Monday, November 30, 2015

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Betty MacDonald and Mark Twain's birthday

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” -- Mark Twain

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans, 

Mark Twain would celebrate his 180th birtday today.

I agree with Mark Twain that laughter is most important in our life and it's strong like a weapon.

Therefore Betty MacDonald and Mark Twain belong to my favourite authors. 

Betty MacDonald Fan Club fans from all over the World are very interested in Wolfgang Hampel's interviews, stories and poems.

You'll be able to read some of Wolfgang Hampel's new satirical stories and poems in our  Betty MacDonald Fan Club newsletter. It'll be available in December. 

Wolfgang Hampel is journalist, author, artist and poet.

He is the winner of the first Betty MacDonald Memorial Award.

Wolfgang Hampel founded Betty MacDonald Fan Club and Betty MacDonald Society in 1983.

Betty MacDonald Fan Club has members in 40 countries.

Wolfgang Hampel visited all the places where Betty MacDonald and her family lived.

Wolfgang Hampel's new Betty MacDonald documentary of Betty MacDonald's life in Boulder, Butte, Seattle, Laurelhurst, Chimacum, Vashon Island, Carmel and Carmel Valley is really fascinating. My personal favourites are scenes of Betty's and Don's life in Carmel and Carmel Valley.

Wolfgang Hampel, author of Betty MacDonald Biography, interviewed Betty MacDonald's family and friends and many other famous artists and writers, for example Astrid Lindgren, Truman Capote, J. K. Rowling, Maurice Sendak, David Guterson, Donna Leon, Ingrid Noll, Marie Marcks, William Cumming, Walt Woodward and Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honour Members Monica Sone, Letizia Mancino, Darsie Beck and Gwen Grant. 

Wolfgang Hampel is also very well known for his satirical poems and stories.

We are going to share Wolfgang Hampel's work with many fans from all over the world who adore his Betty MacDonald Biography and unique Betty MacDonald Interviews. 

Wolfgang Hampel's newest literary project is Vita Magica.

Viele Betty MacDonald Fan Club Fans aus der ganzen Welt sind sehr an Wolfgang Hampels Interviews, Geschichten und Gedichten interessiert.

Sie können einige von Wolfgang Hampels neuen satirischen Geschichten und Gedichten im nächsten Betty MacDonald Fan Club Magazin lesen.

Wolfgang Hampel ist Journalist, Autor, Künstler und Poet.

Er ist der Träger des ersten Betty MacDonald Gedächtnispreises. 

Wie wir alle wissen gründete Wolfgang Hampel 1983 den Betty MacDonald Fan Club und die Betty MacDonald Society.

Der Betty MacDonald Fan Club hat Mitglieder in 40 Ländern.
Wolfgang Hampel besuchte alle Orte wo Betty MacDonald und ihre Familie lebte.

Wolfgang Hampels neue Betty MacDonald Dokumentation über Betty MacDonalds Leben in Boulder, Butte, Seattle, Laurelhurst, Chimacum, Vashon, Carmel und Carmel Valley ist wirklich faszinierend. Ein Höhepunkt sind Szenen von Bettys und Dons Leben in Carmel und Carmel Valley.  

Wolfgang Hampel, Autor der Betty MacDonald Biografie, interviewte Betty MacDonalds Familie und Freunde und viele andere berühmte Künstler und Schriftsteller, z.B. Astrid Lindgren,  Truman Capote, J. K. Rowling, Maurice Sendak, Donna Leon, David Guterson, Marie Marcks,  Ingrid Noll, William Cumming, Walt Woodward und Betty MacDonald Fan Club Ehrenmitglieder Monica Sone, Letizia Mancino, Darsie Beck und Gwen Grant.

Wolfgang Hampel ist auch sehr bekannt für seine satirischen Gedichte und Geschichten. 

