Are You Tommy Bibey?

        98.3% of what goes on in bluegrass music is good.  But even in bluegrass every so often there will be a problem.  In interest of full disclosure I feel the need to report it all.

        Red White and Blue was a great festival, and went almost without incident.  I did run into one problem fellow, though.  First of all, let me say he was in violation of the rules.  No alcohol is allowed on the festival grounds.  It didn’t take a doctor to make the diagnosis of intoxication.

         He stopped me as I walked to go get a cup of coffee.  The man was red faced, sunburned and shirtless.  He had on a ball cap with a pig on the front.   “Ain’t you Tommy Bibey?”

        “You’re the third person who has mistaken me for him.  Why do you ask?”

         “That there band is too d@#^ loud.  That ain’t bluegrass.”

           I glanced over at the stage.  “Hm. Well, I’m O.K. with ’em.  Yeah,  I guess they are a bit progressive, but I don’t want them all to sound the same.”

        “You need to see to it they don’t book no more bands like that.”

        “Man, I don’t have any control over that.  I’m not in charge.”

        “Ain’t you Tommy Bibey?”

        “No sir.”

       “Well he wouldn’t have a band here like them boys.”

       “Hm.  I know him.  Next time I see him I’ll talk to him about it.”

        “I hope you do.  You know who runs this thing?”

        “No sir.”  I handed the man two quarters.  “Tell you what.  Take this over to Mr. Harold and put it towards some ice cream.  Tell him Tommy Bibey sent you.”

        “I thought you said you weren’t Bibey.”

        “I’m not.  But I know him.  That’s what he would recommend.  He’d say get some ice cream and eat it while you wait for the next band to come on.   There’s some tables down yon way.”  I waved my hands towards the picnic tables off in the distance.  “Name’s Edward.  I’ll tell Tommy I ran into you.”  I stuck out my hand.

       He shook it, and gave me a strange look.  “Ice cream?”

       “Yeah, I recommend the peach.”  I pointed towards Mr. Harold’s trailer.  “Right over there.”

       “O.K.  I’ll go get some. ”

         I went back to my seat to take in the show.  I can play a little, but I couldn’t stay on the stage with those boys.  They were excellent.  I looked over my shoulder and saw the man seated at a table at the far end of the festival grounds eating his ice cream.  I hope it was peach.  I wanted him to have as much fun as I was having. 

        At the same time, I didn’t want him to find me.  I hope he remembers my name was Edward.

Dr. B

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6 Comments on “Are You Tommy Bibey?”

  1. Wow, Dr. B, who knew you had it in you to be a wily fox like that? Still, I can understand you completely – no need for obnoxious drunkards to remember your face along with your name. You don’t need trouble like that.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Yeah I figure if I could somehow be nice to him, not ruin my day, and only be out fifty cents I managed to come out all right on the deal.

      Who knows? Maybe he contemplated the notion of being nice to the next person who comes along. (I guess we can at least dream we might change the world one person at a time huh?)

      Dr. B

  2. Danny Fulks Says:

    After too much alcohol, I’m not sure ice cream is the best thing for the stomach. Maybe a bratwurst?

    • drtombibey Says:

      Lawd, Lawd, Dan, I love brats, but it mighta done him in!

      Dr. B

      • Felix Miller Says:

        Or the bratwurst might have done in anybody within close proximity to him – one way or the other.

        As a semi-literate in matters bluegrass, even I have noticed that bluegrass music has a lot of variety, especially amongst the younger groups. Electric instruments, different types of music blended in to the bluegrass style. I like it all.

        Maybe the fellow with the pig on his hat will heed “Edward” and open his ears, and cut back on the beer.

        Keep on pickin’, Doc.

        Felix Miller

  3. drtombibey Says:


    If he’d downed a few brats I mighta had to take to doctoring.

    You are absolutely correct. Modern bluegrass honors tradition, but also has new sounds. It ain’t your father’s bluegrass, but they still respect their elders. (I am evidence of that; I have a lot of friends in the music, any many of them are half my age.)

    Dr. B

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