“The Mandolin Case” – a Review in N.C. “Our State Magazine”
It was very appropriate, because I’ve lived in North Carolina all my life. As a kid I thought all dirt was either red clay or Sandhills, mica was a some kinda precious gem, and if all you owned was a new baseball glove from the Green Stamp store you must be a rich kid. I recall if we splintered a bat we’d use little tacks to piece it back together, then wrap it tight as we could with this sticky black friction tape. If you hit a home run you’d often lose the ball in the honey-suckle vines at the end of the field. We’d shoo away the bees and find it, but we’d take a break and eat too.
I know it’s hard for modern people to believe but we had swimming holes and muni golf courses where you could play all day for fifty cents, and picked enough cotton in the summer to realize we’d better study hard. In the winter we’d ride old car hoods down Hillcrest Road when it snowed. This was long before ski slopes came to the N.C mountains; now we have several.
When someone coined the phrase “Variety Vacationland” we didn’t understand. We thought if you went on vacation it’d be to go see Annette Funicello out there in California, though we’d never been. The marketing guru was right. As kids we’d been on vacation in North Carolina our whole life; we just didn’t know any better.
When I first went to the Outer Banks I thought it was the wildest untamed territory I’d ever seen. I loved to hear the ‘Haigh-Tyders’ talk in the old English kinda brogue of theirs. Isolated, unspoiled, and not yet homogenized by mass media, they seemed as free as the wild ponies that swam ashore years ago when the Spanish ships wrecked along the N.C. coast. (they called it the graveyard of the Atlantic) The lighthouses still stand guard there. If you venture down east and want to splurge, go to Tony’s Sanitary Fish Market and Capt’ Bill’s in Morehead City and then the T & W Oyster Bar down in Swansboro all in the same week; we love all of ‘em.
So as you can imagine, a review in North Carolina’s “Our State Magazine” was a big thing for this old doc. “Our State” is just flat hip, one of those cool glossy old-fashioned yet modern magazines you’ll see in the dentist’s office or the Governor’s Mansion for Heaven’s sake. “Our State” covers the full gamut of the North Carolina’s cultural scene; everything from fine symphonies and ballet to my beloved bluegrass.
And they found “The Mandolin Case” to be true to North Carolina. I’d summarize the review, but I’d rather you get to read it, so here’s the link: www.ourstate.com
After it opens click on “arts and culture,” scroll down just a touch, and voila, there it is. Good old Dr. B, your basic country doctor next door who picks the mandolin on his weekends off, and there’s my book right smack on page sixteen of “Our State,” one of the most respected publications in North Carolina. It is more than I can comprehend.
I hope you enjoy the review. I’m gonna do all I can to make my sequel, “Acquisition Syndrome” even better. Like “The Mandolin Case” it is a true fiction physician bluegrass story where the names and circumstances have been changed to protect the guilty. Now that “Our State,” my home state, has recognized me like that I’m gonna work extra hard, ’cause I sure can’t let the home team down.
Dr. BAll Things Southern, Writing
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