Wir werden Wolfgang Hampels Werk den vielen Fans aus aller Welt vorstellen, die seine Betty MacDonald Biografie und die einzigartigen Betty MacDonald Interviews schätzen. 

Wolfgang Hampels neues literarisches Projekt ist Vita Magica.


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 

Betty MacDonald loved in Germany

Axel Schappei The Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber June 16, 1983

Go into any ordinary German bookstore and ask for former Islander, Betty MacDonald's paperbacks and you'll be handed - at least - three books: Die Insel und ich ( Onions in the Stew ), Das Ei und ich ( The egg and I ) Betty kann alles (Anybody can do anything).

Scholars in the Pegasus German courses on the Island may notice that the German titles of Betty MacDonald's famous autobiographical novels have been translated appropriatley.
Betty would like them. Betty MacDonald, who lived on Vashon Island, is tremendously popular in Germany. She once was one of the most well known and widely read novelists in the United States. But would you guess that more than two million paperbacks and hard-cover books of Betty MacDonald have been published and sold in Germany during the last 30 years? 

Her bestseller The Egg and I reached about half a million in July 1981. From March 1964 until October 1980, 107000 copies of Anybody can do anything were sold in 12 editions. Onions in the Stew - her novel about living on the Rock - sold 103000 copies from May 1964 until September 1980, also in 12 editions. "She is incredibly successful, really, not only her novels. Her books for children like Nancy and Plum or the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle-Stories still belong to the most successful childrens' books after all those years," says Wolfgang Hampel, who is so convinced about Betty MacDonald. 

He simply loves Betty MacDonald and her books: "She's so homorous, her stories about everyday-life's and awkward situations are just incomparable. It's like a good friend taking you be the hand and leading through her life." 

That's why Wolfgang Hampel and four other German Betty Fans plan to launch an extensive exhibition about Betty MacDonald, her life and her work.

Originally they wanted to open the exhibit on February 7, 1983, 25th anniversary of Betty MacDonald's death. But the five friends didn't manage to get enough exhibits together. "We're still looking for pictures, photographs, letters - in short all sorts of personal mementoes about Betty. Our exhibition has been planned for the last few years and we have written zillions of letters and bought hundreds of books, here in Germany, Europe and from the States," explains Wolfgang Hampel.They tried to get further information about their preferred author from American publishing companies. "Some didn't answer and others know less than we did already! It was like finding the different pieces of a jigsaw-puzzle without knowing what it will look like in the end." 

Why all this activity?"We think that Betty MacDonald is such a fascinating person that many people here should know more about her . Apart from our endeavors to our exhibition together we've also been in contact with publishers to convince them that a new edition of Nancy and Plum would find its readers still today.

Betty MacDonald's readers come from all ages and social groups," says Wolfgang Hampel. Of course he and his friends know that Vashon is the Onions in the Stew Island and they also know that Vashon is part of the Pacific Northwest and - more specifically - of Puget Sound. So imagine their amusement when some publishing firms told them that Vashon is somewhere up to Alaska. 

Actually, Wolfgang Hampel knows quiete a lot about the Rock, though he's never been here. All his information comes from Betty MacDonald's Onions in the Stew. So he's got the idea of the terrific view of Mount Rainier, and he also knows about her coyness.

Wolfgang Hampel has a pretty good impression about the house where Betty lived with her folks. "What we dearly need for our exhibition are pictures of the Island, books all sort of visuals to show people here in what a beautiful scenery Betty lived. So people can understand that she simply had to write books like that in such a fascinating rural enviroment.

Wolfgang would be grateful for any help he could get from the Island. "Really, the most substantial help came from Vashon so far. We got some great personal impressions about Betty from Islanders who knew her."Wolfgang is amazed about the friendliness and amount of help and encouragement that reached him from the Rock. Still it's a long way until the exhibition is ready. 

Anyone with anything they'd like to send for the planned exhibition can write to Wolfgang Hampel. 

