A Rich Man’s Watches

        Years ago my daughter wanted to study in Europe for a summer.  Her Mama and I both had the same advice.  “Sweetie, if adult folks want to go to Europe, we have no problem with that, but they have to earn the money to go.”

        She had a part time job, and the next summer she showed me her bank account, passport, and itinerary.  The kid knew we were good for our word. She had a nice trip.

        While she was there she bought me a black faced Swiss Army watch.  I wear it every Friday.  It makes me feel young, and makes our regular Friday phone call all the more special.

        My everyday watch is a regular Swiss Army my wife gave me.  It is very reliable.

       My son and I played a lot of golf when he was growing up.  One year he depleted his piggy bank and bought me a Timex Iron Man.   That was about a decade ago.  Like the commercial says, it keep on ticking.  I have worn it on every golf outing since that day.  It keeps me young too.  I close my eyes, think of that boy’s limber back, take a deep breath, and still manage to hit it 250 (O.K. Smitty, downhill and downwind) on a good day. 

        On Saturday night gigs I have an old pocket watch Indie restored and gave me for my birthday.  No one had more soul than Indie, and I believe it allows me to play like a musician rather than a Doc at least once I can forget my patient’s troubles for a moment.

        My Dad gave me a gold watch and pocket knife on my 21st birthday.  I only use the knife to open letters, and only wear the watch when I go to my Mom and Dad’s for dinner, but it is still special.

        Sunday mornings I wear a pocket watch my wife gave me for our 25th wedding anniversary.   My daughter helped her pick it out.  The kid also helped me decide on a ring I got my wife at that very same jewelry store.  One time I called and asked Marie to meet me there and she hemmed and hawed around something awful.  Months later I learned she was already at the jewelry store with her Mama, and they had to spilt to keep from running into me.   I wear that watch on Sundays to remind me to thank God for my good fortune.  I have been a very lucky man.

        I have nothing against anyone who owns a Rolex watch (for I long time I didn’t know any better and called it a Rolidex) but if a stranger was to give me one, I wouldn’t be able to wear it.  I’m already committed to a time piece every day of the week, and I will never give them up.   

        If you put my watches in a poke and took ’em to Johnny’s Jewelry and Pawn they wouldn’t be worth 500.00 all togehter, but they are priceless to me.  I can’t afford a Rolex, but I consider myself a rich man.

        Oops, gotta go.  It’s Friday afternoon.  I have seen all my patients and it’s time to call my Miss Marie.  She’s all grown up now, but the kid is smart enough to pretend like she still needs the old man.

Dr. B

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27 Comments on “A Rich Man’s Watches”

  1. [thanks for the comment and much like
    your blogs there seems to be a sort
    of intense emotion behind both of them,
    that makes them an intriguing read, I
    also read your blog on the patients
    husband, loved it]

    • drtombibey Says:


      I appreciate your visit. With one read you picked up on something many people have told me over the years. Everyone seems to agree that for better or worse I am an intense man.

      Dr. B

  2. drtombibey Says:


    I appreciate your visit. With one read you picked up on something many people have told me over the years. Everyone seems to agree that for better or worse I am an intense man.

    Dr. B
    Sorry, should have mentioned good post! Waiting on your next one!

  3. [i’m happy to know that I’m
    so attentive]

    [i’ve actually subscribed to
    this blog so that I don’t
    miss future entries] :]

    • drtombibey Says:


      Man, thanks so much.

      I will brag for a minute. I have been told this is the best physician bluegrass fiction writer weblog on wordpress.

      Did I mention it’s the only one?

      Oh well. Maybe that is going to change the world as much as being International Tiddlywinks Champion, (and nothing is wrong with that either) but I suppose we all can only be what we are.

      Dr. B

  4. Tanya Says:

    This post is beautiful. As for me, I don’t own any watches, as I feel they tie me down-make me constantly aware of what I “should be doing,” or where I “should be going.” I suspect that those thoughts are because any watches I would own do not carry the preciousness of the people behind them. I will keep reading. Thank You for your visit to my site, and thank you for your lovely words.


    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms Tanya,

      Your thoughts gave me another perspective I hadn’t really considered.

      When I was a young man I was a rather free spirit, but as a Doc and a family man, I had a life with a lot of commitments.

      My whole adult life I belonged to my people, not myself, and yet I have never felt like it was a burden. If fact it was a blessing.

      Hm. I guess the trick is for man’s watches to tie him down to the right people.

      Thanks for your insightful comment. I hope you’ll drift back by when you get a chance.

      Dr. B

  5. sputnitsa Says:

    What a touching post 🙂

    • drtombibey Says:

      Thanks Ms. Sputnisa,

      As an old fellow who is trying to learn to write I cherish each new reader.

      A writer without readers would be like if old Doc sat at his desk in his office with a stethoscope around his neck, and no one showed up to ask his opinion. I’ve been a busy man for many decades but I expect that would be a terrible lonely day for me. I am one of these folks who is fascinated by human beings and their thoughts.

      Dr. B

  6. A beautiful post, Dr. B, and just another proof that people who are intelligent can also have extremely high emotional intelligence. I love your watch-routine, and I think it’s a great way to keep the memories and loves right by your side at all times.
    A watch is something special, no matter if it’s an old pink one with a chewed on strap that’s too small to fit [I got it from my grandparents] or whether it’s a sensible black Swatch bought in an airport before a college trip. Watches hold memories well, for some reason – it’s a bit funny if you think about it: A watch is something that shows the passage of time, and yet it also brings you back in time and gives memories. It’s a little memory-time-machine in a way.

