Thursday, May 28, 2009

More from Bryson City

I stayed up entirely too late last night to finish reading Bryson City Secrets, the third book in Dr. Walt Larimore's Bryson City series. I hadn't planned on blogging about it or the second book in the series because I had blogged on Bryson City Tales, the first book.

But I changed my mind after I finished reading them both. I found myself mentioning Bryson City Seasons to a couple of my friends in our conversations. And then, Bryson City Secrets moved me to tears. Perhaps it was the late night, perhaps because I consider Dr. Walt & Barb friends, perhaps it was the topic, or a combination of all three - but whatever it was, I just had to write about the rest of the Bryson City series.

Bryson City Seasons includes more stories of Dr. Walt's time in Bryson City. Some of them were so hilarious I found myself laughing out loud. I mean, he won the Miss Flame competition! I read that one out loud to my husband, who also enjoyed a good laugh. I say that Dr. Walt is a really good sport to include that in his book.

But the reason I recommended Bryson City Seasons to my friend was the story of Dr. Walt's daughter, Kate. I knew both Kate & Scott when we lived in Florida, and I enjoyed learning more about Kate's miraculous story. I knew some of it because she was featured in the newspaper when she graduated from high school. She's a remarkable person, with a remarkable story. My friend's son has cerebral palsy too, and I thought reading Kate's story would encourage her as she cares for her son. It encouraged me.

Bryson City Secrets includes more stories from Dr. Walt's practice and relationships with the people in Bryson City. It also explains the reason why he and Barb felt compelled to leave the town and move to Kissimmee, Florida. I am not going to go into details, because it's best explained by Dr. Walt. But I agonized with him, cried with him and Barb, and felt some measure of the pain of them leaving the town and the people they had grown to love.

Dr. Walt has a wonderful sense of looking at the people with whom he comes in contact (not just their ailments) and talking with them compassionately and graciously - or calling them on the carpet if needed. I admire him and Barb, Kate & Scott and am thankful to be able to call them friends. I've learned a lot from his books - not only about him and his family, but also from his examples of how to relate to people, value what's important, and maintain a proper focus in the midst of every circumstance, both good and evil.

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