Sunday, July 26, 2009

Betty MacDonald, Monica Sone and Wolfgang Hampel Links

Linde Lund created the Betty MacDonald, Monica Sone and Wolfgang Hampel Blogs

Betty MacDonald Fan Club Items with comments

Peter D. Sieruta, Author of Heartbeats and Other Stories:

I am so anxious to get the rest of the Betty's bios. And yes, I would definitely like to purchase all the CD's and DVD's. Thank you for making them available! I can't tell you how often I listen to the Betty and Alison CD in my car. Probably at least three or four times a week. It relaxes me when I feel tense. Please extend my greetings to the interviewer Wolfgang Hampel and tell him how much I enjoy the CD. Does the Betty MacDonald Society still hope to publish their work in book form? I hope that eventually happens. I think the best publisher for such a book would be a Washington-based university publisher. A mainstream publisher such as HarperCollins or Doubleday of course would be THE best, but I don't think there is enough interest for a big publisher to release such a book. I do think that a university press would be very interested. As you know, I work in a library and handle hundreds of books a month, so I know who is publishing what kind of material.Have you ever seen any of Betty's artwork? I would love to see one of her homemade Christmas cards (even the ones she got in trouble for copying at work!) Also, I remember reading that she once illustrated a pamphlet or booklet for one of the oil or gasoline companies. Has anyone ever been able to track down a copy of that book? I'd love to see it. Can you imagine opening up a box and finding early typescripts of The Egg and I? Or letters Betty wrote from the sanitorium? Or a handwritten copy of Sandra Surrenders? Wouldn't that be amazing???I have received the Betty birthday CD and like it very much. I feel like I am right there in the house with the interviewer Wolfgang Hampel and the two Alisons when I listen. The CD of Betty and her friends is so interesting. It's so fascinating to hear the different opinions of Betty though, isn't it? Alison talked about how shy she was, but on the second part of the CD we hear that Betty was quite gregarious. Well, I should let you go. I can't wait to get the rest of the bio. Hope you are doing well. Please join me in saying, "Happy Birthday, Betty!"

Betty MacDonald - Fan Club of Betty MacDonald and Society of Betty MacDonald

Betty MacDonald Fan Club

Betty MacDonald Forum

Betty MacDonald Society

Mary Bard Society

Nancy and Plum Fan Club

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Fan Club

Monica Sone

Monica Sone Society

Monica Sone Fan Club

Wolfgang Hampel Founder of Betty MacDonald Fan Club and Betty MacDonald Society

Friday, July 24, 2009

Walt Woodward - defender of human rights

Wolfgang Hampel had the honour to interview Walt Woodward.

Walt Woodward was a hero, a defender of human rights. We all should be like him but we know very well that these personalties are very rare. The world would need lots of Walter Woodwards.

He told Wolfgang Hampel: It won't happen again because people know much more now than they did in the past.
Walt Woodward was optimistic the same way Bonnie Shride was.
( see also Bonnie Shride - a wonderful lady from Vashon Island )

When Wolfgang Hampel interviewed author David Guterson, he seemed to be rather pessimistic.

Wolfgang Hampel will never forget the moment when he once asked Monica Sone
When did you move away from Seattle?
Monica Sone answered with anger and sadness in her so beautiful voice:
I didn't move away. They moved me away and I never came back.

The question is: Are we able to learn from faults in the past?

Journalist Walt Woodward dies at age 91
Two memorial services are slated for March 24.

Walter C. Woodward, who as publisher and editor of the Bainbridge Island Review was one of the few editorial voices to consistently oppose the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, died in his sleep yesterday. He was 91.

Walt Woodward, editor opposed to internment of Japanese, dies Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Remembering Walter Woodward (1910-2001) Essay 3111 : In this People's History Gerald Elfendahl remembers the Bainbridge Island journalist and defender of human rights Walter C. Woodward Jr. (1910-2001). Woodward was an exemplary journalist who edited and published the Bainbridge Review.

