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Vanguard Marketing Corporation distributor. This is Lee Habib, and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. And you can check out our podcast by subscribing on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Up next, a story from our Faith in Action series, where we share with you the stories of people of faith living it out in the public square.
Today's story comes to us from the little town of Noel, Missouri, where there's a church that has an unexpected amount of immigrants attending. Here's Pastor Josh Manning and his wife Lauren with the story. My name is Josh Manning and Lauren, you want to dive in? OK, so, yeah, Josh and I have been married nearly 20 years.
So we're coming along. I did 20 years at Wal-Mart. I was an assistant manager, and so you worked crazy hours.
I mean, you know, 15 days in a row at times. I remember doing that, you know, 12 hour shifts, a lot of those kind of things. He was at Wal-Mart constantly.
We lived an hour away from the Walmart in which he worked. And so for a lot of years there, we were, you know, that's that's all we were doing is I was I was bringing home a paycheck and Lauren was at home and was never quite fulfilled. I just never had this feeling that we were doing what God called us to do. He always said, God has something for us. God's going to do something with us.
And I thought, what does that mean? We have little kids. We had twins. And two years later, I had another baby. So we had three kids under three.
I was 28 trying to homeschool three kids as they grew. And Josh not being around and trying to be in church and do the right things. It was a difficult season. We decided through. Well, God decided that it was time for us to do something and follow the Great Commission. And so at the time, our pastor was I would consider a Great Commission preacher. He was about sending. He was about missions. And I had never really truly heard a pastor that was so clear and direct.
I don't know. It clicked with us. I think it clicked around the same time.
When you agree, John, absolutely. It was like, whoa, we had we were watching him, his preaching. We were watching a young family from our church sell everything they owned and moved to Peru and the jungles.
And they'd set up little churches down the Amazon River and he'd ride this little boat down the Amazon River and disciple the pastors there. And this was a family our age. It just just blew us away. And when we had gotten to that church, that family had just left. So we we didn't even see them and didn't know them, but knew their story because the whole church was talking about it. And that was hugely impactful.
The other thing was Lauren made me go to see David Platt speak. And I didn't know anything about this guy, but he was talking about the concept of just going. That is the concept of the gospel is as you hear the truth and then you go and tell the truth.
I mean, that's the basic premise. And so it impacted us greatly. And so those two and then our faithful teaching of a very good pastor, those three just really just pushed us in that position. We didn't know where we were going to go, but we knew that we were going to share the gospel, whatever, whatever means that we had. We were going to do so as boldly and loudly as what we what we could possibly do. And we found out there was a church in Noel, Missouri, that the pastor had left, thrown up his hands in disgust and ran screaming, as many other pastors had there.
To be blunt. What the main industry is in the entire county and in that town is the poultry industry. And so what happened was is, of course, you had these these farmers, small time farmers that can have the chicken houses, but to have workers in a very rural county to be able to work the plants, they just there isn't any. And so probably about twenty five years ago, 30 years ago in that ballpark, Hispanic population started to move in. And then relatively more recent times, we started to get refugees from all over the world. Noel has an extremely diverse population. There's 30 nations of birth in a town, 2000 people. There's 10 languages that in my estimation are large enough to have a church functioning. And so you have a large number of these refugee population, limited English skills. And so it's a very challenging place to present the gospel.
But in some ways, it's served up for you in a silver platter because you know where to go to catch these people. You know what I'm saying? So I became pastor of a church that had two primary languages, English speaking, of course.
And Scott Corinne. They come from Myanmar. It was also called Burma. You may have heard that they've had been in civil war for it's like the longest running civil war. Yeah. Since World War Two.
Yeah. They've been in civil war. When we found out they were from Burma, we referred to them as the Burmese people.
And that is not something you should do because the Burmese government attacks these little... Josh can explain this better. These little ethnic tribes, yeah. Yeah, they come in and attack them so their own country will fight against them. So they are very proud to be Corinne and they have a Buddhist background. They have a Christian heritage. So there's there's kind of a hodgepodge of religions within the Corinne people. But they come to our church.
Groups of them come faithfully and we get to preach the gospel and share Jews with them. And so not all of the adults necessarily know English in our church. So we we have a translator and he's not necessarily a Christian. He's not necessarily Buddhist either.
He's kind of a mix of different religions. But we use the kids and as translators for the parents so we can get to know the parents through the kids. And God's blessed this beyond our wildest dreams. Now it's four years later.
There are five independent services operating in our building. We have service, you know, all day long from 10 in the morning till nine at night frequently on Sunday in five separate languages and attempting to start services in other languages as well. And we still have no idea what we're doing, but God continues to bless it despite our our idiocy. And you've been listening to Josh and Lauren Manning heeding the call and following their heart and following their God and doing essentially a turnaround. When we come back, more of this remarkable story here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country, stories from our big cities and small towns.
