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Keegan Luce

P1

12/21/16

Biography of Audrey Luce

Why would you do something you dont enjoy? This is the mindset of Audrey Luce. As

an artist who has always devoted her life to doing what she loves and being as happy as possible,

she was constantly surrounding herself with people that made her happy. Between decisions that

seem so trivial but make such a difference and choices that were big and made a difference

accordingly.

Audrey was born on July 22, 1966. She lived a normal life in a middle class household,

and got a brother at the age of one on August 10, 1967. Audrey moved several times before she

was eight because of financial difficulties and her mother trying to avoid an abusive husband.

When she was eight the strong willed Luces moved to Lisbon. Growing up in Lisbon was her

little slice of paradise. Bartholomew Street was the perfect little wooded way for an adventurous

and creative girl to wander. The woods and the winds were inspiration for a lot of her childhood.

She was born in the 60s, but was shaped by the 70s.

In the decade of disco, rock, and punk. In the decade of Nixons resignation, the

Watergate Scandal, and the energy crisis. In the decade of Disney Worlds opening, Saturday

Night Lives premiere, and Star Wars. Yes, the 70s. A decade where music changed drastically,

the nation faced some real problems, and pop culture changed rapidly. The 70s gave America

plenty to worry about, but also plenty to love. The change from the 60s to the 70s was a large

one and it didnt leave the youth unchanged.


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The Energy Crisis of the 70s didnt leave most households unaffected. Gas was short, and

expensive. Most gas stations had to ration, and they would mark rations by colored flags. Green

for when they have gas, yellow for rationing, red for out of gas. Sometimes lines for gas would

go around the block. Cars would sit for minutes, if not half an hour, waiting for gas. Now, for

someone growing up in this time, this would be normal, but for someone maturing in this time or

adults living through this, this is a drastic change in pace of life. It could easily make people late

for their jobs, school, or any sort of commitment. Getting used to that change in schedule would

have been hard at first, but change comes with time and they would eventually get used to it, but

the first few years would have been a challenge (Myre).

With the introduction of the first Personal Computer, the Apple II, business became much

more streamlined as more programs developed. At first, the computer wasnt very capable at

doing all that much, but once the technology improved and developers found ways to simplify

and streamline, there could be so much more achieved with just a simple display of text and a

keyboard. The computer would soon evolve into one of the world most useful technologies that

is used daily by millions, but to a lot of the people of the 70s, it was nothing more than another

invention that would just be another fad. But clearly that was not the case.

The only President of the United States of America to ever resign did so in the 70s. His

resignation came to avoid impeachment when when he was found out for trying to cover up

illegal activities during the Watergate Scandal. The Watergate Scandal was an event that

involved multiple people that tapped phones and and stole documents. There burglars were doing

all of this to aid Nixons campaign, but it is unknown whether or not they were working with
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him, or if he even knew they were doing it. But, when he did find out he began covering it up

knowing it would ruin him if it were to be found out. (History.com)

Even with all of these life changing events of the decade, there were less life changing

events. Pop culture adapted and evolved a lot during the 70s. As the open of the 70s came around

the Beatles, one of the largest bands of the era, broke apart and with them so did rock n roll.

Music of the 70s went in a few different directions with Disco, Punk, and Hard Rock. These

genres were really a large part in further evolution in music and really developed a diversity of

personalities and subcultures among people all over.

The woods beyond Bartholomew were a maze of green with a passageway for trains

tucked far through the bramble. Tracks, that felt like a ladder laid on the ground, were paths to

another world. Though the pavement of wood and metal were forbidden by her mother, the sense

of rebellion gave her the excitement that truly made the journeys so fun. They gave her an

escape, somewhere to go when there was nothing else to do. She could sketch without

judgemental eyes peering over her shoulders save the curious birds. An escape from the

boredom of school or torment of bullies was not easy to find, but when wandering through the

woods, its easy to get lost. Not physically lost, but a type of lost that left a trail behind you. A

type of lost that lets wonder endlessly take hold about how the trees grow so tall and so mighty,

when a childs eyes peer so far below.

Audrey was not an outcast at school, but didnt necessarily appreciate the large crowd.

