Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Betty MacDonald and the winners

Bildergebnis für Seattle
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

send us the name of Betty MacDonald's friend who is going to celebrate birthday in March.

It's your last chance today.

Good luck! 

You can win the most interesting new Betty MacDonald fan club items. 

We got so many mails regarding Letizia Mancino's unique Betty MacDonald Essay.

Thanks a lot. 


Thank you so much for Letizia Mancino's great Betty MacDonald essay- very clever the way she wove Betty into her Seattle visit.

I'm sure she was disappointed with our city, much different from Betty's description in her book, except that the harbor is still there, and many of the same buildings, but now too many tall buildings. 

There are still beautiful parks and lovely views in the city. We still have lovely Mt. Rainier smiling down on us when it is clear weather, and beautiful Puget Sound.





Dear Janet, thank you so much for your mail.

Letizia Mancino was not disappointed with Seattle.


Just the opposite. 
She enjoyed her stay very much.

I visited Seattle a year ago. I was delighted. A fascinating place and I'll come back soon.

Of course Seattle has changed a lot since Betty MacDonald described the town in her books.

In my mind Seattle is really a great town and I met so many wonderful personalities.

Janet, you can be very proud living in a town like this.

Thank you so much Letizia.

I guess Germany
or  Poland will win ESC 2016.



Don't miss this very special book, please.

Vita Magica
Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  

Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles

The situation in Germany and Sweden with many refugees is rather difficult. 

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

we share a very special gift by beloved and very popular Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor member Letizia Mancino.

We know you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

Thanks a Million, dear Letizia Mancino.

You are an outstanding writer and artist.

We are so proud and happy to have you with us.

Letizia writes: One should not underestimate Wolfgang Hampel’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty MacDonald’s friends.

We agree. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang Hampel for doing this. You founded Betty MacDonald Fan Club with four members.

Now we have members in 40 countries around the world. A dream came true.

Mary Holmes did an excellent job in translating this great story. 

Thank you so much dear Mary Holmes. 

We are really very grateful.

All the best to Letizia, Wolfgang and Mary and to all Betty MacDonald Fan Club fans from all over the world!


Vita Magica

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund 


Following in Betty’s footsteps in Seattle:

or some small talk with Betty

Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
translated by Mary Holmes

We were going to Canada in the summer. “When we are in Edmonton”, I said to Christoph Cremer, “let’s make a quick trip to Seattle”. And that’s how it happened. At Edmonton Airport we climbed into a plane and two hours later we landed in the city where Betty had lived. I was so happy to be in Seattle at last and to be able to trace Betty’s tracks!

Wolfgang Hampel had told Betty’s friends about our arrival.
They were happy to plan a small marathon through the town and it’s surroundings with us. We only had a few days free. One should not underestimate Wolfgang’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty’s friends, even though it was holiday time. E-mails flew backwards and forwards between Heidelberg and Seattle, and soon a well prepared itinerary was ready for us. Shortly before my departure Wolfgang handed me several parcels, presents for Betty MacDonald's friends. I rushed to pack the heavy gifts in my luggage but because of the extra weight had to throw out a pair of pajamas!

After we had landed we took a taxi to the Hotel in downtown Seattle. I was so curious to see everything. I turned my head in all directions like one of the hungry hens from Betty’s farm searching for food! Fortunately it was quite a short journey otherwise I would have lost my head like a loose screw!
Our hotel room was on the 22nd floor and looked directly out onto the 16-lane highway. There might have been even more than 16 but it made me too giddy to count! It was like a glimpse of hell! “And is this Seattle?” I asked myself. I was horrified! The cars racing by were enough to drive one mad. The traffic roared by day and night.
We immediately contacted Betty MacDonald's friends and let them know we had arrived and they confirmed the times when we should see them.

