Saturday, March 25, 2017

Betty MacDonald, birthday contests and a rolling disaster

Bildergebnis für betty macdonald


C0oDfSoVQAA1NP8_1_.jpg






mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT
Pippi, you're the best.       


Hello 'Pussy' it's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking: 

Why is your presidency such a rolling disaster?







Do you have any idea why we feel so ashamed? I do!  
trump-protests-13.jpg

 plague_English_1994_paperback_FRONT
  
Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?

( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
plague_english_1948_paperback_FRONT
plague_German_1952_hardcover_bookjacket - cleaned_FRONT

The Egg and I Film Illustration























 


Click images for alternate views
Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island
<p>Time Out of Mind (1947) - avec Betty et Don MacDonald et Phyllis Calvert</p>

Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood

Bild könnte enthalten: eine oder mehrere Personen und Personen, die sitzen



Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck
http://seattletimes.com/ABPub/2011/06/16/2015337656.jpg



Kein automatischer Alternativtext verfügbar.

Bild könnte enthalten: 1 Person
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QhrEi5J_tZA/TevQmbgMMDI/AAAAAAAAAbk/aNKKQEaaWGg/s1600/bards.jpg




Betty MacDonald fan club fans,


Betty MacDonald fan club birthday card contest is really a great idea.

Your birthday card for Betty MacDonald should include your brilliant thoughts and on Betty MacDonald and her books.


The winner who sent the best and most original birthday card will be Honor guest of the next International Betty MacDonald fan club event.  

 

Bildergebnis für betty macdonald 


Do you know this little girl?

 

Deadline: March 25, 2017


A Betty MacDonald fan club birthday exhibit with many very special birthday cards by Betty MacDonald's family and friends.


You'll be able to see wonderful cards for Betty MacDonald with very touching messages for example by her daughter Joan MacDonald Keil or her good friend Monica Sone. 



We'll have several International Betty MacDonald fan club events  in 2017.


Join us in voting for your favourite city, please. 


King Ludwig's  dream castle would be an ideal place for an International Betty MacDonald fan club event.  

I love this idea.  

Wolfgang Hampel's  Vita Magica guest was a very famous TV lady, author and singer and she is our new Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.


I guess our Casanova adores our Betty MacDonald fan club honor member very much because author and TV moderator Tatjana Geßler is a very beautiful, charming and intelligent lady. 


Tatjana Geßler's books are outstanding. I've read several of them. 

Enjoy Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island, please.





Pick Betty MacDonald's favourite flower, please  and send a mail to our email-address.

It's not too difficult to answer this question.

Betty MacDonald mentioned her favourite flower in several letters and in one of her books.  



Tell us Betty MacDonald's favourite flower, please.


Deadline: March 25, 2016



Great Betty MacDonald fan club news!
 

You can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society

Vita Magica

 

on Facebook.

 

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest.

If you join Betty MacDonald fan club blog as a follower during March you'll receive a very special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift.

Send your email-address to our contact address, please. 


Great news!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back and his fans are delighted.




Betty MacDonald fan club birthday contest is really great.

Thank you so much for your interest and support.

We'll have several International Betty MacDonald fan club events  in 2017. 

Don't miss Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica March, please. 

You'll enjoy it very much. 



You can see brilliant Brad Craft. 



"This is Me," by Bad Kid Billy. [Official Music Video]


Seems I'm in this for a hot second.  I remember being asked to participate one day on the street in front of the bookstore where I work.  I didn't think to ask what it was for, or even so much as the name of the song or the band.  Didn't want to be late coming back from lunch.  Silly bugger.  The very nice young woman with the green hair also featured herein happens to work at Magus Books.  She mentioned she'd seen me.  Told me the name of the band, and here we are.



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





We got very interesting new info for updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to include all these new details and info in updated Betty MacDonald biography.

If you'd like to join Betty MacDonald fan club you only have to press the join button on Betty MacDonald fan club blog.


New Betty MacDonald fan club fans will receive a special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift during March.  

Send us your email address to our contact address, please.


Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica February was outstanding and so was Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen


 
We are going to publish some new Betty MacDonald fan club interviews  by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.
 

Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography.
 


