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EP330: PEZ: From Austrian Invention To American Icon and The Woman Behind Jack London

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2022 3:05 am

EP330: PEZ: From Austrian Invention To American Icon and The Woman Behind Jack London

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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May 31, 2022 3:05 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Shawn Peterson shares the story of how the PEZ manual candy dispenser came to be. Iris Jamahl Dunkle tells the story of Charmian Kittredge London in the first full length Biography written about her titled Charmian Kittredge: London Trailblazer Author Adventurer.

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Time Codes:

00:00 - PEZ: From Austrian Invention To American Icon

25:00 - The Woman Behind Jack London

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As you know we're a nation of immigrants but it's not just people that travel it's also their ideas. One of these ideas is something that many of us loved as kids. Sean Peterson of the Pez Visitor Center is author of Pez from Austrian invention to American icon and he's here to share how it evolved into the brick-shaped candy dispenser that we all know and love today.

Here's Sean. Pez the brand or the candy was invented by a man named Edward Haas the third. He was an Austrian. The family had been very successful and a variety of businesses up to that point and they had a nice business providing baking products and one of the things Mr. Haas noticed were people were having a difficult time digesting some of the cakes based on some of the ingredients that were in them and found that peppermint oil was a good way to help in the digestion and a byproduct of that you know it was a way to freshen your breath and most of all he really wanted to provide an alternative to smoking. He was very much a man ahead of his time and didn't really think too much of smoking and the health ramifications of that so his goal was to kind of come up with an alternative to that and he found peppermint oil and through this what's called a cold press method where you just kind of press the ingredients together came up with these little Pez tablets as the product and wanted to see if there was interest.

The German word for peppermint is Feffermintz and it's actually quite a long word so he used the first middle and last letter of the word Feffermintz which was a p-e-z and he found it was an easily pronounceable word in just about any language and it was a trademarkable brand name so it served two purposes in one and that that's really how Pez got its start. For the first 20 plus years of its creation there was no dispenser. You either bought the product in a little foil roll similar to what is offered today or you bought it with a little metal tin that you could carry in your pocket if you're old enough to remember.

You know you could get like Bayer aspirin in a little metal tin probably associated these days with like an Altoid or something like that that you could carry in your pocket and that was really the only way you could get Pez for its initial creation. It wasn't until the late 1940s that as success was growing and business was increasing that he wanted to try something different with that because he was a bit of a germaphobe. You know I've got this great candy I'm the founder and inventor of this but if I want to offer it to you you've got to put your fingers in that tin to get a piece of candy and it's not really what I want. So he found a freelance designer a man named Oscar Uscha and commissioned him to come up with some kind of dispensing device for the candy.

You know he put a little thumb grip at the top and some spring mechanisms inside to be able to offer them one at a time and that's really how the shape of the dispenser was born. Mr Haas started selling these in 1927 in Austria found success rather quickly and expanded the product throughout Europe and other parts of the world and for him the last great market to conquer was the United States. So 1952 they came to lower Manhattan they had offices in New York City they imported all of the products from Europe and tried to sell them as they had throughout the rest of the world as an upscale adult product and marketed as an alternative to sell them in the United States. And it really didn't have the success that it had in Europe in fact it it really did poorly unfortunately.

Well I say unfortunately but actually it was it was probably one of the best things that could have happened to it. It was the lack of success really that drove Pez to innovate and create the changes that have made us successful to this day. They were selling the dispenser without a character head it just had a little thumb grip and the only flavor you could get was peppermint and as I said it didn't really have the success that they had hoped for. So somebody in marketing said let's don't pull out of the market let's let's think about what we're doing and how we could do it differently and they came up with the idea of putting a three-dimensional character head on top of that dispenser and children generally don't like peppermint you know the strong flavors like that so it was a little bit of a flavors like that so the idea was let's add fruit flavors to the candy put the three-dimensional cartoon character head on top and let's shift the marketing from adults to children and it changed really the direction of the brand. They found success very quickly and you know it changed the business model here in the United States as well as globally and we've been primarily a children's product ever since. The Pez Girl was a it was kind of the grassroots marketing campaign of how they wanted to advertise Pez you know this is something that nobody was really familiar with so they had these outfits for ladies to wear they would hire models to go out and share the brand and a lot of the early ones had like skirts with big pockets so they could keep a lot of the refills in them and they would just go out to events and hand the candy to people get them to try this new brand and hopefully get people enthused about what this new product was. It was very pin-up girl esque when it started in the 1950s so a lot of the early Pez girls were kind of leggy and this is when the marketing was being directed towards adults and certainly that shifted in the 60s and 70s as it shifted to children. In the 1970s you can see what looks like a superhero they had you know like knee-high boots on the model she had a cape and instead of the full Pez logo it just had like a giant P on the chest so it looked you know kind of like a superhero and it worked. And you're listening to Shawn Peterson of the Pez Visitor Center and telling a story we tell again and again here on this show that a failure and that's the failure to launch the Pez product that had worked internationally here in the United States and what did they do well they learned from the market they adapted and actually took Pez to a place they'd never been before again a failure leads to a success. When we come back more from Shawn Peterson author of Pez from Austrian Invention to American Icon here on Our American Stories. Folks if you love the stories we tell about this great country and especially the stories of America's rich past know that all of our stories about American history from war to innovation culture and faith are brought to us by the great folks at Hillsdale College.