Walter Woodward and his wife Mildred Woodward (1909-1989) were the only editors on the West Coast to regularly editorialize in defense of the Bill of Rights and neighbors of Japanese ancestry who were unlawfully uprooted during World War II and interned in concentration camps by Presidential Executive Order 9066. Woodward was one of only 100 citizens inducted into Washington state's "Centennial Hall of Honor" for humanitarian and civil libertarian contributions to the state's quality of life.

"In Defense of Our Neighbors": Editors against internment

Mary Woodward has written a book about her parents, Walt and Milly Woodward, editors of the Bainbridge Review, who were the first to write editorials condemning the relocation of 227 Bainbridge Islanders of Japanese ancestry to internment camps.

By Susan Gilmore Seattle Times staff reporter

YouTube - Interview - Mary Woodward - In Defense of Our Neighbors

Tens of thousands of European Americans were also sent to internment camps all over the United States during World War II and held in these camps for years. Too bad this history is never mentioned or examined as well. Here is another source on the internment of German-Americans during the war (some were even held up to 3 years after the war at Ellis Island):

You can read more about this here:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bonnie Shride - a wonderful lady from Vashon Island

Bonnie Shride's contributions to her community made her an excellent choice for a 1998 state Jefferson Award.
She made the world a better place. Bonnie Shride was such an outstanding lady, very intelligent, always kind, very warm, understanding and so very helpful. Reading these articles I'm so very impressed especially when I was reading this:

For Bonnie Shride, the worst thing on Vashon happened when she was in eighth grade. One-third of her fellow students were of Japanese descent, and one day they were all gone, rounded up for internment during World War II. ``When I talked to my parents, they said it was because of the war. It was so unfair," Bonnie Shride recalled. She doesn't think such a thing could happen again: ``People know more now. We're more aware of everyone's rights."

What a statement! I'll forward this to Betty MacDonald's brilliant friend Monica Sone, author of Nisei Daughter.
Betty MacDonald described her as japanese girl Kimi in The Plague and I.

or this from the articles:

Another project dear to Bonnie Shride's heart is building a history museum on the island. ``All history has value," she said. ``If you know where you came from you can see if you're making any progress."

Bonnie, you are so right!
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed our phone calls.

Bonnie was always so patient and answered all my boring questions - even the silly ones and I had lots of them. She explained a lot about living on beautiful Vashon Island and shared her fascinating memories. Bonnie Shride was a classmate of Betty MacDonald's oldest daughter Anne and very close to the family.

Betty MacDonald once wrote: As soon as we think this is mine, that's for me, we are lost.
Dear Bonnie, to me it seems Betty described you.
You gave an example for a better life.

Bonnie, we''ll never forget you. You are always in our hearts.

Thanks a Million!

Wolfgang Hampel
Founder Betty MacDonald Fan Club & Society

Read about life and work of wonderful Bonnie Shride!

Bonnie Shride, 1928-2007: Volunteer reached out a helping hand her entire life


Photo of Bonnie Shride

One of Bonnie Shride's activities:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Betty MacDonald Fan Club Items

Anne Elizabeth Campbell Bard was born March 26, 1907 in Boulder, Colorado, the second child of Sydney and Darsie Bard. Betsy and her three sisters and brother had an adventurous, somewhat unconventional childhood owing to the strong and creative personalities of their parents and Darsie's mother, "Gammy," and the many lessons in independence they survived gracefully. ( see e story BETTY AND GAMMY written by Wolfgang Hampel published by Betty MacDonald Fan Club 2009 and Interviews with Betty MacDonald and her sister Alison Bard published on CD/DVD Betty MacDonald Fan Club 2009. The interviews on CD and DVD are different ones )
When Betsy was 12 her father died of pneumonia, but the family's strong relationships and optimism remained intact through this sorrow and the ensuing financial trials.
Betsy (who later preferred the nickname Betty) said that for the Bard children, there were really only two household rules: "We were expected to be polite and to tell the truth, no matter how appalling. "Apart from that, the Bard children did as they pleased and went forth into the world with well-defined personalities, acutely-developed senses of humor and adventure, and a remarkable zest for life.
Betty married at 20 and went to live on a chicken ranch in the Olympic mountains. Her experiences there are chronicled in her first book, The Egg and I . ( see e books THE KETTLES' MILLION DOLLAR EGG, THE EGG AND BETTY, THE TRAGIC END OF ROBERT HESKETT by Wolfgang Hampel published by BMC 2009)
By the way the Kettles have their own fan clubs.
Life in such isolation and hardship palled after 4 years and she returned with her two small daughters to her Seattle family just as the Depression hit. The amazing stories of their survival and triumph are related in Anybody Can Do Anything. Betty and her family had a wonderful friend who supported them during this very difficult time.
( see e story BETTY AND MIKE by Wolfgang Hampel published by BMC 2009 and Wolfgang Hampel's interview with Alison Bard published by BMC 2009)
Alison Bard tells some delightful treasure stories about this wonderful friend.