This very new Betty MacDonald biography includes all the results we got during a very successful Betty MacDonald fan club research which started in 1983.

You'll be able to find unique Betty MacDonald treasures in our Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald biography includes for example interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends.

We got many letters by Betty MacDonald and other family members even very important original ones.


Our goal is to publish a Betty MacDonald biography that shows all the details of Betty MacDonald's life and work but also to present her fascinating siblings.

Dear Betty MacDonald fan club fans let us know please what you are interested most in a future Betty MacDonald biography.  

Do you prefer an e-book or a so called real book?
 
Vita Magica by Wolfgang Hampel is really fascinating and very interesting.



Wolfgang Hampel and Friends of Vita Magica visited Minister of Science of Baden-Württemberg, Theresia Bauer in Stuttgart.

They visited Landtag and had a great time there.
 

Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications? 


If so would you be so kind to share them?


Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.


If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.


Thank you so much in advance for your support.



 


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vqvrCz_OYTo/S7hJGYQaymI/AAAAAAAAFIw/W--wXFF912Y/s1600/M7a



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.


We are so glad that our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back.

New  Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's fascinating project Vita Magica.







Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil and her husband Jerry Keil.

This interview will be published for the first time ever.



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


We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli 


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


Wolfgang Hampel's literary event 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.

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.

 


Linde Lund and many fans from all over the world  adore this funny sketch by Wolfgang Hampel very much although our German isn't the best.

I won't ever forget the way Wolfgang Hampel is shouting ' Brexit '.

Don't miss it, please.

It's simply great!

You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.

He presented one of Linde Lund's favourite songs ' Try to remember ' like a professional singer.

Thanks a million!

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.


I agree with Betty in this very witty Betty MacDonald story  Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say by Wolfgang Hampel.

I can't imagine to live in a country with him as so-called elected President although there are very good reasons to remain there to fight against these brainless politics.




WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders, facing a revolt among conservatives and moderates in their ranks, pulled legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act from consideration on the House floor Friday in a major defeat for President Trump on the first legislative showdown of his presidency.
“We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, conceded.
The failure of the Republicans’ three-month blitz to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement exposed deep divisions in the Republican Party that the election of a Republican president could not mask. It cast a long shadow over the ambitious agenda that Mr. Trump and Republican leaders had promised to enact once their party assumed power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
And it was the biggest defeat of Mr. Trump’s young presidency, which has suffered many. His travel ban has been blocked by the courts. Allegations of questionable ties to the Russian government forced out his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Tensions with key allies such as Germany, Britain and Australia are high, and Mr. Trump’s approval ratings are at historic lows.

Republican leaders were willing to tolerate Mr. Trump’s foibles with the promise that he would sign into law their conservative agenda. The collective defeat of the health care effort could strain that tolerance.






Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.


Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



We don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows? - Dana Rohrabacher


Lately, it appears Trump has gone back into the field to drag in a whole new bunch of State contenders. 

My favorite is Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a person you have probably never heard of even though he’s been in Congress since the 1980s and is currently head of the prestigious Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
Rohrabacher is also a surfer and former folk singer who once claimed global warming might be connected to “dinosaur flatulence.” 

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



I think the future dinosaur flatulence will be the behaviour of 'Pussy' and his very strange government.

Poor World!    Poor America! 

Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.


The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career


mrs. piggle wiggle's magic_korean_2011_hardcover_FRONT



Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

You took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consultung the State Department. We have to change your silly behaviour with a new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. I know you are the most difficult case in my career - but we have to try everything.......................







Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang! 
 Bildergebnis für Donald Trump and Lady Liberty 

Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?


I'm the most powerful leader in the world.




Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say

Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel

All rights reserved 


Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.

He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!

Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!

Besides him ( by the way the  First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech. 

The old man could be his great-grandfather.

The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.

Dear 'great-grandfather' continued  and praised the Democratic candidate.

He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.

He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.

She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt.  Do you know how corrupt she is? 

Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.

Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends. 

He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:

Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!

Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.

They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens. 

By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.


I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.

Away - away - there is nothing more to say! 


