Archive for October 2008

Blinky Wallendorf

October 15, 2008

        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


More On Indie Jenkins

October 13, 2008

        I got an e-mail today from Citi Bank.  They requested I update the account information for Henry “Indie” Jenkins.

        I hope that rascal ain’t overdrawn again.

        When I looked at it close, though, I thought it was one of those scams.  It was the Ethiopian branch. That makes no sense, ’cause Indie ain’t never been out of town except for the Galax Fiddler’s Convention and to the beach the week of the 4th. 

        Of course maybe there’s another Indie Jenkins in Ethiopia, and we received the communication in error.  But, I think we’re safe to ignore the request.  Indie had a bad week at the Nursing home, and I don’t want to worry him.  I’ll check with the bank tomorrow.  If he’s bounced a check I’ll cover it.  But I think it’s a fake, and I doubt they’d come from Ethiopia to get him anyway.

Dr. B

Dr. Henry “Indie” Jenkins

October 13, 2008

        Those of you who who have read the blog a long time already know Indie.  I hope you will bear with me.  I have a number of new readers, and want to get them up to speed.

        Indie is one of those old docs who has been around town for as long as anyone can remember.  Nowadays he leads a quiet life at the Nursing Home.  All that is left from his office is Barney, the skeleton who stands watch by his bedside, a few books, and his stethoscope which stays wrapped around Barney’s neck. 

        Indie was a fine fiddler, but seldom plays these days ’cause of arthritis.  He loves roses.  They let him have a small patch of ground at the Home, where he still grows some today.  Indie sees to it every lady at the Nursing Home has a rose on her birthday.  He says he can’t take care of the whole world, but at least he can make his corner a bit brighter.

        Indie had a lot of fine traits.  He was a loyal sort, and empathetic, especially for the less fortunate.  He took care of all comers, no questions asked.  A lot of folks said if he’d been paid fifty cents on the dollar he’d been the richest man in town.  He was a doctor, not a businessman, and none of that bothered him in the least. 

        People knew Indie was a smart doctor.  We had one Doc in town, old Blowhard Blake, who was politically connected, but couldn’t pass his Boards.  Many patients saw him because it they thought it looked good down at he Club.  But they didn’t tell people they had a chart at Indie’s too.  When the chips were down, they’d go see Indie; they just tried to hide the fact in polite society.

        Indie was loyal, but he did get tangled up one time.  Years ago, we had a French foreign exchange student in town.  Indie had a restored ’47 Indian Chief motorbike and the girl became infatuated with motorcycles and bluegrass music while she was here.  She wasn’t much of a student, but there ain’t a man in town who ever forgot how she looked in that cashmere sweater Indie bought her for Bastille Day.  As far as I know she only learned two American phrases while in the States-  “Motorbike ride” and “Cool Whip Indie!”

        Ms. Jenkins was not impressed.  Indie didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did, and when Ms. Jenkins caught up with them at the Cabin it warn’t pretty.  Of all the trouble Indie got in that was the worst.  I helped Indie negotiate his way back to Ms. Jenkins’s good graces, but I warned him I’d not be able to get him out of a jam like that again.

        Indie always felt bad about it.  When Ms. Jenkins died, he told me if he could only take back one mistake in his life, the French girl would be the one.  I was sure Ms. Jenkins forgave him, and told him so.

        Indie lived hard.  He smoked way too much, and it was always Benson and Hedges.  When we played music he drank too, but he was sober at work.  He took some Vicodin for his back, and I was not sure he always got a prescription for it. 

        By the time I came back to town, Indie was middle aged and looked older.  He had Parkinson’s disease and walked with a shuffle.  He’d been out in the sun a lot in his life, either fishing or playing music, and never got in the habit of sunscreen.  His face was a road-map of deep etches, wrinkles, and scars where he had a couple of skin cancers removed.  He was bald on top, and didn’t have much hair on the sides either, but did have a swatch on the back of his head.  Indie called it an old man soul patch.  Indie has some soul, that’s for sure.