But Betty's career as a businesswoman was cut short when she contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and entered Firlands, an endowed sanitorium north of Seattle. Lying flat on one's back for 8 1/2 months doesn't seem the stuff of which humor can be made, but Betty did indeed spin gold out of straw, in The Plague and I.
( see e story BETTY MACDONALD'S ILLNESS written by Wolfgang Hampel and published 2009 by BMC and e story comments of Betty MacDonald's family and friends incl. Betty MacDonald's wonderful friend Kimi )

After her recovery, Betty married Donald MacDonald and they moved their family to Vashon Island, leading an idyllic and interesting existence as portrayed in Onions in the Stew. While on Vashon Betty also wrote her works for children: the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series and Nancy and Plum.

Betty and her husband bought a ranch near Carmel, but illness forced her to move back to Seattle. She died of cancer at the age of 51 on February 7, 1958. ( see five e stories Betty MacDonald's illness by Wolfgang Hampel, published by BMC 2009 and Wolfgang Hampel's interview with Alison Bard, published by BMC 2009 )

Why is Betty's writing so beloved among so many people all over the world? The first and most obvious reason is that it's hilarious - sharp, sometimes irreverent. vivid and unexpected. Betty manages to find humor everywhere: on the early morning streetcar, in a hospital ward, in a home with two cranky adolescents, in job situations from farm work to secretarial duties. To read Betty's writing is to laugh -- often out loud, in public places, whether you want to or not. She has a terrific eye for the absurd and can paint a striking and side-splitting word picture in a few succinct strokes.
But Betty fans also love her optimism, her strength, her intense love for her family, her times of self-doubt, and the zest with which she approaches all of life and relishes simple pleasures.( see many comments of Betty MacDonald Fans in the e books, e stories and interviews with Betty MacDonald's family and friends published by BMC 2009 )

Betty's indomitable sister Mary Bard, whom we encounter in all four books but meet most vividly in Anybody Can Do Anything, also went on to write (her first book is dedicated to Betty, "Who Egged Me On"). Mary's books, The Doctor Wears Three Faces, Forty-Odd, Just Be Yourself, and the children's series Best Friends, are also much beloved by Betty fans who find themselves quickly becoming Mary fans as well. ( see Wolfgang Hampel's interviews with Alison Bard. She tells the most interesting stories about Mary, Betty and the Bard family. )
The CD and DVD interviews are different ones.

For more info send a mail to

Thank you so much for your support and interest!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Don Woodfin - a wonderful friend of Betty MacDonald Fan Club

Don Woodfin really was such a fascinating and gifted personality and supported Betty MacDonald Fan Club with his unique memories. It was such a pleasure to meet him.
Betty MacDonald and her husband Don liked him very much.

We had a Betty MacDonald Fan Club meeting as a tribute for Don Woodfin and enjoyed the video so much.
It was such a wonderful experience to visit Betty MacDonald's places with Don.
Don Woodfin was really outstanding and the best storyteller we've ever met.

We are very sad he passed away and we'll never forgert him.

Thanks a Million dear Don!

Read the story of his life written by his grandson:

Betty MacDonald Fan in english and german

Betty MacDonald Fan in english and german
Betty MacDonald Fan in englisch und deutsch

Ich bin ein riesiger Betty MacDonald Fan und würde mich sehr freuen von Fans aus aller Welt zu hören.Die biografischen Geschichten über Bettys Leben und die Interview CD/DVD mit Betty MacDonald und ihrer Familie begeistern alle Fans.