    • drtombibey Says:


      I agree with your notion of emotional intelligence. Esp with guys I have known some who were brilliant but emotionally bordered on dim witted.

      I have a fine wife and daughter, and work along side twelve women every day. Along the way they have taught me a lot.

      I’m not sure I am as smart as all of of them but for a man I ain’t all dumb.

      Dr. B

  7. [feel free to brag, being
    the best physician bluegrass
    fiction writer weblog on
    wordpress is a good acomplishment,
    even if you are the only one]

    [as well as only being what we
    are, we all should be proud
    that we have achieved that!]

    • drtombibey Says:


      Hey thanks. I tell my kids if you get focused enough, there is something you can be the best in the world at- Yourself!

      Dr. B

  8. that’s the kind of thing I’m
    gonna tell my kids, if I ever
    have any, but that’s a long
    time away yet]

    • drtombibey Says:

      Cool! One of the reasons I write is I hope some of my ideas might live on past my time. Now that I’ve figured a few things out about life I’m almost too old to do anything about it.

      Dr. B

      • [ah, that sucks, at least
        it shows you’ve been able
        to see the lessons presented
        to you, I for one, do not
        have this talent]

        [I’d like to think my words
        will go on as well, although
        sometimes they just sound
        like rambling]

  9. junebugger Says:

    I love reading things that make me think, as your entries do. It makes me reflect and appreciate life. After reading this post, I wondered what I had i my possession which might be worthless to others but a treasure to me, and I’m still thinking. Hmm. Nope. Can’t think of anything right now…..not good.

    • drtombibey Says:


      You are young and these things will develop with time. The fact that you are young but have already begun consider what is important in life is impressive. I was nothing but a goofy kid for a long time, so you are ahead of me.

      Dr. B

  10. That was wonderful. My husband is the same way. He has a collection of watches that each mean something to him. None of them are rolex’s. He also set aside watches that were important to him to give to our sons as they graduate from high school.

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms. Claire,

      Hello. I appreciate your visit.

      A fellow who thinks that way is usually a loyal man. I tell you the truth when my wife gave me that watch it was a big thing to me; a basic statement of “I’d turn back the hands of time and start with you all over again.”

      Dr. B

  11. drtombibey Says:


    I think you are fine my friend. I believe you are very young. When I was young I was only interested in girls, guitars, golf, and pizzas.

    I was lucky my wife was of a similar mind-set so we had a lot of fun together. We were nothing but two good time kids.

    I didn’t begin to write until I was in my 50s and after some of the testosterone and excess energy burned off.

    Dr. B

  12. uninvoked Says:

    The price of an object very seldom reflects its value. My boyfriend went out and bought me garlic stuffed olives the other day. You can’t get much cheaper than garlic olives. They’re not valuable. They’re not even long lasting. However, I love them and he can’t stand them. The fact that he actually went out and bought them for me makes them so much more valuable.

    Of course, olives aren’t watches, but it is still quite nice.

    • drtombibey Says:


      He sounds like one of the good guys.

      My wife had a bird she loved. I never really cared anything about a bird, but when it died I went and and found her another one as close to it as I could find.

      She is teaching it to talk, and it chirps and laughs and carries on.

      When I walk by the bird’s cage it doesn’t speak to me, and I want to say, “Look here pal, it it weren’t for me you’d never known that nice lady,’ but I just laugh and go on.

      I don’t care a thing about having the bird as far as me, but I’m glad my wife can have it ’cause it makes her happy.

      It has started to sound like her, so I have begun to take a liking to it now.

      Dr. B

      • uninvoked Says:

        Aww, that’s so sweet of you! I imagine she loves the bird as much because it looks as the old one as because you spent the time to go and look for it for her. Perhaps it will talk for you too some day. ^^

  13. Smitty Neuse River Pres. Says:

    Doc, one thing I have noticed is that you are picking a few new visitors. Do you think it is facebook?

    I am glad you posted about the 250 drive. I am sure it was a Pro V1. Hey,looked in my bag the other day and the blue/green Titleist was in the bag-you gave it to me on the first tee that summer. The Preacher man, Conway,FMC and I played the Saturday round. Conway drained two ten footers on the last two holes to win. I had to give him the secret hand shake for congratulation.

    Now to the watch- I have the Iron man Timex and it keeps on ticking. I replaced the battery the other day and it is ready to go for a few more years. I think it is great that you are reminded of the special times each watch brings.

    • drtombibey Says:


      A number have come over from FaceBook. You get some stats with your WordPress set-up and so you have at least some idea how vistors find you and where they come from. There have been a bunch of new folks from the wordpress dashboard too.

      N.C. is my biggest state but I get a lot of folks from Mississippi too. Of course the kids made me an honorary Mississippian, so I am sure that is why.

      We are on our last edit, so I am sure I’ll be back in 2010. Keep a look out for old green eye/blue eye. Tell the boys to save me a slot in the foursome.

      Dr. B

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms uninvoked,

      Bless your heart. One thing you gotta realize is old guys are full of all kinda advice ’cause they think they are wise. But some of it has worked over the years, at least for us.

      Dr. B

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