On the next morning I planned my first excursion tracing Betty’s tracks. I spread out the map of Seattle. “Oh dear” I realized “the Olympic Peninsula is much too far away for me to get there.”
Betty nodded to me! “Very difficult, Letizia, without a car.”

“But I so much wanted to see your chicken farm”

“My chickens are no longer there and you can admire the mountains from a distance”

But I wanted to go there. I left the hotel and walked to the waterfront where the State Ferry terminal is. Mamma mia, the streets in Seattle are so steep! I couldn’t prevent my feet from running down the hill. Why hadn’t I asked for brakes to be fixed on my shoes? I looked at the drivers. How incredibly good they must be to accelerate away from the red traffic lights. The people were walking uphill towards me as briskly as agile salmon. Good heavens, these Americans! I tried to keep my balance. The force of gravity is relentless. I grasped hold of objects where I could and staggered down.
In Canada a friend had warned me that in Seattle I would see a lot of people with crutches.

Betty laughed. “ It’s not surprising, Letizia, walking salmon don’t fall directly into the soft mouth of a bear!”
“ Betty, stop making these gruesome remarks. We are not in Firlands!”

I went further. Like a small deranged ant at the foot of a palace monster I came to a tunnel. The noise was unbearable. On the motorway, “The Alaskan Way Viaduct”, cars, busses and trucks were driving at the speed of light right over my head. They puffed out their poisonous gas into the open balconies and cultivated terraces of the luxurious sky- scrapers without a thought in the world. America! You are crazy!
“Betty, are all people in Seattle deaf? Or is it perhaps a privilege for wealthy people to be able to enjoy having cars so near to their eyes and noses to save them from boredom?”

“When the fog democratically allows everything to disappear into nothing, it makes a bit of a change, Letizia”

“ Your irony is incorrigible, Betty, but tell me, Seattle is meant to be a beautiful city, But where?”

I had at last reached the State Ferry terminal.

“No Madam, the ferry for Vashon Island doesn’t start from here,” one of the men in the ticket office tells me. ”Take a buss and go to the ferry terminal in West Seattle.”
Betty explained to me “The island lies in Puget Sound and not in Elliott Bay! It is opposite the airport. You must have seen it when you were landing!”
“Betty, when I am landing I shut my eyes and pray!”

It’s time for lunch. The weather is beautiful and warm. Who said to me that it always rains here?
“Sure to be some envious man who wanted to frighten you away from coming to Seattle. The city is really beautiful, you’ll see. Stay by the waterfront, choose the best restaurant with a view of Elliott Bay and enjoy it.”
“Thank you Betty!”

I find a table on the terrace of “Elliott’s Oyster House”. The view of the island is wonderful. It lies quietly in the sun like a green fleecy cushion on the blue water.
Betty plays with my words:
“Vashon Island is a big cushion, even bigger than Bainbridge which you see in front of your eyes, Letizia. The islands look similar. They have well kept houses and beautiful gardens”.

I relax during this introduction, “Bainbridge” you are Vashon Island, and order a mineral water.

“At one time the hotel belonging to the parents of Monica Sone stood on the waterfront.”
“Oh, of your friend Kimi!” Unfortunately I forget to ask Betty exactly where it was.

My mind wanders and I think of my mountain hike back to the hotel! “Why is there no donkey for tourists?” Betty laughs:

“I’m sure you can walk back to the hotel. “Letizia can do everything.””

“Yes, Betty, I am my own donkey!”

But I don’t remember that San Francisco is so steep. It doesn’t matter, I sit and wait. The waiter comes and brings me the menu. I almost fall off my chair!
“ What, you have geoduck on the menu! I have to try it” (I confess I hate the look of geoduck meat. Betty’s recipe with the pieces made me feel quite sick – I must try Betty’s favourite dish!)
“Proof that you love me!” said Betty enthusiastically “ Isn’t the way to the heart through the stomach?”

I order the geoduck. The waiter looks at me. He would have liked to recommend oysters.
“Geoduck no good for you!”
Had he perhaps read my deepest thoughts? Fate! Then no geoduck. “No good for me.”