She wanted a crowd where she could fit without feeling like she needed to be someone she

wasnt. A crowd that would give her a wide sense of open creativity. At school on Wednesdays

she saw girls and boys dressed in scout uniforms. The appeal of the uniforms was clear in
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Audreys mind. On the way to school, Audreys plan would come to fruition as the car rolled

down the street.

Oh, um.. I know exactly that day. It was a Wednesday, actually. And the reason I know it

was a Wednesday is because because all the boys and the girls who were in the boy

scout or girl scouts or cub scouts were wearing their uniforms to school. And mom drove

us to school that day and all of the girls were wearing their uniforms and walking to

school. And I said Mom, I wanna be in girl scouts and she said Yknow I was gonna

talk to you about that. You get your choice, you can be a girl scout or you can go to art

classes and I said art classes. She didnt even finish the sentence and I just snapped.

And Ive been doing art and taking classes and Ive done art every single day ever since

that day (Luce 7).

But, wait. She forgot to account for another option. She had been so distracted by the uniformity

and comradery of the girl scouts, she took no heed to her favorite hobby, art. Art had always

been on Audreys mind, but always in the back of it until it had the chance to fly forward and

carry her hand.

Audreys father passed away when she was in her very late 20s. She doesnt remember

much about him, other than a few terrifying memories. Audrey described to me in an interview

one of the memories that she had which really spoke to the level of fear she had.

We never really had a relationship with my father. Period. He just sort of disappeared

when we were kids. Mostly because he was very very very abusive to Emere. There was

one incident where, I dont know if [my brother] remembers this but I do, he broke down

the door of the apartment we were living in he literally punched through it and he got into
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the apartment and mere tried to call the police, we were really little, and he put his bloody

hand on the phone to keep her from calling and the visual of that is what I remember. The

wall being white, the phone being white and blood dripping down the walls. Thats what

I remember. I had to be no more than 5 (Luce 4).

The fear was not only for herself, but for her mother. Her mother, Emere as our family lovingly

calls her, was raising two children on her own, as well as dealing with an absent, abusive father.

Audrey barely saw her mothers struggles.

Emere went though a lot of trouble to make sure that her children knew little to nothing

of their turmoil. She didnt want the troubles that they were facing to affect her childrens life. It

could have affected their school, or their happiness. She wasnt going to let them know if there

was no need for them to know. Audrey knew virtually nothing about the financial situation at

home, she just knew that sometimes, with little notice, she could have to pack up and leave for a

new house.

We moved maybe six times. And twice while we were with him. Its one of the reasons I

dont hold on to shit. I dont hold onto stuff because Im very accustomed to putting

what I need and everything i need in a box and picking up and going. Ive move a lot in

my life. A lot. And part of it has to do with that, part of it has to do with me (Luce 4).

Audrey had grown used to moving so much, that she was ready for it. She knew what she

needed, and what she could live without. But when she moved to Bartholomew, that skill was no

longer needed.

Audrey had moved to Bartholomew when she was 8. She went into 3rd grade to Lisbon

Middle School. She was finally where she would spend the rest of her child into teenage life.
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Audrey found it very easy to get used to living on Bartholomew and found it very nice to finally

have one place that she could finally stay at and not have to worry about leaving. With arrival to

the new house, came the arrival of new family.

When we moved into the house we got a cat name BJ. I don't know how he got the name

BJ, I dont know. But apparently mom said we had another cat when we were even

younger, but I dont remember that cat. It was when our father was still around. And then

I remember BJ because when he wanted to come in the house, he would on the window,

you know where emeres couch is then shes got that little lamp near the couch, right in

front of the window, he would jump on the screen and hang from the screen. And meow

at you, but you couldnt hear him because the windows were closed. BJ was a black and

white cat. And then BJ just disappeared one day which tends to happen with outdoor cats

in Maine. And then mom came home one with, we wanted a dog, she kept saying no, we

were too young. And then one day she came home with a box. She put the box down and

we looked inside and there was a puppy. And that was Charlie. Charlie was a miniature

collie, and my mom like to pick on me because I used to dress the dog up in this orange

sweater a tiny little orange sweater because I was walking the dog one day, I was walking

back from the field and this kid that I wanted to smash his head into a brick wall thats

not nice Audrey, dont say that Anyway, the kid says you should be careful with that

dog because it looks like a fox and if I ever saw it in the woods Id shoot it (Luce 4).