Schlossbeleuchtung Heidelberg 

Mark Twain is born

Samuel Clemens, later known as Mark Twain, is born in Florida, Missouri, on this day in 1835.
Clemens was apprenticed to a printer at age 13 and later worked for his older brother, who established the Hannibal Journal. In 1857, the Keokuk Daily Post commissioned him to write a series of comic travel letters, but after writing five he decided to become a steamboat captain instead. He signed on as a pilot’s apprentice in 1857 and received his pilot’s license in 1859, when he was 23.
Clemens piloted boats for two years, until the Civil War halted steamboat traffic. During his time as a pilot, he picked up the term “Mark Twain,” a boatman’s call noting that the river was only two fathoms deep, the minimum depth for safe navigation. When Clemens returned to writing in 1861, working for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, he wrote a humorous travel letter signed by “Mark Twain” and continued to use the pseudonym for nearly 50 years.
In 1864, he moved to San Francisco to work as a reporter. There, he wrote the story that made him famous: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
In 1866, he traveled to Hawaii as a correspondent for the Sacramento Union. Next, he traveled the world writing accounts for papers in California and New York, which he later published the popular book The Innocents Abroad (1869). In 1870, Clemens married the daughter of a wealthy New York coal merchant and settled in Hartford, Connecticut, where he continued to write travel accounts and lecture. In 1875, his novel Tom Sawyer was published, followed by Life on the Mississippi (1883) and his masterpiece Huckleberry Finn (1885). Bad investments left Clemens bankrupt after the publication of Huckleberry Finn, but he won back his financial standing with his next three books–Pudd’Nhead Wilson (1894), Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1895), and Following the Equator (1897). In 1903, he and his family moved to Italy, where his wife died. Her death left him sad and bitter, and his work, while still humorous, grew distinctly darker. He died in 1910.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Betty MacDonald in Seattle

Seattle skyline across Pier 66 waterfront

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Betty MacDonald fan club event voting will be very exciting.

Tell us your favourite city please for International Betty MacDonald fan club event 2016.

My favourite is Seattle.
I'll  contribute a Betty MacDonald letter to Betty MacDonald fan club letter collection. 

I own a very important letter of Betty MacDonald. 

I wished there was a relative in my family who met Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen.

However I'll share a very interesting Betty MacDonald letter which was inside a book I bought.

You'll be able to find my Betty MacDonald fan club contribution in Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter October.

I love the Betty MacDonald fan club motto: 

Sail away and find new treasures every day!

That's exactly what Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Alison Bard Burnett,  Mr. and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Wolfgang Hampel did/does.

I had the very same feelings when I saw Betty MacDonald's letter inside the book.

As I adore the Betty MacDonald items by Betty MacDonald Memorial Award Winner Wolfgang Hampel I'm going to forward a copy of the letter for Betty MacDonald biography and Betty MacDonald fan club letter collection.

The subject of Betty MacDonald's letter is her family, friends and favourite authors.

New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many interviews never published before.

Join our current Betty MacDonald fan club contest, please.

Deadline: December 31, 2015  

You can win very interesting Betty MacDonald fan club items.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  shares his autobiography. 

He is a real Casanova but this magical guy got fans from all over the world.

I belong to Mr. Tigerli's devoted fans.

Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us. 

Enjoy your new breakfast with Brad and Nick at the bookstore.

Happy Sunday,


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 

                                Mr. Tigerli's memories

Copyright 2015 by Letizia Mancino

Translated by Mary Holmes

All rights reseverd 

My birthday! 

I, Mr. Tigerli, can hardly save myself from being submerged in red roses!  Oh dear, a loving cat has his problems.

Surrounded by a sea of flowers!

Mind you I’ve earned it. I have risked so much for love in my life!

I have become famous because of being such a great lover.  I am a Casanova cat.

 Am I exaggerating?  Are there not cats more famous than me, artists who paint or play the piano?

That may be so, but they are “nobodies” in the art of loving!

