Monday, November 9, 2009

Guest Post: Lynda Drews author of Run at Destruction

Lynda Drews, author of the book Run at Destruction, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.

Recently I gave the commencement speech at my college Alma Mater – the University Wisconsin La Crosse. One lesson I shared was to “Journal Your Life.” It’s something I wish I had done. When I made my decision to retire from my thirty-year career at IBM, I returned to an earlier passion. Run at Destruction: A True Fatal Love Triangle, released on August 7, 2009, is the outcome. This true story is about a specific point in my life, dealing with the mysterious bathtub drowning of my best friend/running companion, Pamela Bulik, and the first-degree murder trial of her husband, Bob. Attempting to sort through my past, I realized how much of my life I’d already forgotten, but this labor of love has allowed me to capture these memories before it was too late….

Because this tragedy had occurred within our close-knit running community, established in 1977, there was an oral history that had been passed down. As I interviewed these friends and Pam’s family, I took copious notes. Good sources of information were friends’ running logs from the 80s. Photo albums were something that I had been religious about. Every Christmas, I organized that year’s pictures into books that included detailed narration. University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Yearbooks brought back Pam’s excitement that she’d shared while reminiscing about falling in love, on campus, with her “strikingly handsome” future husband, Bob. The newspaper articles, police records, and court transcripts dredged up an extremely painful past. It was strangely weird reading my police interview, trial testimony, and a letter I’d written to the parole board back in the 80s. A friend that had attended the entire trial had saved her notes. Some were even on the back of grocery lists and included comments like “Cute dress.” I was pregnant at the time and took all the compliments I could get! One of the jurors had saved a Stein Restaurant placemat that the jury had all signed. This eatery, located near the courthouse, resurfaced memories of eating Rueben sandwiches while another friend and I waited to be called to the stand.

Pam’s journals were the hardest to read. They brought back so many emotions that she’d shared while the two of us had run literally thousands of miles together over that tumultuous year. Her final logged words were on April 1, 1984: “Five with Lynda… Sunny, beautiful day. Her optimism makes me feel good. I wish I had and hope I’m gaining self-assurance and satisfaction.” Welling up in my throat will always be that memory of Pam, jogging beside me, honoring me with her wonderful grin as we laughed, complained, reminisced, and marveled at our special bond.

Dr. Ronald Rook, an orthopedic surgeon, once said, “I do not run to add days to my life– I run to add life to my days.”

And so did Pam.

About the book:

Deeply immersed in the close-knit culture of long-distance running, Pam and Bob Bulik were avid competitors. To all appearances, they were also a happily married couple, devoted to each other and their two young children. Then, Bob made a fateful decision. He began an extramarital affair that led to his wife’s tragic death and to one of the most sensationalized and heavily attended trials in Green Bay’s history.

Candidly written by Pam’s best friend, Run at Destruction exposes the irresistible human passions that make us so vulnerable, and the ultimate price we pay for choosing to act on them. You’ll relive every detail of the crime and the exhaustive police investigation, and watch the courtroom drama from a front-row seat as a major homicide case unfolds in a small town where everyone knows all the players. Then, when you’ve heard all the evidence, you can decide for yourself – was Pam Bulik’s death a terrible accident, intentional suicide, negligent homicide or premeditated murder?

About Lynda:

Lynda Drews, a Wisconsin native and dedicated runner, recently gave the commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, her college Alma mater. One lesson she shared with the graduates was: “to journal your life.” When Lynda, an IBM marketing executive, made the decision to retire after her thirty-year career, she returned to an earlier passion. Run at Destruction is the outcome.

Even though this is Lynda’s first book, she has inside knowledge about the victim and the accused. One of the book’s themes is the impact her best friend’s mysterious death has on Green Bay’s close-knit running community. Lynda and her husband, Jim, a retired teacher and guidance counselor, helped launch the local running movement. Green Bay now hosts the nation’s fifth largest 10K, attracting more than 15,000 participants.

Along with a golden retriever named Bailey, Lynda and her husband have two sons, Collin and Chris. After they reached sixth grade, the author let them pick a yearly one-on-one trip with just their mom. One son chose exotic places like Cancun, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and skiing in Oregon, while the other went to the bathroom sized PEZ Museum in San Francisco, and to eight different locales where the Dave Mathews Band played. Lynda may be the oldest person in the world that’s been to fifteen DMB concerts!


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow. Moving, heavy stuff.

All posted about at Win a Book!

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