This Week's Story

Carl's travels in books ignite a dream. He will travel around the world.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

The Beginning of a Dream,
part one

Carl lay on the kitchen floor intent on the tiny figures he moved. They were little people acting out games he invented. He paid no attention to strangers stepping over him on their way to speaking with his mother.

Mother was busy, too busy to make friends with neighbors or play with her young son. With steady perseverance she provided for Carl and herself. She waitressed, sorted laundry at a laundromat, and managed a boarding house.

During school months Carl spent hours alone. He had no neighborhood friends, though there were neighborhood fights. He learned to defend himself well. Before he was born, his father had died. By the time he was five his three siblings had left home, two for the military. Summers often were with Aunt Maude and Uncle Elmer. Their subsistence farm supplied basic needs.

The Great Depression of the 1930’s in the United States caught Carl, his mom, and millions of Americans. People struggled to find work to pay monthly rent or farm mortgages. Profits were small and work often unavailable.

In school Carl’s reading skills came swiftly. By second or third grade he was ready for book adventure. One wonderful day his schoolteacher took him to the town public library in Wichita, Kansas.

The librarian introduced him to the writer Jack London. Carl jumped from reading stories like the “The Three Little Pigs” to London’s Call of the Wild.

“Once there was an old mother pig who had three little pigs.

“One day she said to them, ‘You are big enough now to find your own food and build your own homes. But watch out for the wolf, because I can’t take care of you any more.’”

Carl left the three little pigs and explored London’s book Call of the Wild. Its first page began:

“Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland.”

With those words Carl’s dream began!

When he was seven, his mother remarried, and they moved to Oklahoma. School continued to be easy. Most of the students lived on farms, worked hard, and developed practical skills. Carl had no personal ambition to attend college, but people expected him to go. He went.

His humanities classes were stimulating. In the great classics of literature, philosophy, and history he found people, events and ideas to feed his curiosity. He began a degree in civil engineering and then switched to pre-medicine. Medicine seemed less boring. Yale School of Medicine followed. Eventually his dream impelled him to travels around the world.

Return for part two with Carl McIlroy, as introduced to you by Barbara Steiner. Check out www.thisweeksstory.com.

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