Goldie’s road to re­cov­ery

Book helps sex­ual as­sault vic­tim be­come sym­bol of strength

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Last Tues­day, Goldie Rowe-Reid did some­thing she had not done in more than four decades.

The Green’s Har­bour res­i­dent spent a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time in Spa­niard’s Bay for the first time since two men vi­ciously as­saulted her — both phys­i­cally and sex­u­ally — in De­cem­ber of 1970. Just 15-year­sold at the time, Goldie was scarred emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally.

With the aid of Amer­i­can au­thor P.S. Hen­der­son, Goldie has writ­ten a book about the crime and how it af­fected her life. The book, en­ti­tled “Good as Gold: The Day Puff The Magic Dragon Died,” re­cently hit the shelves.

And, that brings us to the beach and the park­ing lot of Pre­ci­sion Taekowndo. Goldie and Hen­der­son were tak­ing pre-or­ders for the book. They’ve sold out of the ini­tial run of 300 and since then have sold some 1,500 phys­i­cal copies. Last Tues­day the pair took over 300 pre-or­ders and Hen­der­son was un­able to give a num­ber on how many ebook copies they’ve sold.

At the time of her as­sault, pros­e­cu­tors told Goldie she wasn’t al­lowed back in Spa­niard’s Bay. Be­fore Tues­day, Goldie had only driven through the Conception Bay North com­mu­nity or got­ten out briefly to take in a flea mar­ket.

On this day, Goldie spends up­wards of five hours chat­ting with area res­i­dents and meet­ing new peo­ple.

“To­day is a vic­tory in a cou­ple of ways,” Hen­der­son noted to a sup­porter.

The sun was shin­ing and strong winds darted across the lot. It was a beau­ti­ful day — one that makes you be­lieve noth­ing bad can hap­pen in the world.

But Goldie is liv­ing proof that isn’t the case. How­ever, just be­ing on the beach is seen as a gi­ant hur­dle for her by both Goldie and Hen­der­son.

It was the same deal writ­ing the book.

“I’ve been try­ing to get it out there for years,” Goldie said. “I’ve writ­ten it down wher­ever I could.”

Per­haps un­be­knownst to Goldie, she has be­come a sym­bol of strength for other women who were, or are, vic­tims of abuse.

“I don’t think Goldie re­al­izes (she is an in­spi­ra­tion),” noted her hus­band Norm. “She’s stronger than ever.”

If her at­tack­ers were present, Goldie wouldn’t know. There are a cou­ple of times when she tells peo­ple she “wouldn’t rec­og­nize them if they were here.”

The book hasn’t al­ways been a ther­a­peu­tic tool for Goldie. Dur­ing its writ­ing, she had a heart at­tack and a stroke.

She said “God has other plans” as she fought through another set of hur­dles in telling her story.

Part of what keeps her go­ing is her faith. She has had the Bi­ble read to her on three dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions and has started on her fourth time.

There are plans for a sec­ond book on her or­deal. The first one was rushed a bit be­cause of her health is­sues and some of the finer de­tails were omit­ted.

“I want to put the miss­ing pieces to­gether for read­ers,” she said.

Re­flect­ing on her day last week in Spa­niard’s Bay, Goldie was struck by a cou­ple of things. One was the re­sponse she has re­ceived from the public. On more than one oc­ca­sion, Goldie was given a warm and gen­tle hug. There were also gifts and lunches on Tues­day.

“I can’t be­lieve this is hap­pen­ing,” she said be­tween em­braces. “This has taken me by sur­prise. I can’t be­lieve the sup­port I’m get­ting.”

Another sur­prise was the num­ber of men who lined up to or­der their own copy of the book.

“It makes me proud to see a young man stood up there,” said Goldie. “It means you’re a good man. You wouldn’t be­lieve the num­ber of men who have came here to­day … they’re stand­ing up for me.

“I guess when you see some­thing wrong, you see some­thing wrong.”

With some of her re­cov­ery hur­dles cleared, there is still some­thing she wants to ac­com­plish. She wants to at­tend mass at the Holy Redeemer Ro­man Catholic Church in Spa­niard’s Bay.

“I want to be closer to God, and that’s pretty close isn’t it sir?”

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

Amer­i­can au­thor P.S. Hen­der­son (left) and Goldie Rowe-Reid speak with sup­port­ers on the beach in Spa­niard’s Bay on Sept. 29.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.