Betty Wallendorf and Jim Olden, CEO

        When I visited Indie Thursday he wanted me to bring my mandolin. I pulled it out of the case.

        “Whatcha wanta hear Indie?”

        “Ah Bibey, you know the Cherokee Shuffle is my favorite. Lord I wish I could still fiddle worth a damn.”

        “The ‘Cherokee Shuffle’ it is, Indie. Only the best for you,” I said.

        “You know what, Bibey? That Marfar of yours is a good’un. No wonder you was able to walk the straight and narrow. A woman that pretty who can cook like that and play the bass too?  God Almighty.”

        “Yep, I married good Indie. You did too, brother. Ms. Jenkins was a sweetheart.”

        “She sure was Bibey. I hate it about that one time.”

        “You mean the little French foreign exchange student?” I asked.

        “Yep.”

        “I’m sure Ms. Jenkins forgave you Indie.  Anyone could see how that could happen.  Dang if that girl didn’t know how to wear a sweater.”

        “Yeah boy.  She had better curves than a slope shouldered guitar.”

        “You boys still picking?” Indie asked.

        “Yep, we’ve got a new record coming out.  Remember when we were here for Nursing Hone week? Someone recorded it, and it came out pretty good.  We’re gonna call it Live at the Convalescent Center.”

        “Damn, that’s good Bibey.  I like that.” Indie smiled.  ‘Live at the Convalescent Center.’  Can I write the liner notes?”

        “Sure Indie.  I played the ‘Shuffle’ through a few times.

        “So, Bibey, you wanta hear about the first time Olden and Betty tried to get me?”

        Yeah, Indie go ahead.”  I noodled through a few more lines, and then put the mandolin back in the case.

        It didn’t get far, Bibey. Betty had me hauled into Olden’s office right after Blink’s first stroke.  Hell, she said I’d told Blink it was just a spell, and he could wait and come to the office Monday.  Can you believe her crap? I didn’t hear a thing about it until it was over.”  I knew it was gonna be trouble.  Betty’s car was in the parking lot right next to that little piss-ant hospital attorney, Jackson Leggett.”

        “So, how’d ‘ya dodge it?”

        “I knew I needed an ally, and I ran into little Molly Tenbrooks on 3-West.  I offered her and her fellow my motorcycle for the weekend.”

        “You talking about the ‘47 Chief?”

        “Yep.  Genuine ‘47 Indian Motor Sports Bike. Former Nevada Highway Patrol moto-cycle cop ride.  Well, Molly got real quiet.  She knew I was in trouble.”

        “I guess so.  You never loan out your bike.”  Other than his fiddle, it was Indie’s only serious material possession.

        “Anyway, I told Miss Molly she better find Blink for me in a hurry.  I left the keys in her mailbox.”

        “So how did it play out?”

        “Olden and Leggett were giving me down the county, and the damn fools tried to get me to sign some kinda under the table settlement.  Can you believe it?  Well about then Blink showed up and the game was over before it started.  Blinky was pissed.  I thought he’d clear the decks.  He told ‘em as long as Blinky Wallendorf was alive warn’t no one gonna sue Indian Jenkins.” Indie laughed at the memory.

        “I guess that was that.”

        “I got in a few more shots.  That crazy Olden told me he had a responsibility to the Board to uphold ethical standards for the institution.”

        “Good Lord, Indie.  What didja say?”

        “I told that sumbitch if didn’t leave me alone I’d tell the Board about the twelve grand he spend on horse sperm for that loser nag of his.  The money came right outta of the hospital budget, you know. And if that didn’t convince ‘em I’d tell what he was up to with that little Russian intern girl. Hypocrite.”

        “Boy, Indie, you know everything.  I sure wouldn’t want to get in a fight with you.”

        “Yeah, and on the way out the door I told Betty Wallendorf if she bothered me again I was gonna tell Blinky and the rest of the world all about her.  I can’t tell you how many times I thought about telling Blinky, but I knew they were only married on paper.  He had told me he was resigned to it, and gonna see it through to the end, so I didn’t see any point in making it worse for him. You reckon I done right by him?”

        ”Sure, Indie.  You always did right by Blink.  He was in a bad spot. You handled it the best you could.”  Poor Indie, still worried about Blinky’s reputation all these years later.

        “So what did Betty say when you said you were gonna tell?” I asked.

        “Only time I’ve ever seen her at a loss for words.  Blinky left, and before I split I told her for the life of me I didn’t know why someone as powerful as Jim Olden would be sleeping with anyone as old and ugly as her.”

