OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/24/13) - “Woeful Wisdom” may be a fictional account of a man’s struggle with alcoholism, but the story is all too real for author Adrian Evans.
“It’s the story of my life, sadly,” Evans said.
Evans is a painter, a published author, a husband to wife, Jo Ann, a father to six children, and also a recovering alcoholic since he was 50 years old. He will hit a benchmark, December 1; 30 years of being sober. He still attends an AA group frequently.
“People tell me I can drink now, and I say ‘I’m doing fine without it’,” Evans said.
Many people over the years expressed interest in his story. Evans owned a renowned house painting business in Orlando, Florida for 27 years. He went to various homes (including celebrity clientele such as NBA players Shaquille O’Neil and Tracy McGrady, or The Byrds‘ singer Roger McGuinn), and got to know the people on a personal level. While painting, he would tell them his story.
Evans’ daughter, Karen, to whom he dedicated his book, suggested for him to record his story. Evans said he was hesitant at first.
“Stories like mine are a dime a dozen,” Evans said. “…(But) recovery told me to be honest.”
His goal for his book is to help alcoholics and their families deal with the painful addiction.
“I went through it and recovered, but so many people don’t,” Evans said.
It took Evans three months to create the story and he wouldn’t let his wife, Jo Ann, read it until it was finished.
“I was anxious the whole time,” Jo Ann said. “I sat down and read it in four and a half hours. I couldn’t put it down!”
The writer recently returned home to the Owensboro area after retiring many years ago in Orlando. He “stashes” the short stories he is currently working on, but his true passion is his art. Evans has over 500 paintings in his repertoire, and recently showed 50 of them in an art show in Orlando.
“I dabble in writing. I’m a ‘one-book’ wonder,” Evans said.
Adrian has suffered in 2013 with health issues such as prostate cancer and has had open heart surgery, but that doesn’t mean that his goals for his book have wavered.
The writer, who has an intense fear of public speaking, recently joined the Toastmasters of Owensboro. He hopes that public speaking will help him to promote his book and help other struggling alcoholics. The author has since won two first place prizes for speeches on his art projects and past history. Jo Ann says his wit is what makes Evans such a great story-teller.
“His humor gets me through the day,” Jo Ann said.
You can pick up Adrian Evans’ book, “Woeful Wisdom: A Lifetime of Bad Decisions,” at booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or by Outskirts Press. For more information on Evans’ art visit www.artsbyadrianr.com.
Photos provided by Taylor Riley
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