A place where students study all the things that are beautiful in life and all the things that are good in life and if you can't get to Hillsdale Hillsdale will come to you with their free and terrific online courses go to hillsdale.edu to learn more. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year and United Healthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65 you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.

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Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean that can be overwhelming for anyone. So if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life try all free clear mega packs. All free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All free clear mega packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs which my family we definitely have sensitive skin. So the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes just know that all free clear mega packs they have your back. Purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types and we return to our American stories and to Shawn Peterson with a story of PEZ the manual candy dispenser. The first traditional head on a stem that you're familiar with today was a witch for Halloween and that was 1957 and then the first licensed character was 1958 and that was Popeye and then we followed that with a couple of additions to the seasonal line we added Santa for the first time we've been doing Santa ever since it's coincidentally one of our best selling probably our number one seller to this day we added an Easter line with the Easter bunny that year and then about 1959 1960 Casper and Bozo came into the mix and then 1961 we did Mickey Mouse with Disney for the first time and I think we're actually the second longest licensed partner with Disney next to Donald Duck orange juice we've been working with Disney consecutively since 1961 so we've probably produced more Disney characters over the year than any other license you know how many are there referring to the dispensers and this is what collectors like to talk about and argue you know I mentioned Santa Claus we've done many many iterations of Santa Claus and is it a variation or is it a different dispenser and you know there's really no right or wrong answer so if we had to go with just different character heads on top of the dispenser base somewhere in the 1400 ish number range or range right now but if you start factoring in variations and you know there's really no right or wrong answer as to what constitutes a variation start adding zeros to that and it easily goes into thousands upon thousands right now we have 15 different flavors that we offer the six core fruit flavors and that's cherry grape lemon strawberry orange raspberry you know the things that you're familiar with we do four sour flavors and then we do some seasonal flavors candy corn for Halloween we do cotton candy we just introduced a new dragon fruit flavor to go with our game of thrones gift set that we introduced and then we do sugar cookie for Christmas and vanilla cupcake for Easter so that gives us 15 current flavors that we offer but we rotate things in and out every few years we try to introduce something new and to do that we usually retire a different flavor to try to keep it fresh and different there's been many many dozens of different flavors offered throughout the year we just retired cola and chocolate we made those for probably a couple of decades and finally decided it was time to retire and try something different we produce here at the factory about 12 million individual candy tablets per day there's certainly some top collectors out there that have some incredible collections there's people um it's really surprising uh you know they'll go in and do buyouts of other collectors and it's things they already have and they've got like mini warehouses in their basement you know and they may have five thousand of the same dispenser but that's part of the enjoyment for them they like just having the quantity of it and then there's other people that focus on not having duplicates but they want something different and they have thousands upon thousands you know in their collection so it's really up to how you want to enjoy and and collect it's what makes the hobby so much fun is you know everybody's got their own take on it but there's certainly some really impressive collections out there when you look at what people have been able to put together the factory's been here since 1973 this is the site that they chose when they first decided to to manufacture they ended up moving the offices from new york city to uh here in connecticut in in the early 70s and we've been manufacturing in this facility ever since and then the visitor center came to be i think the original idea was around 2006 and it actually came from me i approached the company they were familiar with me through some of the books that i'd published about the history of pez and documented all the various dispensers and things like that and they were using the books people would come into marketing and they would share my book with them and you know look you can get some ideas from this and see what we've done and when i approached they kind of knew who i was at that time and met with the ceo of the company and i said i know you guys haven't done this before but i think it'd be a great idea if you had some kind of historical museum aspect to the business and you know maybe a retail piece attached to that that people could come in and get a sense of the pez history and how it's changed and evolved and have an opportunity to sell them all things pez right right there at the same facility and if you like the idea i'd like to be the guy to put that together and run it for you he said we're just not ready for that step yet but let's stay in touch so i took every opportunity that i could for the next few years to you know remind him that i'm still around and had interest in doing this and it was about late 2009 he called and said you know if you're still interested let's talk about doing this i'm actually from kansas city so not only did i have to move a household i had to move an entire collection