My Prescription for the Weekend

        Well, it had to happen. I had my first complaint. One person came up and said they thought I ought to stay home and doctor and not be out playing music and yakking about books.

        It didn’t upset me, though I gotta admit they missed my point. They didn’t understand what this music and the people who play it have meant to me.

        I still love the doc gig. For almost a quarter century I worked day and night. I’d come in from the hospital about to drop. I’m certain many of those nights I’d a wound up in the ditch if not for my favorite artists on the stereo in my truck. It just got to the point where I was too old to work that hard anymore and I couldn’t let it kill me. I figured a dead Dr. B was no good to anyone.

        I still care for my patients and read doctor books, but I don’t talk about all that at the festival much. I figure my people prefer any in-depth discussion of the latest treatment options of mycosis fungoides to be confined to the office. And I noticed yesterday when a rumor circulated you could get a free prostate exam with a book purchase not a soul signed up for the bonus, and I sold a bunch of books.

          So my prescription for the weekend is for an end to “Bill Monroe Deficiency.” I vote for bluegrass music and moon pies, lots of sunscreen and a little Vitamin D, jam sessions with kids like the Moore Brothers and veterans like the Harvey County All-Stars, visits with new-found bluegrass/medical  colleagues, and an end to LANS for all. (but within the confines of God’s plan)  

        We are all only human, and old Doc’s gotta soak up a few days in the sun before it’s time for the Harvey Nursing Home. When that time comes, I pray all my bluegrass pals will come visit and play me another tune, ’cause I can’t live without the music.

        Y’all come out to Red White and Bluegrass, Morganton, N.C. We’re rocking.

Dr. B

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17 Comments on “My Prescription for the Weekend”

  1. Carmen Claypool Says:

    Lord, it sounds like you are having fun. Due to other obligations, I only was able to go to one night at Starvy Creek, but I got to sleep in a tent, watch the stars and fall asleep to the wonderful sounds of an up and coming family of very talented youngsters who were tenting next to us, and played till after I had passed out…way past midnight. The weather was perfect, just cool enough to be comfortable, the half moon was bright, and I was more comfortable than I could have imagined. What a great life…I am always so grateful for being a small part of the big bluegrass family. Bless Bill Monroe.

    • drtombibey Says:


      God bless ya kid, ’cause y’all got the same gig going on in Missouri we’ve got here in North Carolina.

      As Wayne says, “We’re bluegrass and we aren’t going away.”

      Dr. B

  2. Mrs. Chili Says:

    Doc, don’t let the naysayers get you down. I’ve learned that most of them are just jealous; they feel themselves in a rut with steep sides, and those of us who get out of ours and play with our lives make them feel trapped.

    I’m eagerly awaiting my copy of the book. As soon as it arrives, I’ll let you know!

    • drtombibey Says:


      I believe you are right and besides I’m having too much fun to let ’em get me down in the least.

      I hope you enjoy, ’cause you were one of the first to say I’d get there.

      Dr. B

  3. Felix Miller Says:

    People, doctors or otherwise, need a complete life; we are not machines. I have enjoyed your comments on how music has kept you whole, and likely prolonged your life. High-stress professions drain folks who are serious about them. A doc friend of mine, son of my childhood pediatrician, lost his father to a heart attack. The father was a sole practitioner, hurrying that day to an emergency at a hospital. My friend made it a point to have other interests than medicine, and joined a partnership practice with several docs.

    Keep on pickin’ and writin’ Doctor B. You are helping your patients and your many music and writing and blogging friends along with yourself.

    • drtombibey Says:


      I know something’s gonna get me in the end, but I believe the music will keep me here longer than without it and also I’ll die happy.

      Dr. B

  4. You should definitely not listen to that guy, Doc. You deserve a vacation just like anyone else, and you’ve been working your butt off with both the doctoring and the writing going on at the same time. I’d say you deserve some of that medicine you’ve prescribed yourself!

  5. Sharon Says:

    My niece loves to sing, loud and proud, but was told by a family member to stop, that she was disturbing everyone. So I bought her an IPOD, loaded it with her favourites and took her walking. I told her to sing as loud as she wanted to. She asked me if I minded and I said “no way, beautiful! You gotta do what makes your heart sing”. I’m an enabler when it comes to singing and writing. There are always going to be poo-pooers who don’t get it.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Good for you! You mighta changed her life. I love to see young people have a dream and go for it, and I also encourage them every way I can.

      Hey, no kidding, yesterday I ran into a family where the boy was slender, loved books, just a touch shy, played the mandolin, and wanted to be a doctor some day. Now you talk about a kid I could identify with! I shook his hand and told him to go for it. I was just like that kid when I was his age.

      My guess is some of his classmates might think he’s just a dreamer, but they better watch out for those quiet ones with a dream; their dreams often come true.

      Dr. B

      • Sharon Says:

        Dr B, I feel glad for that lad to have met some encouragement in the form of you.

        I’m having a little girl and my husband has asked me if I’d be upset if she grew up to be a mechanic or race car driver (he’s a motor enthusiast). I said ‘no way, I’d be proud of her for perusing her own path”. That’s the mark of a strong spirit – someone with courage to go for what they want no matter what (or who) the opposition.

  6. Melissa Says:

    I’ve been told to always keep this in mind: “You can’t please them all.” And, it’s true. As writers, we’re all going to find someone who has something negative to say.

    You deserve the time to celebrate your book with friends and family, Dr. B. 🙂 I say, enjoy it.

    • drtombibey Says:


      We are having a bunch of fun and making new friends, so all is well. When I started my book I hoped it would be a vehicle for my wife and I to see the country and meet the good people before we got too old to go.

      That is already happening. When we run into a crabby one, I guess we’ll just pray for ’em that they might find tranquilty somewhere down the bluegrass road.

      Anyone who thinks they’re gonna squelch the fun for this boy at a bluegrass festival has an uphill climb. (and issues)

      Dr. B

  7. Lua Says:

    I don’t know why people bother to actually go up to people and tell them stuff like this… I mean why take the time and the effort when it’s not even constructive criticism…
    Don’t let people with negative energy get you down Doc, people need more than one branch to climb the tree we call life!

    • drtombibey Says:


      If I were going around pretending like I was the next Hemingway maybe they’d have a point, but I can’t see anything wrong with a country boy writing a country book.

      It’s okay with me if they want to write a book about how to be a mean person, though I’m sure I’d decline to buy it. We got enough mean peole around already; no need to perpetuate that.

      Dr. B

  8. junebugger Says:

    Why can’t someone be both? I don’t see the problem with that.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Amen, kid. You go for it and be everything you want to be. I tell my daughter the same thing. Tell ’em Doc said so if they try to stop you.

      Dr. B

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