Today, you guys are in for a treat! We have a wonderful author, Dr. Tom Bibey, sharing a story for us. Dr. B. has a blog that you can check out here. Make sure to stop by and tell him hello. He also has a book that was recently published called The Mandolin Case which you can find on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. First, I’d like to thank him for taking the time to be a guest blogger here, and if anyone else wants to do a guest post, let me know! I would love to have you contribute. Without further ado, let’s welcome Dr. Tom Bibey!
Hello. My name is Dr. Tom Bibey. As far as I know I’m the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. I’ve practiced medicine in rural North Carolina since the early 80s and played semi-professional mandolin in a variety of bands on my weekends off for many years. Over the last decade I’ve covered the bluegrass beat for several local and regional publications. My first novel, “The Mandolin Case” was just released.
I have been a blessed man all my life. My greatest fortune of all was my family. I believe a man should hold his people close and I always have. It wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good a life without ‘em, and I never forgot to tell them so.
Hope you enjoy the post as much as I enjoy Melissa’s blog.
The Oil Painting
I remember the exact day I met my wife. She was standing by a fireplace in a college dorm. I called my brother and said. “Some day I’m gonna marry that girl.”
She was some kinda cute girl, not movie star glamorous, but more the girl next door look. Her hair was auburn, but the summer sun had burnished it into a sheen with a reddish tint. I found later it was ‘cause she loved the lake and spent many happy hours there as a little girl. I’d never known any woman who could wear a bikini the way she did. She had a Mediterranean type tan and dark eyes that flitted and sparkled. Man, was I smitten.
I don’t guess anyone woulda believed I could wind up going out with her except me. I felt like Charlie Brown who somehow convinced the little red-haired girl to go to the prom.
Later I learned that she thought I was okay because I was into the arts. I played guitar and sang all sorts of lousy love songs to her. She married me anyway; I wasn’t much of a singer. She found out I could draw, and was always after me to paint. We’d go to the beach, and I’d render seascapes and still-life pieces. She asked me to paint her picture. As an exercise I tried to imagine in my mind’s eye what she would have looked like as a little girl. She loved the result.
She held it up to the light. The rays bounced off her hair just like the sun would at the lake. “Honey, this is great. It’s very close.” She went to the den and found some old black and white photos from the 50s. I had to admit it wasn’t far off.
I never kissed another woman after the day I met my wife. I worked way too hard as a young man, but what time off we had was spent floating around in inner tubes or playing music together. We had two fine children. Sure, we had some rough spots but I’d rather fight with her than love anyone else. We are now near old age, and have always had each other’s loyalty.
Every time I see my daughter it reminds me of my wife from years ago. The auburn hair, the dark eyes; spooky similar. One day when she was a young teenager she was tidying up a closet and found an old oil painting. She clutched the painting and ran my way. “Daddy, Daddy. When did you paint this picture of me?”
I broke into tears. It was the painting of how I imagined my wife might have looked as a child I’d done years ago. It was an almost perfect likeness of my little daughter.
“Why are you crying, Daddy?”
“Oh nothing, sweetie. I think my contact is messed up. Hm. Maybe it’s just the gleam in my eye.”
“Whatcha mean, Dad?”
“I’m just so pleased you like it, that’s all.”
She hung the picture in her room, and would take all friends to see the picture her Daddy painted of her. It was years before we told her the story. It was of my wife, but then again it was of my daughter too, so we didn’t feel like we were fibbing too much.
I visited my daughter the other day. She’s an adult now. She has her own home, and the oil painting still hangs in her room. “This is the picture my Daddy painted of me,” I heard her tell a friend.
I went outside, sat on her porch, and contemplated my good fortune. God send me two beautiful women in my life. The circle is indeed unbroken.