halfway across the country and we figured out how to do that and got me here to connecticut and began the process of constructing the visitor center so while we were doing that we got a general contractor and started figuring out who can supply giant pez dispensers and pez related fixtures and all the cool stuff that we have here in the the visitor center we started that process and then i began work on on the website pez.com and figuring out how to get the online store aspect together that all took about a year and a half and in the meantime the visitor center is being constructed and then we finally got it open december of 2011 to me coming into work every day you know i see this every single day and i still find myself stopping and looking around and just kind of enjoying the space and i'm the one that that you know kind of put the stuff on the walls and put everything in the display cases but i still enjoy it you know 10 years later it's still so much fun for me to have not only a place for my collection but being able to share it with everybody now that comes in to see us the majority of business that we have and people that come through the door you know to this day 10 years later i think that's the thing that surprises me most it's you know people that had no idea they were going to be here today and they just saw the signs along the highway and it's the pez factory and we know what that is but let's go we've never been and they come in and the positive comments and feedback that we hear from people it's just like you know it's amazing we had no idea there was this much to pez and to me that's exciting and really one of the the goals behind this for me was just to share it with people it's it's been a big part of my life i've been doing this for over 30 years and i'm still really enthusiastic about it it's exciting there's still things that you know are yet to be discovered and you know being able to share that with people and hopefully create that spark of interest that maybe wants to get them involved to where maybe they're going to start their own collection themselves or you know maybe they think about pez a little bit differently the next time they see it in the store and they've been to the factory and they watched where it was being packaged and saw how we make the candy it kind of gives you a different appreciation for the brand and what we do so that that's really the most exciting thing for me and it was just kind of a happy mistake trying to adapt to the market and you know had they not done that nobody would have probably heard about pez it would just been a footnote in history of a mint or an alternative to smoking like many products that have come and gone it certainly wasn't intentional or the original idea of it but you know it was being able to adapt and just find the right market it changed and created a sense of pez being part of pop culture ever since you know it's a relatable brand that everybody knows and a special thanks to madison for bringing us this terrific story and a special thanks to sean peterson of the pez visitor center and by all means pick up his book pez from austrian invention to american icon at amazon or the usual suspects and if you're in the connecticut area and that's orange visit the pez visitor center better still if you can't get there go to pez.com and take a virtual tour and by the way if you're interested in visiting pez you can take a virtual tour and by the way since the partnership with disney and mickey there have been many other partnerships with brands and with characters and you can find the muppets sesame street characters the marvel characters star wars characters the wizard of oz scooby-doo looney tunes mario the ninja turtles the simpsons pokemon and angry birds the story of pez here on our american music soon millions will make medicare coverage decisions for next year and united health care can help you feel confident about your choices for those eligible medicare annual enrollment runs from october 15th through december 7th if you're working past age 65 you might be able to delay medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage it can seem confusing but it doesn't have to be visit uhc medicare health plans.com to learn more united health care helping people live healthier lives i know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop but for small business insurance i need my state farm agent they make sure my business stays piping hot and i stay cool and confident see they're small business owners too so they know how to help you best state farm is in your corner and on it like a good neighbor state farm is there call your local state farm agent for a quote today doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done i mean that can be overwhelming for anyone so if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life try all free clear mega packs all free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry all free clear mega packs are also 100 free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs which my family we definitely have sensitive skin so the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes just know that all free clear mega packs they have your back purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types and we continue with our american stories and up next we have the story of charmian kitridge london brought to us by author irish jamal dunkel dunkel is a teacher at napa valley college in california she has loved jack london ever since she went on a field trip to jack london state park when she was in middle school this field trip sparked within her a desire to make writing her life here's faith with the story jack london best-selling american author is known for his adventure stories such as call of the wild and the sea wolf along with his popular short story to build a fire but he was not only famous for his writings during his time he was truly a celebrity he was known for his world travels and his adventures and boat trips around the globe but what many people do not know is that london was hardly a solo traveler many of his trips he was accompanied by his second wife charmian kitridge london we have known very little