Look in the internet under “Erotica Felina”! You will see that my name immediately appears on the screen.

People boarding their plane in Singapore have found me at once on Google.

I am a world famous cat.

Oh no, I don’t loose my head over female cats. But women! I love women.  Yes only women. These wonderful creatures give me everything! Not only affection, good conversation and food.

I was four months old when I discovered my partiality for women.

One time I was cavorting on the bed with Roswitha, my first love – although it was strictly forbidden to get onto the bed – when under the woolen blanket I suddenly felt a wonderful soft plump area! Roswitha’s tummy! I was running backwards and forwards across it when suddenly a shot of adrenalin rushed through my cat brain. At an early age I became a slave to love!

But it was Roswitha’s foot that surprised me with my first erotic feelings. She had unknowingly stretched it out of the bed under the pressure of my four paws and for the first time I saw the naked foot of a woman. Five small tempting little sausages attracted my attention. How delicately the points moved. They were more attractive to look at than the mice in the fresh grass. I miaowed to them “I’m going to bite you”!

I understand men who kiss the feet of women so ardently.

I immediately lost my head and my innocence.

Now I began to nibble at these five little porkies.

Roswitha continued to sleep and sighed softly. Encouraged I licked her whole foot. Roswitha laughed sweetly and delightfully in her sleep.

Within eight months I was familiar with her leg.

I love beautiful legs. Without hair, without ticks or other insects. They have such a wonderful perfume. I could lick women’s legs without any saliva. Wonderful!   A refined lover begins with delicate movements, not by taking the female creation by storm. Only goats climb on the back of their females without paying a single compliment. You know, Betty, that a Casanova doesn’t come straight to the point!

Roswitha, I love you Oh, my first love! I felt so good in your bed. I lay at your feet in the night. But after two intimate years deeply in love with your feet, your husband came home. His field service away from home was over, and sadly my home service with you too.

“Get out of my bed”, he shouted. It’s not right to treat a loving cat so rudely, even when men have the right to be jealous of us. We are after all superior to them. We are supple and seductively beautiful until old age. We are not rude or, even worse, drunkards! A woman can spend romantic hours stroking us or even sleep with us in her bed and still believe in platonic love, which is hardly possible for them with a man. Women never become pregnant with us and this has advantages. Casanova was the inventor of the condom. We are the condom.

I was thrown out. Are men all so brutal, Betty? The bedroom door was locked. But I was still allowed to live in the house: three sofas in the living room, a bed in the guest bedroom, and an old divan in the cellar were available for me. Roswitha could come to these. But I was appalled!

Mr. Brummi avoided my dirty looks. Since then I have not befriended men, to say nothing of cats!

Without Roswitha’s feet I had to eke out a miserable existence in the house. And she complained that her feet were cold.

The husband however was obdurate. He tried, without success, to take my place: to stroke Roswitha’s feet, to rub them, to tickle them! But Roswitha’s five little white toes remained in the bed as motionless as if rigor mortis had set in.

There were no more giggles. The doctor recommended an evening foot-bath. To think that I should be replaced by a herbal bath! How outrageous!

Should I have scratched at the bedroom door every night? I am a proud cat! I would rather look around! She wouldn’t have heard me anyway. The husband snores as loudly as a vacuum cleaner on the point of collapse. Should I have dropped five dead mice in front of the door? But I don’t bring her these presents any more. If you love me, I thought, get divorced!

“Darling” I hear her say to her husband, “Couldn’t you snore more quietly?”

I comforted myself with her socks. The dirty ones, naturally. There were a few flakes from her skin that I swallowed with joy. Some men even sniff underwear. Idiotic love. That’s going too far for me. I, Mr Tigerli, don’t do that because I am an aesthetic cat. Gradually I’d had enough of the socks. Should I look for a new woman? The thought of being unfaithful came to me quite suddenly.

