Surfs Up! Ride the Waves with a Pioneer Female Surfer

March 13, 2020
Hosted by Diane Dewey

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Thrill to the crests and roll with the troughs in the life of a fierce competitor, dedicated mother, and authentic human being, Betty Pembroke Heldreich Winstedt (1913-2011). She picked up a surfboard at age 41 and opened up a new world. Surfing became her passion, her proving ground, and her ineffable bond with her daughter, Vicky Heldreich Durand, author of Wave Woman. It's a charming and intimate biography, a love letter from a daughter to her progressive mother who broke glass ceilings with simple curiosity and desire. Betty trained to swim in the 1936 Olympic Games. She eloped on a hunch and learned the tough lessons of love. With an entrepreneurial creativity and a drive for self-sufficiency, Betty found meaning as a sculptor, a dental hygienist, a jeweler, a potter and a poet, and finally, as a world class surfer. The book dedication says it all: "For all the women who have surfed, and who will surf, in Betty's wake." Drop in as we surf the tides of fortune with Vicky Durand.

Dropping In

Dropping In

Friday at 8 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

At Dropping In we’ll explore diverse stories about identity. What makes people unique? We’re done with shoe-horning ourselves into preconceived notions of who we should be or being told who we are. Dropping In Stories are stories of self-discovery. They enable us to find our truth, re-configure ourselves to that truth, and becoming stronger for it. It brings the juice to re-imagine who we want to be. By listening to others talk about their own path, ours becomes less fearful. We’re always supposed to know what we’re doing, where we’re going, but we often don’t, and there’s no shame in that. We need a compass. Drop into the conversation. Create a new dialogue. You might get clues on your direction, the answers you seek, or even the questions you want to avoid. The adventure continues on Dropping In where unique stories become part of the fabric of diversity.

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Diane Dewey

Diane Dewey

My most pressing question has always been about identity: Who am I? Growing up near Philadelphia with my adoptive family, my genetic identity was hidden. Then, my Swiss biological father, Otto, contacted me when I was age forty-seven in 2002. I’d been told by my adoptive parents that my biological parents were dead, supposedly to protect me. Meeting Otto upended my life. Through him, I met my German biological mother’s family to discover that her story too, had been changed; that she’d not wanted to surrender me and she’d searched for me all her life. Finding my truth was essential.

Based on my experience I am excited to talk to people about their own search for identity. My education includes a BA from Villanova University, a certificate from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. I’ve worked for The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The SoHo Partnership and the National Academy of Design and have studied writing through New York University’s Continuing Education program. As an entrepreneur, I founded my art appraisal business, The Realization of Art in 2006. My non-fiction writing has been published in Shared Space, a monograph, and in Artes online magazine. Writing workshops worldwide have given me the chance to learn and hone my craft. My first book, “Fixing the Fates,” was awarded the National Non-Fiction Author’s Association Silver Medal and the Living Now Award.

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