“Neither geoduck nor tuberculosis in Seattle” whispered Betty in my ear!
“Oh Betty, my best friend, you take such good care of me!”

I order salmon with salad.

“Which salmon? Those that swim in water or those that run through Seattle?”

“Betty, I believe you want me to have a taste of your black humour.”

“Enjoy it then, Letizia.”

During lunch we talked about tuberculosis, and that quite spoilt our appetite.

“Have you read my book “The Plague and I”?”

“Oh Betty, I’ve started to read it twice but both times I felt so sad I had to stop again!”

“But why?” asked Betty “Nearly everybody has tuberculosis! I recovered very quickly and put on 20 pounds! There was no talk of me wasting away! What did you think of my jokes in the book?”

“Those would have been a good reason for choosing another sanitorium. I would have been afraid of becoming a victim of your humour! You would have certainly given me a nickname! You always thought up such amusing names!” Betty laughed.

“You’re right. I would have called you “Roman nose”. I would have said to Urbi and Orbi “ Early this morning “Roman nose” was brought here. She speaks broken English, doesn’t eat geoduck but she does love cats.”

“Oh Betty, I would have felt so ashamed to cough. To cough in your presence, how embarrassing! You would have talked about how I coughed, how many coughs!”

“It depends on that “how”, Letizia!”

“Please, leave Goethe quotations out of it. You have certainly learnt from the Indians how to differentiate between noises. It’s incredible how you can distinguish between so many sorts of cough! At least 10!”

“So few?”

”And also your descriptions of the patients and the nurses were pitiless. An artistic revenge! The smallest pimple on their face didn’t escape your notice! Amazing.”

“ I was also pitiless to myself. Don’t forget my irony against myself!”

Betty was silent. She was thinking about Kimi, the “Princess” from Japan! No, she had only written good things about her best friend, Monica Sone, in her book “The Plague and I”. A deep friendship had started in the hospital. The pearl that developed from the illness.
“Isn’t it wonderful, Betty, that an unknown seed can make its way into a mollusk in the sea and develop into a beautiful jewel?” Betty is paying attention.

“Betty, the friendship between you and Monica reminds me of Goethe’s poem “Gingo-Biloba”. You must know it?” Betty nods and I begin to recite it:

The leaf of this Eastern tree
Which has been entrusted to my garden
Offers a feast of secret significance,
For the edification of the initiate.

Is it one living thing.
That has become divided within itself?
Are these two who have chosen each other,
So that we know them as one?

The friendship with Monica is like the wonderful gingo-biloba leaf, the tree from the east. Betty was touched. There was a deep feeling of trust between us.
“Our friendship never broke up, partly because she was in distress, endangered by the deadly illness. We understood and supplemented each other. We were like one lung with two lobes, one from the east and one from the west!”
“A beautiful picture, Betty. You were like two red gingo-biloba leaves!”

Betty was sad and said ” Monica, although Japanese, before she really knew me felt she was also an American. But she was interned in America, Letizia, during the second world war. Isn’t that terrible?”

“Betty, I never knew her personally. I have only seen her on a video, but what dignity in her face, and she speaks and moves so gracefully!”

“Fate could not change her”

“Yes, Betty, like the gingo-biloba tree in Hiroshima. It was the only tree that blossomed again after the atom bomb!”

The bill came and I paid at once. In America one is urged away from the table when one has finished eating. If one wants to go on chatting one has to order something else.
“That’s why all those people gossiping at the tables are so fat!” Betty remarks. “Haven’t you seen how many massively obese people walk around in the streets of America. Like dustbins that have never been emptied!” With this typically unsentimental remark Betty ended our conversation.

Ciao! I so enjoyed the talk; the humour, the irony and the empathy. I waved to her and now I too felt like moving! I take a lovely walk along the waterfront.

