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Give Peace A Chance: Jan Stapleman & Frank Chalmers

2021-11-05 | 🔗

This week, two stories of standing up and being heard. This episode is hosted by Moth Producer Chloe Salmon. To see the extras for this episode, head to our website: themoth.org/extras

Hosted by: Chloe Salmon

Storytellers: Jan Stapleman & Frank Chalmers

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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come to the moth podcast, I'm Chloe Salmon your host for this week when I think about what it takes to be engaged human being standing up for what you believe in tops the list to push for what you think is right requires the brain three to find your voice and the conviction to re said so. Others can hear and respond in this. We episode we have two stories of standing up and being heard. First. Storyteller is Jen Stableman, gentlemen, The story Slim in Denver where the theme of the night was love, hurts here's Jan live at the mouth, little tiny bit. I was seventeen years old lie In a nightmare of pain in a hospital delivery, room. I was surrounded by people dressed in white.
I was alone and terrified. I didn't know anything about giving birth and obviously even less about birth control and Nobody was explaining anything to me I wait about, eighty some pounds when I got pregnant at age. Sixteen because I wanted so much to look like Twiggy. but I managed to give birth that night to almost nine pound baby girl. My baby, his father. Who literally was the boy next door said we'll get married, but I want to get married. We were too clueless teenagers and I knew I wasn't ready to be a mom before we left. The hospital we stopped at the nursery. and though the oh, my god, she was the most beautiful baby in the nursery we stood there holding on to each other and weeping and then we walked away. We left there, no,
that the folks handling the adoption would be there soon with back to our lives, finished high school. I started college we drifted apart, up and eventually started our own families more than thirty years passed. Then one day I got a phone call, My daughter had launched this epic search and private investigator found me. I was thrilled. Started. Writing letters, exchanging photos talking on the phone, this heavy dark seat but I had been carrying around for more than thirty years, fell away and was replaced with light with the press. Active knowing and loving my daughter, She lived in a southern city with her husband, whose an executive they had too little boys. I visited them. She, visited me. She gave birth to a daughter.
She's. So, like me, in so many ways she looks a lot like me. Her voice is a lot like mine and she, strong in her opinions like I am there were some dark clouds gathering in the background, but I thought we could overcome Yes, she belonged to a conservative southern christian church, whereas if I can classified in any religion, a concept I reject. I guess be closer to the Rainbow family. It's true. Her politics put her firmly on the right, whereas Eileen far to the left, but it's location, my daughter, I figure all we have to who is just get to know and love, for each other and everything will turn out just fine. What could go wrong so I started, employing diversionary tactics whenever our com crustacean, veer toward any topic that might divide us and it worked for a while.
And then she started thanking me in every conversation for being antiabortion. you weren't against abortion. She said I wouldn't be here, I'm not Against abortion, if that means going back to the days when young women died, because their choice, we're disgrace or a backing. Abortion, but I didn't want to. I didn't want to argue with her. I knew this topic was painful for her, so I was a coward I was a coward. I didn't tell her the truth. I just avoided any topics that might divide us Usually I'm out spoken about my beliefs, but I didn't want to argue with my daughter about this. There was a deep rift growing between the right and the left and they were beginning to regard each other is the enemy I couldn't let that happen, between me and my daughter.
she knew I was dodging the topic of abortion, so she pressed me during a phone call. I said okay so they might disagree about some things, but that's all right. We don't. Have to share the same opinions. Let's embrace all the things that we have in common she burst, into tears and yelled. If I want to ban conceived after Robbie where you would have killed me, I didn't really remember that she was born before Roby Wade. All I remembered was that as a teen, I knew about abortion, but I had no idea how to get one I said, but I have an abortion, and I'm so glad I didn't a few days after that: phone cause. She sent me an email and told me there. She didn't respect my values. I could never be a mother to her. She told me to never try to contact her I had lost my daughter again and the pain was unbearable
I know she was striking out because she was hurrying to sugar grow in a loving home, but always wondering why her birth parents walked away from that hospital without or what could her? More than that then She launches the search, perhaps pig. During a foolish, lively type mom she could relate to and instead She finds me an aging Hippy more along the line of glorious Steinem sheep finally finds me, and I turn out to be the enemy. after a few years. She sent me a letter at Christmas time. She apologized for hurting well what she wrote was that as a Christian, she couldn't just I heard someone like that so now, weren't period of Dayton. We exchange polite emails about the way third, the kids activities are work. We don't talk about. Anything of consequence
We don't share our deepest thoughts, beliefs, dreams but slowness wearing touch, there's hope right. I figure, I'm gonna do everything I can to keep that door open Maybe this search isn't over. Maybe if we just keep talking someday, we can get past the pain. and find our way to love. That was Jan stableman as self described word nerd Jan has channeled her passions for writing and editing into a career in communications and publishing she does that when she's, not obsessing about grammar and punctuation she's, likely, hiking or working out, Jan is happy.
