Marquee at the Walmarks

        If you want to know when you’ve made it in the County, here’s how you can be sure.

        It ain’t if you’ve saved forty-eleven lives or memorized the New England Journal of Medicine.  And it is unrelated to perfect attendance at the Rotary Club.  Teaching Sunday School won’t hurt, but by itself won’t cut the gig.  Even helping little old ladies across the street might go unnoticed.

        I am here to tell you though, if you ever get your name on that Billboard right there at the Walmarks, then by golly you have arrived. 

        You see, Walmart is a big thing in these parts- it was our first fancy store we got brought in from the outside world.  I love the story (plagiarized from somewhere else) about the lady who said she liked Family Dollar, ’cause you didn’t have to dress up like when you went to the Walmarks.

        Neuse River did a fall festival last year, and we were advertised on the Walmart Billboard.  In fact, we got top billing over the annual Kiwanis Club pancake supper, and we were genuine stars for a full six weeks. 

        I heard it most every day.  “Dr. Bibey, I seen your name on the Walmarks sign.  You gonna quit doctoring?”

        “No sir.”  I could almost turn on my internal mental cassette recorder.  “I still like doctoring.  Don’t worry, I ain’t giving it up any time soon.”

        “You boys is gonna go to Nashville soon, ya’ll’s gonna be on the Opry.”

        “Truly sir, we ain’t that good.  Trust me.”  and so it would go.

        That night though, I had to go by Walmart to pick up a prescription.  As I sat in traffic and waited to turn at the light I looked up at the sign.  NEUSE RIVER LIVE AT THE FALL FESTIVAL. - Dr. Tommy on the Mandolin.  I hate to admit it but I got a bit of a kick out of it.  Just think of it- my name on the Marquee at the Walmarks.  And mama said my mandolin was going to get me in trouble some day.  I was gonna call her when I got home.  I figure I had arrived ’cause I don’t see how it could get any bigger than that. 

Dr. B

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14 Comments on “Marquee at the Walmarks”

  1. whodoesshethinksheisanyway Says:

    Your name in lights! Congrats, Doc. I thought I was cool because I made the company newsletter twice this month. Just an announcement of my birthday and my 1 year anniversary though… You are much cooler than me!

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Shoot fire whodoSTSIA we’re all famous (and cool) for a moment anyway, huh?

    Happy bithday to you! ( I wrote it instead of singing so you’d keep visiting- I as a lousy singer.)

    Dr. B

  3. pandemonic Says:

    I hope you took a picture!

    I can’t wait until my son’s name is in lights. But I guess I’m going to have to wait a long time, the way he’s going.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    You know Pande, I didn’t take a picture. In some ways I spent my whole life working and playing so hard I barely took time to eat. Now I feel compelled to document some of it, at least with word pictures, before I get too old to recall it all.

    Dr. B

  5. mrschili Says:

    Don’t let it go to your head, Doc! : )

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Awh chili, believe me I didn’t miss a day of work. I don’t need to give up my day job over it! (And love the Doc routine anyway.)

    Dr. B

  7. amberfireinus Says:

    ROFL – I have to ask… do you have a Piggly Wiggly too? Honestly this stuff fascinates me.

    Walmart is not a good place here in the west I must say. It brings out the absolute worst in people. I could do a whole psychology study on the mentality of what happens in that store, and those who shop there. Everything from the crazy unsafe drivers and pedestrians in the parking lot, to the OMG overweight people who ride the buggies and knock everyone else down in the store because they could care less. And they of all people need to have the excersize of walking the store! Children run around like wild animals (no concept of social skills or any kind of public propriety) in the middle of winter with no shoes and no jacket, with runny noses, their mothers disinterested in them (of course fully jacketed themselves).

    All that aside, it must feel neat to have your name in lights so to speak. I think being the local doctor gives one a bit of cache anyway, but this must be fun – kinda like being a rock star too….lol I hope you enjoy each and every bit of it!

  8. drtombibey Says:

    There is a Piggly Wiggly near here. I’m not sure why we don’t have one. Maybe we aren’t big enough- I don’t know.

    It is an interesting life as a small town Doc. Folks will look in my grocery cart to see if eat what I tell them to. And I’ve gone out to get the morning paper and had folks pull in the driveway with a sick child more than once.

    All in all, in a little town like this you belong to the public, but at my age I have to admit I am flattered anyone still wants my opinion.

    I guess I’m world famous all throughout the County.

    Dr. B

  9. Billy Says:

    Dr. B
    Success is an illusion. You think being on Walmarts sign is it. I got news for you, it is all a trick so the band to buy motor oil to change in their parking lot.

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Billy you son of a gun, come to think of it every dang one of my boys bought some motor oil there that fall. And the Moose got him a new lawn mower on sale at the end of the season.

    Dr. B

  11. susan Says:

    I’m jealous. Our Walmarks is just a little thing, so we don’t have a marque. But my friend, Marilyn Pappano, lives in a bigger town than I do and tells wonderful stories about going to Walmarks on Saturday night. That’s when all the families with little kids go there to hang out, socialize, block the aisles and make trouble.
    If you want to shop, never go on a Saturday night. It’s scary.
    Susan

  12. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Susan,

    One old bluegrass boy tells some crazy tale about how he loves to ride the quarter horses, but the manager at Walmarks makes him get off so the kids can have a turn.

    Us bluegrassers ain’t right, and most of us shop at the Walmarks. But we do have enough sense to play music on Saturday, and stay away from the place on the weekend nights.

    Dr. B

  13. amberfireinus Says:

    Dr. B My husband and I recently moved back to the US from the UK – I don’t know if you noticed that from my blog. Anyway, we lived in a tiny village (two pubs, one church and one general store) in the middle of the forrest. Our town doctor there was often down at the pub with everyone else – lets just say partaking his own fair share of the local brew. You could also always see him smoking at the bar like a chimney. I thought that was extremely strange and I thought it might be bad for business as he was always lecturing people about quitting smoking and drinking. Fair play to him though, he always used to say… do what I say, not what I do! lol!

  14. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Amber,

    We had an ENT surgeon in med school who would do these big head and neck cancer cases (almost 100% smoking related cancers) and then go take a cigarette break- It was hard to understand.

    I know we all gotta die of something but those head and neck things are rough. I think I’ll take my chances with something a bit more natural, not that we get alot of options.

    Dr. B


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