Posted tagged ‘book stores’

A Call From a Bookstore (Got Books)

November 17, 2010

        The other day I was at the Billiard and Bowl taking in a bacon swiss CB with a chocolate shake and fries; a sort of last meal before I go into training for my physical at the end of the year. Lou Bedford gave me the message.

        “Hey Doc, Snookers says some guy wants to talk to you. Says he’s from a bookstore.”

         “Books by the Dozen? I thought they went under.”

         “No, Snook said he’s from out-of-town.” Lou handed me a slip of paper. “Here’s the number. Said call him before 7:00.”

         “Okay.” I dialed it. The man picked up on the third ring. “Got Books. May I help you?”

        “Tom Bibey here,” I said. “Lou Bedford gave me your number. How in the world didja get interested in “The Mandolin Case?”        

        “This is a university town. One of the professors is a regular customer. He has connections in the U.K. and they happened on it. I looked up your blog.”

        I listened for a minute. He carried all my favorites, not only old standbys like Twain, but newer one like Clyde Edgerton. He said he knew Ron Rash. “I’m true bluegrass,” he said. “Used to go to a lot of festivals in Florida.”

        “Really? Where you from?” I asked.

        “Boiling Springs.”

       My ears perked up. I knew that neck of the woods. “North or South Carolina?”


       “Right there near Shelby?”


      Hm. Wonder if he was for real. “Do you know where Earl’s old home place is?”

      “Down near the Broad River.”

      “Which community?”

      “Flint Hill.”

       I covered the receiver with my hand. “Hey Lou, this guy might be legit. I put the phone back to my ear and spoke into the receiver again. “Where’s Don Gibson buried?”

        “Sunset Cemetery. North forty. Big granite monument.”

         I cupped the phone again. “Dang a mercy Lou, this is for real.” I went back to the phone. “I can get my agent to drop ship you some.”

         “Does he have any signed copies?”

         “A few. I’ll see he gets ’em to you.”

        I hung up the phone. “Can you believe it, Lou? The home of Earl Scruggs and Don Gibson calling me, Tommy Bibey, wanting to get a hold of my book and read all about Harvey County.”

        Lou mopped the counter. “Reckon I’m gonna be famous, Doc?”

        “Naw Lou. I don’t think so. But I gotta admit, some University book store calling up Snookers to find me is remarkable. Who’d a thunk it?”

       “Now bad for a town where City Hall is in the back of the Dairy Queen.”

      “I reckon not, Lou. I reckon not.”

      Here’s their website: Ask for George.

      Dr. B


Oxford, Mississippi, the Home of Ole Miss

October 2, 2008

        Oxford had come highly recommended twice, so we held off on going to Memphis for a day.  The change in our itinerary was 100% warranted.  The only mistake we made was not to allow enough time.

        When we drove in, we managed to land right on the square.  Right in the center is an old time Southern white courthouse with these big columns.  I think Sherman burned it all down, but they rebuilt it after the war.  The architecture on the Sqaure hasn’t changed much since then.  But like Mark said, the South has changed.  This is a medium sized town, but a cosmopolitan place, where everyone walks around in jeans and tweeds.  Full of artists, professors, musicians and books.  A cool town.

        My agent told me to be sure to take in Square Books and cited it as one of the top independent book stores in the world.  It was all that- books piled up all the way to the ceiling.  On the first table was Oliver Sacks, ‘Musicophilia’ one Ted Lehmann had recommended I pick up for some time.  I’ve just started it, but I think it is one Ms. Turner might want to recommend to her Bread Loaf students.  From what I understand, it explores how the regular exposure to music affects the brain (maybe I’ll figure my self out!) and should be a good one to study.

        I do know that rats who run mazes learn faster if they are exposed to classical music, and I believe the same theory would work for acoustic music such as bluegrass.  I hope so, ’cause I’ve studied medicine to Flatt and Scruggs for years and it has worked out fine so far.

        Upstairs at Square Books they had a fiction and Southern Lit section and the strawberry ice cream Sally serves up was right down my ally too.  I got out my mandolin to play and the first cat to come in the room was a Greg Johnson who heads up the Blues Archive at Ole Miss, and plays in a Celtic band, Celtic Crossroads.  We talked about tunes like ‘Whiskey Before Breakfast’ (The White Spire in Ireland) and ‘Red Haired Boy,’ (alias Beggar Boy)  Greg knew his business, no doubt, and invited me to jam. 

        Like I said, the only error I made was not allow enough time for Oxford.  If I ever get published, I’ll bring my book and my mandolin right after I leave Reed’s in Tupelo.  If I don’t get published I’ll be back anyway.  Between Mr. Johnson and that fellow from Denmark who was hanging out with him, I have a notion they know every jam session and player in that part of Mississippi.

        We left Oxford for a medical meeting with Dr. Larry McBride.  He was a consultant in the Mandolin Case, and I needed to review some text with him.  I’ll report to you soon on that visit.  But Greg, I want to tell you I’ll drive many a mile for a good session, so thanks for the invite.  I’ll be back.  I am confident there is much fine music played at Ole Miss, and I wanta come be a part of it one day.

Dr. B