.”

“Shrewd?”

“Like a wise owl.”

The President is impressed. “It is a shame that you were overlooked back in ‘97. Oh well, that is water over the dam, is it not?” This is in light of the fact that James Wilson is no slouch. “I must be going. Ida needs her rest. I will send an attendant for you to assure your safe journey.”

  It is an abrupt ending to a ten minute conversation; a ten minute slice of American history that only four people have intimate knowledge. There are seventy-four million beneficiaries herein, whose bodies know no other needs than food to eat and clothes to wear.


Alpha Omega M.D.

The Promise of America

Episode #84


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #82

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #82

…This is Mayor Herbert Davis Love of Quincy, Florida for President William McKinley…

“The Mayor is above gossip!” Herbert L. declares, while lifting the receiver off his well-hung wall-hung Bell invention.

As he cranks the handle on the side, a light lights on the Quincy switchboard. Millie’s job is to know whom each light belongs. “Where can I direct your call, Mr. Mayor?” she asks dutifully.

“I have a long distance call to DC 7-1900, if you please.”

“Why, that number would get you Washington. The letters D and C tell me that.” She can hardly contain her curiosity.

“I am aware where I am calling, Millie, please connect me.” He is attempting to stifle further inquisitory participation.

White House Switchboard

She does so, in spite of her nosy-type leanings. It solicits this response: “This is the Executive Mansion. Who is calling and what the nature of your business is.” Millie nearly topples from her chair.

This is Mayor Herbert Davis Love of Quincy, Florida for President William McKinley. He is expecting my call.”

“Incoming operator, please vacate your connection.” Millie is foiled by electronics superior to hers. “Yes, Mr. Love, you are on the list of incoming callers. The President is attending the First Lady with afternoon tea in the Green Room.”

Green Room

Ida McKinley

Herb knows, as do most interested Americans, that Ida McKinley has been an invalid, ever since her four month old daughter and mother died in the same year. The death of their older daughter in 1876, three years later pushes her over the edge. The President’s devotion to her is legendary. “I do not wish to disturb him. Perhaps you can ring me at a more convenient time,” Herbert Love insists.

Without a word from the mansion operator, a strong male voice comes on the line. “Thank you for your prompt reply, Mr. Love. May I presume that this fine day finds you well and that you will rescue me from the vexing problem I am facing?”

Direct and to the point. Love presumes that presidents do not deal much in small talk; pressing matters must fill in any cracks of his day. The Boer War in South Africa, as well as the Boxer Rebellion in China, which has seen numerous United States citizens murdered in a purging of foreigners, must certainly consume his days and nights. Adding to that, the care of his treasured wife and one wonders when this man has to take a breath.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #82


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #81

…”The telephone is a wonderful invention, but I fear that our operator will spread our affairs about faster than you can say—busybody”…

Quincy Telephone-001

It is not every day you get a letter from the President of the United States of America.

Wife Phoebe is right there, reading aloud, matching Herbert word for word. Meeting at the end, she asks, “Well, what do you think of that, Mr. Love?”

He does not answer her immediately, awash in colliding thoughts. When he has composed himself, he explores, “Please tell me that taking this post would not turn our world upside down? What lies beyond the horizon? We have such a comfortable life; I would hate to give it up.”

“God has the plan for our lives, Herb, you know that. We are but a wink in His eternal eye and only become aware of that plan in bits and pieces. Sometimes, He will wait until the last moment to open a door previously unseen through our myopic perspectives.

Love's-001    “Perhaps we should view this as divine guidance. How else would the government of the United States take notice of our Panhandle doings?” Phoebe Love has always been the best sounding board any man can have. She abides now, by grace through faith. She trusts in the Master’s plan, the common behavioral trait of those who believe.

“You are quite a woman, Mrs. Love. You should have been a First Lady, not just a mayor’s wife,” he proclaims with a pinch of humility.

“It’s never too late for the young, Mr. Love. Perhaps a position in Washington will leave you with a taste for greater ambition.” Whimsical as it seems, she has admired first ladies like the current, Ida Saxton McKinley, from afar. Modesty forever squelches those lofty notions. “I believe you should call the President this very minute. Do not allow a lapse in time to interfere with this great adventure… the number is on the very bottom of the telegram.”

Operator

“Millie”

The telephone is a wonderful invention, but I fear that our operator will spread our affairs about faster than you can say—busybody.

“Be kind now, Herb. Millie has a good heart; she merely lacks the art of secrecy.”

“You are too kind, dear. I will simply tell her that if I hear the word Washington from anyone, anywhere, before we make an announcement, I will tell everyone who will listen that she actually pilfered her “famous” fried chicken batter recipe from my mother, yet she lays claim to it as hers, even serving as Sunday dinner for our poor unsuspecting new pastor. He is likely going to be her next victim.”

“You will do no such thing, Herbert Love. Methinks you are the real gossip of the town, not she!”

“The Mayor is above gossip!” he declares, while lifting the receiver off his wall-hung Bell invention.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #81


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