Meine Email:

I'm a huge Betty MacDonald Fan and would like to hear from fans all over the world. You'll enjoy the biographical stories about Betty's life and the CD /DVD with interviews with Betty and her family.

My email:

Here you can meet some Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle fans::

Artikel in deutscher Sprache - Articles in german language

Michael Aust Existenzielle 2/2007

Betty MacDonald Das Ei und ich - Ein fantastisches kleines Stück Literatur

..... Wir sind im Nordwesten der USA, im Jahre 1927, anders gesagt: im ersten Drittel von Betty MacDonalds autobiografischem Roman Das Ei und ich. Vor der jungen Frau liegen die ersten ereignisreichen Jahre der Selbständigkeit. Vor Leserin und Leser ein fantastisches kleines Stück Literatur....... Selten erzählt ein Erinnerungsroman so ungeschönt, aber auch so humorvoll von den Tücken und dem Glück einer Gründung.
Wolfgang Hampel, Gründer des Betty MacDonald Fan Clubs und der Betty MacDonald Society, sagt: "Betty MacDonald ist auf der ganzen Welt beliebt, weil sie ein sehr hartes Leben hatte und trotzdem immer lachen konnte. Unser Leben ist tragikomisch, und genau das hat sie uns gezeigt."

Rezension von Betty kann alles Die Zeit Mißerfolg muß man haben

Bei Amerikanerinnen wundert man sich natürlich erst recht nicht, wenn sie Sellmade-Women sind. Aber was für krause Wege auch dort! Die vielen hunderttausend Leser, die Betty MacDonald (,Das Ei und ich") bei dem Abenteuer ihrer Hühnerfarm schmunzelnd zugesehen haben, dachten sich wahrscheinlich: diese Autorin hat es leicht gehabt, sie hat etwas Lustiges erlebt und es dann aufgeschrieben, und das hat ihr ein Vermögen eingebracht. Aber, wenn man Betty MacDonald glauben darf, was sie in ihrem zweiten Roman von sich berichtet:.— dann türmten sich gerade zwischen der Hühnerfarm und dem Roman von der Hühnerfarm erst die .allergrößten Schwierigkeiten auf..........

Einen wunderbaren Artikel über Eier kaufen von Susanne Kippenberger, die natürlich auch Betty MacDonald und Das Ei und ich erwähnt;art1291,2003805

Eier kaufen von Susanne Kippenberger

Hier nur ein ganz kleiner Ausschnitt des Artikels:

Die Welt ist böse, der Mensch ist dumm, das weiß jedes Kind und vergisst es wieder. Dumm wie ein Huhn. Das Huhn bin ich.Zum Trost hab ich mir dann gesagt, was für ein Glück, dass ich Eier nur kaufen und nicht ernten muss. Wie das ist, habe ich von Betty MacDonald gelernt. Die Amerikanerin hat ein Buch geschrieben, dessen Titel mich sofort gepackt hat: „Das Ei und ich“. Weil ihr Mann als Versicherungsvertreter immer von einer Hühnerfarm geträumt hat, wurde sie notgedrungen Hühnerfarmerin, musste die frischen Eier aus dem Nest stehlen und sich von den Hennen die Finger zerpicken und -hacken lassen, und am Frühstückstisch unterhielt sich ihr Mann am liebsten über Fadenwürmer und Hühnerläuse mit ihr. Ihr einziger Trost: das Kuchenbacken nach alten Rezepten mit sechs Eiern aufwärts. „Man nehme acht Eier, schlage eins nach dem anderen in die Schüssel und rühre mit dem nackten, rechten Arm.“

Rezension von Das Ei und ich ( Filmkritik )

Der Spiegel

Friday, July 17, 2009

Betty MacDonald Interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald Interviews on CD/DVD

The mentioned interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends in this article are real treasures and especially Betty's sister Alison is so funny and brilliant. These interviews are available on CD and DVD. You can read other comments of fans regarding the stories and interviews in our blog.

