Tough Guys and Masked Men

        The first week of Rad Onc Rx was great. They treated me better than a long-lost brother and the prodigal son; the care far exceeded excellent.

         I must give you some back story to prepare you for today’s post. And one more thing. This piece is classic physician bluegrass fiction. It shows the truth but tells no facts in order to protect privacy.

         First off, let me tell you I was never a tough guy. I was OK in basketball and baseball, and had a little touch for golf, but wasn’t much at football. One time I broke a boy’s arm and I wanted to set it. The Coach was not impressed. I just had zero killer instinct and when they tried to beat it into me I’d just laugh, and they finally gave up. (it mad some of ’em mad they couldn’t break me) But, But I was smart enough to compensate for my weaknesses and by instinct surrounded myself with tough guys. Barry Graylord was a farm raised West Virgina mountain boy. When he  moved to Harvey County I became his first pal. We met shooting hoops on Chestnut Street. If he hadn’t broken his femur in his senior year of high school football, I think he’d have become a catcher for the Braves. They were scouting him, but the injury cost him about a half step on his first base jump.

         When I set up medical shop one of my first patients was a bearded fifteen year old fast-picking banjo kid named Moose Dooley. He rode his bike to the office, announced he’d graduated from the Children’s Clinic, and wanted to be  a patient at the new office as he now needed a Board Certified Family Doc for his Medical Home. Bright kid, huh? He was already on the rasslin’ team and a became a star Lineman for the Harvey High Mad Hornet State Champion football team.  We became instant picking buddies and he and Graylord soon became my dynamic duo personal body guards. The only game I could handle them in (or at least could before this illness) was golf. They are tough to this day.

         So, this story will not surprise you. On day two of treatment, two burly men showed up at Rad Oncology. “We are here to see Dr. B.”

        “Excuse me sirs, do you have proper identification?”

         “Tell him its the Masked Brothers. He’ll understand.” Moose then handed her a paper. “Here is our signed HIPAA form if you gotta be formal about it. He won’t sweat the formalities.”

        “So we’ve learned.”

         SHe looked it over. “OK. Your role?”

         “Personal bodyguards. You can send Security to Hardees. Here are the rules in Harvey County. They hold just as true here in the home of Earl Scruggs. “You don’t tug on Superman cape; you don’t spit in the wind, you on’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim. But above all, no one, and I mean no one, messes with Dr. B, and sure as hell ain’t no one gonna take that Bolo mask off him. Anyone tries to touch him, we take over. He never had enough meanness in him; that’s our job. And now he is weakened state. We will protect him at all costs.”

        “Can you handle it?”

        “Ma’am, we whupped Haystack Calhoun and The Kentuckians. We even kicked good guy Johnny Weaver’s a^^ one time when it was indicated. We were undefeated. No one took the mask off us. See that little man in the cage with the cane and the chair? Name’s Governor Homer O’Dell. He started with us as a Colonel and moved up the ranks.”

      One nurse appeared she perhaps might be older than 37. She moved over to take a look. “Hey, I used to watch World Wide Wrestling reruns after the Fred Kirby Little Rascals show. You guys are a but more pudgy than what I recall, but by chance are you the Bolo Brothers?”

       “Ma’am, if anyone demands an answer to that question, we are not allowed to answer but are honor bound to put the Eagle Claw hold on that individual.”

        “Would it kill me?”

         “We’d stop short of that but it’d make you wish you were dead. We seek no trouble though. Follow our rules and there will be no violence. The mask never came off us and no one shall remove the mask off Dr. B until approved by Dr. Angel H. Maddux.”

        ” Yes sirs, I appreciate your assistance. You are welcome in our institution any time.”

        The masked men handed her a card. “We are at your beck and call.”

         Moose turned to Graylord. Hey pal, better let Homer out of his cage. The way he’s flailing away with that cane he looks like an octopus trying to break his way out of a phone booth.”

“Got it.”

“Dr. B, you ok?”

(From behind the mask) “All cool guys, and feel even better with you on my team. I never was a tough guy.”

Yeah you were Doc. You’ve got a tough brain and the good sense to surround yourself with all the right people at every turn. You were always there for us and we’re with ya all the way.”

I have the best family and friends in the history of the world, and they are a major part of my hope for a cure.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: memorable gigs, The Monday Morning Post, Uncategorized, Writing

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19 Comments on “Tough Guys and Masked Men”

  1. Cindy Y Says:

    So glad to hear that the Harvey County staff are treating you so well.

  2. Jim Beaver Says:

    Man, talk about a fun read. Every one of those references was a blast from my childhood. Thanks for keeping us posted, and all the best with the rad and chemo. Can’t wait for you to be back full bore on the book and bluegrass gigs.

  3. R Bowles Says:

    Sending all good thoughts, prayers and major scales your way!!!

    rick b.

  4. drtombibey Says:


    Thanks so much. Of course there are no guarantees in brain or any other cancer, but I promised everyone we were gonna have more fun trying to whup cancer than had ever been.

    We’re playing music at Rad Onc every day. I thnk ole “Long Gone” is gonna get a kick in the a^^ from he Bolo Brothers before it’s all done.


  5. Good to hear it went well Dr. B. Glad the Bolo Brothers are there. I never have been much of a scrapper either, but if they need some help ‘cleaning up’, have ’em give me a call. I do have a good walking stick that can stun a feller pretty good, at least till Moose or Barry can break loose and finish ’em off. Hang in there. “Doc Elwood”

  6. By the way, Dr. B….Donna Ruth said she was sure glad to hear them folks was taking good (excellent +) care of you…sure wouldn’t want to get her riled up either! “Doc Elwood”

    • drtombibey Says:

      It has been just wonderful caring Rx brother. By the way, the boys offer professional courtesy to all true bluegrassers everywhere. It’s better than calling in the “A team.”

      Dr. B

  7. Teresa LeMaster Says:

    Love you and continue to pray for your healing!

  8. jel Says:

    very good post!
    Use to watch Wrestling , with my dad when i was a kid 🙂

    boy your friends must bee big if they whupped up on Haystack! he was a big man! My fav was Cowboy BII Watts , and Porkchop 😉

    take care

    • drtombibey Says:


      Yeah they were tough. Hm gotta ask if went up ginst Porkchop! Yep, Wrestling was big here when I was a kid too. One time we had a boy bail out on a gig becuase at the last minute he decided he wanted to stay home and watch rasslin’ with Mama.


  9. slightly Says:

    Ah, doc, I’m glad to hear that things are improving, even though it’s slow. I’m worried about your boy now, …

  10. Susan Says:

    I’ve been told you can tell a true friend because he’s the one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. From what I can tell, though, your friends are all true!

    I have a feeling they’re horrified at your illness but grateful for the opportunity to express their love and appreciation. Glad I know a smart guy like you, Doc!

    Sometime when you’re feeling up to it, come visit my Small Town World.

  11. Smitty Says:

    Doc, enjoyed the read, I love those people who are your security guards. When you get west of the Mississippi, I know of several people who could boost your security or give your people a day off. You know the alias that we use is Smith. We are kin to “Machine Gun” Kelly on dad’s side so that ought ot be a great reference. Take care, will stay in touch.

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