Harvey Billiard and Bowl

        If you guys are gonna read “The Mandolin Case,” I want you to be on the inside of local culture.  Now that y’all are my friends, you need to know where to find people in town you can count on in case you were to get in a jam. 

        So, here’s how to get to Harvey Billiard and Bowl, or the B and B as we call it.  From downtown Croatan, the County seat for Harvey County, go east on Main St.  When you get to Bibey Drive (named for my grandfather) hang a right.  That will take you by the old Hospital.  It has been renovated as office space for most of the Docs is town. 

        Follow that to the outskirts of town. You’ll pass a huge old pin oak that lightening splintered last year.  Just past it is Lee Highway.  Take a left there, and the B and B is a mile on the right.

        You can’t miss it.  There is a gravel parking lot and a front end loader sits there most days.  There will be a few used cars for sale, and there is a trailer park out back, where Lou manages thirty units.  We play music there one Saturday night a month.  A sign out front says “Triditional Bluegrass Music.”  Lou realized it was misspelled, but he’d already paid for it.  He said he’d change it next time.

        Lou Bedford is the owner.  He has the best cheeseburgers in town.  A Mina bird named Minne is at the cash register.  Minnie can mimic anything so don’t say anything you don’t want folks to know.  That bird can do the best ambulance siren imitation you’ve ever heard.  The paramedics taught it to her.  By the way, if you want to know where to eat in the South always look for law enforcement or EMS vehicles- they know the local landscape better than anyone.

        In the back Lou has a pool hall and a couple of duck pin bowling lanes.  There is a regular card game there every Friday night.  Indie played every week, but after Blinky died, he didn’t go for a month.  After that he played, but not as regular.

        It’s a dry county, but folks know they can get a Pabst Blue Ribbon at the B and B.  All you have to do is put in a few extra coins in the Coke machine, and press the Tab button.  It’ll spit out a PBR- just don’t tell anyone.

        The B and B is a regular hangout for bluegrass boys, golf hustlers, card sharks, and assorted ne’re do wells.  Most society folks wouldn’t be seen there.  You could count on a fair deal at the B and B.

          From time to time I go to the B and B to conduct important business.  Just don’t tell my mama- it would worry her.

Dr. B

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8 Comments on “Harvey Billiard and Bowl”

  1. Billy Says:

    While I was on the road from Nashville to Knoxville I was thinking that you ought to have a good bar in your book. Every man has a bar where he can talk about things. Then when I woke this morning I noticed you have one. Glad we think with the same Muse.

    When we hit the road, the Mrs turned on NPR and Randy Owen who grabbed famed with Alabama, was on pitching his new book and song. Seems the song was written by Dolly Parton and when the announcer asked how he found out about the song he said that he and Dolly have the same hairdresser. You better show in your book how hairdressers are community news services. If you don’t you don’t know anything about a small town and how news travels.

  2. drtombibey Says:


    Yep all true.

    Dolly Parton is big on literacy programs. That is one of her favorite charities. My wife heard it at the Beauty Shop.

    Dr. B

  3. Susan Shay Says:

    What’s duck pin bowling? Pins that look like ducks or pins you have to duck when they’re hit by the ball and go flying.
    Just wondering.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Susan,

    Duck pin bowling is much like regular bowling except the bowling balls and the pins are smaller. You get three rolls in each turn. They often only have five pins set up, and they are placed by hand instead of the automated alley you’d see at Fairlanes. Baseball manager John McGraw was a duck hunter, and he said when you hit them they looked like flying ducks, hence the name. Babe Ruth liked the game.

    You now may be the world’s leading romance writer authority on duck pin bowling.

    Oh, one more thing I meant to tell you. The pride of Oklahoma bluegrass, Byron Berline, just put out a new CD called “My Oklahoma.” It got a great review in “Bluegrass Unlimited,” and they are tough critics.

    It is available at Doublestop Music, 121 E. Oklahoma, Guthrie, OK 73044

    Dr. B

  5. Cindy Carter Says:

    It seems that every small town has a “place”. Ours was the local VFW Pool Hall. Moma said that Daddy used to spend a lot of time at the pool hall with his buddies. She said that right after they got married she kina got jealous of all the time he spent with his buddies at that pool hall. She wished it would burn down. It did! After that she was always careful about what she wished for. She used to always caution her children to be care about making wishes too.

    By the way, Daddy and his buddies just found another hangout.

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Cindy,

    It is hard to take the country out of a bunch of Southern boys.

    I went pretty far with school, but in many ways I never changed.

    Dr. B

  7. Susan Shay Says:

    Dr. T,
    I was in Gutherie just last month for my niece’s wedding! I’ll check it out.

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Susan,

    Byron Berline is a true world class player. If you like acoustic music, you can’t go wrong with his work.

    Dr. B

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