By CECELIA GOODNOW Seattle P.I. Reporter

Nearly 40 years after her untimely death, the Seattle area's first million-selling author has largely faded from the annals of literature. But in Germany, Betty MacDonald just keeps going ... and going ... and going. Which has filmmaker Wolfgang Hampel who is a very good friend of Betty MacDonald's wonderful Kimi coming and going as he scurries to gather local color for a television documentary about the internationally renowned author of ``The Egg and I." Never mind that some of MacDonald's humor books are out of print in the United States. In Germany, her fame lives on - a fact that becomes clear after just a few minutes with the ebullient Wolfgang Hampel. ``I think she is popular in Germany and Europe because she had a very hard life, but she could also smile, and she had for every situation a laugh," he said. ``Our life is tragicomedy, and she showed this. It's a masterpiece, her books. Therefore, she's unforgotten." Betty MacDonald, an incandescent woman with bobbed hair and a sweeping smile, developed a huge following in the 1940s and '50s with her comic tales of everyday life in the Northwest. ``The Egg and I," her first million-seller, was a bleakly humorous account of chicken farming near Chimacum on the Olympic Peninsula. She moved there in the late 1920s with her first husband, Robert Heskett. A film version starred Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert and led to a series of Ma and Pa Kettle movies. MacDonald wrote other popular books, including ``Onions in the Stew," which described her years on Vashon Island, and ``The Plague and I," an upbeat account of her battle with tuberculosis at age 30. Her children's novels include ``Nancy and Plum" and the ``Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" series, which inspired a popular Seattle Children's Theatre production that has been staged three times since 1989. Wolfgang Hampel, who teaches career-development classes in Heidelberg, is part of a five-man group that has been researching Betty MacDonald since 1983, first as fans and now as free-lance filmmakers in a nation still hungry for news of the faded American legend. Although they have done projects on author Truman Capote and illustrator Maurice Sendak, it seems ``Betty" is their first love. On a three-week visit to Seattle, Wolfgang Hampel gathered enough material for a spate of documentaries. Betty MacDonald, who died of cancer in 1958 at age 49, won rousing reviews in her day. When ``The Egg and I" appeared in 1945, the Philadelphia Inquirer called it ``the most hilarious, earthy, rib-splitting piece of fowl-lettres to be hatched since chickens were invented." The Atlantic Monthly said MacDonald wrote ``with a breezy Western unconventionality," and The Saturday Review raved about her ``hilarious reminiscences" of an unconventional life in the ``Northwest Pacific. HarperCollins republished ``The Egg and I" in 1987, and the ``Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" series is still available in HarperTrophy paperback, but some other MacDonald titles are more elusive. Buccaneer Books, a company in Cutchogue, N.Y., that specializes in republishing out-of-print classics, issued four of her titles in hardback, but none is in stock. The Seattle Public Library has most of her titles. ``She's still very much read," said librarian Michael Moffitt. ``We have questions all the time from people who want to locate the site of the farm or track down Ma and Pa Kettle. People come from the East Coast practically on pilgrimages. They want to experience Betty MacDonald first-hand." Betty MacDonald's sassy personality and colorful life are part of the draw. Born Anne Elizabeth Campbell Bard, she moved to Seattle as a child, graduated from Roosevelt High School and married Heskett in 1927, at age 19. They separated after four years and later divorced. After the marriage ended, MacDonald became the only woman labor inspector with the Depression-era National Recovery Administration and later worked for the U.S. Treasury Department. She was sidelined with tuberculosis for more than eight months at Firland Sanitorium north of Seattle before resuming her career in 1939 as publicity supervisor for the National Youth Adminstration. In 1942, Betty married Donald MacDonald, started writing and quickly became a celebrity. On his Seattle visit Wolfgang Hampel gathered anecdotes from relatives and friends, Wolfgang Hampel treasures such recollections. ``Everyone said to me, `She was the most wonderful person in the world I've ever met.'
Wolfgang Hampel, Founder of Betty MacDonald Fan Club and Betty MacDonald Society for Betty MacDonald Friends all over the world

Jennifer Jackson, Peninsula Daily News:
Germany has the largest Betty MacDonald fan club in the world - and Pat Bondurant has had phone calls from Heidelberg, inviting her and her husband to fly over and help celebrate the author's birthday.

