Dr. B’s Grand Ambitious Book Tour

        I know you must wonder.  Why would a man who does not yet have a published novel plan a book tour?  My partner, Dr. Dee, has the answer.  “A man has to have his dreams.”

        I have a great wife.  She goes out of her way to encourage all this.  For Christmas she got me a huge fold-out map of the U.S and a box of brightly colored push pins.  The map is on the wall in my study.  When we hear from someone interesting, we put a pin in that area and country and begin to plan. 

        We’ll do our tours like we did when we were young.  One time my folks gave us several hundred dollars, and we decided to go to Maine.  Our only plan was to go as far North as we could.  When we were half way out of money, we’d turn around and head back.  I figure when we go out about the book it will be a similar experience.

        So far we have a concentration of pins in Mississippi, so I know we’ll be going back there.  We already know of several independent book stores, like Reed’s in Tupelo, and Square Books in Oxford.  Also, I know a bunch of pickers and golfers there, so it’s a definite.  We have been fortunate to make some friends down that way, Smitty and his wife, and we need to go back and see them.  His mama makes the best fried chicken in a black skillet.

        Then there’s the New England tour.  I want to visit the English Professor, and learn more about Bread Loaf.  I’m sure mrschili and Pande live up that way.  One lady wrote me about an independent book store in Boston that is on my list.  That is just the kind of place I want to take in.  Small venues, local folks, bookstores where people like ideas and acoustic music.  (This won’t exactly be a Rolling Stones kind of tour.)

        Eventually we want to get out to Oklahoma (what I’d give to jam in Byron Berline’s Guthrie shop)  and Kansas.  (Winfield had been on my list for years.)  The blog has even led me to like-minded contacts on the West Coast and Australia.  Someday we’ll get to Scotland.  I’d love to visit the med schools and golf courses both.

        I hope as y’all read this, you will let me know of independent book stores or music shops where folk would let Dr. Bibey set up with his mandolin and pick a few tunes and tell a few tales.  I want to see as many as I can.  Maybe if I sell a few books, I can get to California before I am half way out of money!

        Oh, and now the disclaimer.  Some of my patients read the blog, and they don’t need to worry.  All this will take place over five years or so, at a clip of two to three short tours a year.  No fear.  I enjoy being a Doc, and now that I’ve reached the age where I could give it up, I am too emotionally attached to my people to quit.  Like I’ve always said, the best Doc knows he ought to be out earning an honest living, but enjoys practicing medicine too much to quit.

        At the end of the year, I feel called to thank all of you who visit with me.  I have been a  fine learning experience, and I hope to get out and meet you all.  Let me know where to push the pins in my map, either in the comments or by email.   Someday, somehow, I’m gonna get there.

Dr. B

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26 Comments on “Dr. B’s Grand Ambitious Book Tour”

  1. Mrs. Chili Says:

    You’d BETTER come to New England. How’s about giving this place a shout out and seeing what comes back?


  2. drtombibey Says:


    As kind as you have been to me, I wouldn’t go to New England and not stop to meet all the chilis.

    Will give them a shout for sure, and thanks for the tip. The market for physican bluegrass fiction might be a bit of a unique niche, so I’ll have to pick my spots.

    Dr. B

  3. Cindy Carter Says:

    Dr. B, There is a bookstore in Davidson, NC right on mainstreet. I am sure they would probably welcome you and your mandolin. There is a coffee shope next door that provides entertainment where you might find some people to “pick and grin” with.

    And, we have some pretty good musicians at our church. They haven’t ever turned down anyone who wants to join in.

    You let me know where you will be in the Charlotte Area and I will certainly try to get there.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Cindy,

    Next time you are in there ask them if Dr. Bibey could do a book signing sometime. If I did it on a Wednesday (when I can catch him off the road) my picking partner for that neck of the woods would be the great Darin Aldridge, who played with the Country Gentlemen. He is one of the best in N.C. (Tony Williamson in the Research Triangle area is also a fabulous N.C mandolinist.)

    I would love an address or a website for the book store if you know it.

    Darin is my music contact for the western N.C. area. (and points beyond if I can convince him to go) Believe me, the cat can flat play. Maybe I can get his new wife (the wedding is tonight!) to come too. Between Darin, Brook and me, I guess it would be a book ‘singing.’