Real vs. Ersatz







I am neither Christian enough nor charitable enough to like anybody just because he is alive and breathing. I want people to interest or amuse me. I want them fascinating and witty or so dul as to be different. I want them either intellectually stimulating or wonderfully corny; perfectly charming or hundred percent stinker. I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how. - Betty MacDonald




Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.

We hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions

Can you remember in which book you can find it?

If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner. 

I hope we'll be able 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 - very soon.

It' s such a pleasure to read them. 

Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's  Vashon Island.



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.

Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding  Betty MacDonald biography.

I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.  


Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please. 

 
You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel. 

Good luck!  

This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum. 





Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans. 


Many Betty MacDonald  - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.


We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.
 

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerl is beloved all over the World.

We are so happy that our 'Casanova'  is back.



Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to share very interesting info on ' Betty MacDonald and the movie The Egg and I '. 

Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.

The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952. 

Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.


Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.

 
I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.

Take care,

Lisa 

Bildergebnis für betty macdonald




William

betty macdonald betty bard macdonald wurde 1908 in boulder colorado


la_conner_daffodil_festival_photo_winner_2014
Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald



Don't miss this very special book, please.



you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

on Facebook



Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

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

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

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 - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - 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 - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson




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

betty macdonald betty bard macdonald wurde 1908 in boulder colorado

 



















President Trump has shown himself to be a proponent of do-it-yourself communications, confident in his ability to shape the story. Credit T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump began Monday as he has started so many other presidential mornings — by unleashing a blistering Twitter attack on critics who suggested his 2016 campaign colluded with the Russians.
By the afternoon the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, had systematically demolished his arguments in a remarkable public takedown of a sitting president. Even a close ally of Mr. Trump, Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the House Intelligence Committee chairman, conceded that “a gray cloud” of suspicion now hung over the White House by the end of the day’s hearings.
The testimony of Mr. Comey and that of Adm. Michael S. Rogers, his National Security Agency counterpart, will most likely enervate and distract Mr. Trump’s administration for weeks, if not longer, overshadowing good news, like the impressive debut of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, his Supreme Court nominee, on the first day of his confirmation hearings Monday.
But it’s the obsessiveness and ferocity of Mr. Trump’s pushback against the Russian allegations, often untethered from fact or tact, that is making an uncertain situation worse.


Mr. Trump’s allies have begun to wonder if his need for self-expression, often on social media, will exceed his instinct for self-preservation, with disastrous results both for the president and for a party whose fate is now tightly tied to his.
“The tweets make it much more difficult for us as we try to build a case against these leakers,” said Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican who sits on the Intelligence Committee. “We always have to be answering questions about the tweets — it puts us on defense all the time when we could be building a case for the president.”
And Mr. Trump’s fixation on fighting is undermining his credibility at a time when he needs to toggle from go-it-alone executive action to collaborative congressional action on ambitious health care, budget and infrastructure legislation.
“I don’t always like what the president is saying,” the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, told The Washington Examiner last month. “I do think he frequently, by wading into other matters, takes attention away” from “the very substantial things we’re already accomplishing.”


A Gallup poll released Monday found Mr. Trump with an abysmal 37 percent approval rating; other recent polls place his popularity in the mid-40s, but even that level is among the lowest ever recorded for a president this early in his first term.
Over the past several weeks, Republicans in Congress and members of their staffs have privately complained that Mr. Trump’s Twitter comment on March 4 — the one where he called Barack Obama “sick” and suggested that the former president had ordered a “tapp” on his phone — had done more to undermine anything he’s done as president because it called into question his seriousness about governing.

The problem, from the perspective of Mr. Trump’s beleaguered political fire brigade, is that the president insists on dealing with crises by creating new ones — so surrogates, repeating talking points the president himself ignores, say they often feel like human shields.
Within the White House, a number of Mr. Trump’s advisers — including the press secretary, Sean Spicer, who has himself repeated unsubstantiated claims of British spying on Mr. Trump — have told allies that Mr. Trump’s Twitter habits are making their jobs harder, said administration officials interviewed over the past week. Mr. Spicer said he has no problem with his boss’s tweeting. “It’s just not true. I have not commented on the tweets to anyone including my wife,” he said in an email.

