Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,
Wolfgang Hampel's Ma and Pa Kettle biography is much funnier than a Ma and Pa Kettle movie.
We don't have neighbours like the Kettles. Our neighbours are like Mr. and Mrs. Hicks.
They have no children. We have a boy and two girls. Mr. and Mrs. Hicks are cutting down everything in the garden. Ours looks like a paradise or a green hell with many trees and branches. Mr. Hicks always says to us: If you need help I'll cut everything down for you but we refuse so far. We have two dogs. Mr. and Mrs. Hicks don't like dogs or cats because Mrs. Hicks is very allergic. By the way we won't ever have any chickens although is seems that our children bring a new pet home every day. I know what they are talking about when they say: Mother, we have a surprise! You won't believe it! ( I do! )
Mrs. Hicks is cleaning the house night and day and is called ' our newspaper' because she knows everything about the people in our community.
You know I thought it was a very witty idea to lend our Mrs. Hicks Betty MacDonald's The Egg and I which she wasn't aware of. After she read Betty MacDonald's book she said smiling: It was very funny but I dislike this awful Mrs. Hicks. She obviously doesn't understand the meaning of life. I couldn't say anything and looked at her with an open mouth. Mrs. Hicks gave me a strange look and said: Darling, is everything ok with you? You look terrible this morning!
I want to share a very special Betty MacDonald family story. My grandmother wrote letters to Betty MacDonald, Mary and Sydney Bard because she loved Betty MacDonald's and Mary Bard's books. She was very fond after she got delightful letters written by Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard and even from mother Sydney Bard. I'll write a Betty MacDonald Fan Club Article about it.
My girls and I like like Betty MacDonald's Nancy and Plum, The Egg and I, Anybody can do anything and Onions in the Stew. My hubby as he has the same profession as Mary Bard's husband Dr. Clyde Jensen prefers Betty MacDonald's The Plague and I and Mary Bard's The doctor wears three faces. Our boy likes the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Stories. He always says: I don't behave like the boys and girls in the books and don't need a Piggle-Wiggle cure. I'm not sure. Not at all!
We can't wait to read Gwen Grant's books. We are very fond of Monica Sone's Nisei Daughter. Monica Sone, who is Kimi in Betty MacDonald's The Plague and I, is our favourite person in Betty MacDonald's books.
We would like to visit the state of Washington, Seattle, Laurelhurst and Vashon Island and attend one of Darsie Beck's workshops.
Congratulations! Betty MacDonald Fan Club has the most interesting and fascinating Betty MacDonald Honour members.
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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 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
Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles
Refugees stuck in Idomeni: Questions but no answers
Thousands stuck at a makeshift camp across Greek-Macedonian border are clueless about what is going to happen next.
About the AuthorRoving Correspondent
We were aware that a group of refugees were planning to push their way across the border on Sunday morning.
The people behind the plan were those who have been trying to convince people not to move into government-run accommodation centres.
They want people to stay at Idomeni because their presence attracts the world's cameras - and hope it will pressure EU leaders to revise their decisions.
READ MORE: Inside Idomeni refugee camp, nothing left but hope
But information about the planned march was not disseminated on social media. Instead people were told the border was to open.
While we were driving to Idomeni, we saw dozens of migrants and refugees carrying their belongings and walking for kilometres in the cold.
"We are so happy," Mahdi, a Syrian Palestinian told me. "Finally we can cross."
There has been no official announcement that the border is to open, we told him. Mahdi and the others with him refused to believe that. They kept walking, only to find dozens of refugees preparing to break through Greek police lines.
It didn't take long before they changed their minds. They realised that crossing the border by force would not change anything. They have attempted that in the past, only to be arrested by Macedonian authorities and sent back.
IDOMENI: On the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe
And so they announced that they wouldn't be marching. "We are peaceful people," one man said on the loudspeaker. "We won't cross unless the Red Cross is with us and there is a decision by the European Union to let us in."
It was clear that as days pass, more and more of the 50,000 refugees and migrants who are stuck in Greece are resigned to the fact that Europe's open-door policy has been shut.
They cling on to hope that things will change but deep in their hearts they know they are trapped.
They come to us, journalists seeking answers to questions. Is it true that they are taking people to military camps? Is it true we will be sent back to Turkey? Should we agree to move to government-run centres? Are conditions better there? Is it true we will be given priority if we stay at the border?
There are others who are now talking about going back home. "How can we do that? I heard they are giving free tickets so that we can go back. Where do we go to get those tickets?" - were questions we heard from quite a few people.
READ MORE: A day in Idomeni
The UNHCR and other aid agencies do have offices at the makeshift camp where people have been struggling to survive in the cold and rain for weeks now.
But they don't seem to have all the answers - and they are overwhelmed.
Others are now accepting that they may have to wait months or even years before their asylum requests are processed or they are relocated under an EU plan.
Chaos, uncertainty, suffering, desperation, frustration - that is the atmosphere in Idomeni today.
And it is not only in Idomeni. Just travel a few kilometres along the highway to Thessaloniki, and the mood is similar among refugees and migrants who live in tents near petrol stations.
|Refugees shout slogans during a protest demanding the opening of the border between Greece and Macedonia in the northern Greek border station of Idomeni [Darko Vojinovic/AP]|
It is hard to tell people that they may be holding on to a dream. "Greek authorities are taking people to centres where they can live while they wait for their papers to be processed," we explained.
He was shocked. "What buses? What accommodation centres? Where can we find these buses? How can we apply?" Abu Hassan asked.
The EU may have decided on how it wants to deal with the migrant crisis but it seems to have failed to give these people the answers they are desperately seeking.