        Indie’s favorite song is ‘The Cherokee Shuffle.’  The tune references his Indian heritage and is a self depreciating reference to his unsteady gait.  We share a love of Mark Twain, and ‘Tom Sawyer’ is his favorite.  He liked the movie “Catch Me if You Can.”  He said it was ’cause Decaprio was so clever, but I believe part of it was ’cause that FBI man couldn’t help but take a liking to the kid as the story wore on.  ‘Shawshank” was Indie’s favorite.  He saw it as all about hope and plus they let the hero cuss some.  Indie liked that.

        I realized something about Indie just the other day.  I know him better than anyone in town since Ms. Jenkins passed, and I still don’t know his middle name.  I asked him about it at the Nursing Home, and he said it was ‘Indian,’ and changed the subject.  I’m gonna have to research the matter and find someone who knew the family before Indie moved to Harley County.  I tried twice and Indie warn’t gonna go there.

        In spite of all of Indie’s rough ways, he was my favorite Doc in town.  When Indie got in trouble with the system, I had to go to bat for him.  He woulda done it for me.

        And I have full permission to tell his story.  At first Indie said not to go to print until he was gone, but he changed his mind, and wants to see the book before he’s outta here.  So, I’m gonna press hard to finish the final revision by the first of the year.  Somehow I’ve gotta find the strength to play my mandolin at his funeral too, ’cause I promised him I would, and I can’t let Indie down.

Dr. B

A Link You Will Enjoy

October 12, 2008

I got the following message from a reader named Billy.  I do not know where he lives.  Have you guys seen this clip?

Dr. B

Billy Says:

I thought you would like to see what was on our local TV station.

Agent Backstory

October 12, 2008

        Just to catch y’all up on my agent saga, I want you to know I’ve been through three, but I believe the third one is the charm.

        My first one fired me for not being chick-litty enough.  I thought my second one was O.K. even though I was suspicious when I found out his day job was assistant manager at the Piggly-Wiggly.  When he send me a bill for a reading fee, I let him go.

       The Agent, though, is working out.  He is a writer’s agent and also an art dealer, so he spends a lot of time in New York.  He ain’t asked me for any money, and what commission checks he has gotten he’ll forget to cash for months at a time.  He reads the New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal and hob nobs around with all sorts of artsy folks, so I’m gonna try to hold onto him.

        I should have my first character back story out by Monday am.

Dr. B

The Agent Part II

October 11, 2008

        The phone rang in my Nashville hotel room.  “O.K., Bibey.  It’s time for serious discussion.”

        Dang, it was The Agent.  The voice, seasoned by years of whiskey and cigar smoke, sounded like a man who gargled hickory nuts as he spoke.  I’d recognize it anywhere.  I met him once before.  It was late at night at the Galax Old Time Fiddler’s Convention.  It had been over a year since he looked at my first rough draft and agreed to take me on if I followed certain guidelines.  Since then we had communicated by e-mail or a messenger at times.  He agreed to a second meeting- I saw it as a good sign.

        “Sure boss.  Where do we meet?”

        “Train Station, dark-thirty.”

        “Not the airport?  You ain’t gonna fly in?”

         “Good Lord son, ain’t no Agent ever represented any Southern writer and flew around on airplanes.  Don’t forget that.  If a man tells you he can sell a story about the South and travels by air he’s an impostor.  Think about it.  Didja ever hear any writer try to wax poetic about a tarmac?  Hell no.  Train whistles, now that’s different.  I can work with that.”

        “Hm, I hadn’t thought about it I guess.”

        “Well it’s true.  No hobo ever hopped a U.S. Air, either.  There ain’t one ounce of Southern literature about commercial aircraft so it you’ve got any of that in the Mandolin Case, better get it out.

        “Well, no sir.  Matter of fact we ain’t got an airport in Harvey County, so not to worry.”

        “Good.  Now listen here.  I’m gonna look different.  After you posted that picture I had women from all over the country chasing me, so I had to shave.”

