Saturday, April 2, 2016

Betty MacDonald and the bike tree on Vashon Island

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


Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Greta and her Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on their project 

          Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island  

The first Betty MacDonald fan club fan who can answer our question below is going to win a Betty MacDonald fan club DVD collection.

Why had Betty MacDonald been honored? 

Hurry up, please and you'll be our Betty MacDonald fan club winner.

Greta is going to share another Betty MacDonald fan club surprise very soon.

Did you ever see the bike in the tree on Vashon Island? 

Have a very nice weekend. 



Vashon Island Bike Tree: The True Story

I've posted previously about the bicycle embedded in a tree on Vashon Island. Yes, it exists. No, it's not photoshopped. Recently I've been getting a zillion hits on the old posts on the blog because people keep posting the picture on Facebook with some bogus story about a boy leaving his bike in the woods and going off to fight and die in World War One, never to return. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to see all the holes in that story.

The true story is revealed in this article from the December 30th, 2009 Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomer. The bike dates back to the 1950s and the kid who left the bike went on to be a King County Sheriff's deputy.

The bike is still there in the tree and Vashon is still a lovely place to ride. It's worth the stopping by to check it out.
If you want to read a great fictitious story about the bicycle in the tree, check out Berkeley Breathed's classic tale Red Ranger Came Calling.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

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 

Satirical TV song about Erdogan sparks Turkey-Germany row

March 29, 2016

Ankara (AFP) - A song lampooning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was broadcast on a German public television satirical show has sparked a diplomatic spat between Berlin and Ankara, sources on both sides confirmed Tuesday.
Turkey last week summoned Germany's ambassador to protest the two-minute clip "Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan", which ridicules the president, his alleged extravagant spending and crackdown on civil liberties.
The song is set to the tune of German pop star Nena's 1984 love song "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann" (Anyhow, Anywhere, Anytime) and was screened on regional broadcaster NDR's "extra 3" show on March 17.
The German-language lyrics charge, among other things, that "a journalist who writes something that Erdogan doesn't like/ Is tomorrow already in jail".
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Turkish diplomatic source told AFP: "We summoned the ambassador last week to communicate our protest about the broadcast that we condemned.
"We demanded that the broadcast be removed from the air."
A German diplomatic source confirmed Tuesday that Ambassador Martin Erdmann had held repeated talks with the Turkish foreign ministry over the song.
"In these talks he made clear that the rule of law, judicial independence and the protection of fundamental freedoms, including of the press and of expression, are valuable assets that should be jointly protected," said the German source.
Erdmann had stressed that "in Germany, political satire is covered by the freedom of the press and of expression and the government has neither the need for, nor the option of, taking action."
- Freedom of speech -
Erdogan's government has been accused by critics of authoritarianism and muzzling critical media as well as lawmakers, academics, lawyers and NGOs.
Alluding to the government's military crackdown against the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the song charges about Erdogan: "He hates the Kurds like the plague /And prefers to bomb them rather than the religious brothers from Islamic State."
The government vehemently denies that the crackdown targets Turkey's Kurdish minority, saying it is only aimed at wiping out "terrorists".
The satirical show fired back at Ankara on Tuesday, publishing a framed picture of Erdogan on its Twitter feed and declaring him its "Employee of the Month".
The editor-in-chief of NDR television, Andreas Cichowicz, said Turkey's diplomatic protest was "not consistent with our understanding of freedom of the press and freedom of speech".
EU heavyweight Germany sees Turkey as the bloc's main partner in tackling a wave of refugees landing at Europe's borders, with Chancellor Angela Merkel appealing for Ankara's help on the issue.
But Merkel has also said Germany will stick to its values and keep insisting on civil and minority rights in Turkey.
German news weekly Der Spiegel said this month it had to withdraw its Istanbul correspondent and charged that Turkey was violating the freedom of the press.
Several diplomats from EU member states, including the German envoy, last week attended the trial of two journalists facing espionage charges, drawing the ire of Erdogan who accused the diplomats of overstepping their powers.
Using a hugely controversial legal article, almost 2,000 people have been prosecuted for "insulting" Erdogan since the former premier became president in August 2014.

Betty MacDonald Fan Club proudly presents:

The amazing, very witty, charming, intelligent story written by our brilliant Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor Member - artist and writer Letizia Mancino.


Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
Translated by D. Tsiaprakas

Betty, I love you! Your books „Anybody can do anything“ and „Onions in the Stew“ are really outstanding! I take them into my hand, and at a stone's throw I am right away in America ! Columbus and the egg: The great discovery!

Your bestseller „The Egg and I“ the greatest discovery. And you and I! I know America: It's true what you are writing: That's America: Absolutely right! No, even to the least detail! The landscape and the passion: Do you know the country where pistols blossom? Brava, Betty, you are describing the Americans vividly, genuinely, insufferably, brushed upon paper. If I like to read your works? To read doesn't even express it! I can even hear and see everything: Nature, culture, subculture.

