Friday, May 26, 2017

Betty MacDonald, the kindest man on earth and a highly unusual disclosure

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

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mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT



























Pippi, you're the best. 

























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

British leaders were infuriated this week when the name of the Manchester concert bomber was disclosed by American officials, and further outraged when The New York Times ran investigators’ photographs of the bomb remnants. After Prime Minister Theresa May complained bitterly to you, you denounced the leaks on Thursday and vowed to find and punish the leakers.
But when it comes to keeping secrets, you are hardly a model.
You blithely passed on to the Russians sensitive counterterrorism intelligence from Israel — and publicly seemed to confirm the breach after your staff denied it. Speaking by phone to the widely scorned president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, you revealed the presence of two nuclear submarines off North Korea, a highly unusual disclosure.


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 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 ' )
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The Egg and I Film Illustration























 


Click images for alternate views
Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas
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
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Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

if you know who is this very beautiful lady and the handsome young guy besides James Bond send us their names, please.

Jerry Keil, husband of Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil passed away 17 years ago. He died of cancer at the age of 77 on April 22, 2000.

Jerry became an FBI agent based in Seattle in 1947. 

Betty MacDonald describes this in her book 'Onions in the Stew'.

According to Wolfgang Hampel, author of the Betty MacDonald Biography and interviewer of Betty MacDonald's family and friends, published on CD and DVD by Betty MacDonald Fan Club, Jerry Keil was the kindest man on earth. Jerry was unique and answered every letter and many questions from Betty MacDonald fans all over the world.

Jerry Keil became Joan MacDonald Keil's adviser as she lobbied publishers to reprint the out-of-print "Nancy and Plum." 


nancy and plum_english_1980_paperback_FRONT

When publishers rejected the reissue, Jerry and Joan printed and distributed the book themselves.

They included some beautiful family photos in this very special edition of Nancy and Plum. 


Both did a great work to bring Nancy and Plum back to the audience.
 

Jerry Keil Obituary
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20000426&slug=4017545

Jerry' Keil used skills honed in FBI career to prompte book

By Carole Beers

Seattle Times staff reporter

Girard "Jerry" Keil won awards as a special-agent supervisor in the FBI's Seattle office.

He taught marksmanship and defensive tactics and later did similar work for Paccar, setting up a security plan for the firm's offices nationwide.

It seemed like an about-face when he retired in 1982 to help his wife, Joan MacDonald Keil, republish her mother Betty MacDonald's "Nancy and Plum" book about a pair of orphaned sisters.

But the task drew on skills he sharpened in the FBI: talking to a variety of people and getting them to do the right thing.

Mr. Keil died Saturday (April 22) of cancer. He was 77.

"He was meticulous, and liked to talk and be in charge," said his son Timothy Keil of Whidbey Island. "He enjoyed that discipline. He kept busy promoting the books and took it upon himself to answer every letter from every kid who enjoyed the books."

First he became Joan MacDonald Keil's adviser as she lobbied publishers to reprint the out-of-print "Nancy and Plum." When publishers rejected the reissue, Mr. Keil and his wife, whom he wed 50 years ago, printed and distributed the book themselves.

Later they saw MacDonald's "The Egg and I" book reissued.

Born in Royal Oak, Mich., he graduated from high school in Decatur, Mich. He was class president and played basketball and tennis.

He also was class president at James Milligan University in Decatur, where he earned a degree in business administration before becoming a navigator in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

He became an FBI agent based in Seattle in 1947. He also helped found the Northwest Forum business club.

From 1978 to 1982 he directed security for Paccar.

He then became vice president of Joan Keil Enterprises, his wife's book-promotion firm.

One of his recent joys was sitting on a bench in Kirkland's Marina Park and chatting with people. His family will dedicate a new bench to him and to his daughter Rebecca Keil, who died in 1998.

Surviving besides his wife and son are children Toby Keil of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Heidi Richards of Bellevue; brothers Otto Keil of Pennsylvania and Edwin Keil of Spokane; and seven grandchildren.

Services will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at First Congregational Church, 752 108th Ave. N.E., Bellevue.

Remembrances may go to Evergreen Hospice and Health Care Foundation, 12910 Totem Lake Blvd. N.E., Suite 200, Kirkland, WA 98034.



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.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QhrEi5J_tZA/TevQmbgMMDI/AAAAAAAAAbk/aNKKQEaaWGg/s1600/bards.jpg


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.

 

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Betty MacDonald fan club founder 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.  


We are working on a Who is who? in Betty MacDonald's books. 

 

Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shared her unique memories in these treasure interviews with Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.



Don't miss Vita Magica on May 30th, please.

There are several writers reading stories about their Heidelberg experiences and you'll be able to hear the original  very famous Heidelberg songs.

Betty MacDonald influenced many writers, artists and fans to move to Washington State.

They adore her books and her unique descriptions of nature.




 
Patricia Longhi is one of many examples.

What are the reasons so many people love Evergreen State?

Don't miss the very interesting article below.

  
Posted in Washington May 03, 2017 by

11 Completely Absurd Reasons To Love Washington

Yes, Washington is breathtakingly beautiful… and our scenery is diverse… and our produce is second to none. That being said, when you live in the Evergreen State long enough, you start to love it for its quirks. You develop quite a sense of humor about your home, and when people ask what you adore so much about it, you can hardly contain yourself.

Even if you don’t agree with these 11 reasons to love Washington, you must admit they’re valid, if not a bit silly.

see article below 




Bildergebnis für vashon island

That's such a great story of Vashon Islander Kay Longhi. 

Don't miss this very interesting story, please.

Reading this delightful story I'd like to move to Vashon Island. 

Bildergebnis für vashon island


Islander Kay Longhi and her twin sister were only 6 years old when they moved to Vashon from Chicago in the 1950s, but Longhi, now in her 60s and still living on Vashon, can vividly recall the move and the events leading up to it.

The decision to leave the Midwest was made by Longhi’s mother, Patricia Longhi, who Kay said was tired of living in cities and longed for the same kind of authenticity she witnessed on childhood vacations to a farm in Maine. Patricia found that opportunity in a 1954 radio interview with infamous island author Betty MacDonald.

