Edwards, Audrey 1929-
EDWARDS, Audrey 1929-
PERSONAL: Born September 18, 1929, in Calico Rock, AR; daughter of William Aubrey (a mail carrier) and Ethel (a mail carrier; maiden name, Moore) Brown; married John Henry Wayland, Jr., October 5, 1951 (divorced January 18, 1973); married Lawrence Earl Edwards (a physician), September 21, 1973 (died January 1, 1988); married Edward Eugene Nowogroski (an air force officer), November 23, 1993; children: (first marriage) Lee Ann Wayland-Funk. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Arkansas at Monticello, B.A., 1953; graduate study at Sacramento State University, 1954; Oklahoma State University, M.A., 1957; Florida State University, Ph.D., 1979. Politics: "Registered Republican, but vote for the candidate." Religion: Methodist. Hobbies and other interests: Church activities, golf, volunteer work.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—1017 Christy Dr., Niceville, FL 32578. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer. Teacher of science and mathematics at a high school in Arkansas; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, teacher of language and literature; Okaloosa-Walton Community College, Niceville, FL, teacher of adult basic education classes; teacher of reading to retiring military personnel. Dalian Education College, Dalian, China, volunteer teacher, 1994; Shenzhen College of Education, Shenzhen, China, volunteer teacher, 1995; Hanoi National University, volunteer teacher, 1997; United Nations, teacher of English as a second language in Sanmenxia, China, 1998; missionary and English teacher in Seoul, Korea, 1999; University of West Florida, teacher of leisure learning classes in art history, 2000–02. Self-employed licensed real estate broker, 1981–88. Florida Medical Alliance, public relations chair for Okaloosa County, 1990–97. Pinnacle Homeowners' Association, president, 1988–97.
AWARDS, HONORS: First-place award for national medical heritage project.
America in the Nude: Through a Foreigner's Eyes, Pumber Publishing (Niceville, FL), 1999, published as Emil Holzhauer: The Portrait of an Artist, CeShore (Pittsburgh, PA), 2001.
Author of newspaper articles under pseudonym Andie Edwards.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A true-crime story about a local murderer who was defended by Roy Black; research on Asia.
SIDELIGHTS: Audrey Edwards once told CA: "America in the Nude: Through a Foreigner's Eyes is a work of creative nonfiction, based on the life of a German/American teacher and artist who transcended the hatred and prejudice of his adopted America and used color, not as a source of discrimination, but as a means of discovery and inspiration. Without malice, he taught others to do the same, even in the segregated South.
"Too often in our country, teaching is seen as an inferior profession, worthy only of the poorest-ranking graduates. Such a fallacy must surely lead many qualified, inspired teachers to other professions—teachers who could have made a difference. Although I have not made a career of teaching, I have found the experiences I had in educating others the most rewarding things I have ever done. Good teachers form a partnership with their students, a learning partnership that inspires all of them to spend their energies creatively.
"It took a foreigner (as it often does) to point out the flaws in our educational system, to highlight the impact that an inspired teacher can have on students. This teacher and artist ignored the segregated southern culture and taught his students to look beyond the exterior: skin color and other so-called surface flaws. This man's story is not the story of a champion of any group, color, or culture. There are no marches or speeches. There is just a dogged determination to see beyond the obvious, to look through what is perceived to be, and to capture the spirit of life. While adults fought this foreigner's blatant honesty, his young students didn't. They met the challenge that eventually gave them a different perspective.
"As a product of the segregated South and of a poverty-ridden family, I knew the pain of prejudice and discrimination. Yet I didn't learn to hate. I can identify with Holzhauer, the man whose story I tell in America in the Nude. It's a true story in which hatred did not beget hatred; rather, inspiration led to inspiration.
"The crux of the story isolates a strange anomaly in our society. While outstanding performing artists, sports figures, and academic scholars—scientists and the like—realize riches for their talents and contributions to society, their counterparts in fine art often die in poverty. After fifty years of struggles, pain, and humiliation, Holzhauer received international awards and recognition, but there were few or no monetary returns. The pinnacle he reached turned out to be the pits. The story offers hope and inspiration for others who face roadblocks. Take another path. This man did, and he discovered a better goal."