But we truly can't do the show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to our American stories dot com and click the donate button.
Go to our American stories dot com and give. Soon, millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare 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 dot com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, 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 percent 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 Pastor Josh Manning and his wife Lauren's story of operating a church in the small town of Noel, Azora, where many immigrants call home and call his church home. In fact, Josh has five different services in five different languages at his church using interpreters to spread the gospel in the process. But why did these immigrants, especially the Corinne people from Myanmar, start attending Noel Community Baptist Church?
Let's continue with the story. So we don't have a whole lot of prior information, but one little segment we do know is that a gentleman that we just love and such a gracious man named Mike Brown, he saw the refugees coming into the town and he saw the changing demographics. He saw the potential and he saw, you know what, the nations are coming to us. Let's reach out to the nations.
Let's not sit here in fear and get to know them. And so he went to, I think he just randomly went to the Corinne housing, if I understand right. They were all sleeping on the ground.
They had no furniture. So Mike talked to the people at the church at that time and said, let's buy mattresses for every Corinne family. And so the church did. And they made a relationship with them and they started going fishing together.
They started hanging out and little by little they started populating the church. And then before long, a translator was needed because the sermon became bilingual. And so our translator, Yeh Manu, stepped up and became the translator. He's also the liaison at Tyson for the Corinne people. So he translates for a living.
He's excellent, excellent at it. And my Neso, the father of my translator, Yeh Manu, this guy is just the American dream on steroids. So my Neso gets captured by the Burmese army, him and seven or six other men, seven men total. And he was given the job of walking in front of the army to set off land mines. And so he's captured. Yeh Manu is just a baby, if I understand right at that point. So he's away from home.
He's a long ways away. After about a year, there's only him and one other guy left. They were in a tiger pit at night and they overheard that they were going to get executed the next morning. So my Neso gets out of the tiger pit, runs through the jungle, comes back to the family. They're reunited and they're out of there. So it takes quite a bit of time through very, very rugged terrain till they arrive in a refugee camp in Thailand.
Once they're there, you basically have a 500 acre area or however large it is kind of fenced off. Yeh Manu described it as on your third offense, leaving this area, you were shot on sight. It was illegal to learn the local language. You had limited opportunity, limited educational opportunities, limited everything. You were just there gathering dust in a handmade hut.
Anyway, over time they get to the opportunity to come to the United States and they do so. So this guy came to the United States and Nolans are a Midwest, relatively poor place itself. You got really just one main road going through town. Half the businesses are shuttered. We're losing our bank. We just had to go pick up the safe deposit box for the church.
Yeh, because the bank is even leaving town. And what he has done with his family is extraordinary. His kids are going to college. They have aspirations of being doctors and lawyers and all those kinds of things.
And they are smart enough, they're going to accomplish it. He purchased a house. He's going to pay it off in three years after purchase. Put significant bulk down in cash because he saved up enough money to do it. Now they have trucks and cars and they become U.S. citizens. And they do all these kind of things that you wouldn't hope in your wildest dreams that someone would do coming to the United States. It's just a condition where the gospel is in action and every Sunday he's going to bring his family to church.
Now he's a guy that's probably my age or older. Learning the English language is going to be a challenge. And so there's five in which it's preached in every Sunday. You have Spanish, English, Chuuk, Marshall Islands, and Karen. But there are going to be, just like in my service, you're going to have one person who speaks a different dialect of Karen that's not preached in.
I think Nine Nations of Birth is my record for our service. And we're talking like 60 people. And it's a challenge just because even if you can communicate, even through a child to an adult and back and forth, you miss enough nuances that some of this stuff ends up being confusion. There's a very different views on how time works. And so my job is kind of like be the central hub and make sure there's not like two services trying to do the same different things in the same spot at the same time. Being flexible. You just have to be insanely flexible and very comfortable with not knowing what you're doing next week. These cultures, honestly, I swear they decide five minutes before they're doing it and they organize 100 people meet in the church building.
And you don't know what to expect. I was thinking of Gospel Day. So we had just been introduced to the Marshall Islands folks. So we didn't know this group very well and they'd been there a few weeks. And it was late evening, six, seven, eight, nine. Anyway, we look out and I think Claire, our daughter, was the first to say, Mom, there is a six foot boat, sailboat.
Yeah, I don't know. This is a sailing ship. This is a sailing ship replica being pushed into the gym. We're talking like Christopher Columbus would have ridden that kind of wooden sailing boat.
Yes, a replica. And they got it inside the gym and they pushed it in. And we're looking at Facebook Live. It's like, what have we allowed? And we're looking at members of the church and they're all like dancing around this wooden boat. And we're like, what is happening? And this is like 10, 11 at night.