“Arthur Godfrey interviewed Betty MacDonald on his radio program. She talked about her book ‘Onions in the Stew,’ and it intrigued Mother,” Kay Longhi said. “When Daddy came home, she announced that we were moving to Vashon.”

Bildergebnis für Arthur Godfrey  Betty MacDonaldBildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Onions in the Stew


( see article below ) 





I totally agree the author of an oustanding Betty MacDonald biography needs a very good sense of humor.
 
We will be able to offer you very witty and exciting stories because of our outstanding Betty MacDonald research and many  interviews with Betty MacDonald's family and friends by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.

We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald fan club items including new Betty MacDonald interviews by Wolfgang Hampel.

Work and life of Betty MacDonald had been honored by Wolfgang Hampel in Vita Magica.


More Betty MacDonald events will follow.


Betty MacDonald fan club fans from 5 continents enjoy these unique very witty interviews and new ones will follow.


We are looking for signed or dedicated first editions in great condition with dust jackets by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen for our fans.

Betty MacDonald Memorial Award Winner Wolfgang Hampel  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography and new Betty MacDonald documentary.


Join one of our Betty MacDonald fan club research teams, please. 

Thanks a million in advance for your outstanding support.

Let's talk about Betty MacDonald fan club book cover contest.

You can vote for your favourite Betty MacDonald book cover.

Deadline: June 30, 2017

Betty MacDonald fan club book cover contest winner will be  owner of a signed first edition of one of Betty MacDonald's books.  



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Send us your mail, please and maybe you'll be the winner of Betty MacDonald fan club surprise.

Good luck!



Our most important research item is an updated Betty MacDonald documentary with  lots of new info and interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends.


Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel  told us that Betty MacDonald fan club research team does an excellent job in supporting him with his several Betty MacDonald projects especially an updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Reading this updated Betty MacDonald biography you'll learn the true story of many personalities in Betty MacDonald's books for example the mysterious and rather strange Ms. Dorita Hess from 'Anybody can do anything'.

Tell us, please what should a Betty MacDonald biography include?

Don't hesitate to send us your thoughts, please.

I'd say a real Betty MacDonald biography should also include fascinating info on Betty MacDonald's fascinating brother and sisters including adopted sister Madge.

As we can see Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett got so many fans because of her unique interviews with Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.

We are going to offer some interviews by Wolfgang Hampel, never published before.



Many fans adore the new outstanding website of beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli. 



Don't miss it, please. 

 














Surprise, surprise!

We found new radio manuscripts and shows. 

We are working on Betty MacDonald fan club exhibit and an updated Betty MacDonald documentary.



Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel  told us that Betty MacDonald fan club research team does an excellent job in supporting him with his several Betty MacDonald projects especially an updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald fan club event team is very happy to hear from you and they got some really great ideas for the next International event. 

Thanks a lot! 


You can join Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club on Facebook.

Join us, please. We have lots of fun and joy and had several International ESC meetings in the past. 


Vita Magica with Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Letizia Maninco was outstanding.

The audience enjoyed it very much.
 
Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica is  fascinating because he includes Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

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 our Betty MacDonald fan club fans. 




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


Join us in voting for your favourite city, please. 



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.





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.

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 May.  

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.
 

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 — British leaders were infuriated this week when the name of the Manchester concert bomber was disclosed by American officials, and further outraged when The New York Times ran investigators’ photographs of the bomb remnants. After Prime Minister Theresa May complained bitterly to President Trump, he denounced the leaks on Thursday and vowed to find and punish the leakers.
But when it comes to keeping secrets, Mr. Trump is hardly a model.
He blithely passed on to the Russians sensitive counterterrorism intelligence from Israel — and publicly seemed to confirm the breach after his staff denied it. Speaking by phone to the widely scorned president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Mr. Trump revealed the presence of two nuclear submarines off North Korea, a highly unusual disclosure.
Is there something particularly American about leaking? Some national allergy to protecting government secrets?
Yes, in fact, there is. And whether you denounce that as a dangerous trait or accept it as an underpinning of democracy, it is unlikely to change, according to a range of former officials and students of government secrecy.



Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?
 Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Dorothea Goldsmith



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.

Wishing you a great day

Peter 

nancy and plum_english_1980_paperback_FRONT




Bildergebnis für wenatchee

Bildergebnis für apples from Wenatchee

 Bildergebnis für Butte




Bildergebnis für seattle




Bildergebnis für vashon island

Bildergebnis für Spring on Vashon Island


Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald and L'oeuf et moi

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald fan club red rose



Bildergebnis für Arthur Godfrey  Betty MacDonald

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald fan club

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Onions in the Stew
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QhrEi5J_tZA/TevQmbgMMDI/AAAAAAAAAbk/aNKKQEaaWGg/s1600/bards.jpg
Anne MacDonald Canham

best friends by mary bard


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  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

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

Leaks: A Uniquely American Way of Annoying the Authorities





 
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain said she would “make clear” to President Trump the sanctity of shared intelligence. Credit Pool photo by Matt Dunham

WASHINGTON — British leaders were infuriated this week when the name of the Manchester concert bomber was disclosed by American officials, and further outraged when The New York Times ran investigators’ photographs of the bomb remnants. After Prime Minister Theresa May complained bitterly to President Trump, he denounced the leaks on Thursday and vowed to find and punish the leakers.
But when it comes to keeping secrets, Mr. Trump is hardly a model.
He blithely passed on to the Russians sensitive counterterrorism intelligence from Israel — and publicly seemed to confirm the breach after his staff denied it. Speaking by phone to the widely scorned president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Mr. Trump revealed the presence of two nuclear submarines off North Korea, a highly unusual disclosure.
Is there something particularly American about leaking? Some national allergy to protecting government secrets?
Yes, in fact, there is. And whether you denounce that as a dangerous trait or accept it as an underpinning of democracy, it is unlikely to change, according to a range of former officials and students of government secrecy.


