What’s For Supper Grandpa? – Grace and Dignity in 2010

        “What’s for supper Grandpa?”  I used to love that old Grandpa Jones routine.  Today it’s black-eyed peas and ham with turnip greens and vinegar.  We’ll have Marfar’s country cornbread on the side.  I like mine in milk for dessert.

        For every human being who took the time to read a word of my blog in 2009, I thank you.  My agent and editor have taught me a lot, but they always said, “listen to your reader. They will teach you more.” 

        You have been my number one influence as a writer.  We have six publishers looking at ‘The Mandolin Case.”  I hope one says yes, but I could always self-publish if I had to. What is more important to me is my reader.  I hope when it comes out you will enjoy it, and that what I learned and reported on to the best of my ability will enrich your life in some small way.

       It’s very much like being a doctor.  Some people say, “You’re lucky; you don’t have a boss.”

        My response is, “I am lucky.  But the truth is I have thousands of bosses.  They are my patients.  If I don’t meet their needs it’s time for me to go home.”  I feel the same way about my readers.  I’m sure it sounds sappy to modern folks, but I view every one of you as important just as I do with my patients.  So, I hope I made your life a little better in 2009 for having run into me.

        Indie used to say we had to play music.  He said, “Boy, you’re gonna have a lot come at you.  Some docs try to pretend it ain’t there, and stuff it all as deep down inside as they can.  It’s gonna come out one way or another.”  We did our best to deal with pain by playing music. 

        I don’t pretend to be perfect, but when I see guys who deal with it all by booze, chasing women, or ‘eating their mail,’  (taking sample pills) I wonder if they’d be happier to pursue the arts.  As a doc I saw a lot.  When your buddy gets struck down with some awful cancer, sometimes I’d have to go in my study, close the door, and cry for a minute.  Somehow you have to recompose and try again.  It was hard.  If it hadn’t been for my music, and writing in my later years, I don’t know how I’d a gotten through it.

        My wife has a saying I have quoted before.  “We aim for a life of grace and dignity.’  For 2010, my hope is that all my friends, be they my patients, my fellow musicians, or the readers and writers here in the blog world, will all find some measure of that grace and dignity.   

         I believe we’ll see Perfection in Eternity, but through the arts we have a shot at some of it while we trudge along here on Earth.  Artists unite!  Let’s take over the world in 2010.  Should we fail, we’ll dust off and try again in 2011.  They can’t stop us.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Holidays, Thought of the Day, Writing


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16 Comments on “What’s For Supper Grandpa? – Grace and Dignity in 2010”

  1. newt221 Says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours Dr. B. Hope that it is all and more than you expected with good things and blessings. We can only aim for perfection and it’s grace that gets us by.

    You have been a huge influence with my writing too. And, I used to love the “What’s for supper Grandpa” thing….

    I plan on Hop-n-John and pork roast at my house. I will have a salad for “Green”. I don’t like turnip greens or collard greens….

    • drtombibey Says:


      I hope grace and dignity surround you in 2010 and for years to come.

      You keep looking after all the little critters. I believe the folks who love animals will be blessed not only in Heaven, but here on Earth too.

      Dr. B

  2. Felix Miller Says:

    Happy New Year to you and all the fine folk in Harvey County, Doctor B. The year just past was good to us in many ways, meeting you at the Conference on Southern Literature being one of them.

    Babs and I are looking forward to reading The Mandolin Case sometime in 2010. Also, we hope to see you on your tour, and hear the music you keep in that other mandolin case you were carrying at the Conference.

    Stay the course and pray for grace, a friend of mine often tells me. You and yours do likewise.

    • drtombibey Says:


      It was a lucky day for me to wind up at your table. I lost track of the English teacher who sat with us. I knew she was a teacher before I asked, ’cause she had that look in her eye I’ve seen so many times before. “Oh my. What in Heaven’s name will I do with this boy?”

      When I get back to Chattanooga we will have to share another meal. Great company for all time.

      Dr. B

  3. Aw, Dr. B, you had me all teary-eyed… Art, any kind, be it playing music, writing or appreciating other people’s creations – all art is a good way of dealing with the world and expressing yourself within it. I think that your doctor-gig as you sometimes call it is all the more strengthened by your appreciation of this fact.
    I hope you have a wonderful 2010, and that one of the publishers take you on – I can’t imagine how they won’t, not if your novel is anything like what you share with us here. As you know, I’m waiting on tenterhooks to be able to read it!

    • drtombibey Says:


      Ah, the wisdom of youth! You are so right. With all I dealt with as a doc if I hadn’t had art I mighta wound up a grumpy old man.

      All the best to you too my young friend. I started to write in 2000, and always said it would take ten years to get a book published. I believe 2010 will be my year. Much credit goes to folks like you who forever encouraged me to continue on.

      Dr. B

  4. Billy Says:

    Boy — you have turned over a new leaf with you Blog haven’t you. Wonder’s never cease!!!!!!


    • drtombibey Says:


      Old Doc is slow to change. However, as they say at the office the big wheel might grind slow but it does grind sure.

      Happy New Year to you to my friend, and be careful out there on the road. People drive crazy at the holiday.

      Dr. B

  5. Happy New Year! I do hope a publisher will pick up your book. If you ever decide to travel to PA for the May Pennwriters conference look me up. I’m not hard to find, hehehe.

    • drtombibey Says:


      We plan at least one trip up North. The English Professor from New Hampshire is a big bluegrass buddy and I have blog pals scattered all through New England. When we get ready for the big ‘tour’ (really just an excuse for my wife and I plan to have a cool vacation and visit folks) we’ll give you a shout.

      Dr. B

  6. Fiona Skye Says:

    “We aim for a life of grace and dignity.”

    What a heart-breakingly beautiful sentiment. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m so very glad I found your blog, Dr B, and I’m looking forward to spending more time here in 2010.

    • drtombibey Says:


      It hasn’t all been perfect, but after many decades of work, we find it most days. When we don’t we play some music then try again. I guess persistence counts for more than perfection, ’cause we keep on keeping on, and most of the time it’s with some measure of grace.

      Dr. B

  7. DJB Says:

    Great post, Dr. B, and a great line from your wife about seeking grace and dignity. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010.

    • drtombibey Says:


      The woman managed to get some grace out of a country boy, so she did okay.

      Hope you have a fine 2010 too. Maybe we’ll run into each other at a festival.

      When I was a kid I wanted to be Micky Mantle, then later it was Bill Monroe. Anyone who loves both baseball and bluegrass is good by me.

      Dr. B

  8. wvgal Says:

    I’m certainly glad to have run across your blog.
    What an inspiration. Happy new year to you!

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