It was late or early. And the neighbors, I think, oh, my goodness, these neighbors are going to shoot us. What is happening? The music is so loud.
Didn't know what in tarnation was happening. Turns out it's called Gospel Day. And what they do is they celebrate when the missionaries first came to their island. And how they do that is they bring a replica of the wooden sailing ship that came to their island.
They fill it full of food and toiletries and stuff like that for the needy in their community to pass out. And they dance and sing. And it's the most beautiful gospel centric, wonderful thing ever. But what it looks like is if you're the pastor of the church in the parsonage, is you got 100 plus people dancing around the gym playing music really, really loud.
And, you know, up till midnight, you know, and on a school night, you know what makes you go to school the next morning. And so that that's that's the type of life where you have to be very, very, very, very, very flexible. Very. One more very. The biggest thing I've learned is I'm never going back to how I worshiped God before.
I'm not. Being a follower of Christ means that it permeates every aspect of how you live your life as you prepare for the next. The only reason that at the moment of salvation, you're not whisked away to heaven at that moment is because we have a job to do. And that's to teach others about Christ. And we should be busy about with that responsibility.
And this dynamic of what we have just here in our backyard is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done in my life. Just the absolute honor to be able to preach Christ in this environment is something I've never had before. And I'm not going back to worshiping God where I sit on a pew at this time on Sunday.
And then at the minute that this clock strikes noon, I'm out of there going to the restaurant and I've done my duty for the week. That's not going to be the way we're going to live our life. Doesn't mean that I'll be pastor of this church till the day I die.
I may very well be that. But whatever we do, we're going to follow Christ in every aspect that we can do. And a great job by Monty Montgomery on the production. By the way, I love the line that Josh said. The nations are coming to us. Let's not live in fear. Let's get to know and serve these people. Our faith and action story.
So many great stories in this great country of people of all faiths serving their God here on our American story. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year. And UnitedHealthcare 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 UHCmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare.
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 percent 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 Kittredge London brought to us by author Iris 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 Kittredge London. We have known very little about Charmian. It's only as of 2020 that the first full length biography on Charmian Kittredge 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's author Iris 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 Kittredge London. And I had seen that photo a million times in my life. In fact, it's 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 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 Jacqueline and herself.
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 these 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 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 eighteen hundreds, a woman who was college educated, a woman who was driven to find a career. She burned those because he didn't understand it. He thought because she didn't get married and had different people who she dated, that she must be, 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 Huntington Library. And at that point, what that did when his book came out and started saying these things like she was an airhead, she 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 Clarice does 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 State Park, things were telling a different story than how they really were. So it's important to know who she really was. And that's where the book begins, is with that question. Charmian's family moved across the country following the gold rush and started their lives in California, where Charmian 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 Charmian was propped up on the bar.
She's five years old, talking to all the people who 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 Netta, Nanetta, who ended up raising Charmian, sent her away to Oakland to be raised by her aunt. And that's when Charmian started to really come into her own. Fast forward several years and when Charmian is 14 years old, her father came up to visit.
And during that, he felt ill. What happened was they sent Charmian 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 that 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 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 would look 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, 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'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 a book. So a lot of like Tess of the D'Urbervilles 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 Bess Mattern out of like this commitment towards being a writer and getting a schedule. You know, he thought they would make very nice children together.
And so Charmian was like, that's weird, whatever, you know. But something between the relationship really sparked something in her. And she's like, you know what, I'm going to 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 Iris 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. At 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 UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, 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. 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 Jamal Dunkel share the story of her book, Charmian Kittredge 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 Jamal 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 going to 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 sappiness. And sometimes they'd write to each other like three, four times a day. And 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 in each other this kind of mirror image of who they wanted.
And so, I think 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 because he's a celebrity at this point.
He's written Call of the Wild. He filed for divorce. In California law at that time, you had to wait a year before you could get married. And so, it was really troubling for Jack. He actually finally morally was dealing with the fact that he was leaving his young family and feeling bad.
But he still did it. They got married the 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 were in Hawaii. They both learned how to surf. And what's notable is how Jack would record 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 Waikīkī. 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. And they had planned 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 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 had to end the trip, 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 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 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 seem 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 deer ago, 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 deer ago, 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 going to 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 charming sleeping porch, came in and told her how much he loved her and said he was going to go read. And he she looked over a few hours later and he was slumped over and she thought he'd just fallen asleep.
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. Charmian 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 23000 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. And a special thanks to Irish Jamal Dunkel for her story and sharing her book, Charmian Kittredge London Trailblazer Author Adventure.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-16 15:35:19 / 2023-02-16 15:52:33 / 17