About the Author
"My book is history, biography,
and a tribute to my mother. It is also a manual of quality family
living, a story of courage, loyalty, the work ethic, and a record
of the times. I wrote Maude for me and you, but especially for my
grandchildren and great-grandchildren and all the youngsters across
this land who some day will marvel at how their ancestors did so much
with so little."
Ohioana Library Association Honors Mardo Williams Posthumously for his Unique and Life-Long Literary Contributions as Author and Journalist
or the first time in its 59-year-history, the Ohioana Library Association presented a very special Ohioana award posthumously. Mardo Williams of Columbus, who died February 3, 2001 at age 95, was honored for his work
as a journalist and as the author of the critically acclaimed biography MAUDE
(1883-1993): She Grew Up With the Country and his children's book
GREAT-GRANDPA FUSSY AND THE LITTLE PUCKERDOODLES. The award was
presented to his daughters at the Ohioana Day Awards Ceremony held
October 20, 2001, at the Fawcett Center on The Ohio State University campus.
ver the years, the Ohioana Library Association has presented more than 700
awards to some of the most talented artists, writers, and musicians
associated with the state of Ohio, including James Thurber, Kay Boyle, Ian
Frazier, Toni Morrison, and Elizabeth George. "Mardo Williams' body of work is a unique and
outstanding cultural contribution," said Linda Hengst, Director of the
Ohioana Library Association.
ardo Williams was born in 1905 in an historic Ohio farmhouse on the banks of
Rush Creek. He began his career in 1927 (at the age of 21) [see "My Accidental Career"], becoming
the only reporter at the Kenton, Ohio daily, the News-Republican. In 1945,
he was recruited to the copy desk of the Columbus Dispatch, eventually
writing a daily business column with byline. After he retired in 1970, he
wrote for trade periodicals and did PR work.
two daughters wanted to keep him busy after his wife of 65 years died.
They urged him to write down some of the family stories
they'd heard as children. The book, published in June 1996, started as 50
pages. His oldest daughter read it aloud to her writers' group in New York
City. They loved it and said they wanted more. Over the course of two years,
with the writers' group as audience and editors, it grew to 335 pages and
sent the author on a new career. By the time Mardo was 95, he had done more
than 40 bookstore signings, multiple radio and TV interviews, and hundreds of
talks before community organizations and senior-citizen groups.
t the time of his death, he left behind the just-completed manuscript of his
novel, ONE LAST DANCE. Blindness, caused by
macular degeneration, did not deter him from his work. He simply dictated the
last few chapters of his novel. He then began work on his next book, which
was to be a memoir that would reflect all the changes he had seen in the
newspaper business over his 44-year career.
here's no such thing as being too old," Mardo said. "Life is for living, no
matter what our age or condition. If we can sing, we should sing. If we can
write, we should write. We should always be in search of a new experience,
always be ready to commit ourselves to a new interest." It seems fitting
that a man who lived up to this philosophy to his very last day was the
first posthumous recipient of an Ohioana Library Association special award
for his unique and outstanding life-long literary contributions.
ONE LAST DANCE
Morgan, age 89, collides with Dixie, ten years younger, at the entrance to Whispering Pines Retirement Center. What happens next changes both their lives and their expectations about growing old. The two battle illness, scandal and a nearly fatal accident. They discover it's never too late to fall in love.
Click here, to contact publisher for Reading Group discounts.
MY ACCIDENTAL CAREER
Click here to read MY ACCIDENTAL CAREER, Mardo's lively account of his 44-year newspaper career.
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