Audrey Streetman’s Memoir, The Well
By Cathy Miller
Excerpt from her website…When asked why she wanted to write a memoir and expose her most intimate memories and experiences to an unsuspecting public, Audrey answered:
“In the beginning, I wanted to leave a legacy for my grandchildren who could not fathom what it was like to grow up in rural Texas in the 1940s without electricity or running water. As I continued writing, the book took on a life of its own. It began to feel like a calling.
It’s a story about accepting our humanity, about living through traumatic events in childhood, and even more so as an adult, and by the grace of God, coming to lead a fulfilling and productive life.
I believed that readers would find it compelling to learn about banking in the 1970s and 1980s; about what it was like for a woman, without a college degree, to rise through the ranks of a mostly male-dominated profession.”
The story actually begins when Audrey was eight years of age. On Easter Sunday, her mother attempted to drown in the family well. Buried in her subconscious for over twenty years, this traumatic event is resurrected in 1970 with the strain of divorce and trying to raise her three daughters on very little money. Audrey’s stress escalates with the death of her parents. Unable to grieve her losses, the author writes in vivid detail about losing touch with reality along with the high price she paid for her illness.
Streetman’s compelling voice guides us through Oklahoma City banking in the 1970s and 1980s, showing what it was like for a woman, without a university degree, to climb through the ranks of a male-dominated profession to become a successful commercial loan officer, and eventually a senior vice president. She gives us an insider’s view of Penn Square and other bank failures during the 1980s, and puts a voice to the anxiety felt by everyone during that time. Audrey’s career started with Liberty Bank and spanned a thirty-five year period until she retired from BancFirst in 2007.
This excellent book reads like a novel, and the lyrical voice is understood with the discovery that the author is a published poet. The time period is an integral part of the narrative as the author beautifully weaves local and national events into the fabric of her personal story; revealing to the reader how much we are affected by both where we come from, and the journey our life takes.
Audrey Streetman’s book is available at Full Circle Bookstore and on her website http://www.audreystreetman.com
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