about charmian it's only as of 2020 that the first full length biography on charmian kitridge london was published by iris jamal dunkel we come to find that she herself was a writer and adventurer and so much more than just jack london's wife here is author irish jamal dunkel and how she came across charmian when she was looking through a book of poems and found a very famous picture of jack london the picture of jack london on the hillside on his horse is actually on sonoma mountain and it said taken by charmian kitridge london and i had seen that photo a million times in my life in fact is at the park at jack london state park it's on the garbage cans and so it's so familiar to me but i had never thought to think who took that photo and so i immediately reached out to jack london scholars with whom you know i corresponded all the time and i said did you know that charmian took this photograph and they said well i never really thought to ask that question and that's where i was like oh wow well what else haven't we asked and so i went back to charmian's life and tried to figure out why was her story not told correctly and the answer came in researching the story of how she met irving stone who wrote ended up writing a biography about her and jack london called sailor on horseback and she thought he just wanted to write a biography about jack she got visitors all the time who wanted to do that he came into her life and just totally seduced her acted like she was a complete intellectual he adored her work she'd written a biography on jack london herself and he said it was the best he'd ever read he took her out dancing and it turns out that through this kind of seduction he got her to sign away her legal rights to her story he made her think that they would be collaborating on this story but because she signed away her legal rights and he actually did not like her at all when you start to read his letters you start to see this he wrote this horrible version of charmian in his biography a biography it's actually a fictional biography because of the license he took in the stories he told and he he wrote that and charmian was so mad about her his violation of her trust that number one she burned many of her documents including some of her early diaries where she talked about what it was like to be a woman in the late 1800s a woman who was college educated a woman who was you know driven to find a career she burned those because he didn't understand it he thought because she didn't get married and and had different people who she dated that she must be a you know a loose woman you know instead of like she knew if she got married she'd lose her job because that's the way it worked back then and so she burned those diaries she also locked everything away in the honeyton library and at that point what that did when his book came out and started saying these things like she was an airhead she you know really slandered her her husband's name made it worse for him was jealous didn't care about anything except fashion which is all false lies because of that and because she locked down the files the version that he published of her stuck for the next 80 years and it wasn't until scholars like clary stuzz and myself were able to dig back into that content and unearth who she really was that the public is really getting to know her again and so even at the park jacqueline and state park things were telling a different story than how they really were so it's important to know who she really was um and that's where the book begins is with that that question charmeon's family moved across the country following the gold rush and started their lives in california where charmeon was born they were the picture of the american west unfortunately at the young age of five her mother passed away and she was left with her father which wouldn't last long one day her aunt tissy came into her dad's boarding house and found charmeon was propped up on the bar she's five years old talking to all the people who'd come into the bar right to swap to listen to their stories but her aunt was like this is no way to raise a lady she and neta the neta who ended up raising charmeon sent her away to oakland to be raised by her aunt and that's when charmeon started to really come into her own fast forward several years in when charmeon is 14 years old her father came up to visit and during that he felt ill what happened was they sent charmeon out on an errand and they said you know go get this medicine but when she came back she came back to an empty bed her father had died and they had removed his body and she never got to say goodbye to him and so it was a loss it was really hard for her to get over because of that and afterwards she became fiercely independent she learned shorthand she got a job working at um mills college got her education and finally met like-minded people these intellectual women because mills college was one of the first schools on the on the west coast to west of the rockies to open up for women then she became a stenographer and she had she worked for one of the largest shipping firms in san francisco she had an assistant that reported to her she had purchased her own horse she had a maid that cleaned her house i mean she was very successful and very confident and she dated a lot of guys during this time all her dating and socializing would soon bring her to meet the best-selling author jack london changing the course of her life they met through her aunt who at the time was a writer and editor for the overland monthly jack london was not snazzy when he was young he looked like a sailor he had a bow-legged walk you know and he didn't really get fashion quite yet i mean he was a very handsome man but she was like at first she's like who's this guy you know you know but when she sat down they had this amazing conversation he had this mind like a jar full of bees it was just ding ding ding and she had a similar mind they had this immediate connection intellectually he had he's like oh will you review my book and she's like sure whatever i'll do it you know and and i really want to borrow some of your books because he couldn't get to band books so a lot of like