Archive for the ‘Holidays’ category

I Resolve…

December 31, 2011

        I don’t make many New Year’s resolutions; I’m a perpetual planner already. I will make this one though. I’m gonna do everything I can to be here this time next year to make some more resolutions. I realize we don’t have much control over it, but we can at least play the odds to live; don’t drink and drive, wear seat belts, be a non-smoker etc. I had too much fun with the grandchild around to not make my best run at another year.

        Here’s to a healthy and prosperous New Year for all my family and friends; y’all are the best.

        Will post more Monday; I’ll have some fun things to report on.

Dr. B


Blessed be The Readers

December 18, 2011

        Here we are near the end of the year. Bless all of you readers and artists out there. I developed a very bad illness (brain tumor; it’s hard to type that) late last spring and you have helped me so much. Prior to the tumor my day revolved around my patients. It was  a constant human interaction and while it was stressful, I enjoyed it. I miss them. All of you, my electronic human connections, have bridged the gap and allowed me to feel useful while I am confined to bed or chair much more than I have ever been used to.

        Also I must add I would have never made it through the year without my wife who now has a 210 pound baby on her hands. She is the best. My children have been most helpful too. Even though they have busy lives, they call often and visit as much as they can, which is pretty regular. God bless them too.

        I continue to peck away on my projects. This year I have all plans to release the children’s mandolin coloring book, my second novel, “Acquisition Syndrome,” and a mandolin duet CD with Darin Aldridge (  Also Wayne Benson and I will start “Practical Theory for Mandolin,” which may take a year or more to complete. It is based on Wayne’s lesson plans. I believe his method via this book (or personal lessons with him) will help the less gifted musician (like me!) play at a higher level. Check out “My Art Projects” page on the right hand side bar of my blog for more details on these projects.

        Again, if you are an Amazon Prime member “The Mandolin Case,” and also “The Bluegrass Brain Cancer Boogie” are available as a free download as part of Amazon’s promotion of their program. Check in with Amazon and see my post of 12 14 2011 for details.

       I hope all you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. As a writer, and a man who thrives on social interaction, I thank you. If you are a writer, musician, blogger, FaceBooker, (At first I though it was called “My Face”) a commenter, reader; really any human being who cares about a life of grace and dignity, I thank you. I am confident I would not have fared as well without you.

        I’ll be back soon.

Dr. B

Sleigh Ride

December 17, 2011

        This is my song of the day. I recently heard a Carol King version I liked a lot.

        We used to play this in the high school band. One day we were practicing it for the Christmas concert. The trombone section got together and decided to jazz up our solo. (I was the lead trouble-maker) When our time came we stood up and blared out the hillbilly jazz, swaying our trombone slides to the music as we went. Lots of fun.

        The band director protested but with a smile. He knew better than to try to snuff out a mischievous love of music. It became to nucleus of a small group called the stage band, and we were the first players he called on.

        I think I was all the way to college before I realized the world had any problems.

Y’all have a Merry Christmas.

Dr. B

Charlie Brown Christmas

December 16, 2011

        My computer is acting up and would not post this on FaceBook today.

        My Song of the Day is “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” Artist: Charlie Brown and the gang, Linus on the piano.

        I send this out to all the Charlie Browns of the world; the humble kids who’s rather sing than fight, preferred to play music instead of football, shy but sociable; you know ’em. Most of them found their way to an adult life of grace and dignity.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!!!

Dr. B

“The Donkey Coat” (The Friendly Beasts)

December 4, 2011

        This is a re-run from 2009, but it is one of my personal favorites.

        My daughter has a coat we call the donkey coat.  Her mother made it for her years ago, and she still wears it. She is a hip young lady, and says all her friends find it very chic.  They don’t know we call it the donkey coat and we won’t tell.

        It is a brown wrap-like thing. Maybe you’d call it a shawl. I’m a dumb man; I’m not sure.  Her mama knitted it years ago. When my daughter first wore it, it went all the way down to her ankles. She was in the church Christmas pageant, and it was the coat that served to dress her up as a donkey. (She graduated to being Mary the next year) The outfit had a hood with some floppy ears too, but I don’t think she wears that part of the get-up now.

        For years I got out the video of her as the little singing donkey. You know the line: “I said the donkey, shaggy and brown…”

       We had an open door policy at the house, and I forever had friends show up to visit. Sometimes it was to ask about a tune they were looking for; sometimes it was a blood pressure question. I didn’t mind, but the down side for them at Christmas was they had to suffer through the donkey video. They didn’t seem to mind; she grew up in music and wasn’t a bad singer. About the time she turned thirteen she began to protest a bit so we put it away for a while.