       “That one that got after you with the tennis shoe find you, boss?”

        “Shut up Bibey.  No pictures, ya hear me?!”

        “Yes sir.”  I hung up and headed for the train station.

        Dark thirty.  I was right on time.  I went back to the Club Car as instructed.

        The Agent stood up to shake hands.  “Have a seat Bibey.”  He poured up an OBAN.  

        “So what did they say in New York?”  I asked.

        “They said you were so country they couldn’t understand some of what you said.  You have no credentials.  They couldn’t figure out how you wrote it.  It has it’s flaws, but at the same time they thought it was a hell of a story.”

        “You think it’ll sell?”

        “It has a chance, at least with me as your Agent.  You gotta know the big city, and I’ve got it wired.  Here are your instructions.”

        I opened the envelope and unfolded the notes.  “Back story?  I think I understand.”  A year ago back story was a herniated nucleus pulposis.  Man, had my life changed.  “Tell me about that.”

        “As you do your last revision, I want you to flesh out the characters on the blog.  Your readers may recognize some of them or know some of the Mandolin Case and remember a detail you forgot.  I want this story to stand the test of time.  You can’t get a single detail wrong.  You need to know what kinda smokes these people like, their shoe size, what movies they prefer- everything.

        “I know ’em better than anyone, Boss.”

        “I’m sure you do, but you need to down-load brain to blog to where everyone else will too.  If you’re gonna immortalize ’em then you better get it right.  The fiction history book demands no less.” 

        “The fiction history book?”

         “Yeah, I’m writing it.  And whatever you do, don’t give up my address.  I’m gonna winter in New York anyway, but I don’t need every nut in the country chasing me.”

        “I guess one of me is enough.”

        “Mercy, Bibey.  I think so.”

        “You know Boss, all I ever wanted was a chance to show what I believe to be true with my story.”

        “You’ve shown me that, Bibey.  I believe in you.  Now I want the rest of the world to see it too.  If you get the revision right, I’ll do my best.  No promises, though.”

         “I”ll do my best.”

        “See me in three months.  Atlanta.  I have to meet there there with Charles Thombley.  He’s a negotiator.  He’ll monitor your blog along with me for the next quarter.”

        “Hey I think I know him.  His people made a fortune down there in real estate futures right after Sherman came through.”

        “That’s the one, Bibey.  I only deal with the best.”

        “Hey boss, does that mean you think I’m the best?”

        “Hell no, Bibey.  You’re my project.  But, you have become a good writer.  And you have a great story.  I’d rather have a good writer with a great story than a great writer with a lousy story.  Write character back story on the blog.  Start with your next post and keep at it till the first of the year.  I think you’ll get there, but don’t give up your day job.”

         “Yes sir.”

         Heck I like being a Doc anyway, so I was sure I could follow his advice about the day job.  We don’t have an airport in the County, but if we did I wouldn’t fly when I went to Atlanta, either.  I never liked to fly anyway, and now I realized it qualified me to be a Southern Lit guy, I wasn’t about to start.

        Come next post, I’m gonna follow his advice and start to show y’all all about my people.  If you spot something I’ve missed let me know.  In a way my book reflects what I believe about life- we’re all in it together.  If I get published someday, my agent and you guys deserve a lot of the credit.  I’d a never gotten this far without you.

Dr. B

Atlanta and Outta Gas

October 9, 2008

        After I got home I realized I hadn’t reported on our stop in Atlanta, so I thought I’d tell you about that.  At the end of of trip, we met with The Agent, so that will be my next post- much to report on there.

        Atlanta was our first stop.  I arrived a weary dog tired doctor and about outta gas.  After no petrol at two stations, Marfar suggested we circle the wagon and regroup for the night.  Atlanta’s slogan for the month is ‘Too Busy to Hate,’ and we found it right on.  I had heard it was a tough city, but it was all hospitality for us.