The nights in my basket passed peacefully  - and also the nights in Roswitha’s bed. Cold feet and migraines are two passion killers. The husband was sullen. She never suffered with me. I laughed - even if cats can’t laugh – behind my beard and knew that she had remained faithful.  I didn’t. I found the young servant in the house very fascinating. Her legs were not so beautiful as Roswitha’s , but the risks were low. The young woman was a Russian, temperamental, pretty and I liked her. Infidelity was for me a triviality.

“Oh, Mr. Tigerli”, cried Putziputzi  (that was her pet name. I’ll say no more, she had two brothers) “why are you licking me so tenderly?”

I could have answered. “You are my second choice. I am missing Roswitha’s feet.” But I wrapped myself round her leg, as all loving cats do.

She gave an even louder cry and ran away! I was perplexed!

I had no idea that genuine love-play begins with “No, no, I’d rather not, please don’t”.

I still had a lot to learn. Then I thought: Quick , Tigerli, follow Putziputzi and sing her a song! After that wonderful days followed: I showered her soft thighs with delicate little love-bites. It was intoxicating!

We constantly changed the spot we chose for our love-making. On Mondays and Fridays we lay on the three sofas, on Tuesday on the bed in the guest room, but most of the time we spent together in the cellar. She was crazy! Is this sex,

I asked myself. What man can make a woman so happy?

Putziputzi was soon dismissed from her job.

I have no great opinion of husbands and I must admit I have good reasons for this. But that their wives should react with such jealousy was for me an insoluble puzzle.

It wasn’t long before I was lying in bed with Roswitha again.

The husband had probably seen that the loss of a servant can have serious consequences. Now it was his job to vacuum the whole house: from the cellar to the attic. Roswitha assured him this would only be for a short transitional period, until she had found a replacement for Putziputzi.

“Yes, yes!  But the replacement must be ugly and unattractive and she should only work in the house and she must not play with Tigerli”, he answered.

“Yes, yes! I agree”, answered Roswitha, “and it would be wise if you would allow Tigerli to sleep in the bed with me again”.

The husband willingly gave his consent.

He nodded his agreement and it was clear that he saw me in a new light.

I was no longer a competitor.

What the heck, he thought! The guy was sleeping in my bed with my wife when I was away anyway!

So thanks to the vacuum-cleaner I was able to continue my love-affair with my first love Roswitha.


                      Who is Mr. Tigerli?                             

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Betty MacDonald and Pike Place Market

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

great Betty MacDonald fan club news.

A new Betty MacDonald fan club contest!

Send us a mail with your answer, please: ( see questions below )  

A, B, C or D?

You also have to answer this Betty MacDonald fan club contest question:

Betty MacDonald described Pike Place Market in her book   ........................

Pike Place Market celebrated its 108th birthday on August 17, 2015.

Did you know Pike Place Market was almost demolished in the 1960s?

For Betty MacDonald fan club contest can you figure out why Pike Place Market was nearly torn down?

A. It was severely damaged by the Great Seattle Fire.

B. A tsunami hit Seattle, destroying parts of the Market.

C. Gold was discovered underground, beneath the Market.

D. A proposal was being seriously considered to replace the Market with a plaza that would include a hotel, an apartment building, four office buildings, a hockey arena, and a parking garage.

Deadline: December 31, 2015

Don't miss your chance, please to win the most interesting Betty MacDonald fan club items.

Wolfgang Hampel's new project Vita Magica is very fascinating because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel wrote a great story of Pike Place Market.

He presented it on 'Vita Magica' in August.

It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.

The next Vita Magica will be on December 15, 2015. 

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.

Don't miss Brad Craft's 'More friends', please. 

Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island is one of my favourites

Wishing you a great Saturday,


Vita Magica

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

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

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 organizer Linde Lund 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Betty MacDonald, Monica Sone and Vive la France

Nisei Daughter


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Monica Sone ( Kimi in Betty MacDonald's The Plague and I )  is the author of Nisei Daughter.

