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franklin county times

Burnout native inspires Red Bay youth

Photo by Alison James Edie Hand speaks to an auditorium full of students about her life, her dreams and her documentary, “The Last Ride.”
Photo by Alison James
Edie Hand speaks to an auditorium full of students about her life, her dreams and her documentary, “The Last Ride.”

Edie Hand has myriad accolades to her name. She is a businesswoman, speaker, media personality, filmmaker and international author. She has written, co-written or assisted in the development of more than 20 books. Her personal titles include inspirational books, cookbooks and novellas. She has starred in national commercials and daytime television soap operas and has hosted numerous radio and television shows nationwide. She has been the CEO of Hand N’ Hand Advertising Inc., since 1976 while being actively involved in the Alliance for Women in Media (known as American Women in Radio & Television) for more than 40 years.

She’s also a hometown girl from Burnout, and she recently spoke to inspire at a showing of her documentary, “The Last Ride,” at Red Bay High School.

Hand screened her 2016 autobiographical documentary Friday at Red Bay. The story is based on her novella, “The Last Christmas Ride,” and explores the life of a Southern family and the love they shared – especially the love Hand had for her three younger brothers, each of whom died tragically as young men. It also paints a picture of Hand’s adulthood and her many accomplishments. As Hand put it, it “shows how my past led me to help others.” The documentary, which was filmed in Red Bay, Burnout and Florence, fulfills a promise to her brothers: to share the story of their love and care for each other.

The short film includes interviews with pivotal people in Hand’s life; dramatized scenes featuring extras and budding actors from Red Bay like seventh grader Bryson Hacker; and touching moments recorded with Hand at the graves of her three brothers, David, Terry and Phillip.

The documentary’s star and narrator is her son Linc Hand, whose own Hollywood career is growing steadily.

Mike Shewbart helped coordinate with Hand to bring the documentary to Red Bay. He said he wanted to encourage students who have a dream to go after it.

“She had a vision a long time ago, and she stuck with that vision,” Shewbart said. “If you’ve got a dream, you can reach out and get close to that dream and make that dream a reality. There is no doubt Edie has done that.”

Hand donated copies of her book to drama students and a number of other students as well as the school library. She encouraged students to remember what’s really important – “our character, who we are and what legacy we leave behind.”