Most politicians, perhaps any other politician, would have backed away from the Russia story, and left the defense to surrogates or unexpected validators like Mike Morrell, the former acting director of the C.I.A., who said last week that “there is smoke, but there is no fire at all” in the allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

But this president, a proponent of do-it-yourself crisis communications with boundless self-confidence in his capacity to shape the story, seems determined to hug his Russian hand grenade.

Monday morning began not with praise of Judge Gorsuch — or an exhortation of House Republicans to quickly pass a revamped Obamacare repeal — but with six protective-crouch tweets about the Russia investigation.
“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!” Mr. Trump wrote shortly after dawn, using his private Twitter account.

Then, a few minutes later: “The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!”









Trump and the Russians: Links? No Links? Depends On Whom You Ask

James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., said the agency was investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Republicans and Democrats put their own spin on his statements.
 
By SHANE O’NEILL and SUSAN JOAN ARCHER. 

People close to the president say Mr. Trump’s Twitter torrent had less to do with fact, strategy or tactic than a sense of persecution bordering on faith: He simply believes that he was bugged in some way, by someone, and that evidence will soon appear to back him up.
Plus he just likes to mix it up. He fired off his ill-fated Saturday tweet complaining of “tapps” of his phones after railing to aides about how poorly Attorney General Jeff Sessions had responded to reports that he had surreptitiously communicated with the Russians, the way Mr. Trump’s former National Security Council adviser, Michael T. Flynn, did.
The president, people close to him have said over the last several weeks, has become increasingly frustrated at his inability to control the narrative of his action-packed presidency, after being able to dominate the political discourse or divert criticism by launching one of his signature Twitter attacks.

“I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter,” Mr. Trump told a sympathetic interviewer, Tucker Carlson of Fox News, last week.

Still, there’s some evidence that the president’s magic medium is losing its effectiveness, in part because Mr. Trump’s Twitter persona seems to have shifted from puckish to paranoid.

Focus groups and polls conducted by two Democratic strategists this month have shown that many voters, even some who support Mr. Trump, have grown weary of his tweets as president. That was also borne out by a Fox News poll last week, showing that a mere 35 percent of Trump voters approve of his Twitter habits, and that only 16 percent of all voters approve of them. Some 32 percent said they “wish he’d be more careful” with his feed.
“His tweeting defines him, and not in a good way,” said Geoff Garin, a veteran Democratic pollster. “Voters not only think Trump’s use of Twitter is unpresidential, they also see the tone and content of his tweets as an indication that he is lacking in self-control.”
Mr. Comey seemed to tacitly agree.
In midafternoon came a tweet from Mr. Trump’s official @potus account: “FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia.”

A dour and disapproving Mr. Comey instantly fact-checked the tweet when it was read out loud to him. “No,” he said. “It was not our intention to say that today.”
Correction: March 20, 2017 An earlier version of this article misstated the date on which President Trump suggested on Twitter that former President Barack Obama ordered a “tapp” on his phone. It was March 4, not March 5.




Live Briefing
Comey Confirms F.B.I. Investigation of Russian Election Interference, Links to Trump Campaign










■ The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, publicly confirmed an investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election and whether associates of the president were in contact with Moscow.
■ Mr. Comey also said the F.B.I. had “no information” to support President Trump’s allegation that Barack Obama wiretapped him.
■ The hearing’s featured witnesses: Mr. Comey and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency.









Comey confirms F.B.I. investigation into Russian election interference

The F.B.I. is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government — and whether there was any coordination, Mr. Comey said.


Mr. Comey said that it was unusual for the F.B.I. to confirm or deny the existence of any investigations, but that in unusual circumstances when it is in the public interest, the bureau will sometimes discuss such matters.
“This is one of those circumstances,” he said.
“The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election,” he continued, adding that the investigation included looking at whether associates of Mr. Trump were in contact with Russian officials, and whether they colluded with them.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, responded: “The possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials is a serious, serious matter. The investigation must be fair, independent, and impartial in every way, and the F.B.I. must be allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”









Much of the questioning focused on the Trump confidante Roger J. Stone Jr. and his public bragging that he was in contact with the hacker Guccifer 2.0, believed to be a front for Russian intelligence officials. Mr. Comey would not confirm or deny the subject of the F.B.I.’s investigation, but Mr. Stone, never a shrinking violet, did speak up on Twitter.








