Broadcast Journalist. Laid Back. Grateful.
By Diane Kline
For decades, when you turned on the television in the St. Louis metropolitan area, you saw Christine Buck on KPLR-TV. She began as a “weather girl,” and quickly became the station’s news anchor. Honored with four Emmy Awards over her 39-year career, Buck is part of broadcasting royalty: Her father is beloved Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck.
Buck loves to laugh at herself, regaling everyone with stories where she’s the punchline. In fact, her current project is writing the good, the bad and the funny stories – from work and from life – with her husband of 37 years, architect David Mason. They’ve been laughing through life, raising two sons and living through four – soon to be five – house renovations.
For Buck, deciding to end her career came down to a simple choice between plastic surgery and retirement. She gave up the spotlight, and now shines her light on granddaughter, Vivian. She revealed a few secrets about her life, her philosophies and remaining calm.
Plastic surgery is too high maintenance.
As a child, somebody told me I was a natural beauty. That intimidated me more than empowered me, so I became my own worst critic. In fact, I didn’t watch myself on air because if I saw what I actually looked like, I never would have gone back on TV. I’m never doing plastic surgery because you have to keep doing it.
When I won my first Emmy, my dress was stuck in my pantyhose.
No kidding! As I came off the stage after accepting my award, I realized what had happened. But, hey, I was 26 years old, and my butt looked good at the time. So I didn’t get upset. Now it would be a different story.
The National Weather Service saved my career.
I was a weather girl and never pretended to be a meteorologist. If it weren’t for the National Weather Service, I would have lost my job. Trying to figure out those weather maps was hard. Today, I couldn’t do the weather – the pressure from all the technology is worse than all the pressure systems combined.
I probably left a lot of money on the table.
I wasn’t ambitious and didn’t dream of making it at the network. My approach wasn’t to go in and demand things. When my children were young, I worked part time as a general assignment reporter so I could balance work and family. I didn’t have a big national career, but I don’t have high blood pressure, either.
Tomorrow. I’ll try again tomorrow.
My approach when I made a mistake on air was to think, “I have the next day to work on it.” I’ve always been laid back. If red wine spills on the rug, it’s no big deal. Don’t waste energy on what you can’t control.
I taught my children the importance of loving themselves.
Every day I’d ask my sons, “Who do you love?” And I taught them to answer, “Myself.” With all the negative messages children get, I thought this was so important. My sons are confident, kind and had what they needed to succeed as men. Now it’s in the fabric of who they are, and they’ll pass it on to their children.
Our children grew up in a construction zone for 18 years.
My dad told me to marry a happy person, and I did. We bought a house that was a dump. It was such a nightmare that my girlfriends cried when they saw it. David spent 18 years renovating it into our dream home. Even now, he’s planning to move the master bedroom to overlook the backyard.
It was magical to grow up as Jack Buck’s daughter.
How many children have fathers who are baseball announcers? I’d go into the press box, and he introduced me to all the baseball players, which was great…until I became a teenager, and then he suddenly stopped! People recognized him all the time, but we never resented it because he never did. He said, “I like people, and I want them to like me.”
I’ve lived a charmed life, but I worked at it.
I was shy, but with six siblings, I was never lonely. My mom was wonderful. She became a mother figure to our friends who didn’t get love in their own homes. When you asked her who her favorite child was, she’d say, “The one who needs me the most at the moment.” I’m just so grateful for everything in my life.