Riley Harper

        I first learned about Riley Harper in a bluegrass background check. Ruppert caught up with him in Raleigh when he tried to trade a mandolin for a used car. Harper said it was a Gibson his grandfather bought in the Great Depression. Of course it was no such thing. Riley Harper had a ton of money and made all of it cheating someone else out of theirs, but Ruppert had to threaten to take Harper to small claims court to get him to pay for the used station wagon he bought for his wife.

        Mama always said if I couldn’t say something good about someone to not say anything at all. I guess I could stop now with Riley Harper. I have no use for those who are not loyal.

        But I told Mama, I said, “Mama, if I don’t write about the bad guys, how are my friends gonna know how to spot ’em?”

        “Hm. I suppose. I guess it’s okay if you write about them, just don’t hang around ’em.”

        “Yes, Mama. I inherited my radar from you, you know. I won’t even let ’em take me to lunch.”

        “You are such a good boy.”

        “Indie used to say I was a Boy Scout.”

        “My goodness, Indie was such a rogue.”

        “Yeah, but we loved him anyway. At least he was an honest rouge.”

        Mama smiled. “”Yes he was dear. I just wish he hadn’t had that affair with that little hussy from France. It took Immogene a long time to get over that.”

        “I know Mama, and you’re right, but at least he was sorry.”

        I’ll be back soon to tell you more about Riley Harper.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Acquisition Syndrome, Writing


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9 Comments on “Riley Harper”

  1. drtombibey Says:

    I just heard from Simmons Ruppe. We always call him by his bluegrass code name of Ruppert, but he said it was okay to tell his real name. He owns Bluegrass Motors of Raleigh.

    Some of his people were from Missouri. I didn’t know Riley Harper had lived there for a while in the 80s. Simmons knew some more about Riley Harper from back when Harper lived in Missouri.

    His information was most helpful. Beware of crossing the bluegrass family. They have a long memory, and as my agent says, “They are thick as thieves.”

    Dr. B

  2. Billy Says:

    One thing I have found pressing pavement with my 18 wheeler is that bluegrassers are everywhere.

    Another thing I have found is if they have moved on to other music and do not at least listen once in a while to the real non-electric produced music they are miss something, like ambrosia of the gods and soon will no longer be in the family.

    • drtombibey Says:


      You are so right. Wherever you go, bluegrass people are all the same, and they stick together. As my daughter would say, “we’re so simple we’re complicated to people.”

      Dr. B

  3. newt221 Says:

    Oh, you are piquing our interest again….I love it!

    • drtombibey Says:


      Doc has been around a long time and seen a lot.

      One of the bad guys called me one day and asked if I was gonna out him. I said I didn’t think so ’cause he’d been awful nice to me lately. They show signs they might behave.

      Literature can be very powerful if used with discretion.

      Dr. B

  4. Hope to hear more about him soon! As always, I love the way you show each and every human being you know as a character that just jumps off the page right into my mind’s eye.

    • drtombibey Says:


      I feel like after all I’ve seen I owe it to my young readers to make sure they can spot the Riley Harpers of the world. If those kinda folks are gonna cause trouble it isn’t gonna be for my people.

      Dr. B

  5. smitty Says:

    You have got to write about the Riley’s of the world. They are what makes the world go around. Hope to see you soon.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Yep. Along the way I was able to sidestep guys like Riley Harper every time. It’d always make ’em mad to be outdone by a Boy Scout. See you guys this winter.

      Dr. B

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