Mr. Nunes did seek to bring Hillary Clinton’s campaign into the discussion about Russian election meddling.
“If this committee comes to you with information about Clinton campaign, will you add that to your investigation?,” Mr. Nunes asked Mr. Comey.
Mr. Comey said he was not prepared to comment on the particulars of contacts between Russians and any campaigns. But “if people bring us info,” he said, “we will evaluate it.”
ADVERTISEMENT

F.B.I. director says there’s ‘no information’ to support Trump wiretapping charge

Mr. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee, “We have no information to support” President Trump’s assertion on Twitter that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
“We have no information to support those tweets,” Mr. Comey said, repeating moments later, “All I can tell you is that we have no information that supports them.”
The N.S.A. chief, Admiral Rogers, weighed in as well, saying that he had no knowledge of anyone asking the British or any other ally to wiretap Mr. Trump. That seemed to refute another claim made by the White House.
“I’ve seen nothing on the N.S.A. side that we engaged in such activity, nor that anyone engaged in such activity,” Admiral Rogers said.
He then explicitly denied having any indication that Mr. Trump was wiretapped by British intelligence at the request of Mr. Obama.








Comey revelation raises questions about Clinton email inquiry

Mr. Comey’s statement that the F.B.I. is investigating the Trump campaign is certain to raise comparisons to his disclosure in October that the bureau had discovered a new trove of Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
“Some folks made one of a comparisons to past instances where the Justice Department and the F.B.I. has spoken about the details of some investigations,” Mr. Comey said. “Please keep in mind that those involved with the details of completed investigations. Our ability to share details with Congress and the American people is limited when those investigations are still open, which I hope makes sense. We need to protect people’s privacy. We needed to make sure we don’t get other people clues as to where we are going.”
Mr. Comey said that he had consulted the Justice Department about whether to disclose the existence of the investigation — something he had not done before he held a news conference in July to announce that there was not enough evidence to charge Mrs. Clinton with a crime.
Mr. Comey’s statements on Monday brought immediate criticism from Mrs. Clinton’s allies and former campaign officials. “In refusing to discuss an ongoing investigation, Director Comey is appropriately adhering to the Justice Department’s standards,” said Brian Fallon, the spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. “The question he has never satisfactorily answered is why he deviated from those standards so egregiously in Hillary Clinton’s case.”
Daniel C. Richman, a longtime confidant of Mr. Comey’s and a professor at Columbia University, defended Mr. Comey. “There is no fair comparison between announcing a material status change in an investigation that you publicly declared to be closed — in an announcement the public can be expected to rely on — and speaking about investigative moves, or non moves, in a covert national security investigation,” Mr. Richman said.

McCarthyism? Um, no.

Mr. Comey provided a rare moment of levity when asked if he believed the inquiry into Russian meddling and possible connections to the Trump campaign was a form of “McCarthyism.”
The question came during a stretch of questioning in which both he and Admiral Rogers unequivocally rejected claims by Mr. Trump that he was wiretapped during the campaign.
As for McCarthyism, Mr. Comey’s reply was similarly definitive: “I try very hard not to engage in any ‘isms’ of any kind, including McCarthyism,” he said.

But unsubstantiated charges were leveled.

Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, who led the inquiry into Mrs. Clinton after the 2012 Benghazi attacks, seems to have turned into the Inspector Javert of intelligence leaks. And who is he blaming? Much of the Obama administration — including former President Barack Obama himself.
Mr. Gowdy, in a question to Mr. Comey, asked: “Unauthorized dissemination is punishable by felony up to 10 years in federal prison?”
“Yes, as it should be,” Mr. Comey said.
Mr. Gowdy, who led the House Select Committee on Benghazi and helped expose Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server, asked if a series of people from the Obama administration had access to the intelligence information leaked: John O. Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A.; James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence; Loretta E. Lynch, the former attorney general; Susan E. Rice, the former national security adviser; Ben Rhodes, a former National Security Council official; and … Mr. Obama.
He also listed a series of news reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post that detailed information gleaned from classified intercepts of calls between the Trump adviser Michael T. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.
Mr. Gowdy concluded by asking: “I thought it was against the law to disseminate classified information. Is it?”
“Yes, for sure,” Mr. Comey said. “It is a serious crime.”
The president himself chimed in on the issue via Twitter, again hinting that the leaks came straight from his predecessor:






Nunes: ‘There was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower’

The first hearing of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election opened with Representative Devin Nunes of California, the committee’s chairman and a Trump ally, trying to split the difference between his hawkish view of Russia and his desire to deflect accusations that Mr. Trump’s campaign benefited from Russian interference in the election — or, worse, possibly colluded with Moscow.
Shortly after the witnesses — Mr. Comey and Admiral Rogers — took their seats, Mr. Nunes opened by stating that Russia had a long track record of aggressive actions against its neighbors, and that “its hostile acts take many forms aside from direct military assaults.”
Russia “has a long history of meddling in other countries’ election systems and launching cyber-attacks on a wide range of countries,” he said. “The fact that Russia hacked U.S. election-related databases comes as no shock to this committee.”
But in a nod to a claim pushed by Mr. Trump that he was wiretapped, Mr. Nunes said he wanted to know if there was improper surveillance of campaign officials. And he said it was important to find out “who has leaked classified information.”
“Numerous current and former officials have leaked purportedly classified information in connection to these questions,” Mr. Nunes said. “We aim to determine who has leaked or facilitated leaks of classified information so that these individuals can be brought to justice.”







Schiff: Collusion with Russia would be ‘most shocking betrayals of our democracy’

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the committee’s ranking Democrat, laid out the case that the Trump campaign was, at best, far too close to Russia — and far too eager to appease Moscow on Ukraine and other issues.
“If the Trump campaign, or anybody associated with it, aided or abetted the Russians, it would not only be a serious crime, it would also represent one of the most shocking betrayals of our democracy in history,” he said.
Mr. Schiff said the committee also planned to examine whether the raw intelligence substantiated intelligence officials’ assessment and whether the government had reacted quickly and appropriately to revelations of Russia’s efforts to influence the election.
It is “unknowable” whether Russian meddling altered the outcome of the election, Mr. Schiff said, emphasizing that it mattered more that Moscow succeeded in intervening and will do it again.
“If we do not do our very best to understand how the Russians accomplished this unprecedented attack on our democracy and what we need to do to protect ourselves in the future,” he said, “we will have only ourselves to blame.”

It's what Trump didn't say with Merkel that worries Europe: Former US ambassador to NATO

 

|




President Donald Trump's press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following the pair's meeting was largely positive, but there was one thing Trump didn't address that could be a problem, according to Nick Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO.
"If you were listening for U.S. support for the EU, you didn't hear it from President Trump. Europeans are worried about that," Burns said in an interview with "Power Lunch" on Friday.
"He's the first American president since Truman to be so negative about the project of building European unity. That's a problem."
During the meeting between the two world leaders on Friday, Trump pressed Merkel hard on North Atlantic Treaty commitments, a senior administration official told NBC News.
"I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel our strong support for NATO, as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense," Trump said at a joint White House press conference following the meeting.
Merkel said she was "gratified to know" how "important" Trump feels NATO is.


Wendy Sherman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs at the U.S. State Department, said it's important that the United States works with the alliance to keep Europe "whole and free."
"It is the most successful security alliance that the world has ever seen. It has kept Europe at peace. It has helped outside of that theater as well," she told "Power Lunch."
And the U.S. can't discount the fact that Europe is critical to trade and the development of jobs in the U.S., she added.
"We cannot neglect the reality that Germany has created a lot of jobs in America and that's what President Trump says he's all about," said Sherman, now a senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group.
Burns, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, thinks the most important thing to come from the meeting is the fact that the two leaders establish some measure of familiarity and trust.
"Angela Merkel is going to be his most important partner on a variety of economic, political and strategic issues, most notably the effort to contain Vladimir Putin," he said.
— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.