when she summoning peaks, exploring canyons and backpacking wherever the trail leads her our next You tell is Frank, Chalmers, Frank told this story, Slim in London, where the theme of the night was busted. Here's Frank live at the moth. Look you're not expecting anything professional like the last time I came to London as a student. I didn't expect the streets to be paved with gold or even crack cocaine, my arrival coincided with the coming to power of one of the most vicious and ideological governments that this countries are proceeding. an overnight. I stop being an economic project and I became a political activist lots. My friends were checked on the door. We were involved in campaigns against nuclear weapons, apartheid we were acting for civil liberties. We were pretty good. We had an office
We thought we were really great activists and our campaign slogan was jobs, not bombs. One day. An anonymous leaflet was pushed onto the door and said The prime minister will be giving on inaugural lecture at the Church of Saint Lawrence jury next to the Guild Hall and the city of London. Now this was a prime minister who had called Nelson Mandela terrorist, who refused to interview sanctions against apartheid.
Who was closing up to present Reagan was introducing are planning to introduce neutron bombs which killed, could kill millions of people, but would leave property and talked so. My friend and I went down to this church and I've never seen anything so rich and my life we walked in the balcony. Above us, tv cameras from all over the world were setting up with a long island front with pews either side. There was a sight chocolate withhold, hundreds more and at the bottom there was a lectern been set up for the Prime minister, but we were young and we thought you know you ve got to do something. This isn't right, so we decided
We would have a protest the next day and try to find a place half way down the aisle. So we met in a pub and Clarkenwell in a room of other pub. We plan to load a guy called Terry was going to give a speech and the rest of us we're going to stand up and sing, give peace a chance. Eight of us decided that we could do it because we were the only. you had a suit. Are a nice and tie we're gonna come the next day, I'm over at to get their tariff going. Gonna make a speech. I wrote the speech from we're all gonna sing so we turned up an earlier this church, no chance it was packed. People had been there for hours, all the rich and famous for their. We couldn't even get in the door and then the vicar came to.
close the door. He saw how disappointed we were, but only young ones there. Everyone else was in fur coats and pinstripe suits and he said, don't be disappointed. My children Finally something and it took us- and there are no seats on. I thought this not even any room at the end here never mind at the manger. Analyses come follow me on. It took us right down, front. Did these choir boxes either side, and I thought this is this cycle, so I was sitting with Jerry. These choir boxes of you can feel the sweat dripping here was starting to rise in the back of a next. This guy Kim's did behind US
and I recognize them heaves special branch after the always open the door, the Prime Minister's car, but he stood behind us this time and he had his hand and these breast pocket, and I thought we had a year- carry suddenly opened this big bible at the sitting in front of us he said it was said, and these are words had never had before. He said I've lost me by all my said. Martin, I've lost my ball. I had no idea which bottle he was talking about Come from. Scotland never had the spread of wheat keys to do a bit more n. All night about this again
my god. What we're gonna do, like all others warning about, is remembered the words for give peace a chance and they play easy. So looked around loose Agrippa built behind us, but ten or twelve feet in the air. I've gotta do something just then the Prime minister came in and I count to three soon as MRS Thatcher but our hands on the lake turn. I ran up into the building was silent I remembered the speech because I'd written the bloody I said: how can you call yourself a Christian when you're you're supporting up update and South Africa? Can you call yourself a Christian but you're, going to consign a million young people to the door and all came out there was silence in the church knocked. You knew what to do, because we weren't throwing eggs. We weren't swearing women fighting. I must have got thirty seconds of free speech.
On the tv cameras. One of the world are gonna is, and then Suddenly, these kids, it worth me, stood up and started singing. All we are seeing is gave me, and it was so amazing. Suddenly I felt his hands on my back. I turned around chief superintendent, he said: will you come quietly or otherwise? I said outcome quietly because we ve done their job and it took us. I have as huddled up in the middle of the I'll, carry of course walked out with his hands ass. He was on the front page of the daily meal daily Mirror and the guardian and the next Overall, the press was on every tv bulletin, but we were busted and then released because we haven't done anything illegal. We done an honor
a thing. My moral of the moral of the story is: if you're gonna be busted dont, do it behind a mosque. Do it for something in public that you feel proud of and then And get busted three as well. I woke up from an that whispering Chalmers when he was young Frank expressed. His political views through nonviolent direct action in London now having retired he uses music. In fact, in into the patient of the climate action summit in Glasgow Francs Band, released been asleep too long. The protest song here listening to right now as francs. As you can retire from work, but you can't retire from your principles.
Fifty cent voters, employers from face history of protest and to list, to the rest of this song head over to our website the moth dot, Org, slash extras, that's offer this happen Thank you, too, are storytellers for sharing with us and to you for listening from Oliver. here at the mouth have a story worthy Weak Chloe salmon is a producer. An instructor. Furthermore, community and education programmes and rector on the main stage, her favorite mafia, come on showed is when the party it has done the house lights go down in the magic settles. It. This episode of the moth podcast was produced by Sarah Stinginess, Sir Jane Johnson, Julia Purcell and me Davy somewhere. The rest of the MOSS leadership team includes Catherine Burns. Sarah Haber mean Jennifer, Hickson, MEG, Bulls, Kate, tellers
Jennifer Birmingham, Marina Cliche, Suzanne, rust, Brandon, Grant Inga Glad Dusky in already Kazaa. All moth stories are true has remembered by storytellers from about our broadcast information on pitching your own story and everything else visit. Our website, the moth doc or the moth podcast, is presented by Pierre X, the public radio exchange helping make public radio more public at pr ex dot. Org.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-02.