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During the spring of 2012 Betty Clark Mong, at age ninety-one, was in failing health. She realized she still had one unfulfilled, lifelong dream that she just could not let go of. That dream was to have a book written about her life and her philosophies. Betty wanted to share all she knew about living with challenges and the best ways to help others with disabilities. And she knew who she wanted to write it. She just had to figure out how to find her.
Weeks and many, many phone calls later she found her long-lost friend, writer Joanna Stark. She liked Joanna’s writing style and was also aware of her hearing disability. The combination of talent and sensitivity to disability issues made Joanna the perfect choice. Finally in touch, Betty convinced Joanna to take on the project. And that is how a short, blind woman and a tall, deaf woman began a yearlong odyssey, racing against time, to turn that last wish into a book. A Woman of Vision is a true story of courage, determination and vivid blindness.
THE BOOK in one sentence!
A Woman of Vision is an inspiring true story of Betty Clark Mong who lived a rich life full of First Ladies, Hollywood elite, Vegas mobsters, work and romances all with profound vision loss - then the unthinkable happened.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joanna Stark is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and educator. She has a daughter, Raya, and two stepsons Kris and Kevin, and lives in Southern California with her husband, Ron.
"Writing with Betty was an opportunity of a lifetime. It was the most unique experience in every possible way and one that I would not trade for anything!"
The Beverly Hill Billies and Betty
".........Word got around about a little blond girl with braces on her legs who could belt out a song, and a Los Angeles radio station invited me to perform live on one of their shows. What a thrill! It was there that I met the Beverly Hill Billies.
This was many years before television became a household fixture, so the Beverly Hill Billies I knew were not from the 1960s Beverly Hillbillies, the TV series most people are aware of. These Hill Billies were a popular country band of the 1920s and ’30s that tried to convince people they were real hillbillies that had come down from a remote area of the mountains surrounding Beverly Hills. The members included Tom Murray, Ashley “Jad” Scraggins, Shug Fisher, Norman Hedges, Chuck Cook, and Len Dossey. Their theme song was “Red River Valley". "
Betty tells her favorite holiday story in the chapter USO and the Sprig. During the Second World War many families, including the Clark family, opened their homes to service men and women during the holidays.
"........A couple of years into the war, I was serving coffee and donuts at the USO and a young man came into the through the line and said, “Hi, Betty. You might not remember me, but I was at your house for Christmas two years ago. I am home on leave for a couple of weeks now, and I am so glad to run into you here again. I have something I want to show you.” He placed a little, dried sprig from a pine tree in my hand. “I snapped it off the beautiful Christmas tree at your house and put it in my wallet to remind me of home and the wonderful afternoon I had at your house. It has been with me though some really tough times in this war, and when I thought I could not stand one more minute, I would take it out and hold it. This little bit of your Christmas tree has given me such comfort in the times I needed it most. So I hope you don’t mind that I broke off this little bit from your tree. I am really glad I found you here today because I wanted to thank you and your family for sharing your home and your hearts. ”
I was so touched by his story that tears filled my eyes. I handed him back the sprig, and he put it back in his wallet. I gave him a hug, and he moved down the line, leaving me with a wonderful memory that would last a lifetime."
TESTIMONIALS AND REVIEWS
"A Woman of Vision demonstrates that perfect vision is not just of the eyes. Thank you Betty and Joanna for bringing us into the light."
Anna "Patty Duke" Pearce, Academy Award and
Emmy winning actress, author and singer
"The Miracle Worker"
“Captivating! I became familiar with Betty Clark Mong years ago when her story was selected for inclusion in a book I co-authored called Masters of Success—I was fascinated by Joanna Stark’s inspirational story about Betty then and A Woman of Vision has enthralled me now. This is a truly compelling book about an extraordinary woman who epitomized courage, determination, and hope and whose story will forever change the way you view the world.”
Ivan Misner, Ph.D., NY Times Bestselling Author and Founder of BNI®
"Anyone who has ever had a moment of self-doubt or faced seemingly insurmountable odds will find inspirational comfort from A Woman of Vision and Betty's incredible life story. Her contributions to the film industry were invaluable and her grace, grit and humor make her a true American treasure."
Denise DuBarry-Hay, Actress, Entrepreneur and
Past President of Palm Springs Women in Film and Television
“A Woman of Vision is a wonderful tribute to the transformational power of courage, perseverance, and compassion. Betty has inspired me personally to become a better physician for my patients, a better leader and teacher for my students, a better husband and parent, and a better person. You, as a reader of this book, will also be touched and inspired and you will also be a better person."
Ronald E. Smith, M.D.
Professor and Chairman
Doheny Eye Institute
Keck School of Medicine of the
University of Southern California
Department of Ophthalmology
"I usually avoid books about blindness because the authors either make us out to be poor, little helpless people or to be superheroes. I end up picking apart those books paragraph by paragraph. You
did not put Betty in either category. Betty was Betty,--a fun-loving, popular person with great qualities and flaws, like everyone else. Someone who had a very interesting life. I can't pick apart "A Woman of Vision" because it was great from start to finish. It's a splendid book"
Betty's Longtime Friend,
Colleague and Confidant
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