America has almost remained unchanged! O those cool Americans! Calculating, stockmarket, Wall Street, the financial crisis (even back in 1930), the gamblers, the bankruptcy of companies! The swarming of dodgers and cheaters. People left without money. Dispair und hunger! A terrible „Worst Case“ (when I knew but little English I thought it is sausage with cheese).

Still how impressive is the ability to adaptone self of the Americans: They know how to enjoy life, acrobats of survival! In the twinkle of an eye they achieved to adapt themselves and effect the work of pioneers: In the morning you are a cleaningwoman, in the evening a brothel woman! No problem!

„The insufficient, here it's becoming an event; The indescribable, here it's done;“ Mary Bard Jensen, your sister, was the treasure trove of procuring work: My word, what a power woman with unlimited imagination! She has recommended you everywhere: Betty can do everything, also write novels! Go ahead, sister, hurry up! The editor wants to see your manuscripts! Up to that point you had not written a single line! Wow! And if still everything goes wrong? No problem: When you dream, dream big!

Just look, you have become famous.The Egg and I You know that, Betty? I'll slip into „The Egg and I“ and come and be your guest! I want to get to know your chickens. I hate chickens! I'm a chickens slave from North America! O Betty, without these damned animals, no chance of you becoming famous! „The Egg and I“ you would never have written! How many readers you have made happy!

Your book is so amusing! Your witty fine (almost nasty) remarks about your family members and roundabout neighbours made me laugh so much! You have been born into a special family: Comfort was not desired: I can't but be amazed: What did your father say to your mother? After tomorrow I am going to work elsewhere: Thousands of miles away...He sent her a telegram: LEAVING FOR TWO YEARS ON THURSDAY FOR MEXICO CITY STOP GET READY IF YOU WANT TO COME ALONG – That was on Monday. Mother wired back: SHALL BE READY, and so she was.That's America! Improvisation, change, adventure. You show no weakness: Let's go! Your descriptions, Betty, about the tremendous happenings in nature have deeply frightened me.

Continent America, I'm terrified by you! I feel so small and threatened like a tiny fly before an enormous flyswatter! Your novel is very many-sided! The reader may use it even as a cook book! „The Egg and I“ starts straight away with a recipe: „Next to the wisdom that lamb meat doesn't taste good unless it has been roasted with garlic“. Do you enjoy the American food?

O Betty, it's too fatty for me and I hate garlic! (Betty is presently cooking lunch for Bob. She's continually talking to „STOVE“: STOVE is Bob's rival; in the beginning I thought it was being himself). She turns round and says: Well, so no garlic for you. No lamb either, Betty. I don't eat any meat! I'd actually prefer only fried eggs. Betty, let me make them myself. Then you try it!

Blow! „STOVE“ out of order! I don't succeed in turning it on! Damned! It's got more of a mind of its own than „STOVE“ of my friend, Hilde Domin! Bob's coming! He must eat directly! „Men eat anything, the swines! Says your grandmother Gammy“. Is it true? Do you like my chickens? Bob asked me without introducing himself. Yes, Bob (rude) I love them! I'm vegetarian. Do you want to clean the henhouse with me tomorrow? A, you're always getting up so early at four o'clock! Bob, that's not a job for me! He looked at me disdainfully! A Roman cissy! You need a reeducation at once! Help, Bob's attacking me! I rather change the novel immediately and move to the „Island“! 

Hans-Dietrich Genscher, German ex-foreign minister, dies

  • 54 minutes ago
  • From the section Europe

Former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher has died at the age of 89, his office has announced.
He died on Thursday night at his home in the town of Wachtberg-Pech, near Bonn, of heart failure, a statement said.
Mr Genscher served as West German foreign minister and vice chancellor from 1974 until reunification in 1990, continuing on in the role until 1992.
He was also chairman of his liberal FDP party from 1974 to 1985.
During the Cold War, Mr Genscher's policy of detente towards the East and his early recognition of then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's desire for change is credited with paving the way for Germany's reunification.

He was also a strong advocate of European unity.
Announcing his retirement from Parliament in 1998, he said: "European unity is the answer to the mistakes of the Germans and of European history. It is the answer to a terrible world war. These reasons stand even today."
Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy spokesman, Georg Streiter, paid tribute to Mr Genscher, saying: "He was a statesman who influenced the fate of Germany like few others. He was a great European and a great German."
One of Mr Genscher's most celebrated moments was in 1989 at the German embassy in Prague where he addressed thousands of East Germans desperate to head west.
Announcing a deal with the Czech communist government allowing them safe passage, he said: "We have come to you to tell you that today your departure..."
The rest of the sentence was drowned out by cheers.