“To sum up what distinguishes the United States in a nutshell: It’s the First Amendment,” said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “The concept of a free press has been integral to the American idea since its inception. That’s not true even of other democracies. The press here even has the right to be irresponsible, which it sometimes is.”
The contrast with Britain, despite the shared democratic heritage, is particularly stark. Instead of the First Amendment, the British have the Official Secrets Act, which allows the government to ban in advance the publication of government secrets and prescribes punishments not just for leakers, but also for the journalists who publish the information.
Despite an unprecedented string of prosecutions for leaks under the Obama administration and a pledge on Thursday by Mr. Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to end “these rampant leaks that undermine our national security,” unauthorized disclosures of secrets are far more common in Washington than in London.
“I’m trying to think of a scandal over a leak from the intelligence service here, and I can’t think of one,” said John Lloyd, a veteran British journalist and a founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. “The culture of ‘you don’t need to know this’ hangs around in the U.K.”
He added that the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and in recent years even the National Security Agency had been far more open and involved in the political fray than their buttoned-up counterparts in Britain, known respectively as MI5, MI6 and Government Communications Headquarters.
Mr. Lloyd said the countersecrecy culture in the United States was shaped not only by the First Amendment, but also by the “quite radical” interpretation by the Supreme Court in the 1971 Pentagon Papers case, which prohibited the government from ordering that leaked information not be published.
In that case, Max Frankel, who was then The Times’s Washington bureau chief, laid out in an affidavit a classic statement of the journalists’ position on leaks. “Without the use of ‘secrets,’” wrote Mr. Frankel, who later became the newspaper’s top editor, “there could be no adequate diplomatic, military and political reporting of the kind our people take for granted, either abroad or in Washington.”
For British journalists, Mr. Lloyd said, “probing into dark corners of the state here really takes its inspiration from the U.S.”
In the case of the Manchester bombing, Greater Manchester Police officials were angry when the name of the suspected bomber, Salman Abedi, leaked from the United States even before the coroner could match an identification card found at the scene to the bomber’s body, according to a British intelligence official.





The official said investigators feared that publishing Mr. Abedi’s name might prompt relatives and possible co-conspirators to evade the police, though that appears not to have happened. (It hardly needs saying, given British law, that the official spoke on the condition of anonymity even to explain British anger about the leaks.)
The Times’s posting on Wednesday of the photographs of the bomb components, including a battery and scraps of what seemed to be a backpack, compounded the investigators’ frustration, the official said. Those photographs bore a stamp saying “Restricted Circulation — Official Use Only,” a designation below “secret” and used in routine government business.
Across the American political spectrum, officials expressed sympathy for the British complaints. Mr. Trump called the leaks “deeply troubling,” and Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that “the British government has every right to be furious.”


John McLaughlin, a former acting director of the C.I.A., said he did not blame the British for temporarily halting routine intelligence sharing in response to the leaks. “It’s particularly damaging in a terrorism case,” he said.

But beyond such reactions to the current furor, the larger story of America and leaks is more complicated, especially since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Only because of illegal leaks of classified information did the public initially learn of the C.I.A.’s secret prisons and use of torture, the N.S.A.’s eavesdropping without court orders and the details of American drone strikes. Barack Obama ran for president in part against what he considered the excesses of counterterrorism programs under George W. Bush, as disclosed by leaks — but Mr. Obama’s administration then prosecuted far more leakers than all previous presidents combined.

In his short tenure, Mr. Trump may already have exceeded his predecessor’s contradictions. On the campaign trail, he cheered on the leak of Democratic emails, declaring, “I love WikiLeaks.” Those emails were unclassified, but WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of classified American documents.
In office, Mr. Trump has regularly fulminated against leaks, especially those about the F.B.I. and congressional investigations of contacts between his associates and Russia. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?” he asked on Twitter in February.

But the president shocked the Israelis by sharing highly sensitive information with visiting Russian officials about an Islamic State plot. After his aides refused to confirm that the source of the intelligence was Israel, Mr. Trump appeared to do so by publicly assuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, “I never mentioned the word or the name Israel.”

Similarly, when the Philippines released a transcript of a call between Mr. Duterte and Mr. Trump, some military officials were dismayed to see that the American president had discussed the general location of two nuclear submarines, part of a stealthy Navy force called “the Silent Service.” As in his meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, Mr. Trump’s motive appeared to be boasting of American abilities: “We have a lot of firepower over there,” he said, calling the submarines “the best in the world.”
Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of a 2010 book, “Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law,” said he saw no public benefit in getting ahead of British investigators, and agreed with Mrs. May’s condemnation of the bombing investigation leaks.

But as for the American president’s complaints about leakers, he said, “I think Trump is monumentally hypocritical.”
Mr. McLaughlin, the former C.I.A. official, said that Mr. Trump was “clearly unaccustomed to dealing with classified information,” and added, “That’s something we all have to learn — what you can say and what you have to hold back.”

On the other hand, Mr. McLaughlin said: “We shouldn’t make excuses for him. He’s president, for God’s sake.”






Politics

Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer








 
Paul Manafort, then the Trump campaign chairman, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. Credit Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence.
The conversations focused on Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman at the time, and Michael T. Flynn, a retired general who was advising Mr. Trump, the officials said. Both men had indirect ties to Russian officials, who appeared confident that each could be used to help shape Mr. Trump’s opinions on Russia.
Some Russians boasted about how well they knew Mr. Flynn. Others discussed leveraging their ties to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine living in exile in Russia, who at one time had worked closely with Mr. Manafort.
The intelligence was among the clues — which also included information about direct communications between Mr. Trump’s advisers and Russian officials — that American officials received last year as they began investigating Russian attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates were assisting Moscow in the effort. Details of the conversations, some of which have not been previously reported, add to an increasing understanding of the alarm inside the American government last year about the Russian disruption campaign.


