&x27Everything Was Strange&x27 : Mail-Order Bride&x27s Life in Alaska No Honeymoon – Los Angeles Times

Another cold winter was looming in Wyoming, and Karen Main was bored with her job, disappointed in her marriage, and frustrated with the monotony of everyday life.

Three months later, after responding to a mail order bride, I was living in Hope, Alaska, in a cabin with no plumbing, heat, or electricity.

I slept in a flea infested bed and traveled 90 miles once a month to go shopping in Anchorage.

Now, two years after she asked a gold miner she’d never met to “get me out of this”-the monotony of life in Gillette, Wyoming-Karen Main is divorced again, living in San Jose with his mother, working as a secretary for an electronics broker and enjoying the monotony of everyday life.

“As horrible as it was, it was the best year of my life,” Main recalled of his time with Don (Hindu) Carga. “I loved Alaska.”

Main, 46, was one of hundreds of American women who wrote letters to a handful of Alaskan mail-order brides after their leader, Tom Williams, appeared on the Phil Donahue television show.

williams was the only other man to find a girlfriend, and she dumped him after only three months of discovering what life with hope was really like. The wedding took place in Japan and was not binding in the US anyway.

main held on, at least for a while.

“He was serious,” Main said during a recent interview at his office in Cupertino. “I had every intention of moving on from the beginning.”

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says she was the “first modern mail order bride”.

burden, 40, followed main to northern california and works as a truck driver and lives out of a suitcase.

“I still love him,” he said. “I’m keeping track of him. I know where she is. ”

Their rocky relationship got off to a rocky start.

two years ago, he quickly responded to main’s offer to “take me” and flew to wyoming for a 10-day visit.

“It was a disaster,” main recalled. “We had nothing in common.”

However, after further correspondence, Main flew to Alaska for a visit in the spring of 1986. He stayed for a year.

“It was a little dirty and rough,” he said, “and it was kind of attractive. he taught me to pan for gold. We went ice skating together. We went horseback riding and to the movies in Anchorage.”

But the charge, a large, bearded man known to his friends as a Hindu, was two-faced, Main said.

“I was a vietnam veteran and almost schizophrenic,” he said. “He beat me. He almost killed me multiple times, just snap, and he was someone else.”

They were married in July 1986 and divorced six months later.

the wedding was performed by williams at paystreke, the tourist attraction and mock mining town he built five miles from hope. the event had all the tradition and attire of a 19th century wedding, complete with top hats and dresses, can-can girls, and ragtime music.

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There was no honeymoon, apart from the short drive to the nearby town of Moose Pass for dinner after the newlyweds finished cleaning up the mess from the wedding celebration.

beautiful in summer

hope, said main, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world during the summer, when the sun shines almost 24 hours a day. during winter, however, the entire town remains covered in snow and darkness prevails for almost a couple of hours a day.

“All the people I met with hope were strangers,” he said. “There was Wild Bill, Hippie John and Cracker Jack, he was the town chiropractor. hope is where all those who can’t get anywhere else in the world end up. they are all gold miners there.”

One of the hardest things about living in Alaska, Main said, was being away from her burden: She was her fourth husband and has a son and a daughter and two grandchildren from previous marriages.

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