Wolfgang Hampel and four friends began a worldwide research. In 1996 they visited all the places where Betty MacDonald and her family lived. Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's family and friends. One of our favourites is Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard. She had never been interviewed before or afterwards. Alison Bard shares the most interesting info about life and work of Betty MacDonald. These interviews has been published on CD/DVD in 2009 by Betty MacDonald Fan Club and Betty MacDonald Society.

CECELIA GOODNOW Seattle P.I. Reporter:

In Germany, Betty MacDonald's fame lives on - a fact that becomes clear after just a few minutes with the ebullient Wolfgang Hampel. ``I think Betty MacDonald is popular in Germany and Europe because she had a very hard life, but she could also smile, and she had for every situation a laugh," he said. ``Our life is tragicomedy, and she showed this. It's a masterpiece, her books. On his Seattle visit Wolfgang Hampel gathered anecdotes from relatives and friends, Wolfgang Hampel treasures such recollections. ``Everyone said to me, `She was the most wonderful person in the world I've ever met.'

Wolfgang Hampel is a journalist, artist and writer. He is the author of the Betty MacDonald e books THE KETTLES' MILLION DOLLAR EGG, THE EGG AND BETTY & THE TRAGIC END OF ROBERT HESKETT. He is also the author of the stories BETTY AND MIKE and BETTY MACDONALD'S ILLNESS. He found out the most interesting facts because he could use many letters and documents for the first time ever.Wolfgang Hampel interviews famous authors and artists, for example Truman Capote, Maurice Sendak, Donna Leon, Ingrid Noll, Monica Sone, David Guterson.

Join fans of the beloved writer Monica Sone. Monica Sone Fan Club and Monica Sone Society. A Fan Club and literary Society. Welcome to Monica Sone Fan Club and Monica Sone Society. Monica Sone is the author of Nisei Daughter and was a good friend of Betty MacDonald, the author of The egg and I and the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Series. Monica Sone has been described as brilliant Kimi in Betty MacDonald's The plague and I.

Join our new Betty MacDonald Forum, please.

I have been reading the messages at the Betty MacDonald Site. Several people have asked what Betty died of, and I just check her bio in Current Biography, vol. 136. (available at most libraries). It says she died of cancer, although it doesn't say what type. Several of the web site messages said tb, but I think she fully recovered from that nearly 20 years before she died.

Linde Lund:
Betty MacDonald died of cancer. Wolfgang Hampel wrote five stories about Betty MacDonald's illness. He found out the most interesting facts because he could use many letters and documents for these stories for the first time. Don't miss them, please. Betty was really very brave, indeed. All Betty MacDonald Fans are very moved after reading these stories.So am I. We'll post more info about this very important subject in the future.

Do you know who was the best ' friend' of Betty MacDonald? It was ............... STOVE!
You can see here photos of Betty MacDonald's chicken farm and her beloved 'darling' STOVE.

Diskussion mit deutschsprachigen Betty MacDonald Fans
Discussion with german speaking Betty MacDonald Fans

Betty MacDonald, Autorin von Das Ei und ich

Ich würde gern mit Betty MacDonald Fans Leben und Werk der Autorin diskutieren. Es gibt mehrere Bücher und CD/DVD Dokumentationen.Der Betty MacDonald Fan Club hat Mitglieder in vielen Ländern.

Betty MacDonald ist eine großartige Schriftstellerin. Nicht nur Das Ei und ich, auch ihre anderen Bücher bringen selbst meine Tante zum Lachen und die geht zum Lachen meistens in den Keller.Einer meiner Schwestern hat sich kurzerhand auf die Spuren von Betty MacDonald begeben und die Familie und Freude von Betty besucht. Es gibt einen Betty MacDonald Fan Club mit Fans in 23 Ländern. Interviews auf CD/DVD mit Betty MacDonald und ihrer Familie sind genauso witzig wie die Bücher. Die biografischen Geschichten sind ebenfalls sehr interessant. Betty MacDonald hat vieles nicht in den Büchern erwähnt, was aber für das Verständnis dieser großartigen Humoristen sehr wichtig ist. Besonders beeindruckend finde ich das Interview mit Betty MacDonalds jüngster Schwester Alison Bard. Übrigens haben die Kettles im Leben von Betty MacDonald eine große Rolle gespielt.