        At the Holiday Inn South a young lady named Ayanna greeted us with all kinda Southern charm, and told us where a tanker was due in and we could get gas first thing in the morning.  We didn’t want to burn up fuel, plus we had no idea how to get around, but Ayanna gave us directions where to park and catch the MARTA to downtown.  When in Rome it pays to listen to the Romans.  In Atlanta, MARTA is the way to travel.

        My agent wanted me to make my tour and try not to write too much, but to draw, play music and try to take in events that might stimulate creativity.  He says there aren’t but a few human truths that have stood the test of time, and an artist should work with their medium to try and find them.

        The Agent has started to sound like my wife.  He says when I doctor too long it makes me boring.  Well, the Atlanta High Museum of Art was an inspiration.  When you look at the works of artists from Europe and the early days of the States, you can’t help but realize these folks dug in deep to try to find truth.  My guess is they were starving artists when starving wasn’t cool.  Those truths the Agent talks about have been around a long time before modern commercialism, for sure.

        Maybe I wasn’t starving, but by 2:00 this artist was hungry, and Eddie H. the Café Guy and Rebecca’s home made soup took care of me.  And in Atlanta, if you ask for Co-Cola no one asks if you want the competitor.  They might have been short of gas that weekend, but you can get all the Coca-Cola and sweet tea you want.  I knew I liked Atlanta.

        At lunch I thought some more about my agent’s words.  I wondered how I could ever be an artist. My guess is all those wonderful artists did some powerful suffering.  Me?  I’d never missed a meal, and didn’t want for a blessed thing.  We might not have grown up rich, but we were comfortable, and my Mom took me to the library every week.  Dad saw to it I could have all the education I wanted.  If I hadn’t amounted to something, I’d a had no one to blame but myself.

        Joe DiMaggio once said a rich kid never made it to the majors.  My bet is none of these artists whose art made it to the Atlanta Museum were rich kids.  How was a guy like me gonna go deep and create any kinda art anyone would want to read?  It’s like the Moose once said, “You gotta suffer to play great bluegrass.  And Doc, you ain’t done no suffering.”

        I thought about that.  What are the truths I want to find?  After much reflection I have just now begun to understand why I am compelled to write.  I once went to a songwriter seminar, and someone asked a panelist Paul Craft how he created a good country song.  He said, (paraphrased) “You have to reach way down inside yourself and be sure you were honest and gave it your best.”  I like that.

        All I ever wanted to be was a country doc, and treat people with dignity.  And therein is the conflict in my story.  Those of you outside the doctor world might not understand at first, but you’re gonna get to see it up close.  A guy like me can do some suffering in the modern doctor world.  Like mrschili alluded to, when it became a business guys like me became dinosaurs.  The fact is there’s plenty of suffering that goes on for a modern doc who cares cause the system does it’s best to drive the compassion right outta you.

        But don’t feel sorry for me.  Indie is the one who took it on the chin bad.  They liked to have beat him to death.  And you know what?  It didn’t change Indie one bit.  He remained the same.  And that is what I like about ole Indie.  My guess is that’s what y’all are gonna like about him, too.  Cause Indie, flawed as he is, tells the truth.  An that, through Indie’s story, is what I wanted to find and hope to show.

        I’ll be back soon to tell you all about the agent and the direction of the blog for the next quarter.

Dr. B

Dr. Larry McBride/The Memphis Connection

October 7, 2008

        One leg of our journey was medical.  We were close to Memphis anyway, and I wanted to get up with my old pal Dr. Larry McBride.  Larry is a Toxicology expert, and was instrumental in the Mandolin Case.  I wanted to pick his brain before the final revision of the manuscript.  My memory for old facts is pretty good, but Larry’s is superb for anything in the toxicology realm, and I trust his recall on those events better than my own.

        Larry now lives in Memphis, where all his wife’s people are from.  He grew up in Texas though, and still goes by the old code-  ‘A man’s word is his bond.’  He has a sign up in his kitchen- “Seek the truth, it will set you free.”  In the Mandolin Case, Dr. McBride did just that, and some of his testimony was critical.