tessa the durbovilles was banned at the time she he wanted to be able to read those so he's like can i borrow them she's like sure come by sometime and so they scheduled to have him come by and so they immediately had this connection they had all these plans in the you know the go horseback riding which jack didn't know how to do and so she was going to teach him how to ride but he out of the blue decided to get married and he married bass matter out of like this commitment towards being a writer getting a schedule you know he thought they would make very nice children together and so try me was like that's weird whatever you know but something between their relationship really sparked something in her and she's like you know what i'm gonna go travel the world she went around europe and started writing about her travels which is something that she had always wanted to do like since she was a child she had dreamed of traveling the world and writing about it so when she gets back to the bay area from her travels she's a changed woman she goes back to working as a stenographer and she gets invited to jack london's house and you're listening to irish jamal dunkel tell the story of charmian kittridge london and when we come back more of this story a story of a time period a story of well what it was like to be a woman in the late 19th century and early 20th century more of this remarkable story here on our american story soon millions will make medicare coverage decisions for next year and united healthcare can help you feel confident about your choices for those eligible medicare annual enrollment runs from october 15th through december 7th if you're working past age 65 you might be able to delay medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage it can seem confusing but it doesn't have to be visit uhc medicare health plans.com to learn more united healthcare helping people live healthier lives i know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop but for small business insurance i need my state farm agent they make sure my business stays piping hot and i stay cool and confident see they're small business owners too so they know how to help you best state farm is in your corner and on it like a good neighbor state farm is there call your local state farm agent for a quote today doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done i mean that can be overwhelming for anyone so if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life try all free clear mega packs all free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry all free clear mega packs are also 100 free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs which my family we definitely have sensitive skin so the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes just know that all free clear mega packs they have your back purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types and we return to our american stories and we've been listening to irish jamaal dunkel share the story of her book charmian kitridge london trailblazer author adventurer dunkel's book is the first full-length biography on charmian who was jack london's second wife her story has been told inaccurately for years and mostly forgotten we left off after jack had decided to marry someone else rather than let that get her down charmian began traveling and upon her return she was invited to london's house back to irish jamaal dunkel that's where all of the artists are going for parties she challenges jack to a fencing match he was like oh yeah okay lady let's do this you know she'll just let me win but little did he know a charmian had studied fencing at mills college b she was not gonna just let him win she was very athletic and so she went and kicked his butt and he was so shocked he ran over and kissed her on the lips granted jack london had two small babies at home and he was married they didn't immediately have an affair right they had that kiss she kept going to the parties they were in the same social circle so they were always coming across each other and doing activities together but slowly they started to have that connection that they had felt built into this romance that just caught on fire they were so over the top in love their love letters are just ridiculous in their in their sappiness and sometimes they'd write to each other like three four times a day and they she'd be like i'm waiting by the mailbox for your letter but why they were so in love and why they called each other mate they found each other this kind of mirror image of who they wanted and so i think that's why igniting the love was so important and that's why it ignited so fast meanwhile jack's married he has to kind of sneak around until he finally tells his wife that he wants to be separated and this of course causes a huge ruckus and because he's a celebrity at this point he's written call of the wild he filed for for divorce in california law at that time you had to wait a year before you could get married and so you know they they started it was really troubling for jack he actually finally morally dealing with the fact that he was leaving his young family right and feeling bad but he still did it they got married day that the divorce went through instead of waiting for this planned ceremony and that was kind of like how it was going to be with jack going forward and off they were on their honeymoon they went to jamaica and cuba and began their explorations and writing about them when they came back to the bay area to start their married life together the itch to travel got the better of them and they started planning a boat trip on a small yacht called the snark after some delays in 1907 they finally set sail on the snark this is when charmian began logging their journey throughout all their trips they were being followed by reporters and stories were being written about their adventures they did all kinds of crazy adventures on the snark including when they're in hawaii they both learned how to surf and what's notable is how jack would record these these adventures and his writing about the trip called the cruise of the snark as if he were the only one doing these things in reality charmian is