The information collected last summer was considered credible enough for intelligence agencies to pass to the F.B.I., which during that period opened a counterintelligence investigation that is continuing. It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn. Both have denied any collusion with the Russian government on the campaign to disrupt the election.
John O. Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A., testified Tuesday about a tense period last year when he came to believe that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was trying to steer the outcome of the election. He said he saw intelligence suggesting that Russia wanted to use Trump campaign officials, wittingly or not, to help in that effort. He spoke vaguely about contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials, without giving names, saying they “raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”
Whether the Russians worked directly with any Trump advisers is one of the central questions that federal investigators, now led by Robert S. Mueller III, the newly appointed special counsel, are seeking to answer. President Trump, for his part, has dismissed talk of Russian interference in the election as “fake news,” insisting there was no contact between his campaign and Russian officials.
“If there ever was any effort by Russians to influence me, I was unaware, and they would have failed,” Mr. Manafort said in a statement. “I did not collude with the Russians to influence the elections.”
The White House, F.B.I. and C.I.A. declined to comment. Mr. Flynn’s lawyer did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The current and former officials agreed to discuss the intelligence only on the condition of anonymity because much of it remains highly classified, and they could be prosecuted for disclosing it.
Last week, CNN reported about intercepted phone calls during which Russian officials were bragging about ties to Mr. Flynn and discussing ways to wield influence over him.
In his congressional testimony, Mr. Brennan discussed the broad outlines of the intelligence, and his disclosures backed up the accounts of the information provided by the current and former officials.
“I was convinced in the summer that the Russians were trying to interfere in the election. And they were very aggressive,” Mr. Brennan said. Still, he said, even at the end of the Obama administration he had “unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf again either in a witting or unwitting fashion.”


Mr. Brennan’s testimony offered the fullest public account to date of how American intelligence agencies first came to fear that Mr. Trump’s campaign might be aiding Russia’s attack on the election.

By early summer, American intelligence officials already were fairly certain that it was Russian hackers who had stolen tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That in itself was not viewed as particularly extraordinary by the Americans — foreign spies had hacked previous campaigns, and the United States does the same in elections around the world, officials said. The view on the inside was that collecting information, even through hacking, is what spies do.
But the concerns began to grow when intelligence began trickling in about Russian officials weighing whether they should release stolen emails and other information to shape American opinion — to, in essence, weaponize the materials stolen by hackers.

An unclassified report by American intelligence agencies released in January stated that Mr. Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.”
Before taking the helm of the Trump campaign last May, Mr. Manafort worked for more than a decade for Russian-leaning political organizations and people in Ukraine, including Mr. Yanukovych, the former president. Mr. Yanukovych was a close ally of Mr. Putin.

Mr. Manafort’s links to Ukraine led to his departure from the Trump campaign in August, after his name surfaced in secret ledgers showing millions in undisclosed payments from Mr. Yanukovych’s political party.
Russia views Ukraine as a buffer against the eastward expansion of NATO, and has supported separatists in their yearslong fight against the struggling democratic government in Kiev.

Mr. Flynn’s ties to Russian officials stretch back to his time at the Defense Intelligence Agency, which he led from 2012 to 2014. There, he began pressing for the United States to cultivate Russia as an ally in the fight against Islamist militants, and even spent a day in Moscow at the headquarters of the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence service, in 2013.

He continued to insist that Russia could be an ally even after Moscow’s seizure of Crimea the following year, and Obama administration officials have said that contributed to their decision to push him out of the D.I.A.
But in private life, Mr. Flynn cultivated even closer ties to Russia. In 2015, he earned more than $65,000 from companies linked to Russia, including a cargo airline implicated in a bribery scheme involving Russian officials at the United Nations, and an American branch of a cybersecurity firm believed to have ties to Russia’s intelligence services.

The biggest payment, though, came from RT, the Kremlin-financed news network. It paid Mr. Flynn $45,000 to give a speech in Moscow, where he also attended the network’s lavish anniversary dinner. There, he was photographed sitting next to Mr. Putin.

A senior lawmaker said on Monday that Mr. Flynn misled Pentagon investigators about how he was paid for the Moscow trip. He also failed to disclose the source of that income on a security form he was required to complete before joining the White House, according to congressional investigators.
American officials have also said there were multiple telephone calls between Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, on Dec. 29, beginning shortly after Mr. Kislyak was summoned to the State Department and informed that, in retaliation for Russian election meddling, the United States was expelling 35 people suspected of being Russian intelligence operatives and imposing other sanctions.

American intelligence agencies routinely tap the phones of Russian diplomats, and transcripts of the calls showed that Mr. Flynn urged the Russians not to respond, saying relations would improve once Mr. Trump was in office, officials have said.

But after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the calls, Mr. Flynn was fired as national security adviser after a tumultuous 25 days in office.
























 
John O. Brennan, the former director the C.I.A., testified during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday in Washington. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, described on Tuesday a nerve-fraying few months last year as American authorities realized that the presidential election was under attack and feared that Donald J. Trump’s campaign might be aiding that fight.
Mr. Brennan, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, said he was concerned by a series of suspicious contacts between Russian government officials and Mr. Trump’s associates. The C.I.A. learned about those meetings just as it was beginning to grapple with Russian hackers and propagandists trying to manipulate the presidential race.
His remarks were the fullest public account to date of the origins of an F.B.I. investigation that continues to shadow the Trump administration.
“I know what the Russians try to do,” Mr. Brennan said. “They try to suborn individuals and try to get individuals, including U.S. individuals, to act on their behalf, wittingly or unwittingly.”

When he left his post in January, he said, “I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons involved in the campaign or not to work on their behalf.”
Mr. Brennan acknowledged that he did not know whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives and said the contacts might have been benign.
American intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, tried to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and help Mr. Trump. On Aug. 4, as evidence of that campaign mounted, Mr. Brennan warned Alexander V. Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service, known as the F.S.B., not to meddle in the election. Not only would such interference damage relations between the countries, he said, but it was also certain to backfire.
“I said that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation or whom they might support in the election, cherish their ability to elect their own leaders without outside interference or disruption,” Mr. Brennan said. “I said American voters would be outraged by any Russian attempt to interfere in the election.”
Mr. Brennan’s prediction proved inaccurate. Though intelligence agencies are unanimous in their belief that Russia directly interfered in the election, it has become a divisive partisan issue, with Democrats far more likely than Republicans to accept the conclusion. Mr. Trump has declared that “Russia is fake news” and has tried to undermine the conclusions of his own intelligence services.
He has also tried repeatedly to beat back news reports about his campaign’s ties to Russia. White House officials tried to enlist the F.B.I. and C.I.A. to dispute stories early this year. Then, after the F.B.I. publicly confirmed its investigation, Mr. Trump asked Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly deny any collusion between Russia and his campaign, according to two former American officials. The Washington Post first reported Mr. Trump’s entreaties.
On the day of the F.B.I.’s confirmation, a call from the White House switchboard came in to Mr. Coats’s office with a request to speak to the director, a former intelligence official said. Calls from the switchboard are usually from the highest-ranking officials at the White House — the president, the vice president or the national security adviser.
Mr. Coats took the call. The official would not confirm what was discussed.
Mr. Coats, who testified on Tuesday in a separate congressional hearing, declined to discuss his conversations with the president.