Betty MacDonald loved in Germany

Betty MacDonald loved in Germany
Axel Schappei The Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber June 16, 1983

Go into any ordinary German bookstore and ask for former Islander, Betty MacDonald's paperbacks and you'll be handed - at least - three books: Die Insel und ich ( Onions in the Stew ), Das Ei und ich ( The egg and I ) Betty kann alles (Anybody can do anything).Scholars in the Pegasus German courses on the Island may notice that the German titles of Betty MacDonald's famous autobiographical novels have been translated appropriatley.Betty would like them. Betty MacDonald, who lived on Vashon Island, is tremendously popular in Germany. She once was one of the most well known and widely read novelists in the United States. But would you guess that more than two million paperbacks and hard-cover books of Betty MacDonald have been published and sold in Germany during the last 30 years? Her bestseller The Egg and I reached about half a million in July 1981. From March 1964 until October 1980, 107000 copies of Anybody can do anything were sold in 12 editions. Onions in the Stew - her novel about living on the Rock - sold 103000 copies from May 1964 until September 1980, also in 12 editions. "She is incredibly successful, really, not only her novels. Her books for children like Nancy and Plum or the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle-Stories still belong to the most successful childrens' books after all those years," says Wolfgang Hampel, who is so convinced about Betty MacDonald. He simply loves Betty MacDonald and her books: "She's so homorous, her stories about everyday-life's and awkward situations are just incomparable. It's like a good friend taking you be the hand and leading through her life." That's why Wolfgang Hampel and four other German Betty Fans plan to launch an extensive exhibition about Betty MacDonald, her life and her work.Originally they wanted to open the exhibit on February 7, 1983, 25th anniversary of Betty MacDonald's death. But the five friends didn't manage to get enough exhibits together. "We're still looking for pictures, photographs, letters - in short all sorts of personal mementoes about Betty. Our exhibition has been planned for the last few years and we have written zillions of letters and bought hundreds of books, here in Germany, Europe and from the States," explains Wolfgang Hampel.They tried to get further information about their preferred author from American publishing companies. "Some didn't answer and others know less than we did already! It was like finding the different pieces of a jigsaw-puzzle without knowing what it will look like in the end." Why all this activity?"We think that Betty MacDonald is such a fascinating person that many people here should know more about her . Apart from our endeavors to our exhibition together we've also been in contact with publishers to convince them that a new edition of Nancy and Plum would find its readers still today. Betty MacDonald's readers come from all ages and social groups," says Wolfgang Hampel. Of course he and his friends know that Vashon is the Onions in the Stew Island and they also know that Vashon is part of the Pacific Northwest and - more specifically - of Puget Sound. So imagine their amusement when some publishing firms told them that Vashon is somewhere up to Alaska. Actually, Wolfgang Hampel knows quiete a lot about the Rock, though he's never been here. All his information comes from Betty MacDonald's Onions in the Stew. So he's got the idea of the terrific view of Mount Rainier, and he also knows about her coyness.Wolfgang Hampel has a pretty good impression about the house where Betty lived with her folks. "What we dearly need for our exhibition are pictures of the Island, books all sort of visuals to show people here in what a beautiful scenery Betty lived. So people can understand that she simply had to write books like that in such a fascinating rural enviroment.Wolfgang would be grateful for any help he could get from the Island. "Really, the most substantial help came from Vashon so far. We got some great personal impressions about Betty from Islanders who knew her."Wolfgang is amazed about the friendliness and amount of help and encouragement that reached him from the Rock. Still it's a long way until the exhibition is ready. Anyone with anything they'd like to send for the planned exhibition can write to Wolfgang Hampel.