Merkel meets Trump: A defining moment for US and Germany


  • 17 March 2017
  • From the section Europe






The world's most powerful man is about to meet one of its most influential women.
A snowstorm forced the cancellation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's planned visit to Washington on Tuesday. The forecast for Friday's meeting is much brighter - meteorologically, at least.
But with the exception of their ability to effect profound change upon the western world, President Donald Trump and Angela Merkel have little in common.
He is flamboyant, impetuous and prone to rhetoric which sets alarm bells ringing in Berlin. She is reserved, pragmatic and lingers over decisions.
He lambasted her open door refugee policy. She opposed his travel ban.







But the relationship they strike is likely to have lasting consequences for the future of Europe - and beyond.

Down to business

Mrs Merkel, who is said to have been studying Mr Trump's speeches and even an old interview with Playboy magazine, appears to have concluded that the way to the president's heart is through business.
She is taking the chief executives of BMW and Siemens and the manufacturer Schaeffer along with her.







Together they are expected to reinforce the mutual benefits of the transatlantic economic relationship. They are expected to emphasise that 810,000 people are directly employed by German companies in the US.The chancellor and chief executives will need to talk tough. President Trump has already hinted at higher import taxes for countries such as Germany that have a trade surplus over America.

What they said about each other:

  • "I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals. Nobody even knows where they come from. So I think she made a catastrophic mistake, very bad mistake," Donald Trump, 16 January 2017, The Times
  • "I told you @Time Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favourite. They picked person who is ruining Germany," Donald Trump tweet, 9 December 2015
  • "Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position. On the basis of these values I offer the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close co-operation," Angela Merkel, 9 November 2016


More on Trump and Merkel:

For talks that will last all of two hours there is a lot on the agenda.
Nato, the Middle East and international terror, for a start. Germany's defence spending is currently 1.23% of GDP, but Mrs Merkel is expected to reassure President Trump of its existing commitment to increase that gradually to Nato's 2% target.
And there's a lot to disagree on.
On climate change, German will insist on the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, while Mr Trump's support for the Paris climate deal is unclear.
Germany is also seeking a unified response to Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine and a commitment to sanctions if the terms of the Minsk ceasefire agreement are not met.







Expectations in Berlin are not high. It is unlikely that the Merkel-Trump pairing will replicate the warm and trusting political alliance between the chancellor and President Obama, which survived the revelation that the Americans had listened in to Mrs Merkel's phone calls. It is also election year for the chancellor.

Merkel's 'instruction mode'

Donald Trump is deeply unpopular among Germans. A recent poll for the national broadcaster found that trust in the US under his administration had fallen to a new low and was on a par with Vladimir Putin's Russia.
Angela Merkel needs to walk a diplomatic tightrope. She has to build a working relationship with Mr Trump without appearing to sacrifice her own values or disappoint those keen to cast her as the West's last defender of those democratic ideals.
She has already reminded Mr Trump of his obligation to common values and explained the Geneva Conventions to him.
Mrs Merkel has made it clear that she is still in instruction mode, stating her intention to explain to Mr Trump "that for us nationality and membership of the EU are two sides of the same coin".
Theresa May aside, Mrs Merkel is the first EU leader to meet with America's new president, who supports the UK's decision to leave the union. She will be keen to emphasise the importance she attaches to holding the fragile European project together.
This may be billed as a getting-to-know-you visit, and as Angela Merkel put it: "It's better to talk with than about someone."
But governments around the world will be watching closely for clues as to how America's relationship with Germany and with Europe is likely to evolve. And what that means for the wider world.

la_conner_daffodil_festival_photo_winner_2014

In the Garden: A Welcome Sign of Spring


By Charles Kidder

 



Perhaps the first plant I could recognize and name as a child was the daffodil, a welcome sight and fragrance after a long New York winter. And although native to the Mediterranean, daffodils (Narcissus species) have been in Virginia since at least the middle of the seventeenth century.



Beginning in the 1890s, Gloucester County became a center of daffodil production for much of the eastern United States. Much of this revolved around “wild” or naturalized daffodils that were cut and shipped north. By the middle of the twentieth century, this industry was rapidly dying off for a variety of reasons. But Gloucester County still has one daffodil breeder of note and continues to celebrate its floral heritage with the Daffodil Festival on the last weekend of March. More on that later.