        His farm is a bit like the Bomb Shelter- you can’t get there from here, and the GPS wold not track it.  But it is easy to find.  All you have to do is ride through the country in west Tennessee outside of Memphis till you come up on an old 50’s vintage red and rust fire truck in a hay field, and hang a right there.

        Nowadays Larry leads the life of a true gentleman farmer.  He suggested we tour the farm for daily inspection on the four wheelers, so we hopped on and rode through the woods.  It hit me how different our lives were nowadays.  In our youth, we were consultants for Physician’s Liability in regular battle with a bunch of sharp lawyers.  Now Larry writes opinions on cases, but is no longer on the front lines, and neither am I.  He spends his days on a New Holland tractor bush hogging.  I can see how a man would have time to think out there.  It was all quiet.  The wind rustled through the trees, and the hawks soared on the updrafts. 

        Larry’s wife is involved in the western Tennessee animal rescue mission so they have a dozen or so dogs in various states of adoption.  I guess Larry is more about saving old dogs than old docs these days- it might be a better cause anyway.  I know one thing- his pups have hit the canine lottery- they spend their days in chase of the deer and squirrels that coexist with them on the property.

        The dogs ran along behind the four-wheelers.  They were Bagel, and Track and Trail, and Pride and Prejudice.  One little fellow no one wanted to adopt was named Clopsie (based on Cyclops) was a permanent fixture on the farm.  Poor Clopise took a liking to me right away.  I know dogs can’t think in abstraction, but I guess a little dog with one brown and one blue eye could identify with me.

        We sat down at the Beach, the best fishing hole on the farm, picked blackberries and muscadines, and reminisced.

        “Bibey,” Larry said.  “I tell you the truth, I wouldnta given a nickel for Indie’s chances.  How is he?”

        “Poorly, Larry.  Just turned up with lung cancer.  I don’t think he’ll get through the winter.”

        “Dang, I’ll have to get down that way.  Indie had his faults, but dishonest warn’t one of em.”

         “Yep.  He’d love to see you.”

       “Maybe I’ll take him a bottle of muscadine wine,” Larry said.

        “Oh man, you know he’d love that.  You remember when he made a few bottles at the Nursing Home and they blew up?”

        Larry laughed.  “Yep, you can’t change Indie.  You give him my best.”

        “Will do, Larry.  Hey let me ask you about chapter 42.  Do you think the hospital lawyer ever understood the pharmacodynamics on the normeperidine?”

        “Heck no, man.  That boy was just like Olden, ABCDA.”  (A Board Certified Dumb A^^)

        “Ain’t it the truth?  You know, I can still see his face when you testified.”

        “And old man Watson on the jury- he got it too, I’m sure.”

        “Yeah boy, them was some days, Larry.  Hey, how bout some of them Farmer’s Market steaks for  supper,  I’m buying.”

        “Sounds great, you need to get out to Memphis more often.”

        “Oh, we will.  We’re already planning for next fall….”

Dr. B

Saltillo Golf Match

October 5, 2008

        While we were in Saltillo, Smitty arranged a golf match.  I was teamed with him against Conway and the preacher.  We flipped a tee in the air on the first hole and it pointed right at Conway, so they led off.  Conway hit a Texas Leaguer right down the sprinkler line- a frozen rope they call it in baseball.  Preacher played a power fade to the right center of the fairway.  Smitty turned to me and said, “All day long Doc.” 

        I nodded.  It was gonna be a dogfight.  We had been riding all through Alabama and Mississippi and I was stiff as could be.  I tried to loosen up, but my first drive came out the right barrel.

        “It’s O.K., Doc,” Smitty said.  We call that Green Acres over there.  It opens up more than what it looks like from here.” 

        Somehow we scraped out a par and halved the first hole.  Conway kept the pressure on- every drive was one of those mid height wind cheaters, and Preacher proved to have either an excellent short game or divine intervention.  He chipped in on number three and they clipped us a shot to go one up.  Smitty said if you didn’t have the preacher whupped by the time you get to fifty yards and in you were doomed.  His predictions were accurate- the man could chip and putt. 

