National Geographic : 1952 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine A Doctor from North Star Makes the Rounds at Each Port of Call Mary S. Sherman, an orthopedic surgeon from University of Chicago, examined this patient on St. Law rence Island. Clara Gaddie, the ship's nurse on the 9,000-mile voyage, packed 200 teeth with temporary fillings, extracted 50, and made X-ray examinations. Eskimos marveled at nurse's ability to see everything "inside." We speak with them little, because we think their Russian officers had taught them bad feeling for our country." Last Fourth of July, John told me, the Es kimos won the tug-of-war against the Army and Coast Guard boys stationed in Gambell. "The soldiers tell Eskimos we win because we eat blubber," John said. "Natives tell soldier and Coast Guard boys they must eat more Wheaties and build up to beat Eskimos." During the war, Joe E. Brown, the come dian, while on a USO tour, was stormbound in Gambell overnight and entertained the na tives. Because he plainly liked them, they took an instant liking to him. The Gambell council thereafter proclaimed March 18 "Joe E. Brown Day" and a public holiday. There is no school that day; the men lay aside their sealing guns, and the children get bubble gum. "We, the council of Gambell, St. Lawrence Island," reads the islanders' proclamation, "say and make rule that every March 18 must be holiday called Mr. Joe E. Brown Day, be cause he make happy this day. All works should stop and we think about March 18, 1942, when Joe E. Brown and many very good men came to this island." Guns for Eskimo Guardsmen Unloading in Gambell took several days, because of rough weather. Once, as a long wooden box was lowered into a whaleboat, the Eskimos bubbled with excitement. "Our guns!" they shouted. Then one turned to me, explaining, "We are all members of Alaska National Guard." Here, at one of the northern outposts of our continent, alert Eskimos stand watch at our first line of defense (page 70). As we plunged southward toward the Aleu tian passes, the Pacific Ocean, and home, I stood at the North Star's rail, recalling the ad ventures, encounters, and comic relief of two months and 9,000 miles of cruising amid north ern mists and gales. Above all, I felt deep appreciation for the opportunity I had enjoyed to witness the courage, skill, and cheerful will ingness of Uncle Sam's Eskimo citizens.