The White House regarded Mr. Brennan’s testimony as the latest example of a former official from the Obama administration describing great concern but offering no public proof of wrongdoing.
“This morning’s hearings back up what we’ve been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation, there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion,” the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.
During the campaign, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump declared that “there was no communication” with foreign entities. And in January, Vice President Mike Pence flatly denied that there had been any contacts with Russians. Journalists have since reported repeated undisclosed meetings with Russians. Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, was forced to resign over misstatements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak.
A Justice Department special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is investigating whether any collusion took place. A grand jury in Northern Virginia has issued subpoenas for information related to Mr. Flynn’s lobbying and businesses. That investigation is separate from multiple congressional investigations into Russian meddling. Mr. Flynn has declined to be interviewed or provide documents to Congress, citing his constitutional right not to incriminate himself.
The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday issued subpoenas for documents from two businesses owned by Mr. Flynn — Flynn Intel L.L.C. and Flynn Intel Inc. — escalating efforts to learn more about his potential business ties to Russia.
Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the committee’s chairman, left open the possibility of holding Mr. Flynn in contempt of Congress.
“At the end of that option is a contempt charge,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill. “And I’ve said that everything is on the table.”
But the committee’s members are not ready to take that step, Mr. Burr said, adding that they want to give Mr. Flynn the opportunity he requested to tell his story.
During his testimony on Tuesday, Mr. Brennan described Russia’s efforts around the world to use politicians to further Moscow’s objectives. “I certainly was concerned that they were practicing the same types of activities here in the United States,” he said.
He added that American targets were often unwitting in such efforts. “Frequently, people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late,” he said.
In late July, officials established a group of N.S.A., C.I.A. and F.B.I. officials to investigate the election interference. The information was tightly held, and the F.B.I. took the lead on investigating potential collusion, Mr. Brennan said.
“I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the bureau,” he said.
That investigation was on Mr. Trump’s mind this month when he fired James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, the president has said. And the next day, Mr. Trump told Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting that firing Mr. Comey had eased pressure on him. Such comments, in addition to Mr. Trump’s efforts to publicly undermine the F.B.I. investigation, have fueled suspicion among Democrats and some Republicans that Mr. Trump is trying to obstruct the case.
Mr. Brennan said Russia was trying to capitalize on the turmoil in Washington. “Even though the election is over,” he said, “I think Mr. Putin and Russian intelligence services are trying to actively exploit what is going on now in Washington to their benefit and to our detriment.”













US officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians




Washington (CNN) The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.
This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source.
The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.
In his statement on Monday Comey said the FBI began looking into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives because the bureau had gathered "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power."
The White House did not comment and the FBI declined to comment. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Thursday the Russian government would not comment on information from unnamed sources.
"This is another piece of information without any sources which can't be commented on, neither can it be taken as some serious thing," Peskov told reporters in response to a question about CNN's reporting.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer maintained Monday after Comey's testimony that there was no evidence to suggest any collusion took place.
"Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things," Spicer said.
One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests "people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready." But other U.S. officials who spoke to CNN say it's premature to draw that inference from the information gathered so far since it's largely circumstantial.
The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation, the officials said.
The FBI has already been investigating four former Trump campaign associates -- Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page -- for contacts with Russians known to US intelligence. All four have denied improper contacts and CNN has not confirmed any of them are the subjects of the information the FBI is reviewing.
One of the obstacles the sources say the FBI now faces in finding conclusive intelligence is that communications between Trump's associates and Russians have ceased in recent months given the public focus on Russia's alleged ties to the Trump campaign. Some Russian officials have also changed their methods of communications, making monitoring more difficult, the officials said.
Last July, Russian intelligence agencies began orchestrating the release of hacked emails stolen in a breach of the Democratic National Committee and associated organizations, as well as email accounts belonging to Clinton campaign officials, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.
The Russian operation was also in part focused on the publication of so-called "fake news" stories aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign. But FBI investigators say they are less focused on the coordination and publication of those "fake news" stories, in part because those publications are generally protected free speech.
The release of the stolen emails, meanwhile, transformed an ordinary cyber-intrusion investigation into a much bigger case handled by the FBI's counterintelligence division.
FBI counterintelligence investigations are notoriously lengthy and often involve some of the U.S. government's most highly classified programs, such as those focused on intelligence-gathering, which can make it difficult for investigators to bring criminal charges without exposing those programs.
Investigators continue to analyze the material and information from multiple sources for any possible indications of coordination, according to US officials. Director Comey in Monday's hearing refused to reveal what specifically the FBI was looking for or who they're focusing on.
US officials said the information was not drawn from the leaked dossier of unverified information compiled by a former British intelligence official compiled for Trump's political opponents, though the dossier also suggested coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives.


The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist

Blood in the Water


















Donald Trump has left the country for his first foreign trip as president and what he has left behind is a brewing crisis that appears to deepen by the day, and even the hour.
There is a sense that blood is in the water, that Trump’s erratic, self-destructive behavior, aversion to honesty and authoritarian desire for absolute control may in some way, at some point, lead to his undoing and that the pace of that undoing is quickening.
Last week Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein took the extraordinary step of naming former F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
This was a significant ratcheting up. This is a criminal inquiry, by an independent operator who is well respected. The investigation is now largely insulated from politics. This investigation must now run its course, whether that takes months or years, and go wherever the facts may lead.




But that has not stopped Trump from whining in a tweet, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” and saying during a commencement address:
“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

















 
President Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence and First Lady Melania Trump, before departing on his first foreign trip in office on Friday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Not only is this a laughable assertion that could only be uttered by someone who isn’t a student of history or a reader of books, but it also resurfaces one of Trump’s most vexatious qualities: perpetual wallowing in self-victimization and the shedding of his own tears for a spurious suffering that only exists in the muddle of his mind.
Grow up! Just correction is not jaundiced crucifixion. Any hell you’re in is a hell you made. You are the author of your own demise. You are not being unfairly targeted; instead your above-the-rules, beyond-the-law sense of privilege is being tested and found insufficient. It will not immunize you against truth and justice.