Monica Sone and her family had run a hotel in Seattle before Executive Order 9066 sent all West Coast Japanese Americans into exile.

With charm, humor, and deep understanding, a Japanese American woman tells how it was to grow up on Seattle's waterfront in the 1930s and to be subjected to "relocation" dring World War II. Along with some 120,000 other persons of Japanese ancestry-77,000 of whom were U.S. citizens-she and her family were uprooted from their home and imprisoned in a camp.

In this book, first published in 1953, she provides a unique personal account of these experiences.

"Monica Sone's account of life in the relocation camps is both fair and unsparing. It is also deeply touching, and occasionally hilarious."-New York Herald Tribune

"The deepest impression that this unaffected, honest little story made on me was of smiling courage."-San Francisco Chronicle

Wolfgang Hampel, Monica Sone's friend -  author of Betty MacDonald biography and winner of first Betty MacDonald Memorial Award - wrote:

Copyright 2011 by Wolfgang Hampel

Dearest Monica,

I was rereading your book Nisei Daughter and I have to tell you that I agree with your many international fans. I wished I could read many more books written by great author and unique personality Monica Sone.

I also agree with the New York Herald Tribune review of Nisei Daughter: Monica Sone's account of life in the relocation camps is both fair and unsparing. It is also deeply touching, and occasionally hilarious.

Yes, that's it! Deeply touching, also occassionally hilarious! When I'm reading your great book ( Nisei Daughter belong to the VERY few books I'm reading over and over again ) I'm really deeply touched. I'm with you and your great family. I adore your outstanding book and even much more I adore your unique personality. You are a genius but very human and warm with a deep understanding and a golden heart.

The first time I heard your very warm voice I was lost. To me it's the most beautiful voice in the whole world. Voice and personality fit together in just a perfect way.

Thanks a million for your friendship.

Although we are far away you and your family are always in our thoughts. 

All our love,


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Monica Sone will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's new project 'Vita Magica'. 



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 2011/2015 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.

        Roses for Monica Sone

•*Secret Garden *•'s photo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Betty MacDonald, Hilde Domin and Vive la France

Linde Lund shared Yogaist's photo.

Vita Magica November 2015 with artist and author Letizia Mancino…/vita-magica-november-mi…
Don´t get tired,
but quietly hold out your hand, like to a bird,
for a miracle

* Hilde Domin *
... See More
You like this.

Vita Magica November 2015
Author and Artist Letizia Mancino is reading from her books about famous poet Hilde Domin…/vita-magica-november-mi…
Hilde Domin
Foto: Kunstarchiv Darmstadt


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Letizia Mancino and Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel are in Vita Magica today. 

They are reading from Letzia Mancino's books about famous poet Hilde Domin. 

 I was rereading Monica Sone's very important book 'Nisei Daughter'.

I agree with Milion S. Eisenhower who asked:

"How could such a tragedy have occurred
in a democratic society
that prides itself on individual rights and freedoms?"

I didn't know that some 10,905 enemy aliens from Germany were interned - along with 16,849 Japanese, 3,278 Italians, 53 Hungarians, 25 Rumanians, five Bulgarians and 161 others.

In the camps, internees were seen more as prisoners of war than as civilians.

John Heitmann's research paints a picture of shared huts, inadequate washing and toilet facilities, green uniforms, military work details and snapping to attention at an officer's approach.

The most important question is: Do we really learn from our past?

The mentioned websites are really very important and we learned a lot.

May Monica Sone's and Betty MacDonald's spirit live forever.

Our world needs personalities like these outstanding two ladies.