        On number seven the preacher stood over an eight putt to save par and had to back away when he got a phone call.  “Well, honey that is wonderful.  A boy?  As soon as we finish I’ll be right over.”  Then  he drained his putt without a blink.

        “Dang, Smitty.  Preacher got a new baby and that cool headed?”  I asked.

         “It’s a grandchild, Doc.  They’ve been expecting their third.  You ain’t gonna rattle preacher.”

        “No kidding.”

        Preacher reached in his golf bag and handed us all a small wooden cross, (he was agin cigars) led a prayer for the baby’s good heath, and resumed play.

        We managed to get back to even by the turn, and had to stop in the parking lot for some young women who wanted Conway’s autograph. (he’d sung in the Hee-Haw show the night before) We got a Coke and a pack of nabs and then teed it up on the back.  Smitty got on a hot streak and had a couple of birdies.  I had a good back nine but hit a rope hook out of bounds after a good drive on twelve and we were back to just one up.  Somewhere in Mississippi there is a Titleist with a green and a blue dot, but I don’t reckon they’d find that one.  It was WAY out of bounds. 

        On sixteen I hit my best Sunday punch so hard my hat flew off.  Smitty caught it, stuck it back on my head, then stepped up and proceeded to out drive me five yards.  He made birdie and the match was closed.  Conway and the Preacher were tough, though.  And, win or lose I ain’t never seen as many women to chase a foursome on a golf course since Freddie Couples at the Masters.  Poor Freddie.  He deals with the problem all men wish they had.  Conway is a kindred spirit though.

        We shook hands and went to get a shower.  Smitty’s mama was gonna have her best chicken cooked up in a black skillet, and that was about half of why I drove to Mississippi all by itself.  It turned out as good as advertised and more.  I tell you what’s the truth, there’s an awful lot to like about Mississippi.

Kristin Scott Benson

October 4, 2008

        When we left Memphis we had to drop by Nashville for one day.  The IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) awards were on for Thursday, and our friend Kristin Scott Benson was nominated for banjo player of the year.  I think she’d be the first to tell you she was an underdog- she was up against some legendary players, but we love her style.  She and her husband Wayne are fine human beings as well as fabulous players, so we wanted to be supportive.

        The presenter read off the names… “Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe…  Kristin Scott Benson.”  The nomination alone is a huge honor.  We were so proud.  They fumbled with the envelope for a long moment, then moved into the microphone.  And the winner is….”Kristin Scott Benson!”

        Now I gotta tell you, I am not much of an emotional sort of guy.  If my favorite baseball player hits a home run, I’ll look up from my coffee and say, “Well, I’ll be.  Tagged his slider, huh?”

        Not this time.  I jumped to my feet, threw my hands up in the air and hollered to the top of my lungs.  “YES!”  My loudest bird dog whistle cut through the crowd.  My wife had the same reaction, but she then had to tug my elbow and tell me to hush.

        Kristin and Wayne represent some of the best of modern bluegrass music.   To look at Kristin you’d say she was the babysitter from next door here to look after the children, but be not fooled.  She might be young, but she’s an articulate, educated woman who has made her way in what was a man’s world.  In particular the banjo has been that way up to now.  After the show I thought about it, and I believe she may be the first woman to ever win that award.

        Kristin is much like my wife and daughter- you can’t help but admire it when a lady is both feminine and tough.  After all, she is not only a successful professional in a very competitive business, but a fine wife and mother.  However, there is no tokenism in bluegrass.  Either you can cut the gig or you can’t.  And Kristin can cut the gig.  In fact, until the award comes up next year (and beyond if my vote counts) she is the best banjo player in the world.  Way to go Kristin!

Dr. B

Kristin Scott Benson tours with the Larry Stephenson Band and also Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time.  He husband Wayne is a multiple SPBGMA winner on the mandolin and plays with the award winning group Russell Moore and III Tyme Out.

Check out the IBMA pictures at