Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Today I read a message sent to our 1950 - 1959 alumni group by one of my schoolmates. After her sister passed away, a few years later she purchased a grave site next to her.  Recently she returned to place a headstone on the plot she had purchased so her children wouldn't have that expense. Well, the plot she had bought now belonged to someone else. It was sold out from under her. Sold twice, in other words, and someone else was buried there. I found this ludicrous, so sad. But as many do, she was planning in advance for her own internment. And as many do, the expenses are prepaid for the funerals and cremations, or they have insurance to cover the costs. In her case, they did give her another plot nearby, but not next to her sister. Still sad.

This only reminded me of a few months ago, when I was searching for internment options for myself, not wanting to leave after-death expenses to my family either. I checked out prepaid cremations and found some as low as $500, which wasn't bad, but for some people, including myself, right now that would be an imposition.  And when you make those prepaid arrangements, what's to guarantee it will be what you bought when death comes? And who's to say it won't be costing somebody even more at that time? I just don't trust it.

As for full-fledged funeral expenses, if you don't have life or funeral insurance or a lump sum in your bank, it can be devastating to your family by being hit with a bill they can't afford or is untimely, death alone is devastating enough. A funeral can cost up to $10,000 according to 2013 estimates, and that's not a fancy one.  I don't know what my financial situation will be at the time of my demise, I don't know when that best-seller is going to come through for me, so I'm looking at things realistically today ... as they are in the here and now ... and I'm making preparations I can handle.

I did even more research and found Science Care - Whole Body Donation.  It works like this:  at the time of death, a call is made to them, they make arrangements to take the body and use what they can to contribute to life-enhancing projects such as research for Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease and major surgical advancements. The remains, after donations, are cremated and returned to the family within 3-5 weeks.  All at no cost!  Now we're talking!  My kinda price.

So I registered with them.  I am now a card carrying Science Care Donor. My family does nothing but give them a call when my time comes. Easy enough. Science Care takes care of the transportation, death certificate filing, and cremation.

Then I decided I should get my personal and business papers in order. So I went through everything and recorded all pertinent and vital information in a book and have made corresponding files to support that information.  It's all ready and available. My kids are aware.

But remember, I'm only 73, I have at least 20 more years upon this earth (barring accidental death), the majority of my female, Brit, family ancestors made it to their nineties, and I believe I can too.  Nifty Nineties! Gonna give it a whirl!  Gives me lots of time to write a host of best-sellers.  Yes!! 

By the way, I'm off all meds now. BP is normal, heart rate is normal, and am taking off the extra pounds. Keeping the stress level down is a big plus. Loving life and what I do, eating correctly, mostly fruits and veggies - 2/3 of daily food intake.  There it is, my recipe for longevity!  (Working on the exercise bit, still. Not crazy about that.)

I figure I'm cheating the high cost of internment in two ways ... living longer, extending life for others through my death.  That's a good thing!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Yes, I love music ... I love listening ... I love singing ... I love playing ... I love music!!!!!  Strange as it may seem, I do play the piano same as any other novice, amateur, dreamer of becoming a fabulous jazz player that will never happen in a million years!  lol lol  And same with singing ... I sing same as any other novice, amateur, dreamer of becoming a fabulous jazz singer that will never happen in a million years!  lol lol  But just the same, I love playing and singing.  So there.  And I do it for my own enjoyment in my home these days.

But the great and wonderful part of it all is that I do get to listen to music, am able to sometimes see and hear some of the wonderful talents of our age and time ... playing and singing ... yes!!! And I have known many musicians and several of them are still friends who are among those wonderful talents, some very successful, some not as successful as the top musicians of the time, but nonetheless just as talented.

I'm thinking tonite of a few closer to home ... Marianne Lindstrom and her daughter Allison Lindstrom - terrific singers! Dynamite singers.  My dear friend who is no longer with us - A. Paul Bergen, the best of the best basso talents!  My retired piano maestro - Don Dominguez, a dear friend and music partner who I just spoke to yesterday.

And then there are those in the music world who I was honored to have kept company with on the Central Coast of Calif. - so many of them, too many to mention ... this was when I was running the PPP Cafe and producing five nites of music every week.  That was such a wonderful time for me. Heaven, actually.  If it weren't for the personal stress and peripheral troubles at the time, those would have been the best years of my life. It ran a close second to my time in Santa Monica during the '80s and '90s.

Now I mean to tell you ... the '80s and the '90s were the days to remember - my L.A. days.  I have to say this and I mean it, those were my glorious forties and fifties.  Loved every minute of it. What a time I had, and music was my mainstay.  Wow!  What memories!   We would hit all the piano bars, the jazz clubs, the band clubs, even rock bands believe it or not. I had friends in all genres. What a world we lived in!  And I never did drugs, how about them apples?  lol lol

 Before the L.A. days were the gospel music days.  Yes, my sister and I were part of a gospel trio, we had a drummer, bass player and a piano player.  We traveled to churches and conferences to sing in California. Those were some very good times, yes indeed.  My sister would like to forget it, lol lol, but not me. I loved it. 

When we were teenagers in Wasco CA, we sang in the church choir with my dad. All three of us. Mary was soprano, I was alto, Daddy was tenor.  We rehearsed every Thursday nite, sang every Sunday.  Highlights of my weeks. I was also in the school choir and played the tenor sax in the marching band - one heavy heavy horn! And this was around the time we watched Cousin Herb every night at 6 p.m. on local TV, when Merle Haggard, Billy Mize, Jelly Roll Sanders, Buck Owens, and all the rest of them were local yocals in Bakersfield, before they really hit the bigtime in country music. They were all performing at the Blackboard, a dive just outside Bakersfield on Union, the old highway, before 99 came into being.

Back before I was a teenager, in the '40s, when we had our first television, on Saturday nights I'd watch 'Hit Parade', one of the few TV programs that were on in those years. At the time my dad and granpa owned and ran the local grocery and I was in charge of the magazines and comic books ... keeping them stocked and straightened.  I'd take home a copy of the previous month's 'Song Hits' magazine every time a new one came in, and I'd learn all the lyrics so I could sing with Dorothy Collins, Gisele MacKenzie, Russell Arms, and Snooky Lanson every Saturday night. Gisele was my favorite. I liked the sound of her lower, smooth range.

So ... my musicality ... thank goodness I have such good memories to pull out and relive whenever I want in this golden age.

Obviously I'm doing that tonite. And it feels good!