    I play in a praise band at church too, so I am certain I would be familar with your church musician friend’s repetoire.

    Dr. B

  5. Cindy Carter Says:

    Not sure about a Website though they should have one. Not listed on their bookmark. They do, however, have a phone number…704-892-6841. It is at 126 South Main Street. The owners….Betty Reinke or Barbara Freund. Next time I am in there, I will definitely broach the subject. I know they “support” local talent…. And, I am guessing you are local…. If you know what I mean…

  6. Ted Lehmann Says:

    Toadstool Bookstore in Keene, NH and The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT – both local institutions and welcoming to book lovers. Never met a musician in either one though. Have a happy New Year and thanks for the comment you left. – Ted

  7. Susan Shay Says:

    If you’re in Oklahoma, come on up to Tulsa. They have an indy or two where you could sign.
    And Sand Springs (almost part of Tulsa) has a music store where they give great lessons and is owned my my ex-cousin-in-law’s family. (Firey Brothers) I’ll bet they’d let you pick and sign.

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Cindy.

    I am a local yokel North Carolina guy if there ever was one.

    Tell ’em about all the support I’ll need is a venue where they want to bring in a lot of people who like to listen to acoustic music and buy a bunch of books. (not just mine but whatever they have.)

    It might be a while before we figure out the hows and where to of publishing, but you have read me long enough to know I ain’t got a bit of give up in me.

    Dr. B

  9. drtombibey Says:


    Cool. Count me in. Tell them I don’t play loud; just enough to bring new faces in to the store. With the title of ‘The Mandolin Case,’ people want me to play when I talk about the book. And too, the truth was found thru the mandolins.

    I need to get you to send me some material on digital cameras. My old Olympus OM-1 has a bad shutter. It is a 30 year old film workhorse, and I plan to fix it, but I need a back-up to record the journey.

    Dr. B

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Susan,

    I am thinking the mid west is probably 2010, but I am a man of my word, and I will be there. Gotta hit Gutherie too.

    I appreciate you talking to them for me. Tell them I am a family guy, I cause no trouble, and I’m good for business.

    Dr. B

  11. Amber Says:

    Well… apparently there is a book store here in Marin that anyone who is anyone has their book launch. And of course being from LA, I have a few book stores there that I have a connection or two with…. 😀

    Im sure if you want to do the UK I can cook up some book stores there…lol but I doubt they would be your crowd.

    We’d love you here. I would be happy to show you and the Misses hospitality here in Napa on the lake…. I run a pretty mean BnB here ya know… 🙂 I can kinda cook too. I heard a rumor somewhere that there was a wine cellar located on the premises too..shhhhh don’t tell!

  12. Smitty Neuse River Pres. Says:

    Doc, let me know when and we will take care of some of the publicity for the local tour. You know what we need to do is establish Neuse River Fan Clubs in these other states to help you with cost. I will meet with the officers Monday morning to let them know of your comments:well they already know, I was reading the blog and momma called to let me know that she had finally got the satellite back on after watching the DVD player. I talked mother thru the sequence but we all know tech is not their thing. I read her the comment about the chicken, she just laughed in her motherly way.

    Take care Doc, I know you loved the wedding. He has a special place in your heart.

    P.S got to remember to invite the Jameson Inn folks, especially the lady who sung while you played.

  13. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Amber,

    Me and Marfar intend to get all the way to the west coast on one tour. It might be late 2010, but we have it on our map.

    Imagine bluegrass music in LA. Actually there are some great bands out that way. Look up the Laurel Canyon Ramblers. Their mandolin player, Chris Hillman, was the bass player for the Byrds. I think they are still at it; they don’t get this way often.

    Dr. B

  14. drtombibey Says:


    I hope we can also get in a round of golf.

    The wedding was great- just got in. They are very happy kids and quite compatible. I think they will do well. All our gang is still the same except a little older. We don’t play half the night anymore.

    I think the young lady in house-keeping was named April. The mananger was Mark. She sang ‘Gonna lay my Burdens Down” in the key of ‘D.’ Lots of fun.

    See you in Mississippi or if you get to N.C. we’ll tee it up.

