When retired Hattiesburg cardiologist Ben Carmichael takes time off, he and his wife, Kathy, usually hit the road. They've traveled to his ancestors' homeland to the village of Carmichael in the lowest tip of the Scotland triangle. "My forefathers had lived in a huge manor house that burned," said Carmichael. "The ruins are still there."
The Carmichaels have also traveled to the Orient, Europe and to South America.
"I've always wanted to return to Italy," he said, pointing to old-world sheet music from an Italian monastery he had framed near his large black grand piano.
The couple plans to take a long-awaited Alaskan cruise in 2010. He'd like to cruise the rivers through the Scandinavian countries to St. Petersburg, Russia, but may need to persuade Kathy, a competitive tennis player who recently helped a local USTA senior league team win the state finals. For now, he's enjoying puttering around his home of 35 years, especially in the den, where he's tickling the ivories again. He plays classical music, such as all three movements of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
"It would be nice to get back to it," he said. "Being able to play music is like sitting down with an old friend."