There are very serious questions here, ones that include but are not limited to collusion. They also now include the possibility of treason, obstruction of justice and making false statements.

It is increasingly clear that there is more to know than we now know.
There is more to know about former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn’s activities, and who knew what about those activities and when. There is more to know about the president’s interactions with James Comey and the reason for Comey’s firing. There is more to know about the true extent of contact between Trump associates and the Russians.

Did the president have inappropriate conversations with Comey, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in an effort to exculpate himself and mitigate inquiries about Flynn?


Trump’s and Comey’s accounts, at least as they are being reported, conflict on these counts. One of these men is lying. And while I am no fan of Comey — his buzzer-beating hijinks with Hillary’s email just before the election helped hand this country over to Trump and his cabal of corruption — I am more prone to believe him than Trump, a proven, pathological liar.

The crisis isn’t limited only to Trump.
Did Vice President Mike Pence not know that Flynn was under investigation by the F.B.I. for lobbying on behalf of Turkey until “March, upon first hearing the news”? How can that be when, as The New York Times reported last week, Flynn “told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.” Pence led the transition team.
How can Pence claim ignorance when Representative Elijah E. Cummings, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent Pence a letter on Nov. 18, explicitly spelling out:
“Lt. Gen. Flynn’s General Counsel and Principal, Robert Kelley, confirmed that they were hired by a foreign company to lobby for Turkish interests, stating: ‘They want to keep posted on what we all want to be informed of: the present situation, the transition between President Obama and President-Elect Trump.’ When asked whether the firm had been hired because of Lt. Gen. Flynn’s close ties to President-elect Trump, Mr. Kelley responded, ‘I hope so.’ ”
It isn’t possible Pence knew nothing. I believe Pence is a liar like his boss.
We knew that Pence was a liar when during the vice-presidential debate he repeatedly claimed that Trump had not in fact said things that he was recorded on television saying.
The only difference between the two is delivery. Trump is bombastic and abrasive with his lies. Pence cleverly delivers his with earnestness and solemnity. But a lie is a lie.
The whole White House crew must be fully investigated and held to account. It is time for justice to be served and honor restored. The dishonest must be dislodged.
















Continue reading the main story




SundayReview | Editorial

Watergate? We’re Not There Yet





















 
President Trump in the Oval Office on Thursday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Now that Robert Mueller III has been appointed special counsel to investigate ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, Democrats and even a few Republicans are drawing comparisons between the present mess and the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon.
Senator John McCain of Arizona pegged the president’s problems at a “point where it’s of Watergate size and scale” after reports surfaced that Mr. Trump had pressed James Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to quash an investigation of Mike Flynn, the Trump loyalist and former national security adviser. David Gergen, who was a White House aide to four presidents in Republican and Democratic administrations, contended that “we’re in impeachment territory now.” A few other Republicans have broken away from their party’s blind defense of the president and called for deeper investigations.
The national interest and the integrity of the democratic process are undeniably at stake in the investigation. And it may turn out that the president and his associates have engaged in an attempt to obstruct justice; really bad stuff could turn up. But Watergate? We’re not there yet. That’s a word that summons obstruction on a monumental scale, with evidence to prove overt criminal acts — not least the White House conspiracy to burglarize the Democratic Party headquarters. Scores of administration officials were indicted or jailed when President Nixon had to flee from office on the eve of certain impeachment.
Mr. Trump has made the parallel easier to draw as he complains of a “witch hunt,” tramples ethical standards and shows no sign of the reasonable political behavior the nation sorely needs from him. Like Mr. Nixon, he regularly denounces real and imagined “enemies”; his White House is full of sycophantic assistants pressed to defend fantastic claims and policy distortions, as was Mr. Nixon’s. Like the Nixonites, Trump loyalists in the administration are clearly fearful of crossing their boss by attempting helpful criticism as the president plays daily with political fire.

Yet the differences are also worth noting. The public learned then that the Nixon team had plunged into rank criminality, discussing a million-dollar bribe for the burglars after they demanded ransom money for protecting the White House. And the political realities in Congress were of a different order. Back then, the Democrats enjoyed subpoena power through majority control of both houses so that, unlike now, they could freely investigate the scandal. Bipartisanship was such in 1973 that the Senate voted 77 to zero to create the select Watergate committee once the F.B.I. established the burglary’s connection to the Nixon re-election campaign.

In contrast, current Republicans revel in tooth-and-claw partisanship. Democrats remain a largely powerless minority as Republican leaders pretend they have no grave doubts about Mr. Trump, hoping to survive next year’s elections despite his unpopularity.
Most striking of all in the Nixon impeachment was the deus ex machina revealed unexpectedly in the Watergate hearings that gripped the nation on television and radio — Mr. Nixon’s supreme folly of crafting his conspiracies before the attentive microphones of a White House taping system to record his utterances for some imagined high place in history. When the Supreme Court ruled that the tapes were fair game for investigators, the nation finally grasped the extent of Mr. Nixon’s scheming. Denials from his “silent majority” base became pointless.
President Trump has hinted threateningly at the existence of tapes; so far it sounds like his characteristic bluffing. (Ironies abound. Mr. Trump’s complaints to the F.B.I. about damaging leaks recall that Deep Throat, the ultimate Watergate leaker to The Washington Post, was revealed to be W. Mark Felt, then the associate director of the F.B.I.)

Watergate remains a tall bar. The Clinton and Reagan scandals couldn’t come close. In President Bill Clinton’s case, an independent counsel capitalized on his writ to wander widely into the president’s sex life, elevating a sex-and-mendacity saga into a perjury trial in which the Senate calmly voted to acquit, finding it all insufficient reason to evict a popular president. In the Iran-contra affair, President Ronald Reagan was never convincingly depicted as the mastermind of the illegal arms-for-hostages scheme run by his aides.

