Courage in the face of diversity: Woman In The Locker Room by Maggie Holeman
By SK Malone
“This story is about change. Changing the rules, changing attitudes, conceptions, traditions and roles. It’s about spirit, drive, tenacity, independence and human growth. And it’s about bravery. Not only in the sense of our chosen careers, but in the sense of accepting personal strengths and the ability to let go.” Maggie Holeman from her book Woman In The Locker Room.
Maggie Holeman is Hope’s newest published author; she has written a book titled Woman In The Locker Room- An Alaskan Woman’s Journey for Change. It’s about her struggle to overcome a chaotic childhood while becoming the first Alaska woman to have a dual career in both the fire and police department at Anchorage International Airport. This was during a time when professions for women were minimal as to what fields they could enter into.
“This novel is multi-faceted. It’s about overcoming child abuse, about me being the first woman in a department of 86 men and it’s about discrimination,” Holeman replied when asked what her book was about.
She started working on her story 15 years ago. At the time she wasn’t thinking about publishing or turning it into a novel. The writing started off as a bunch of stories she wrote for her children.
“The reason I started them was that Anchorage International Airport was unique,” Holeman said, “being approximately only 1 in 5 located in the United States with a combined Fire and Police Department. I also wanted my kids to have stories about their mom,” she said.
She wrote for several years and ended up with 40 stories. One editor told her to put everything in book form, so as time went by she critiqued, edited and started to look at them as a book. One editor remarked how she seemed to be more of an observer of the stories than a part of them.
“Some of these were juxtaposed stories of my childhood,” Holeman said, “which was chaotic, so for me to put myself in these stories stirred old emotions I thought were gone.”
She finished formatting her finished works into a book five years ago, and now it is a published work. Holeman recently had a book signing for her book at the Hope Community library on April 9. Approximately 35 people were in attendance for this event, where Maggie talked about her book and signed copies. She also had a retired guest speaker come from Anchorage to talk about what working in the Airport Police and Fire Department meant at that time as well as working with a woman in a job that was considered a man’s job in the 70’s. Holeman stood up and made a difference in her field.
You may find her book in a number of places. Online, you can find it at Amazon.com and on Kindle. The book is also at a select few Fred Meyer and Carrs grocery stores. Around Hope you can find it at the Library Gift Shop. A few other Hope gift shops have expressed their interest in carrying the book as well, these include Sherritt’s Fine Art Gallery, Sour-Dough Dru’s gift shop and Hope Junction Trading Company. The Hope Library also has copies available to be checked out.
Maggie Holeman is a brave and courageous woman, an inspiration. She overcame her chaotic and emotional childhood, discrimination and adversity in a challenging career, stood up for her rights and the rights of women in the future who might choose the same career field. She wrote her story of these events in her life to give them a voice and share them. Hopefully this novel will give others courage to follow their dreams, whatever the odds, to stand up for themselves and be brave.