Every Friday for a quarter century, at least in the absence of a medical emergency, I eat at Chang’s Chinese. They have the best oriental chow in Harvey County.
You can set your watch by it. When my daughter would drive home from college, if it was 12:30 she didn’t bother to call, but would proceed to Chang’s to eat lunch with me. She never miscalculated. You can count on old Doc to be where he says, and I was without fail.
Julius and I went to Chang’s recently. The waiter had seen me on the local cable channel. They put us on T.V. when they run out of news in Harvey Country, which is often.
“You Dr. B, right?” he asked.
“You play little guitar. Sing songs about mountains?”
“Yes sir. They call it a mandolin, but yes sir that’s me.”
“Very good, I like.”
“What you have today, Dr. B?”
“Oh, the buffet would be fine. I’d like a cup of wonton also.
“Hey,” I asked. “Would y’all toss some white rice in the soup? I call it bluegrass wonton.”
“Yes. Just a little rice.”
“Yes. Ms. Chang she will do right.”
In a minute he returned with Ms. Chang who brought a bowl of wonton soup, and with rice. She smiled broadly. I never realized exactly how white her teeth were. They were like pearls.
“New soup, Dr. B.” she said. “We call it Dr. B’s Bluegrass Wonton. We very proud.”
“Dang a mercy Ms. Chang. I ain’t never had a soup named after me. Bluegrass wonton. Imagine that.”
I sipped a spoonful.
“You like?” she asked.
“Very much. Perfect.”
You might recall from our country Doc rules Julius and I tip well when we are out to eat on the ‘Starving Medical Student Foundation.’ “Julius, we need to go all out today; 30%.”
We did just that. I’ll never be an international bluegrass star, and as a Doc I was only an in the trenches foot solider. I’m certain I am not in line for the Nobel Prize.
But after today there is one thing no one can ever take away from me. How many people have a soup named after their favorite music? They’re gonna put in on the menu next time they print one up. Bluegrass Wonton. I love Harvey County. I hope they remember me after I’m gone.