For Democrats, too much indulgence of impeachment notions could prove a distraction from the more workaday and politically achievable challenge at hand. Their main job is to rouse the public to use Mr. Trump’s unimpressive polling numbers as leverage on Republicans, who already are citing the Mueller investigation as reason to slow down congressional inquiries into the Trump and Russia affair. Beyond that, they and other critics should be working hard to win back a majority next year in at least one house of Congress. This would secure them the subpoena power to shed far better light for the nation on Mr. Trump’s and his enablers’ sorry deeds.


















































 
President Trump at a United States Coast Guard event in New London, Conn., this week. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Louis XIV of France summed up his view of power with the phrase “L’État, c’est moi,” or “I am the State.” Donald Trump became president four months ago with roughly the same idea. In the Trump universe, he had been judge, jury and executioner. He saw no reason why that would change.
Trump had no knowledge of, or interest in, the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution. Circumscribed power was for losers, a category of humanity for which he reserves his greatest disdain. Just this week, after passing along classified information about the Islamic State to Russia, and so jeopardizing an ally’s intelligence asset, Trump tweeted that he had the “absolute right” to do so.
Absolutism is Trump’s thing. He’s installed his family in senior White House posts where influence and business intersect. His aides are terrified. His press secretary hides “among the bushes.” The family knows everything; nobody else knows anything. He demanded loyalty of the F.B.I. director he subsequently fired for lèse-majesté. All this is right out of Despotism 101.
Absolutism is not, however, America’s thing. In fact it is what the United States was created to escape from. The Declaration of Independence excoriates the “absolute Tyranny over these States,” exercised by King George III. Among the British king’s usurpations: “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”


No wonder the Constitution ratified a dozen years later has this to say about the judicial branch: “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished.”
But Trump came into office with what Stephen Burbank, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, described to me as “little regard for the law.” Nor would a man so ahistorical have had any notion that the Constitution diffuses power between three branches of government because it reflects the experience of dealing with a king. The clash between an autocratic president and the institutions of American freedom that intensified this week with the appointment of a special prosecutor, Robert S. Mueller III, was inevitable.
The president can declassify information if he wishes but that’s not an open invitation to recklessness. Giving sensitive intelligence to Russia, a rival power that of late has resembled an enemy, could raise legal issues. For Trump to then use the word “absolute” in his defense recalls Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


Trump did not need much corrupting. He was already well schooled. He has poured scorn on an independent judiciary (dismissing as “so-called” a federal judge who ruled against him) and called the press “the enemy of the American people.”

The president’s contempt for the Constitution was signaled in his inaugural speech when he invoked his “oath of allegiance to all Americans.” No, the president’s oath is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” His allegiance is to the law. We know where allegiance to the “volk” can lead.

In firing James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, Trump used a letter from Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, as justification, before finding other reasons. Rosenstein got played. He knows it. Trump’s contempt for the judiciary, in the person of this United States attorney with a 27-year career in the Justice Department, was evident.

Rosenstein has now done the right thing by appointing Mueller to look into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia. The former F.B.I. director is a man of undisputed integrity. He will give backbone to the post-Comey F.B.I.
Mueller’s investigation must be complemented by congressional inquiries into the Trump campaign’s Russian connections that are likely to move faster and more openly. The one must not preclude the other; they are complementary. It is past time for the Republican firewall of support for Trump to crumble. Mueller, whose work will take many months at least, is investigating violations of criminal law, but “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the grounds for impeachment, are not confined to that.
“Something that violates criminal law is likely to be a high crime and misdemeanor, but not necessarily vice-versa,” Burbank said.

It is against this confrontational domestic backdrop that Trump will be consorting with autocrats and democrats on his first foreign trip (to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, the Vatican and Italy), without the world knowing which he favors. He can only blame himself for the turmoil. Trump’s White House is a valueless place that has already neutered the American idea. That this shallow, shifting president now sees himself as a possible advocate of global religious tolerance is a measure of how far ego can induce blindness.

Richard Nixon once said that, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” But the state was not Nixon, as he learned, and nor is it Trump, whose education in the coming months will be harsh. Trump calls it a “witch hunt.” No, Mr. President, it’s called the law.
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Trump, Citing ‘a Witch Hunt,’ Denies Any Collusion With Russia

































WASHINGTON — President Trump declared angrily on Thursday that he was the victim of a witch hunt, and all but contradicted his deputy attorney general on the firing of the F.B.I. director, in an extensive denial of any collusion between his campaign and Russia.
Mr. Trump used a chaotic White House news conference with Colombia’s leader to directly confront a weeklong barrage of criticism and questions in a political storm that he said was dividing the nation. He also conspicuously distanced himself from aides like his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in repeating his claim that Moscow and its agents had not secretly assisted his campaign.
“I respect the move,” Mr. Trump said of the Justice Department’s decision on Wednesday to appoint a special counsel to investigate the matter. “But the entire thing has been a witch hunt.”
“And there is no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign — but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians,” he said. “Zero.”


Moments later, he added, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
The president was correct in his observation about the rarity of a special counsel, though his references to the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration did little to bolster his case. There were multiple congressional investigations into the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and the role played by Mrs. Clinton, then the secretary of state, and Mr. Obama.
It was not the first time Mr. Trump likened the questions about his campaign and Russia to a witch hunt. In January, while president-elect, he said in an interview with The New York Times that the persistent focus on Russia’s hacking of the American presidential campaign was a witch hunt carried out by people bitter at his victory.
The president elaborated on that theme in the news conference, casting the investigation as a needless distraction from the achievements of his administration, which he enthusiastically enumerated.
“We’ve had tremendous success,” he said. “You look at our job numbers. You look at what’s going on at the border.”
Some of Mr. Trump’s claims raised more questions than answers. “You’re going to see some incredible numbers with respect to the success of General Mattis and others with the ISIS situation,” he said, referring to the defense secretary, Jim Mattis. “The numbers are staggering, how successful they’ve been.”
He promised to name a new F.B.I. director soon, having acknowledged to reporters earlier in the day that former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut was a top contender.
Mr. Trump’s sense of grievance over the Russia investigations had been deepening even before the naming of a special counsel. On Thursday, he arrived in the East Room primed for confrontation.
Rather than call on a reporter from a conservative-leaning news organization, as he has in the past, Mr. Trump pointed to Jonathan Karl, an ABC News correspondent known for his close questioning during White House briefings.
When a second reporter, Scott Thuman of the broadcaster Sinclair, asked Mr. Trump whether he had urged Mr. Comey to drop the Russia investigation, Mr. Thuman could not finish the question before the president interrupted. “No. No,” Mr. Trump snapped. “Next question.”
Mr. Santos, a Harvard-trained economist who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for negotiating a peace treaty with the FARC guerrillas, watched the spectacle with an inscrutable expression. After he sidestepped a question about whether he agreed with the White House plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico to halt the flow of drugs into the United States, Mr. Trump jumped in.
“That was a very long and very diplomatic answer,” Mr. Trump said. “I will say it a bit shorter: Walls work. Just ask Israel.”
Earlier, Mr. Trump said that coca cultivation and cocaine production had risen to record levels in Colombia, and challenged Mr. Santos to remedy the problem.
Mr. Santos returned the favor minutes later when asked whether he had advice for Mr. Trump.
“I don’t think I’m in a position to give any advice to President Trump,” Mr. Santos said with a smile. “He can take care of himself.”
Correction: May 18, 2017 An earlier version of this article misstated a quotation from President Trump. He said, “I can always speak for myself,” not “I can only speak for myself.”

