    Dr. B

  15. pandemonic Says:

    I would invite you to a bookstore near my home here in the tundra, but I’d rather point you in the direction of one in the Haight Ashbury District in San Francisco. I’m also thinking of a coffee shop in the Sunset where my son has performed. It’s about a half mile from the beach. Directing you to SF would mean that I would have an excuse to visit (as if I need an excuse). 🙂

    I’m discouraging a tundra trip here for several reasons. For one thing, coming up here would be depressing, even to a positive guy like yourself. And besides that, the general atmosphere here would be all wrong for you. However, I could recommend several places in that other Tundra place (Minneapolis) that might serve you well. Let me think about it.

  16. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Pande,

    I figure a west coast tour is in the works for 2010.

    One way or another at some time in the book/bluegrass journey I figure I’ll run into you. If nothing else, we have a deal on a professional courtesy book swap.

    If you son is a guitar man, I ‘m sure we could jam. (I’ve sat in before with blues bands and rock ‘n roll as well as my regular bluegrass gig.) SF is cool as is Minneapolis.

    Dr. B

  17. Karen Says:

    Dr B
    Take one of your push-pins, and go as far west as you can on your map…past LA…into the deep blue Pacific Ocean…then keep on going…keep going….go south just a little…well, actually a whole lot. When you’re over on the far wall of your study, down near the floor, stick a pin in. You’ll be just about right. We’d welcome you in Australia any day 🙂

  18. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Karen,

    Lord knows, I have always told my wife Australia is one place I want to visit before I check in at the Pearly Gates.

    I will put it on the list.

    Your timing is impeccable- I just sent you an e-mail as to Australia and Southern U.S. books two minutes ago! I had a question I hope you can answer. If by chance it does not come thru let me know.

    Dr. B

  19. Kim Justesen Says:

    Dr. Tom –

    Should you wish to come west to Utah, I’ve got several contacts for you for book signings here. In addition, I know a great jazz and blues club we could sit in and hear some good music, and I’d be delighted to serve as your tour guide. Depending on the time of year, perhaps you could bring the clubs along, and I could introduce you to some fine golf courses. I promise to keep my swearing and complaining to the minimum setting. Keep dreaming, and believing, and I will look forward to meeting you in person!

    Kim J.

  20. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Kim,

    Utah is on the way from Kansas to the west coast, so it is on the list for sure.

    My next post is on a bluegrass wedding. A blues band played the reception, and it was a big jam session, so that is right down my alley.

    Putting the pins in the map- a man has to have his dreams, and they will happen.

    Dr. B

  21. Billy Says:

    Dr B
    You sure have opened up a bunch of doors with that tour email. Made me start thinking of all the good bookstores I have seen to on the road. Problem is a lot of the ones we visited have faded from the scene. I will start making a list as we hit cities and introduce ourselves to the owner. Maybe when the the book comes out we could make up a banner to put on the side of my rig “Neuse River Band and Book Tour” and you guys can follow in your yellow bus.

    Hope you come out with a audio version. All I do is listen to books while I am on the road. Thank goodness for libraries having audio books.

    Happy New Year. We are heading the truck home to spend a few days with the wife.

  22. drtombibey Says:


    Especially when you are down in Texas keep on the look out. It is a big state and for some reason I don’t know too many folks down there.

    I like the idea of a Book on Tape too. Someone like like that guy who does the Super 8 commercials would be a good one. My voice is a touch too hillbilly sometimes.

    Happy New Year and come visit- we’ll leave the light on.

    Dr. B

  23. Asheville NC Bookstores would be Malaprops and Mystic Journeys

  24. drtombibey Says:

    Ask Asheville,

    Hey thanks so much. I got ’em saved to my list.

    Dr. B

  25. rekx Says:

    Hey Dr. B….You’d find a welcome audience in Dallas, TX. I know that Charley’s Guitar shop (former hangout out of local legend Stevy Ray Vaughn) would have you and you would also do good to visit our Southwest Bluegrass Club. Put a pin up for Dallas and let me know.

  26. drtombibey Says:


    Very cool. Will save it. Maybe we can do a mando duet, (I’ll let you choose the tune ahead of time.) My wife and I could take you guys out to eat. Heck maybe your wife could even figure out what the heck is wrong with old Doc to drive him to do all these things. But, I can’t stand the thought of getting into the easy chair as an old guy yet- having too much fun.

    Dr. B

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