This Week's Story

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Carl navigates life-twists with school, military, and jobs; and his dream lives.

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

The Dream Germinates, part two

Carl’s life zigzagged as he went to Yale Medical School. His marriage had halted in divorce. He met and married Peri-Ann, with whom he spent the next 51 years. He knowingly did not wait six months to marry her after his divorce, which resulted in his suspension from medical school.

No longer did he have a student exemption from the United States military, and it was the season of the Vietnam War. He was drafted into the military. Soon he was at a military station near the Mexican border tending United States soldiers returning from Mexico with disease. Then he was sent to serve in a toxicology lab at the Army Chemical Warfare Center for the remainder of two years military duty.

As a kid he’d lived with many homes, schools, people, and rules. His curiosity was still acute. He had a startling sharp memory of what he read and observed, and he kept skills he had learned along life’s twists. He was not going to just let life happen. His dream of travel was alive.

After military duty he got a job as an inhalation toxicologist. It was a miserable job. From early dawn until dark he worked below window

level in a lab. Nature could not be seen! It was in the hunting stories from Alaska that he began reading!

He and Peri-Ann moved thousands of miles to Alaska. There were no toxicology jobs there. So, he returned to school and earned his master’s degree in wildlife biology. He became a wildlife biologist in Copper Center, Alaska and built a home for Peri-Ann, himself, and their two children. From beginning to finish he and his wife were the carpenters.

They were Alaskans in the pioneer style, willing to prepare for temperatures that dropped to 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. They thrived on challenge. Chop your wood. Fill your woodshed. Provide for water and electricity through emergencies. Will you use a cache box outdoors for your winter freezer? When will you plant a garden, hunt moose, get salmon from a fishwheel, and gather berries? Will local people accept you? What will the schools be like?

Independence was part of Carl’s DNA. From childhood on farms in Oklahoma he had learned skills for indoor and outdoor work, hard work, and pride in jobs done well with no luxury. Alaska was now home, especially Copper Center.

Change came. Carl’s job was transferred to Anchorage, Alaska. Anchorage was the biggest population center in Alaska, though its 1970 population was only 48,029 people. Alaska was the biggest state in the U.S., and it had the smallest population of any of the fifty states.

For Carl’s family moving meant leaving home where they loved to live. Their son and daughter were enrolled in college, but home was Copper Center. The family decided, “We are not leaving Copper Center.”

Soon Carl was starting businesses and jobs, and eventually taking an early retirement at age 47. He purchased a sailboat of minimal size for ocean travel around the world. With Peri-Ann, travel was coming.

This is Barbara Steiner inviting you to return for part three. Visit: thisweeksstory.com.

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