11 Completely Absurd Reasons To Love Washington

Yes, Washington is breathtakingly beautiful… and our scenery is diverse… and our produce is second to none. That being said, when you live in the Evergreen State long enough, you start to love it for its quirks. You develop quite a sense of humor about your home, and when people ask what you adore so much about it, you can hardly contain yourself.
Even if you don’t agree with these 11 reasons to love Washington, you must admit they’re valid, if not a bit silly.








Whatever your reasons, it feels good to love the state you live in. Here are some slightly more traditional reasons everyone should adore Washington.




























Kay Longhi’s parents, Francis and Patricia Longhi, at their north-end home on Cowan Road in the 1960s. (Courtesy Photo)

Coming Home: Betty MacDonald interview drew Longhis from Chicago

Editor’s Note: This story is the second in a series about the interesting ways current islanders came to end up on Vashon and how being on the island has changed the course of their lives.Islander Kay Longhi and her twin sister were only 6 years old when they moved to Vashon from Chicago in the 1950s, but Longhi, now in her 60s and still living on Vashon, can vividly recall the move and the events leading up to it.The decision to leave the Midwest was made by Longhi’s mother, Patricia Longhi, who Kay said was tired of living in cities and longed for the same kind of authenticity she witnessed on childhood vacations to a farm in Maine. Patricia found that opportunity in a 1954 radio interview with infamous island author Betty MacDonald.“Arthur Godfrey interviewed Betty MacDonald on his radio program. She talked about her book ‘Onions in the Stew,’ and it intrigued Mother,” Kay Longhi said. “When Daddy came home, she announced that we were moving to Vashon.”Kay called the early 1950s the “go-go time,” as the interstate system was being built and car culture was catching on. So, a couple months after hearing the interview, the family packed up their canary, dog and belongings — Kay said her mother was a “great animal lover” — and drove the more than 2,000 cross-country miles to Washington.“I remember crossing the border into Washington and remember standing in the back seat — those were the days where you could do that, no seat belts — and Dad stops the car in Spokane and says, ‘We’re here,’” she recalled. “I just remember thinking, ‘We came all the way for this?’ Spokane was not much to look at and didn’t quite meet the expectations I had.”The family’s journey obviously had to go a little farther west, but ended at a motel on Seattle’s Aurora Avenue. Kay and her family stayed there a week while her father found a job. Shortly after, the Longhi family moved to West Seattle.“A tiny house clinging to the hillside” is how Longhi recalled that first home.She and her sister started first grade in West Seattle before the family moved to a home on Cowan Road at the north end of Vashon the following year, 1955. Her mother fell in love with the island and never looked back.“We came to this island, which was secluded, out of the big city,” Longhi said. “We could see the mountains, as well as the sound. She would walk all over Vashon and loved being surrounded by water. She was very, very happy.”The home was also not far from MacDonald’s, although Kay says her mother did not find that out until after she bought the home.“I don’t know how she knew the house (Betty Macdonald’s) was close … but she was aware of it,” Kay Longhi said.And while her mother never met MacDonald, she did meet her sister, Mary Bard.Patricia Longhi went on to live in that same north-end home for 56 years. She moved out in 2011, three years before her death at the age of 91.“Mother was very much a loner in her heart. She liked solitude and wanted to be in the rugged, great outdoors,” Kay Longhi said before explaining that her mother grew up in an affluent family in New York City and was expected to become a socialite.“She abhorred the life,” Longhi said. “She loved the summers she spent on the coast of Maine. They always went to Laudholm Farm — a working farm with outbuildings that were rented out in the summer.”It was a lifestyle similar to that of the farm that Patricia Longhi found on Vashon, and that authenticity and community is what has kept Kay Longhi here. Longhi attended college in Portland, moved to Seattle, then moved to North Carolina and Mobile, Alabama, but because her mother was here, she followed what was happening on the island and would always come visit.“Because I was raised here, I never lacked a sense of home,” she said. “The community here has been my go-to place both mentally and physically. I’ve always been very centered. There’s a real sense of community and home I’ve never felt anywhere else.”Longhi moved back to Seattle in 1997. By 2008, her mother was in her 80s and suffering from dementia, and Kay moved into a small cabin on her mother’s property to take of her. She was eventually moved to a memory care home in 2011 and died in 2014, but her mother’s dream of rural living in the north-end home continues to this day, as her great-grandchildren are growing up in the same house.
“My sister’s child, so my niece and her family, live there,” Longhi said. “Houses don’t come up for sale on Vashon because one generation leaves and another comes in.”
But the Vashon home is not the only lasting evidence of Patricia Longhi’s search for a more rural, authentic life. During her life on Vashon, she discovered the Washington coast, and Kay said her mother saw many similarities between it and the Maine coastline of her childhood. She and a few other island families bought land and primitive cabins in the mid-60s on a strip of coast that is now part of the Olympic National Park.
“The federal government came in and claimed eminent domain and declared it wilderness. There were two choices, either have the home torn down and take the money the government gives you, or have the government take it over when the owner dies. Mother put the home in her children’s names, so it’s still there.”

The three-story cabin has no electricity and no running water. It’s tall and skinny, perched on a cliff so her mother could see the water below her.
“For Mother, it was the ultimate solitude,” Longhi said. “It was just about where she wanted to be.”



 






















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