Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 205

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #205

… The addition of an American presence, an earnest participation that more than offsets the withdrawal of Russia from the fray, spells trouble for the Central Powers with a capital U-S-A…

In Paris, Harv is leading a small army of correspondents, making the P-E J the qualified source for news on the western front. While his wife rubs elbows with the stars, he wears a heavy cast iron bowl on his head. He dodges cold raindrops and the hail of gunfire. But the Great War is beginning to grow on him, due in part that he has learned how slowly it actually moves, especially when you are privy to intelligence information; not many “Verduns” up anybody’s sleeve without some foreknowledge.

The addition of an American presence, an earnest participation that more than offsets the withdrawal of Russia from the fray, spells trouble for the Central Powers with a capital U-S-A. She is slow to anger, but as in the Spanish-American set-to, you best not “Yank” on the tail of a hellcat. The dough boys have landed in France, almost three months since that April 1917 declaration of war; time to redraw the lines on the western front.

The Western Front

At sixty-three, the age when most people retire from a life of toil and travail, Harv Pearson is punctuating his already rich abidance, the sound of gunfire never out of earshot. Some of those rounds of ammunition are fired from the air, synchronized, parting the whirling blades of airplane propellers.

Col. Billy Mitchell (earlyaviators.com)

He meets a man of lofty vision, one of the most intriguing characters of the American military, accidentally on purpose, while seeking stories overlooked by other war correspondents. Colonel Billy Mitchell is the maverick commander of our wing of the Allied Air Corps and has been busy lobbying for this new form of waging war. There is, however, no verifiable history to support his claims. So much of his opposition comes from traditionalists who have never left the terra firma, save jumping out of the way of a lethal bouncing grenade.

Here in Britain, where most of the airfields dot the rolling countryside, there is less resistance to change, seeing that urgency is higher on the priority ladder. And there are the French, the self-proclaimed inventors of the airplane, who have had Americans flying in their ranks for a couple of years now and are the most comfortable in the sky.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #205


page 192

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #203

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 203

…Woodrow Wilson does what he had hoped could be permanently avoided. The addition of American forces changes the Great War into the 1st World War…

The United States of America is about to be pushed to the brink. That very January, the crafty British have intercepted what amounts to a German proposed alliance with Mexico; making promises of regained territory and financial aid, in return for Mexican aggression should their neighbors to the north lose neutrality. Unrestricted submarine warfare is added to that brazen new strategy. They will be sinking a few more ships, but they are going to find out that Poncho Villa is no Attila the Hun.

Even a dove has its breaking point; kindly cooing will turn into fearsome protection of its nest. Woodrow Wilson does what he had hoped could be permanently avoided. The addition of American forces changes the Great War into the 1st World War.

Ironically, April 1917 also marks the opening of the Pearson-Eastman Journal’s War Bureau in Paris. The war, whichever tag you place on it, has dominated their pages ever since the untimely demise of John Ferrell. Never mind the fighting, the string of human interest stories is unending and Harv Pearson has inserted personality into an otherwise faceless and grossly inhuman exercise.

And for the first time since their meeting, back in ‘01, they are working independent of the other. It is not a palatable arrangement, each month of life apart is subtracted from their total, but they will find that spreading out their unique talents is expeditious.

Patriotic border

 Judith is handling the domestic front, watching the nation pull together for a patriotic cause. With most of the healthy men rushing to save Europe from advancing German forces, women take up the slack, working in the factories and shipyards, tilling the land, caring for the sick. Some of the pictures she takes are strangely surreal, the face of America changing in unrecognizable proportions.

Other of her photojournalistic endeavors take on a familiar pretense, as she rubs elbows with stars of silent motion pictures; some rocketing to larger than life status. Movies have captured the imagination of America and indeed the world, giving millions of people shared experiences. Theaters may be hundreds of miles apart, but the magical motion sequences are the same.

One easy way to support the boys “over there”, is to buy Liberty Bonds, even though investors would get a higher rate of return from railroad issued paper. To further entice greenbacks from prosperous pockets, movie stars are asked to be headliners at bond rallies. The biggest names in silent films answer the call, taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to bolster moral: Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Buster Keaton, and Rudolph Valentino.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin selling Liberty Bonds

Episode # 203


page 190

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #202

Leave a comment

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #202

…I like the picture where he is singing folk songs with the Barrie’s. I can almost hear his out-of-tune voice…

“He was very good at secrets, wasn’t he? A black girl owning half of town,” Martha Ferrell cannot let it go.

James ignores her, continuing, “But from my point of view, there is still more than enough to go around. My God, even Joseph gets a thousand dollars!”

“Sure, now I suppose he will leave me too, he’s got family in Pennsylvania you know.”

My Project 16-001 “Joseph is too old to go off to the North, besides if he did, he’d find out how bad they treat Negroes up there. No, he’s got it good here and he knows it, although I have advised him to buy some land and a little farm of his own.”

     “Are lawyers’ official advice givers as well? You could have a weekly article in the Tallahassee Democrat, people would write in with a question and you would answer them in print. Let me see, something like: ‘Dear Lawyer James; my husband was killed by a U-boat and left half his estate to the illegitimate daughter of our upstairs maid. What should I do?’ signed Scorned Spouse.”

“Do not tempt me,” he thinks, then goes forward, “Dear Scorned Spouse: It sounds like you should have been doing your own laundry and cleaning. Be thankful that she doesn’t own your house. If she does, perhaps you could use a job.”

 “Now that’s not funny!” she protests.

“Speaking of things in print, did you see the last Pearson-Eastman Journal, it just arrived yesterday? Daddy looks so happy, look at him with that golf club,” says son James. Martha points to a picture of Matthew the senior showing John how to hold it, both of them about to split a gut.

I like the one where he is singing folk songs with the Barries. I can almost hear his out-of -tune voice.” The Ferrells did not bring tonality with them when they crossed the Atlantic.

“Looks like he’s full of whiskey to me.”

“These are his last days, Mother. The least you can do is to respect the spirit in which the article is presented. Harv and Judith Pearson certainly do; this magazine and the beautiful eulogy they gave at the funeral.” daughter Agnes has the spirit.

John Ferrell’s spirit is nearer his Lord in Heaven.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Scottish Golfing sign

Episode #202


page 189