        I remember one of the last times I shared it with anyone. One winter Wednesday it was bitter cold out. I was off work. It was way too cold for golf and no one was picking any music, so I was at home. We had a lady who helped us some in the house back then. My wife and daughter had gone out shopping.  When they came back home me and Ms. Violet were sitting on the couch watching the donkey video. 

        “I said the donkey shaggy and brown…”   The ears flopped down over her eyes. Marie flipped them aside and never missed a beat. “I carried his mother up hill and down…” 

        “Lawdy Mr. Tommy if that ain’t the sweetest thing I ever saw in my life.”

        “Ain’t it, though?”

        Marfar and Miss Marie came home and found us there. Marie rolled her eyes. “Daddy, you’re hopeless.”

        “Uh… well… yeah, uh… my contacts are bothering me, that’s all.” 

        I hadn’t shared the donkey tape with anyone in years, but when Marie came home wearing that shawl, I knew what it meant.

        She brought it up first. “Daddy, don’t you want to watch the donkey video?”

        “Sure kid. Let’s see. I wonder where that old thing is?  Hm.” I went over and opened a few of the drawers of the end table near my seat in the den.  “Hey.  Look here; it’s on DVD now.”

        She smiled.  “Just don’t tell anyone you still watch it, Dad.”

        “Okay, sweetie. I won’t; I promise.”  

        “I said the donkey, shaggy and brown…”

        “You know, you always did have a nice voice.”

        ”But don’t give up my day job?”

        ”Right, right. But I tell you what’s the truth, that’s some good singing.”

        ”Yes, Daddy.”

Dr. B



An Old Man’s Prayer

April 23, 2011

        “Lord, why do I have to be so slow these days? Why, when I was a young man I could run so fast.”

        “I see you don’t have to walk with a cane. You should be thankful.”

        “Yes, Sir. I guess so; I know You are right. My steps are awful slow, though. I’m getting to be an old man.”

        “You’re not old, you’re just a few steps closer to Heaven. Surely your prayer is not that I speed those steps up? I have found if people get a glimpse of Heaven while they are still on Earth, as you have been so fortunate to do, they sometimes will get in a hurry.”

        “Uh, well …. uh, yes, Sir. I understand. No, I’m not in a hurry, Sir.”

         “Good, because I have work left for you to do on Earth before you come Home for good. Besides, what’s the rush? This Eternity is a long gig. It’ll wait on you.”

        “Okay. Got it. I’ll follow your path.”

        “You’re getting older. The road can be rough and rocky. I don’t want you to trip and fall. So, be careful. And, take your time.”

        “Yes, Sir. I promise.”

Dr. B

New Year, New Readers, New Pages

January 1, 2011

        I’m gonna dedicate this post to my new readers, folks like jel and 4 minutewriter. As I read 4minute’s thoughtful comment on my Earl Scruggs and Family post some time back, I realized through the efforts of a country doctor who loves traditional music, I had been able to write in a way that young, bright people became interested in the music I love. 

       It moved me to start a new page on my blog, called “The Reader’s Music Selections.”  I kicked it off with some of my personal favorites, but I hope you will chime in via the comments with your own choices.

       Mine will reflect our personal home and office IPOD, and will tend to be bluegrass, but I’m eclectic, and there will be many other genres represented. 

         They can be famous, but they don’t have to be. If you know a regional artist who strikes your fancy, put ’em on the list. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll be able to say, “I predicted that one a long time ago; you can look it up on old Dr. B’s blog.”

        Also I added a new page called “All Things Southern.” As I run across things I consider southern, I’ll post and file them away here. These will range from barbecue joints to magazines, and will be in no particular order. I hope you’ll add yours in the comments on this page too.

        Keep in mind for my purposes “southern” is a state of mind, not  a place. It encompasses anything which embodies the spirit of people who live with a sense of community, regardless of geographic location. Take traveling Ted Lehmann for example. He and his wife Irene are southern to me. Maybe it’s ’cause they’re from southern New Hampshire, but it’s mostly because they do so much to document the world of bluegrass. 

        My primary blog focus this year will be the back-story and development of my second novel, “Acquisition Syndrome,” a true fiction expose of the transition of medicine from healing art to business. (Don’t worry; I’m gonna fight that all the way to the end.) I promised my Lit agent I would have a manuscript editor ready by Jan. 1, 2012, and I always do what I can to deliver what I promise. 

        So, I’ve thanked my new readers, but I want to be sure to thank my old ones too, folks like the English Professor, the Two Quote Kid, and Billy the truck driver. As Sam Snead used to say “dance with who brung ya.” I’d never have gotten this far without you. All the best guys, and keep the art going. It keeps us all halfway sane in what can be a nutty world.

Dr. B