Sunday, June 5, 2016

Betty MacDonald and a wonderful lady from Vashon Island

Bonnie Shride, a native of Vashon Island, was a 1998 Jefferson Award winner known for her volunteer work in the community. Photo: P-I File
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

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 sent this to Betty MacDonald's brilliant friend Betty MacDonald fan club honor member 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


Don't miss this very special book, please.

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

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

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

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  


Linde Lund shared Rita Knobel-Ulrich's photo.

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

The Dalai Lama says ‘too many’ refugees are going to Germany

Speaking to German reporters in the de facto capital of Tibet's exiled government, the Dalai Lama apparently said that "too many" refugees are seeking asylum in Europe.

"Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country," he said with a laugh, according to AFP, which quoted from an interview the spiritual leader gave to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German newspaper. "Germany is Germany. There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult."
It was an unexpected extension of sympathy for a sentiment that has found fertile ground mostly among nationalist groups. The Dalai Lama, who often speaks of humanity's need to acknowledge its "oneness," is a refugee himself. After Tibetans rose up against Chinese limitations on their autonomy in 1959, the current (and 14th) Dalai Lama led tens of thousands of his followers to India, where they and their descendants have lived since. An estimated 120,000 Tibetans live in India, and those born in the country can vote.

"From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily," the Dalai Lama said.

The bulk of Arab refugees he was referencing are fleeing Syria's brutal and seemingly endless civil war, and its spillover into Iraq. But the truth is that the vast majority of those refugees are not seeking asylum in Europe, but in Turkey and two other Arab-majority countries, Lebanon and Jordan. Germany is a country of 80 million people and has accepted just over 1 million refugees. Before the war in next-door Syria, Lebanon had a population of more than 4 million people. It has since taken in well over a million Syrians.
Beyond the skepticism, the Dalai Lama did convey his characteristic compassion.
"When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering," he said. "The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries."

Read More:

The shifting sea routes of Europe’s refugee crisis, in charts and maps
Eerie photos show the aftermath of a rapidly evacuated refugee camp
Almost 1,000 people have been killed in attacks on health-care facilities since 2014, WHO says

Gentleman's Quick-tip: Healthy Breakfast

One aspect of a gentleman is his attention to detail and a very important detail should be his health. While it might be easy to grab something quick and sugary for breakfast, an ideal breakfast should be high in protein and have enough healthy fats to keep you satiated for the first few hours of the day.

After you down a liter of water (you become dehydrated when you sleep) a good breakfast is the best way to tackle the rest of the morning.  I am a huge fan of cooking.  Sometimes things turn out badly, but after a while you start to know what would taste great.  That way you can experiment and create healthy meals for yourself, instead of being at the mercy of whatever the local restaurant serves you.  Here's a recipe for my latest success: 

The Eggwhite - Cottage Cheese Omelet

3 egg whites

2-3 Tbsp cottage cheese

1/2 tsp basil (fresh is best - of course)

optional - I add a load of red pepper flakes, because I love spicy food

sprinkled cheddar cheese on top for taste and appearance

Heat frying pan on a stove top set at medium-low to medium. If your pan is not non-stick, you should spray it with a cooking spray first.  Allow the pan to heat for a moment while you combine the ingredients (no more than 2-3 minutes).

With a fork or whisk mix the eggs, cottage cheese, basil and other optional additions.  Pour into pan.  I put a lid on the pan to allow the heat and steam to cook the top of the omelet; this will make flipping the omelet much easier.  After you flip the omelet, add the shredded cheddar cheese to the cooked side. After the eggs are sufficiently cooked through, serve and enjoy!  

For additional health tips, check out my classmate's blog about healthy living.  Her blog goes into greater detail about healthy diet and fitness.  Definitely worth checking out (link below).

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.

mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_czech_CD_FRONT