Blinky Wallendorf

        I never knew Blinky Wallendorf’s real name was Herman until after he died.  We all called him Blinky.  He got the nickname from a nervous twitch of his right eye.  Indie said it was a tic.  Betty Wallendorf was not satisfied and took Blink to a neuro-opthalmologist at Tobacco Triangle U.  He diagnosed it as involuntary blepharospasm of undetermined etiology, but it was still a tic.

        To break down the doctor talk for you, involuntary means Blinky didn’t have any control over it and undetermined etiology means I don’t know… what the hell it is.

        Of course Betty Wallendorf went all over town and told everyone how this high powered specialist was so much smarter than Indie, and Indie never said a word.  In truth the guy called Indie after the work-up and said, “Hell Indie, it’s just a tic.  I don’t know what the woman wants me to do about it.”

        Indie never said anything in public, but he did tell Blinky he thought part of it was stress from the void in his sex life, which made Betty Wallendorf all the madder.  It was true though.  Blinky and Betty hadn’t had sex in ten years.  Betty was a mean woman, but Blink never cheated on her.  I’m not sure if it was virtue or a lack of opportunity, though.

        Blinky might have had a nervous twitch of his eye, but he had a steady hand.  He was a fine poker player.  He and Indie played every Friday at Pete’s place.  Blinky could shoot pool better than anyone in town, and he was a great drop thumb banjo man.  He was lousy on the dobro, though, and worse with the fiddle.  He said Indie was the only guy in town smart enough to play the fiddle.  That made Betty mad too.

        Blink was a short, stout fellow, 5’7″ and 220 pounds, and much of it in his belly.  His sparse hair was a mousy gray, and his eyes were grayish too.  He had arcus senilis, that peculiar ring around the cornea you see sometimes.

        Like me and Indie, bluegrass music was his favorite.  He knew all the words to ‘Mother’s not Dead, She’s Only a Sleeping,’ and ‘Please Daddy, Don’t Drive Drunk No More.’  He liked country too, especially Dolly Parton.

        Blink wasn’t much of a reader, and tended to favor Batman comics.  Indie gave up on trying to interest him in literature, but still loved him like a brother in spite of his lack of formal education.

        Blinky was Indie’s best friend.  When he died I thought it was gonna kill Indie too.  One thing I always admired about Indie was his loyalty.  He never dissed Blinky.  After Blinky was in the grave, there were a few times Indie might coulda made himself look a little better to blame it on Blinky’s habits.  But, to his credit, he never did.  

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Book Characters, Mandolin Case, book preview

Tags: , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

8 Comments on “Blinky Wallendorf”

  1. Cindy Carter Says:

    True friendship tends to overlook someone’s physical appearance. It looks past the outside and sees the “real” person inside. It is hard to describe how it happens and also the pairings that are made. People that you would never expect to be friends end up forming the closest and strongest attachments.

    I think that it is especially touching that since Indie was a doctor, he knew that there is so much more that what we are actually “made” of (all that physical stuff) that makes us worth knowing and being friends with. (Do you get what I am trying to say?)

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Cindy,

    You are right on.

    Indie tended to be attracted to people who were honest, true and had soul. Blink was that way.

    If we only had friends who were perfect, none of us would have a single friend on Earth, huh?

    As a Doc, you do get to know an awful lot about people. In the end, we are just as powerless as anyone else. I have a very nice and relatively young patient dying at Hospice. I am reduced to only being able to take my mandolin over there, play a song. tell the family I hate it, and try to minimize pain and suffering.

    I am not a writer, but a Doc. I write, and play music, to deal with it all.

    Dr. B

  3. Amber Says:

    You know, sometimes its the most unusual pairings that become the greatest of friends….

  4. drtombibey Says:


    Ain’t it true? One of my best friends is a mandolin player half my age. I worked on some tunes with him today.

    Dr. B

  5. Billy Says:

    I find it odd that Blinky would like comic books. From what you have told us about his wife I thought that he would be more educated that than that — maybe even a professional man. What was his profession? One of the sad comments on ur culture is that we are quicking moving into a non-reading, non-thinking, all visual society. I sure hope your book does not support such pop culture.

  6. drtombibey Says:


    I share your concerns about pop culture and I’m fear my book will not have mass appeal. I do think it will sell to thinking people though, and there are enough of those left to make the project worthwhile for my agent to consider a second one. (I have three planned.)

    Blinky was a retired mechanic and he had a few good qualities. He could fix anything around the house and did so unless Ms. Wallendorf harped on him too bad.

    Betty Wallendorf told anyone who would listen she married beneath herself. She made many efforts to be upwardly mobile, but it didn’t work out.

    Dr. B

  7. Cindy Carter Says:

    If she said that she married beneath her….then he married beneath him. Mechanics are a lot like doctors. They have to treat the with the family and tell them if the disease/inury/issue is fatal or not.

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Cindy,

    My mechanic is one of my very good friends. He takes a good history, and can almost always diagnose and fix what is wrong. And when my last car died (he nursed it to a quarter million miles) he was sympathetic.

    He is very much like a good doctor.

    Dr. B

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: