Glurge: Article details efforts of John Glenn's wife to overcome stuttering.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, March 2012]
For half a century, the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original
But for all these years, Glenn has had a hero of his own, someone who he has seen display endless courage of a different kind:
They have been married for 68 years.
He is 90; she turned 92 on Friday.
This weekend there has been news coverage of the
He has never really bought that.
Because the heroism he most cherishes is of a sort that is seldom cheered. It belongs to the person he has known longer than he has known anyone else in the world.
[Rest of article here.]
Origins: Most Americans are familiar with the exploits of John Glenn, a former U.S. Marine Corps pilot who, as one of the original
Much less well known is John Glenn's wife, the former Annie Castor, whom Glenn had known since childhood and married when he was a 21-year-old combat pilot during World
A 1982 Los Angeles Times article on the subject of Annie Glenn's speaking out about her disability reported that:
Until she underwent a new form of intensive, live-in treatment three years ago at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College in Roanoke, Va.,
Although she still stutters slightly and speaks haltingly, Mrs. Glenn can perform all those once impossible tasks. She even gives campaign speeches, maybe not with as much polish as other wives, but certainly with more pluck.
At a private athletic club in Cleveland,
"For the first time in my life," said Annie Glenn, age 62, "I can carry on a conversation."
It wasn't so long ago that Mrs. Glenn, classified as an 85% stutterer, would have found it impossible, even, to travel by airplane from Washington to Cleveland by herself unless she wrote down what she wanted for the airline employee at the ticket counter. She told the audience of such an experience and how the men wrote notes back, thinking she was deaf.
During the slow, agonizing process in which stutterers try to force out sounds, often with their hearts beating at an accelerated rate, their palms sweating, their cheeks blushing and their heads bobbing,
Sometimes Mrs. Glenn would walk away rather than continue the ordeal of shopping.
Her husband had to make all the telephone calls to repairmen and friends. Her neighbors had to call the doctor when her children became ill and go to the hospital with her to talk with the doctors.
Mrs. Glenn had undergone several traditional speech therapies but experienced little or no improvement until she enrolled herself for two different sessions at the Hollins Institute, most recently in September of 1978. The therapy lasts
After taking the therapy twice, Mrs. Glenn still sees a therapist twice a month at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, and she practices every
"She talks to her buddies all over the world," John Glenn said, pretending to resent the phone bills. "This is a dramatic, new life for her."
Today, the wife of Ohio Sen. John Glenn has broken through a sound barrier. "Being able to talk to people is something I could never do," she says. "My life is like a dream."
In numerous conversations [on the campaign trail] throughout a day that started before dawn and ended long after sunset, [the couple] talked about Mrs. Glenn's newly acquired ability to speak fluently and the impact of her lifetime of stuttering on their marriage, children and career.
"John would make all my telephone calls," Mrs. Glenn says, shooting a stern look at her husband as he reached for a third chocolate bar. "I would try to go shopping but couldn't ask the clerk what I wanted, so I would hunt and hunt. A lot of the time I'd go out of the store empty-handed because I couldn't find what I wanted."
It was in 1974, after Mrs. Glenn enrolled in a speech program at Hollins College near Roanoke, Va., that her speech improved noticeably. But she didn't keep up the daily therapy sessions or return for refresher courses, and she regressed.
After a second session at Hollins and a program of daily therapy,
"Annie was never silent to me," [Glenn] says. "But to see her at this age branch out to things she was interested in but could never participate in ..."
Blackman, Ann. "Annie Glenn Conquers Her Stuttering." The [Newburgh] Evening News 24 December 1983 (p. A5). Cuniberti, Betty. "Mrs. John Glenn Speaks Out to Fight Stuttering Disability." Los Angeles Times 16 June 1982 (p. G1). Greene, Bob. "John Glenn's True Hero." CNN.com. 20 February 2012.