Now I am back in Heidelberg and when I think about how Betty’s “Princessin” left this world on September 5th and that in August I was speaking about her with Betty in Seattle I feel very sad. The readers who knew her well (we feel that every author and hero of a book is nearer to us than our fleeting neighbours next door) yes we, who thought of her as immortal, cannot believe that even she would die after 92 years. How unforeseen and unexpected that her death should come four days after her birthday on September 1th. On September 5th I was on my way to Turkey, once again in seventh heaven, looking back on the unforgettable days in Seattle. I was flying from west to east towards the rising sun.

Clinton and Trump Win Arizona; Cruz Picks Up Utah; Sanders Takes 2

Donald J. Trump on Monday in Washington.  
Credit Zach Gibson/The New York Times
Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump overwhelmed their rivals in the Arizona primaries on Tuesday, a show of might from two presidential front-runners who are hoping to avoid prolonging the nominating contest and begin training their fire on each other.
But Senator Bernie Sanders thrashed Mrs. Clinton in the Idaho and Utah Democratic caucuses, demonstrating his enduring appeal among liberal activists even as she closes in on the party’s nomination. And Senator Ted Cruz, who won the Republican contest in Utah, captured more than 50 percent of the vote, giving him all 40 of the state’s delegates and sustaining hope among Mr. Trump’s opponents that he can be slowed, if not stopped.
Mrs. Clinton’s commanding victory in Arizona, where 75 Democratic delegates were at stake, gave her the night’s biggest prize, and her margin there was substantial enough that Mr. Sanders was unlikely to emerge with significantly more delegates, though he took two states to her one.
Speaking to supporters in Seattle after winning Arizona, Mrs. Clinton looked past her primary. She used her remarks mainly to address the terrorist assault on Brussels and turned toward an attack on Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz, the two leading Republican contenders.
“The last thing we need, my friends, are leaders who incite more fear,” Mrs. Clinton said. “In the face of terror, America doesn’t panic. We don’t build walls or turn our backs on our allies. We can’t throw out everything we know about what works and what doesn’t and start torturing.”
She added, “This is a time for America to lead, not cower, and we will lead, and we will defeat terrorism and defend our friends and allies.”
Mr. Trump easily defeated Mr. Cruz in Arizona, taking all 58 of its Republican delegates and adding to his delegate lead despite Mr. Cruz’s romp in Utah.
The victories recorded by Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump showcased the strengths that have propelled them to huge advantages in their respective nomination fights. Mrs. Clinton once again demonstrated her loyal following among older and nonwhite Democrats, both significant constituencies in Arizona. And Mr. Trump proved his appeal among immigration hard-liners, who make up a large bloc of Republicans in the border state.
But Tuesday has also shown why the two dominant candidates are still locked in primaries even as blossoms bloom and Easter approaches. Mrs. Clinton continues to struggle in heavily white states that vote through caucuses, like Idaho and Utah. And Mr. Trump’s landslide loss in heavily Mormon Utah was a reminder of his challenges with some of the Republican Party’s most religious voters, and of the uneasiness of many conservatives with their front-runner.
Still, Mrs. Clinton’s triumph in Arizona, which Mr. Sanders aggressively contested, offered a psychological boost as she heads into a stretch of contests in states likely to favor Mr. Sanders, like Alaska and Washington, where losses could underscore her lingering vulnerabilities among Democrats.
A hoarse Mr. Sanders, speaking to thousands of supporters in San Diego midway through the evening, claimed credit for what he called “record-breaking turnouts.” Ignoring his lopsided loss in Arizona, he noted that he had won 10 contests so far and predicted, correctly as it turned out, that he would win “a couple more tonight.”