Audrey was greatly affected by these pets. They made her smile, or sometimes gave her a dose

of annoying reality when they wont leave her alone. But sometimes pets are the best shoulders

to cry on, or the nicest shoulders to cuddles with.


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Sometimes siblings, despite being annoying in most cases, can be one of your strongest

friends. They may not know exactly whats up, but they can be there and offer up support when

its needed. Sometimes their support isnt even intentional and they just give you a reason to

laugh when you need it. Siblings can make something that would typically be boring and turn it

into something that can be the highlight of your week. Fond memories from your childhood

could be something that lingers in the back of someones mind for the rest of their lives.

Hmm. Got a lot of em. Um Probably shoveling the driveway and [my brother] and

I Sliding down the driveway in the snow scoop. We were supposed to be

shoveling it. Oh, theres a really fun on where your dad was standing in the snow scoop,

he SURFED down the driveway. Probably one of my favorite ones, yeah (Luce 7).

Sometimes these memories are the only comfort you can find in dark times. Sometimes they

offer a kind of barrier from all the bad that looks to bombard someone until they feel like they

cant stand up any longer.

With youth comes a sense of invulnerability. That can lead some people down a bad path.

Sometimes, it gives kids a hunger for danger, and sometimes it can lead them to just making

poor decisions, which do typically go hand in hand. Audrey found that sometimes, even without

these poor decision, you can end up vulnerable.

Ummm I think [a major turning point in my life would be] when I found out my

friend Ricky had cancer. And a brain tumor. We found out when we were in high

school. Because in highschool youre like, youre invincible and he was a good friend

of mine and the best friend of another really really good friend of mine. And he was just

very very alive. When he got diagnosed with a brain tumor he needed surgery and
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chemotherapy and radiation. He couldnt go to school anymore so we didnt get to see

him very much. He was sick and DYING. Its like all of your invincible and then the

next minute the world shows you youre not. And then the next year one of my friends

died in a car crash. So it was like all this stuff that had been happening in your life that

this is how it goes. Life is happy happy happy but all of a sudden this is how life goes

(Luce 7).

Audreys first experience seeing a dead body on the newspaper was a picture of her friend, who

died in the car accident mentioned just now, with a towel over his face still in the backseat of the

car. Audrey quickly found out how quickly life can turn upside down.

Audrey realized pretty early in her teenage years that she wasnt like a lot of other girls.

Audrey was attracted to women. She was not attracted to boys the way that other girls her age

were and, at first, she found it uncomfortable. There is no easy way to understand sexuality. It is

different for everyone, and some people have a harder time finding theirs. It brought a gap

between her and her friend because sleepovers were uncomfortable.

It was very uncomfortable. Going to sleepovers especially sleepovers with girls. That

typically meant, if it was just the two of us, we were sleeping in the same bed. And that

was really uncomfortable. I didnt necessarily like to do it, and i didnt like to have

sleepovers at my house (Luce 7).

She faced a big problem. She was distancing herself from some of her friends so much that she

potentially lost some because of something she has no control over. On top of finding out the

attraction to girls, losing friends that could have potentially been Audreys only support would

have been detrimental to her.


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As high school neared its end, it was time for Audrey to think about college. Where

would she go? Parsons School of Design. Its perfect for an artist. Audreys mind was set on

this school and she had really done her research. She would travel to New York and go to college

there. But, Audreys mother didnt enjoy that plan. Emere thought that New York was too

dangerous, she thought that Audrey could get hurt, and she wouldnt allow Audrey to go to

college in New York. At first, Audrey thought her mother was being overprotective and was

rather mad at her mother, but as she got through her college experience, she realized Emere only

had Audreys best interests and safety in mind.

Audrey, after moving past Parsons School of Design, decided to go the Franklin-Pierce

College in New Hampshire. It had a very good art program and Audrey loved the experience. It

was a good college experience for her.