The various Narcissus species, hybrids and cultivars are commonly referred to as either daffodils, jonquils or even simply narcissus, the latter especially when referring to the paper whites commonly forced indoors. The term jonquil is commonly used in certain regions for any daffodil, but technically refers only to one group that has narrow reed-like foliage. The various daffodils are divided into 13 divisions—or 12, if you believe some sources—that are based on flower shape and heritage. For example, Division 1 daffodils are called Trumpets, since the central portion or trumpet is quite long. Regardless of division, colors range from yellow to white, perhaps with some pink or orange in the trumpets. If you seek out specialty nurseries, hundreds of cultivars are available.




All daffodils have similar cultural requirements. As for the amount of sun they want, the more the better. Part sun, or about six hours per day, is sufficient, but less sun than that will lead to reduced blooming, even though the plants may soldier on for a long time. And sunlight in a deciduous woodland does not really count as full sunlight. As for soil, good drainage is important to avoid bulb rot. If your soil is unusually sodden, either amend it with gravel or put daffodils in a raised bed.
Daffodil bulbs should be planted at a depth equal to about three times their diameter, so a two-inch bulb should be six inches deep. Six inches is also a good distance between bulbs. Farther apart and they lose visual impact; closer, and they will require division sooner. Bulbs will look funny planted like soldiers in a straight line, so if you have ten bulbs, better to either plant them in two groups of five, or in a staggered double row. If you are planting a very large number, you can avoid an overly orderly appearance by picking up a handful and tossing them to the general area in which you wish to plant.
There are any number of “new, improved, back-saving!!” bulb planters out there. Use whatever works best for you, which might just be an ordinary trowel or even a garden shovel. And remember: nothing says you have to plant one bulb at a time. You can take a spade and dig up a good-sized hole with one or two punches, and then throw in three to five bulbs. For even larger areas, a rototiller might be the quickest option. And do the bulbs have to be pointy-side up? That’s the ideal, but the shoot will always get turned around and pointed toward the sky anyway. If you’re in a hurry, ensuring that the bulbs are at least on their side would be a good compromise.




Amending your soil with compost will definitely give your daffodils a boost, but there’s no need to fertilize when planting—which of course is not now, but in mid-to-late fall. In very early spring, a balanced fertilizer—about 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 is best—should be sprinkled around the plants just as their foliage emerges. (You can also do this in the fall, but that assumes you’ll remember where your daffodils are!) And speaking of feeding your daffodils, we all know what to do with their foliage, which is there to provide nutrients for the bulb, right? Doing nothing is perfectly okay. Or when the foliage turns yellow and lies on the ground, you can throw some mulch on it if the sight offends you. Do not cut the foliage off while it’s still green or tie it up in cutesy knots! That prevents movement of nutrients down to the bulb; plus, it takes a lot of valuable gardening time.




But back to Gloucester County. The annual Daffodil Festival takes place on the last weekend of March and includes the usual attractions: a parade, a queen, entertainers, a race, a car show, and of course, daffodils. (A full schedule is available on the county’s website. There’s also a link to the history of daffodil farming in this corner of Virginia.) On Saturday they will be running frequent buses over to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs for tours and shopping. Brent and Becky Heath own a business that has been in the family for several generations, at one time operating as the Daffodil Mart. Although they now sell many other types of bulbs, daffodils are still a specialty, with over 200 varieties available.



Once planted, daffodils tend to naturalize, meaning they spread slowly, but never seem to become invasive. Part of their secret to longevity might be their poisonous nature: deer and other critters don’t bother them, so you can enjoy your host of daffodils for many years.

 






















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!

Lenard 






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.



Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham

 




 









photos and graphics betty family betty and friend



Is this Mr. Tigerli?


Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald
Betty MacDonald ART Photos of ICONS Amazing Ladies Pinter Betty MacDonald Quotes Famous Quotes by Betty MacDonald Quoteswave 1950s showing Betty MacDonald descending a staircase and other images  betty macdonald betty bard macdonald wurde 1908 in boulder colorado  photos and graphics betty family betty and friend photos and graphics betty family betty grandchild photo of Betty MacDonald and two children in 1950 costumes Click images for alternate views BETTY MacDONALD PHOTOGRAPH SIGNED DOCUMENT 281143  photos and graphics betty family betty and don on vashon  
          



Betty MacDonald