        “Indie.  You didn’t!”

        “Yep.  Wanted to say it ever since that night at the Country Club.  I didn’t know about her then, but if I’d said it then it wouldn’t a come across so good anyway.  It was all I could go just to get outta there that night.  She’s mean, but Lord have mercy she did exude sex appeal in those days. But by the time of that meeting it was years down the road, and she hadn’t held up so good.  By then it was the whole truth and nothing but.”

        God bless ole Indie.  One thing you can count on outta him is the truth. I thought for a minute.  “Tell you what Indie, if you run into Betty Wallendorf, tell her I think she’s old and ugly too.”

        “Will do, Bibey. Will do.”  He laughed.

        I knew he wouldn’t- it might get me in trouble.

        I got my mandolin back out of the case.  How ‘bout that ‘Lost Indian,’ Doc?”

        “Awh shut up, Bibey.”

        Indie drifted off to sleep.  I closed up Barney’s skull, then packed up my gear and went home.  Betty hated Indie, but it seemed to me Indie should be the one to hold a grudge.  If he did, it never showed.  Awh, he’d talk a bunch of mess, but there warn’t a mean bone in the man.  Even after all Betty Wallendorf put him through over the years, I never heard him wish her any ill will.

Dr. B

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6 Comments on “Betty Wallendorf and Jim Olden, CEO”

  1. Cindy Carter Says:

    It appears that Betty could give the Wicked Witch of the West a run for her money. If Blinky married her on paper only, why? Was Blinky in love and her not? Or did it happen over time? Maybe when Blinky did not turn out how she wanted?

    No, Dr. B….I don’t expect the answers to those questions. Just speculatin….. I can hardly wait!

  2. mrschili Says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the people who try us the most are the people we need the most. Believing so might make them a little easier to tolerate, I think.

  3. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Cindy,

    You know, I guess I’d have to ask Indie some of those questions. When Betty and Blinky got married I was a teenager. I think the marriage started out fine, but it changed over time. I’m not sure of all the reasons it went bad, but it was already that way by the time I started practice in town.

    I do know that Blink loved her. He took to drinking more when she started running with other men. Blink was a working class man. I thought he was an O.K. guy, but Betty was always trying to hook up with someone with more money.

    In spite of it all, Indie always said Blink couldn’t bear to leave her.

    Dr.B

  4. drtombibey Says:

    mrschili,

    We all need each other, huh? I think our friends know this and help us, and our enemies know it and find ways to take advantage of the fact.

    Dr. B

  5. Billy Says:

    Dr. B.
    I finally figured out that you writing gets to me on several levels. One is the story and they way you don’t tell us enough so we cannot set it down and go on to something else. Damn clever the way you tell a little, then move on to something else, and go back to the story, then suggest something else. You do it so smooth, so matter of fact that it makes me think you must be a slick used car salesman by trade and the doctorin’ story is just a cover.

    But what gets me even more, and maybe it is just me, but you have an uncanny ability to throw in images and things that jar my own personal memory. For example, your reference in this scene, talking about the Indian motocycle — damn, brought back memories of an older friend I had in Oklahoma City years ago, who claimed he was known as “Papa Watts” on the motorcycle racing circuit. He said all he raced were Indian cycle’s and that he was one of the best in his day. —- And the room, when you go to visit Indie, the way you throw bits of small details — I can hear the music, I can smell the air, I can see that damn smile on the skeleton in the corner. How you do it, I don’t know. Is it the rythm you have learned from your music? Is it the “jawing” you do to sell a car? or are you for true a old doc that uses it to sooth a cranky dying widow? I don’t know, but Dr. B. I do know you have an ability to mesh yarn and tale to show human truth better than most. If you are really writing a novel, and it is half as good as some of these scenes you have on your blog, you are going to entertain a whole mess of people.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Billy,

    Thanks so much for the kind words. I enjoy the writer gig.

    I am sure some of it comes from years of communication with my patients. I like them, and they have taught me a lot- they are from many different backgrounds- farmers, accountants, teachers- some worked on the railroad; they have some great stories. And you take a guy like Indie. He is so memorable. I am honored he lets me write about him.

    I guess some of the rhythm comes from my music, and some is from golf. In that game it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing. (I hum that when I play.)

    The novel is coming along. I plan to have a revised X 5 rough draft to my agent no later than Nov. 1, and I am ahead of schedule.

    I don’t know exactly how I do it, but I give most of the credit to the Good Lord and 15% to my agent.

    Dr. B


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