I went to a traditional college for two years in New Hampshire. And I was on campus and

I was living on a dorm and yknow, did that thing. Living in the dorms was a ton of fun,

because Id go to class during the day and do my homework at night and then after that

Id go and, everybody called it Audrey was doing her rounds cause I go and I visit all

my friends, Id go around and just visit everybody and then Id come back and get ready

for the next day and then go to bed. I did do a little bit of partying but I wasnt much of

a I didnt do a ton of it I guess i saw I saw to many people totally shitfaced and stupid

to know that that wasnt really fun, and holding someones hair back while they threw up

was not my idea of fun, and I did have some friends that decided they wanted to take

hallucinogenic drugs, and I sat there and babysat while they watched the walls melt so I

yknow pot was one thing, but the harcore drugs is not my idea of fun. I just figured ehhh
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you just never know, you know what I mean? I babysat one of them and she didnt

wanna go for the walk in the woods and I tried to talk the other four of them out of it, and

four of them went for a walk in the woods and I made sure that the EMTs knew that they

went out there cause it was winter time, but I thought it was pretty stupid (Luce 7).

Audrey started off her college career in a good place. It got her used to grind of college, and got

her used to the atmosphere of a dorm.

But, Franklin-Pierce College did not go without its problems. In fact, the problem was

something that had been brought up to her before. It was actually the fear that Emere had about

Parsons School of Design.

Theres only one thing I would changed from my entire life. And um, your dad does not

know about this. When I was in college in New Hampshire I got raped. And I went into a

dark, like a very dark room. And this guy I knew came to the dark room and he knocked

on the door and I opened the door and he pushed in. And I wish that I had never opened

that door. That is the only thing that I would ever change. Because thats something that

you take with you forever. Thats not something you and I did therapy for it, Ive been

to therapy for it twice. Survivors of rape certainly need a lot of support. You always hold

that. And if I could change that, I think it would have changed a lot of things throughout

my life, it wouldve changed some of my relationships it would have changed how I felt

about myself, and it would have changed quite a bit. Then again, maybe I wouldnt be

here now, yknow what Im saying? I think I couldve lived without that particular pain

(Luce 7).
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Audrey actually found out the reason why Emere didnt want her going to Parsons School of

Design after the incident happened, but didnt have the heart to tell her that it had already

happened. She couldnt face her mother with something like that yet, as it was hard for her to

face it herself.

During Audreys schooling at Franklin-Pierce College, her father got into contact with

her. She was surprised at how he found her, and didnt want to give him much more than really a

cold shoulder.

He sorta disappeared from our lives until I went to college. And then he, somehow found

me when I was going to school in New Hampshire and he called me at school and he

wanted to become my friend, yknow what I mean. He started to send me a few cards and

he wrote me a few times and he called me a few times and Emere told me that she just

didnt trust it, ok. And at one point, the last time I talked to him, he pretty much wanted

to know where I got the money to go to school and the reason he wanted to know is

because he wanted to borrow some. That was the last time I talked to him (Luce 4).

Audrey at first thought he might be trying to become a closer part in her life. She thought she

could give her father a chance, but Emere didnt trust it. Emere was right, as he wanted money

from her as she was barely making her way through college.

Audrey concluded her college career at Boston University. This school experience was

very different as she worked and lived off campus. It wasnt the same story of doing her

rounds but was definitely a loaded and full experience. Going to school in Boston was very

different because I worked. I went to school full time and I worked. Very stressful, very
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different. It was fun. I wouldnt trade it for anything. I wouldnt trade any of my college

experiences or anything (Luce 4).

Even with all of these hardships that Audrey faced, she still has spent an awful lot of time

focusing her time on happiness of herself and those around her. Everyone around her wears a

smile like a crown.


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Works Cited

Luce, Audrey. Personal interview. 7 Dec. 2016.

Luce, Audrey. Personal Interview. 4 Jan. 2017

History.com Staff. "Richard M. Nixon." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009.

http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/richard-m-nixon. Accessed 20 Dec. 2016.

History.com Staff. "Watergate Scandal." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009.

http://www.history.com/topics/watergate. Accessed 20 Dec. 2016.

Myre, Greg. "Gas Lines Evoke Memories Of Oil Crises In The 1970s." NPR. NPR, 12 Nov.

2012.http://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2012/11/10/164792293/gas-lines-evoke-

memories-oil-crises-in-the-1970s. Accessed 20 Dec. 2016.