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Happy Birthday to one of my favorite writers, Jack London! Last summer, leaving the Bay Area, heading north across the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 101, I saw an exit for Napa Valley and took a last second detour. Pulling over to consult my Adventure Atlas, I noticed I was near the Valley of the Moon, home of Jack London’s Beauty Ranch, now open to the public.
When I was young, my friend Jessie’s dad published a biography about Jack London. Somehow, I thought that meant Mr. Claflin knew Jack London, whom I revered from his Alaskan dog stories Call of the Wild and White Fang. I remember being struck when I learned that Jack was dead, and had been dead for some time.
Jack London was only 40 when he went to sleep on the oak-shaded porch at his cottage and never awoke, a victim of kidney…
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