Anita and Eartha Kitt II

Courtesy of History San Jose

Nisei Daughter by Monica Sone

Monica Sone spent her childhood in pre-World War II Seattle, in a part Japanese, part American world. Dinner might be steak and pumpkin pie or pickled daikon, rice, and soy sauce; there was American public school during the day and the strict formality of Japanese school in the late afternoons. "I found myself switching my personality back and forth daily like a chameleon. At Bailey Gatzert School I was a jumping, screaming, roustabout Yankee, but at the stroke of three...I suddenly became a modest, faltering, earnest little Japanese girl with a small timid voice." Her memories of growing up are vivid and full of marvelous stories, showing the confusion, frustration, and enrichment of living within two cultures. These elements come together when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor and Monica and her family are sent to an internment camp in Topaz, Idaho. Nisei Daughter describes the loss of property and the personal insults, the barbed wire and armed guards, the dust storms, horrible food, unfinished barracks, and barren land - and the efforts of the Japanese-Americans to maintain their ethics, family life, and belief in the United States. Monica Sone is furious at the blatant disregard of her civil rights, and yet ironically, it is during her time in the camps and afterwards in the Midwest that she finally brings together the various aspects of her heritage. Straightforward, searching, often funny, this is a highly readable account of one woman's experience living in many worlds.

Years of silence: The untold story of German-American internment

by Deborah McCarty Smith

More than fifty years have passed since the beginnings of the arrest and internment of European Americans in the United States during World War II. For the most part, the history of internment has been either quieted or distorted. For example, the majority of the best-selling collegiate and secondary school history texts in the United States claim that, unlike Japanese Americans, the German and Italian Americans were not arrested and interned; and both the print and electronic news media have propagated this myth.

56% of all internees (14,426 of 25,655) were Europeans and European Americans--Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, even several Czechs and Poles.

The arrest of Germans, German Americans, Italians and Italian Americans began on December 7, 1941--four days before the U.S. was at war with Germany and Italy. [Source: ibid.]European and European Americans were kept interned until July 1948--more than three years after the war in Europe had ended.

Europeans and European-Americans accounted for 56 percent of all internees during World War II, according to Arthur Jacobs, co-editor of World War Two Experience: The Internment of German-Americans. In all, some 10,905 enemy aliens from Germany were interned - along with 16,849 Japanese, 3,278 Italians, 53 Hungarians, 25 Rumanians, five Bulgarians and 161 others.

In the camps, internees were seen more as prisoners of war than as civilians. Heitmann's research paints a picture of shared huts, inadequate washing and toilet facilities, green uniforms, military work details and snapping to attention at an officer's approach.

"Do we really learn from our past?" John Heitmann wonders, tracing parallels between the internment of German- Americans in the '40s and government plans to intern suspected communists in the '50s, Iranians in the '70s and Iraqis in the '90s. In the FBI Filegate flap of the Clinton administration, in current anti-immigrant sentiment, in anti-terrorist legislation that circumvents due process, historians hear ominous echoes of earlier times.

"There are some intrinsic flaws in human nature that reappear and are reflected in our institutions. It's a story of how institutions end up biting people," Heitmann said. "In a world where there are lots of smoke screens and J. Edgar Hoovers, an individual can really be hurt," he said, acknowledging a professional curiosity that is fueled by a personal quest to discover a part of his family history that is buried under years of silence.

"Self-identity is an important purpose of history. It's a handle or fulcrum of how you understand yourself better. We're all a product of a complicated past. I see this as an example of what anyone can do: history as a process of self-discovery." 

Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin

Betty MacDonald fan club fans, 

let's talk about great writers and poets Letizia Mancino, Hilde Domin and Betty MacDonald.

Betty MacDonald fan Club honor member, artist and writer Letizia Mancino shares her delightful story THE SECOND PARADISE. 

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mary Holmes did such a great job in translating THE SECOND PARADISE.

Thanks a million dearest Mary.

We are really very grateful.
I'm one of Letizia Maninco's many devoted fans.

Letizia Mancino sent this connecting piece to " The Second Paradise".


Copyright 2011/2015 by Letizia Mancino

translated by Mary Holmes 

All rights reserved

That was how my friend Hilde Domin was, dear Betty! You would have liked her so much. She had also been in America. At that time you were a famous author but she was still unknown.

