(This MP3 file is 42 min. long—12 MG)
ABOVE: Barbara's audience
hangs on her every word as she speaks passionately about the writing of her
memoir and encourages
write their own life stories as a legacy for family members and friends.
"I would highly commend her to you, both as author of a very moving memoir,
and as a dynamic speaker and leader of discussion. She has a deep sense of her
faith that is communicated both in her writing and in her speaking."
—Anne A. Swanson, Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, San
(Read her full remarks here.)
Bring Barbara to
your Church's Book Club.
Barbara is available to lead book club
discussions of her memoir at no charge
for book clubs in her area of Naperville/Aurora, Illinois.
Because she shares her faith in this
book and makes a strong statement for the institution of
marriage, The Drummer Drives! is particularly suitable for discussion in church book clubs.
If you belong to a book club in Barbara's area and would like to consider her
memoir for discussion in your club, she will lead the discussion
without charge if at least ten copies of the book have been purchased by
the group and transportation to the event is provided.
In Naperville, this book is available from Anderson's Book Store. Book clubs in other areas may special-order the book in quantity through any
Visit the book's page on Amazon to read the many glowing 5-star
reviews for The Drummer Drives! Everybody Else Rides. Here
are just a few of the review headlines:
"One of the most inspiring books I've ever read. It grabbed my heart!"
"No ordinary Joe; No ordinary Memoir"
"A time capsule glimpse of a pivotal period in American music"
"A Wonderful and emotional ride"
"It took me away!"
The book's seventeen chapters cover such a broad
range of topics that no single chapter would be indicative of the book's overall
content. See the Table of Contents and
preview the first couple of chapters on Amazon's "Look Inside the Book"
Knowing Someone Like a Book—An
exercise for couples who think they know their spouse "like a book."
Copyright © 2010 by Barbara Brabec
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Excerpt: Beginning Again (9.5 min. 2.8 MB).
How Barb and Harry met on a blind date and married 18 days later. "How will I know you?" Barbara asked.
"Just look for a guy with a rose in his teeth wearing baggy pants and looking
like one of the last Mohicans," Harry said.
Excerpts: On Being Czech (8.5 min. 2.5 MB). A little about Harry's Czech background and a sampling of his
Czech- and food-related humor. "Do you come from a Czech home?" one Bohemian asks another. "No, it was white
with blue shutters." - an original Harry joke
CHAPTER 5 Excerpts: The Shubert Theatre (17 min. 5 M).
"The memories of the Shubert gang will stick to me like a Bohemian love for
mushrooms." - Harry
This reading includes some history about the Chicago Shubert Theatre and a
discussion of the show, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,
which opened in November, 1963. It features a
humorous story about how several front-row seats had to be removed to make room for all
the percussion instruments needed for this show, and how this brought out
Harry's impish nature as he interacted before the show with the first-row
patrons—who were within arm's reach and hearing of the show's loud opening
The reading closes with a very personal
story that illustrates God at work in the author's life on the day she and her
sisters buried their mother, and how the Shubert played a key role in that day's
CHAPTER 11 Excerpts:
A Man of Many Interests and Talents (18.5 min. 5.4 MB).
"There are still a lot of books to read and a lot of fish to catch." - Harry
This reading features more of the original "Harry humor" that is found
throughout the book, with the focus here being on amusing
Harry-and-Barbara exchanges that illustrate the important role humor played in
their marriage. Other excerpts from this chapter talk about TV shows and characters
that will spark
nostalgic remembrances of actors and entertainers who are no longer with us.
This reading also includes thoughts on all
the "stuff" people leave behind when they die, and how Barbara dealt with the
disposition of some of Harry's possessions. A few closing words about the difference
between practical and sentimental savers will strike a chord with anyone who is
(or happens to love) a pack rat.
CHAPTER 17: A Widow's Ponderings and Regrets (12 min. 3.6 MB).
"He was always difficult, but he never was a bore." (Harry's suggestion for
an embroidered pillow.)
This chapter of the book will be of interest and emotional help to
every widow, but the content chosen for this particular reading features a special
message for long-married couples and also those who are living together
without benefit of marriage. Barbara's thoughts on this topic
make a powerful statement for the institution of marriage and the importance of
being a witness to someone's life. In fact, her remarks could well change
the way you now look at and respond to that most important person in your life.
There is much to enjoy in Barbara's informative and
humor-laden memoir, but you may also find yourself tearing up at times as
you read this intensely personal and honestly told story of the author's
unusual life journey with a man who was "no ordinary Joe," an individual so
complex that she was still trying to figure him out after nearly 44 years of
marriage and five years as his widow.
"Harry remains the most complex,
frustrating, interesting and amusing person I've ever known," says Barbara,
"and the excitement, color, and drama he brought to my life cannot be
conveyed in mere words."