Senator Bernie Sanders arrived at a rally in San Diego on Tuesday. 
Credit Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press
Republicans hoping to stop Mr. Trump suffered another blow as he carried Arizona by a wide margin: He was on a course to receive more votes than Mr. Cruz and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio combined. If his opponents fail to defeat him in Wisconsin, where voters go to the polls in two weeks, they are unlikely to stop him from clinching the nomination on the last day of voting in June.
Mr. Trump’s easy victory in Arizona also provided a sharp rebuttal to assertions by Mr. Cruz that he would struggle in the remaining contests because so many of them allow only Republicans to vote. Aided by Arizona’s generous early-voting laws, Mr. Trump showed that he can win handily in states with closed Republican primaries, where Democrats and independents are barred from voting.
Mr. Trump’s more precise vulnerability appears to have been in states holding caucuses, where organizational strength can be decisive. But after Tuesday, there are no such contests left.
Turnout by voters in Arizona, Utah and Idaho was unusually high, with long lines — some snaking for several blocks — at polling places and caucus sites.
The ballot counting in Arizona was delayed as officials extended voting to account for people who were waiting in line, for hours in some cases, when the polls closed at 7 p.m. In Utah, some Democratic caucus sites had to print additional ballots to accommodate the turnout.
Tuesday’s Western contests came as Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton have both demonstrated strength in a string of recent primaries.

Hillary Clinton greeted supporters at a rally in Seattle on Tuesday.  
Credit David Ryder for The New York Times
Mr. Trump, who won four of the five contests on March 15, including Florida and Illinois, has built a substantial delegate advantage over Mr. Cruz, and he campaigned aggressively in Arizona in the hopes of capitalizing on his success and reinforcing the perception that his nomination is inevitable.
He drew thousands of supporters last weekend to events near Phoenix and in Tucson, both of which drew impassioned protests.
An important part of what has galvanized his admirers and opponents alike is Mr. Trump’s tough talk on immigration. His harsh stance on the subject drove some of Arizona’s most prominent immigration hard-liners, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, the state’s largest, to Mr. Trump’s side.
The Democratic contenders sought to exploit the alliance between the sheriff and Mr. Trump, hoping to appeal to white liberals and to Hispanics, who make up around 30 percent of Arizona’s population.
“When I see people like Sheriff Arpaio and others who are treating fellow human beings with such disrespect, such contempt, it just makes my heart sink,” Mrs. Clinton said at a rally on Monday in Phoenix.
Mr. Sanders has been just as outspoken about Sheriff Arpaio, who has drawn criticism for his aggressive tactics in arresting and detaining illegal immigrants. “It’s easy for bullies like Sheriff Joe Arpaio to pick on people who have no power,” Mr. Sanders said to supporters on Monday in Flagstaff.

Senator Ted Cruz held a news conference on Tuesday in New York. 
Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times
Arizona was the most heavily contested of the three states voting on Tuesday in the Democratic race, in which Mrs. Clinton has opened a nearly insurmountable lead after sweeping all five states that voted on March 15.
Only registered Democrats were allowed to vote in Arizona, posing an obstacle to Mr. Sanders, who typically overwhelms Mrs. Clinton among independents.
Utah and Idaho, by contrast, were voting through caucuses, not primaries, and have largely white populations — two frequent indications of success for Mr. Sanders.
But with Democrats allocating their delegates on a proportional basis, Mr. Sanders’s share of the combined 64 delegates offered by Utah and Idaho will do little to dent Mrs. Clinton’s lead of 319 pledged delegates heading into Tuesday’s votes.
On the Republican side, Mr. Trump enjoyed an advantage in Arizona thanks to the state’s expansive early-voting laws: Republicans were eligible to begin casting ballots, in person or through the mail, 26 days before the primary — a period in which Mr. Trump racked up a series of victories. And by the time polls opened Tuesday morning, more than half of Arizona Republicans had cast their ballots.
In a sign of how many Republicans had already voted, with 80 percent of Arizona precincts reporting, Mr. Kasich had received fewer votes than Senator Marco Rubio, who withdrew from the race last Tuesday.