Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Betty MacDonald, Don Woodfin, Vashon Island

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Thrills of Owning a Chicken Ranch

One hundred years ago today, Vashon Island's own Betty MacDonald was born. The author of The Egg & I, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and many other books, MacDonald garnered a worldwide following and still has millions of fans today.

Why do I care? Number one, if you can't celebrate your local heroes, what the F can you do? Number two, my grandfather Don Woodfin had a chicken farm in Lisabeula (an area on Vashon) in the 1940s and '50s, and was a good friend of Betty and her family. He built them a barn, chicken coup, and caretaker house, all of which are now recognized National Historical Landmarks. Don was immortalized as "the unforgettable Marine" in Betty's book Onions in the Stew, her story of life on Vashon. After 9/11, many members of the international Betty MacDonald Fan Club e-mailed me to offer their best wishes and let us know that they were thinking of us, all because he had built her barn. It was really nice.