Rebecca West: Words & Music

Our Online Romance
by Rebecca and Bob West with the Holy Spirit

Chapter 2

An Unlikely "Meeting"

Bob had told some friends that he would never get married again!
And Rebecca thought all men were jerks, and didn't mind telling them!

How would a woman in Illinois and a man in North Carolina ever get together?
Did God have a plan for them that they hadn't realized yet?

On February 12, 2009, Rebecca "just happened" to e-mail Bob for the first time.
This was the beginning of many e-mails between Rebecca and Bob...

From: Rebecca Bucher
Subject: Rebecca Lynn Bucher ( Bette's friend )
Date: February 12, 2009 11:26:58 AM EST
To: Bob West

Good Morning Bob ---

I wanted to write you this morning and tell you how much I am enjoying your website and articles! I plan to read more of them tonight! They are fun to read, and I love the names you have given your characters. I really feel very honored to have the opportunity to meet you.

I am looking forward to meeting you, and seeing the beautiful countryside in North Carolina! I have logged into Brevard on the internet and it looks like a beautiful place. I am not much for a lot of walking, but I am sure there are interesting restaurants and shops that I will love. And the music and art center will be a highlight for me!

Thank you for opening your home to Bette and me.

I just wrote another article for Bette's "Daily Christian Journal" website. The title is "A Heart of Love." I would love to have your input on anything I write. I am sending you my book, "Soaring on Angel's Wings." Hope you enjoy it. I love writing, oil painting, and singing. I think the setting of North Carolina would be a lovely place to paint!

I work at the church office a couple of days a week. My nephew (my sister's son) is the pastor. It is called River of Life Family Church, Alton, Illinois.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Have a beautiful day!

Rebecca Rebecca's Red Rose

From: Bob
Subject: Re: Rebecca Lynn Bucher ( Bette's friend )
Date: February 12, 2009 3:45:02 PM EST
To: Rebecca

Hi Rebecca!

What a nice surprise to get your e-mail! Great to hear from you. Thanks for writing.

Bette has already told me a little about you, and I've read all your articles on her website, so I feel like I already know you even though I have not met you in person or seen your photo. I had already read "A Heart of Love" and the only input I can give is that it blessed me, as all of your writing has that I have read so far. I am looking forward to receiving and reading your book, "Soaring on Angel's Wings." I appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. Maybe I can return the favor with a couple of my books while you're here.

I didn't know that you did oil painting. You're welcome to bring your paints and do some painting while you're here if you wish. It has probably been around 50 years since I've done any oil painting, so I don't have any oils here. While I was in art school in Boston in the mid-fifties I decided I liked to paint with water colors (wet technique) better. Then I had some experience with colored inks and caseins, pen and ink, charcoal, other techniques, etc. I had to learn to work in all mediums. By the time acrylics came out, I was an art director and commissioning freelancers to do illustrations, so I never used acrylics. At that time I was designing and doing comprehensive layouts using felt-tip markers, and farming out the final illustrations and production work. Of course I used pen and ink for my comic strips. I still use pen and ink on the drawings for my comic strips, but much of my work is done on the computer, i.e., scanning, assembling, typesetting, coloring, and special effects.

I think the Brevard Music Center's season runs from the last of June to some time in August, but I'm not sure. Except I'm pretty sure there won't be any performances while you and Bette are here if you're coming in early May. But we can drive over there and you can see the open air auditorium and other buildings.

Bette told me that you have performed on the Grand Ole Opry and at Branson. I grew up in west Tennessee listening to country music -- Hank Williams, Web Pierce, Roy Acuff, the Opry, etc. And while I was hoeing corn or cotton or picking cotton, I used to sing and make up songs to pass the time of loneliness of those fields. The rows seemed to go to the horizon and when you get there, you had to turn around and come back on another one. You may have had that experience yourself. I remember the time Roy was running for governor and watching him and the Smoky Mountain Boys performing on the bed of a big truck on the court square in Dyersburg when he was campaigning around the state.

We went to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry once. We were living in Orlando at the time. We were there the night Ernest Tubb introduced Loretta Lynn for the first time.

For the last several years of Sylvia's life we listened almost entirely to spiritual songs and southern gospel. And went to some of Bill and Gloria Gaither's Homecoming concerts, especially in Gatlinburg on Memorial weekends. So I seldom listened to country. I remember Malcolm Smith saying during a "Search for Self Worth" seminar several years ago that "Country music is the co-dependants' hymnal." :-) But since I've been alone and have XM satellite radio to listen to, I occasionally tune in to a country channel or the bluegrass one.

While I'm on that subject, I'll share a couple of photos taken in 1963 and 1964 when the Lord blessed me by giving me the opportunity to fulfill a dream of mine. I was never a professional, but for a brief time I had the opportunity to play the electric bass and do some singing with some other members of the church for shut-ins and covered-dish suppers, etc. We called ourselves "The Sons of the Palmettos," a tongue-in-cheek take-off on the name "Sons of the Pioneers." We were in Orlando, hence the "Palmettos." But we didn't do western. We did country, bluegrass, and Hawaiian.

Photo of Bob and the band

That's me on the left with the electric bass.

Photo of Bob and band at rodeo

Here we are at a rodeo in central Florida. I'm at the mike doing the singing. I seldom did any of the singing. When I did, it was usually a novelty song like Buck Owen's "They're Going to Put Me in the Movies...", Dave Dudley's "Six Days on the Road", or Johnny Cash's "Big River", etc.

Well, that's enough ancient history, and this email is likely already too long. So I'll close. Thanks again for writing.

God bless you, Rebecca, with a special measure of His marvelous love and amazing grace!

BTW, the tiny red rose beside you signature is a nice touch...

Bob's signature

From: Bob
Subject: Postscript
Date: February 12, 2009 8:52:16 PM EST
To: Rebecca

Hi again, Rebecca!

I've been thinking about the way I mentioned oil painting in my previous response, and then went on to mention how I went on to do art in other ways and think that I may have given the wrong impression. I think it is great that you do oil paintings, and that your mother did oil paintings. I only intended to tell you a little about how my career as a commercial artist has taken me into the use of other art mediums.

Also thank you for your kind words of encouragement about my work on the internet. I'm glad you enjoy it. From what you said, I assume you were reading my Theophilus comics. I don't know if you're aware of it or not, but "Theophilus and the Powers of Darkness" is autobiographical.

And I don't think I mentioned it, but I am not only impressed by your writing, but also by the fact that you are a singer and recording artist. I hope I will get to hear you sing some day.

In closing I will say that you "made my day" with your email this morning. Thanks for doing that.


Bob's signature

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