also there surfing on a 75 pound wooden surfboard with him in in Waikiki but it sold more copies to have just jack london do it and so that's why he recorded it that way and you see that throughout their adventures so they travel from hawaii to the marquesian islands to tahiti and then on to bora bora and beyond to the solomon islands they and they'd plan to continue on but while they're on this adventure jack gets sick they both develop yaws which is a disease that you get in the south seas where you get these wounds on your arms that are as big as as baseballs jack became very very ill and so they had to leave the solomon islands and travel to australia so he could have surgery and recover but unfortunately it was something that jack couldn't recover from and they had to end their trip and charmian was devastated this was probably the most important journey of her life she felt like and so when they when they had to end the trip she she sobbed she was so sad when they got back from their journey charmian soon found out she was pregnant in may of 1910 she started to get ready to give birth she went into labor and they had been told everything was normal but very soon into labor they realized that everything was not normal charmian weighed maybe 115 pounds and her baby weighed over nine pounds and she was having a very difficult labor the doctor ended up having to use forceps and because of that he broke she later called her baby joy baby the doctor broke joy's neck what makes it worse is that while she was delivering joy her placenta didn't deliver and so she was bleeding out on the table and had to be rushed into immediate surgery and so it turned out that she never got to see her child in the 38 hours that she survived so it was a really really sad time for charmian she was not only physically damaged by the birth what happened from the surgery she had directly after giving birth was scar it was a terrible job and she ended up with terrible scar tissue and so she was unbeknownst to her she was not going to ever be able to carry a child to term after the terrible loss of her baby they went back to their adventures and jack began research for his novel the valley of the moon and by this time charmian is a real integral part of their collaboration team she's taking notes she's giving her own perspective and what what happens is jack actually starts incorporating some of her actual text into the novel and so she makes note of this in her diary as he's composing it and so we have proof of her proof of her collaboration with jack on the actual text and what's really interesting is in this novel that jack writes based on her interaction and collaboration we see one of the first kind of real like women saxon the protagonist from the valley of the moon really seems like a real woman and her experiences like losing her child seemed really vivid and real and the reason why is because jack was actually talking to charmian directly about that and she was able to give him direct feedback after going on this journey they decide to head to new york they want to go on passage on the dirigo which is the three masted ship that they want to take around cape horn to seattle so when they get back from their journey on the dirigo he ends up having an appendicitis and when he goes in for surgery his doctor realizes that his kidneys are in really bad shape and he says you know you've got to change this behavior or you're gonna die you know this is this is not good your kidneys are failing little did he know that what was causing that kidney failure partially was the fact that while they were on the snark when they were experiencing the sores they would rub mercury ointment on their sores and because of that obviously mercury is not good for your kidneys so that's what was making him so ill in the months that follow he gets worse and worse and finally that november one night he comes into charmian's sleeping porch came in and you know told her how much he loved her and said he was gonna go read and he she looked over a few hours later and he was slumped over and she thought he'd just fallen asleep while i was reading well the next morning eliza rushes in wakes her up and says something's wrong with jack and so she rushes over and finds him in a coma and it's a coma he never wakes up from they called the doctors they do everything but meanwhile jack does not wake up and he passes away and charmian is devastated and all of a sudden charmian was left with this giant ranch that they had accumulated all of these pending writings you know jack had like a story in the typewriter that day right he had no intention of dying and so she was left with all of this all of these loose ends to carry on but at the same time she was also left with the freedom to approach her life in her own way and not have to you know take care of jack london and so she was really of two minds she was like i'm free but i'm also devastated charming began to write seriously but she goes back to the ranch and becomes totally committed to creating this biography she works really hard writes a two-volume biography and it becomes this massive project it does get a good reception but it's not great she really is left with this idea of wanting to find the right biographer for jack which eventually will lead her to irving stone which of course will lead to her not being remembered correctly for many years to come before she meets irving stone so many wonderful things happen she travels the world speaking to sometimes gatherings of 23 000 people she spends a lot of time in europe and is very popular she publishes two books about hawaii our hawaii and our hawaii islands and islanders giving her a total of four books she continues to publish articles and really is a celebrity in her own right she wasn't afraid to be who she was in order to live an independent life any special thanks to irish jamal dunkel for her story and sharing her book charming and kittredge london trailblazer author adventurer the story of charming and kittredge london here on our american story
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-16 07:56:35 / 2023-02-16 08:12:47 / 16

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