Bluegrass Wonton

        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.

        “Yes sir.”

         “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.”

          “Thank you.”

          “What you have today, Dr. B?”

          “Oh, the buffet would be fine.  I’d like a cup of wonton also.

        “Very good.”

        “Hey,” I asked.  “Would y’all toss some white rice in the soup?   I call it bluegrass wonton.”

        “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.

Dr. B

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10 Comments on “Bluegrass Wonton”

  1. Dr. B, you’ve got plenty of years left in you for jam sessions, doctoring and bluegrass! Ain’t no way that they’re not gonna remember you – you’re a hell of a man, and from what I can gather from your entries, you’re well known, well liked and well respected in Harvey County and the bluegrass world in general.

    Having a soup named after you is an honor, that’s for sure!

    • drtombibey Says:


      As we say in bluegrass, you’re a good’un. You are just getting started in life, so next time I order a bowl of Bluegrass Wonton soup I’m gonna say a prayer that you will get the same good fortune cookies Doc has been blessed by all these years.

      Dr. B

  2. Sam Sattler Says:

    I love this story, doc. You made me smile on this hot Saturday afternoon – and that wasn’t easy to do.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Hey I recognize you from your FaceBook posts.
      Thanks for dropping in.

      Yes sir, in my line of work sometimes you have look hard for a bright spot. It seems I find most of ’em in bluegrass music, and I sure am thankful for it. It has kept me going in a tough business.

      Dr. B

  3. junebugger Says:

    You really are an inspiration to me, and many others, to be sure.

    By the way,I felt like I were actually listening into this conversation of yours at Chang’s. Do you speak with a Texan (sp?) accent? I wish I had an accent…Well, I’m a Canadian, and so probably have a Canadian accent, but it doesn’t seem like an accent..ok, I’m rambling.

    Great post as usual!

    • drtombibey Says:


      That is a very interesting question. I have lived in N.C. all my life but when I travel I am often asked if I am from Texas. I must be writing in my voice!

      Dr. B

      • junebugger Says:

        A “Texan Tang” they call it in the books I’ve read with with Texas as the setting.

        So you’ve never lived in Texas yet have a Texan accent when you travel…that’s so odd! How’s this possible?

  4. drtombibey Says:


    I don’t know except when I was a kid I used to read cowboy books all the time. Maybe some of it rubbed off on me.

    When I was a very small child, I put on a gun and holster set and wore a cowboy hat every day. I hung ’em on the bedpost every night, and put them on again the next morning. I loved all those ‘B’ grade westerns.

    When I went to school, I retired the cowboy get-up without a second thought, and never wore it again. As an adult, you couldn’t ask for a more non-violent man, but I guess I held onto the accent.

    Dr. B

    • junebugger Says:

      Ah, then it’s the same with me. I write my stories with a British accent tee hee. I read tons of English (British) books. Maybe someday,like yourself, I’ll speak with an English accent!

      • drtombibey Says:


        Cool. Now when Central Casting looks for a young lady with a British accent for a role in the movie I’ll know who to have ’em call!

        Maybe you’ll be long lost daughter of some old gray haired Texan who talks a bit like he’s from N.C.

        I might better clarify. I’ve done a lot of things in my life but I don’t think they’re gonna put old Doc in the movies. You might have a chance though.

        Dr. B

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