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by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · March 16th, 2017


Robert Buckley has had a terrific life. He was born and raised in New York, but ended up graduating from Iowa State University with majors in psychology and American literature.

His career included being a copywriter and then he was a creative director in an advertising agency.

Now Bob lives in Marion, but his life is pretty atypical, as we found while reading one of his earlier books, Two Miles an Hour, which detailed his adventures traveling through Scotland, Ireland, Wales and various other places.

Bob is a good writer, and we felt like we were traveling right along beside him as he described the cow falling over the cliff, the local people, and the various shops and pubs.

However, he has been known to get lost occasionally.

Now he's written another book, with even wilder adventures, which came out in 2016. It's called I'm Lost Again! and we are finding that he still has a knack for showing us a scene just as though we were right there beside him when the action happens.

Action, you say? Yes, well sometimes there is action and sometimes not. For instance, there is the arrival in Morocco somewhere around page 239, when Bob describes his activities this way:

"Casablanca has about the same weather we have in the Midwest. Seems strange, doesn't it? You'd think since it is in Africa, it should be hot and muggy. But it's actually about the same latitude as Oklahoma City and it's right on the Atlantic Ocean. So it was fresh and cool when I started looking for a fancy restaurant to celebrate my arrival. Then, a mediocre restaurant. Then any restaurant that was open."

And so his adventures went.

The camel ride was a bit of activity, for those who like action. Bob traveled with a couple from New Orleans; a fellow named Will from Guernsey, England; and two couples and five single women who traveled in a group and were from "down under" (either Australia or New Zealand).

The group decided to take a camel ride out into the desert and stay overnight. To reach the camels, they approached a huge adobe building out "in the middle of nowhere" which had "massive walls, a grouping of palm trees, simmering heat waves, and a pervasive odor in the air that recalled ... what? (Deep breath) Ah yes - I remember now. Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. In August. On a windless day. By the camel compound.

"In fact, to the side of the auberge, which was literally built on the very edge of the dunes, rested an unruly group of camels, awaiting our nervous bodies," explained Bob.

The travelers were led to a pile of dusty, heavy wool rugs and told to choose one and head slowly toward the camels. Come to find out, the rugs were to be both the camel saddles and the group's blankets for overnight when they reached a set of tents.

Said Bob, "There was no rhyme or reason as to who got which camel. Yet there was one camel everyone instinctively avoided. ... I felt sorry for the poor beast and was drawn to it."

Uh, oh, ... we could tell it would get worse: "At any rate this beast took a healthy dislike to me from the get-go, starting with its refusal to stand up.

"While all the others were upright and ready to go, mine just bellowed and tried to bite my foot with his huge yellow teeth."

Needless to say, the camel driver twisted the dickens out of its ear and it finally got to its feet. While all the other beasts "plodded along politely," Bob's "kept turning its head to get at my foot, my leg, anything. These were the Camel cigarette variety of camels, with one huge hump right where we sat. The rug was supposed to smooth things out, but with all the lurching, it was all I could do to stay on."

One of the Berber herdsmen leading the camels told Bob about his particular camel - sort of: Bob asked, "What is this beast's name?"

Herdsman: "Fatima."

Bob: "Fatima? I thought these were all male camels."

"Fatima is tourist name," said the herdsman. "Easy to say."

Bob: "What's its real name?"

"Number Seven," the herdsman said with a shrug.

So be prepared if you decide to go on a camel trip in Morocco.

Some of Bob's other adventures include these:

Driving a vintage red fire truck 2,500 miles from Marion to a remote village in the highlands of southern Mexico.

Delivering cars to obscure ports of call around the Mediterranean.

Wandering around the Maritime Provinces with an oddball car (his words), a metal detector and a leaky tent.

The Buckley books are available at Amazon.com and autographed copies can be purchased, too. Just contact Bob at repb35@gmail.com and enjoy Bob's writing as much as we do. Not all are wacky, but we guarantee you will like them all.





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