-Did she love cats like you do?

-Yes Betty, she sure did!! Otherwise how do you think she could have been a friend of mine?

-Oh Letizia, don’t boast! Hilde was famous!

-It’s all the same to me, Betty, whether a person is famous or not but that person must love animals

-Why was she as defiant as a cock?

-Well Betty, she was simply so!

-Like a pregnant woman in my “Egg and I”?

-No not so! Betty, Hilde was a whole farm!

- A farm, how was that?

- No Betty, Hilde was more! Almost a zoo! Even more. She was all the animals in the world!

-You loved her very much.

-As I love all animals. 

You Betty, if I had known you, I would have loved you exactly so because you loved animals.

-But as defiant as a cock from my Bob-farm!

-Yes and no! (Hilde really loved this double form of answer). Listen Betty , I’ll tell you a story about how Hilde was. You would certainly have loved her.
I’ll call my story “The Second Paradise”.


Copyright 2011/2015 by Letizia Mancino

translated by Mary Holmes

All rights reserved

The Lord God, one day, met Adam in Paradise and saw him lying under a palm.

And God spoke to him: Adam, my son, are you happy, are you content with Paradise ?

Adam answered: Oh Lord, it is wonderful!

And God said: But I will create a second Paradise and give you a wife.

Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful!

And God said: I will create the wife according to your wishes.

And Adam stood under the palm and thought hard.

And God said: Adam, are you ready?

Adam answered: My wife should be as lively as a bird but she should not fly. She should swim like a goldfish but not be a fish….. She should be as playful as a cat but not catch mice….. She should be as busy as an ant but not so small.

And God said: So shall she be: Like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant…

Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful, but she should be as faithful as a dog.

And God asked: Adam, have you finished?

Oh Lord, cried Adam. She should also be as delightful and gentle as a lamb and as defiant as a cock!

….She should be as curious as a monkey and as pampered as a lapdog.

And God said: So shall she be.

And Adam said: My wife should be as courageous as a lion and as headstrong as a goat…

And God said: So, like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant, a dog, a lamb, a cock, a monkey, a lapdog, a lion, a goat… and slowly and surely he wished to begin creating…

But Adam stretched himself under the palm and called:

Lord, Lord, she should be as adaptable as a chameleon but not creep on four feet.

She should have sparkling eyes like, like… real diamonds. She should be as fiery as a volcano

But … she should have crystal-clear thoughts like a mountain spring.

God, the Almighty, was speechless…

And Adam spoke: Also she should be as quick as lightening…

And God said: Man, have you finished????

No, said Adam! She should be as strong as a horse, as long living as an elephant but as light as a butterfly!

God found Adam’s thoughts were good and said: So, bird, goldfish, cat, ant, dog, lamb, cock, monkey, lapdog, lion, goat, chameleon, genuine diamonds, volcano, mountain spring, lightening, horse, elephant…. butterfly…

God wished at last to begin creating her…

Lord, called Adam… she should be as stable as steel, but as sweet as three graceful women in one…

And God asked: Should she also be a poet?

Yes, called Adam from under the palm…

And God said: Adam have you finished?

Lord, I wish that, in the second Paradise I shall be one and doubled:

So God according to Adams last words created:



Very best wishes

Letizia Mancino

Letizia Mancino is an outstanding writer and artist.

I know you will enjoy this very charming and witty story the same way I did! 

Thanks a Million, dear Letiza Mancino! You made my day!

As you know I'm very interested in pets and excellent literature.

Betty MacDonald Fan Club founder Wolfgang Hampel is working on a Eva Vargas biography. I'd love to know: Did Eva Vargas like pets and cats? 

Letizia Mancino is part of Wolfgang Hampel's new project 'Vita Magica'. 

We got so many requests from fans from all over the world and have great info for you. 

Wolfgang Hampel's stories and satirical poems will be published in several languages for his many fans from all over the world.



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