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. http://wpedia.goo.ne.jp/enwiki/Ma_Kettle
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 lindelund2000@yahoo.com.

Thank you so much for your support and interest!