Saturday, April 2, 2016

Wolfgang Hampel, Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle

Bildergebnis für marjorie main and percy kilbride
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Ma and Pa Kettle were comic characters who first appeared in the novel The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald. She based them on farming neighbors in Washington state, U.S.A.

In 1996 Betty MacDonald's family had been interviewed by journalist Wolfgang Hampel who is the author of The Kettles' Million Dollar Egg.
Betty MacDonald's youngest sister Alison Bard Burnett knew the real 'Kettles' very well and told the most interesting stories about Betty's exciting experiences with them. 
The Kettles' Million Dollar Egg and the interview are as funny as a Ma and Pa Kettle Movie. 
This interview has been published on CD/DVD by Betty MacDonald Fan Club in 2009. 

Ma and Pa Kettle became the featured characters in a series of popular, light comedic movies in the 1940s and 1950s. The movies revolved around the absurd misadventures of the Kettle clan.

Pa (Franklin Kettle) (played by Percy Kilbride) is a gentle, slow-speaking, slow-thinking and lazy man. His only talents appear to be avoiding work and winning contests. Ma (Phoebe Kettle) (played by Marjorie Main) is larger, raucous, more ambitious and smarter than Pa, but not by much, and can easily be fooled. She is content with her role as mother to a small army of children on their ramshackle farm. At the end of the first film in the series, Pa Kettle wins a modern home that the family moves into. As the series continued, various reasons were devised to have the family relocate to the "old place", sometimes for extended periods of time.

Much of the humor comes from the preposterous situations the Kettles find themselves in, such as Pa being mistaken for a wealthy industrialist or being jailed after he accidentally causes race horses to eat feed laced with concrete. The Kettles first appeared in supporting roles in The Egg and I, starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert. After that they starred in a series of their own movies. 

Main was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1948 for her role in The Egg and I. 

Main and Kilbride also appeared together in the 1948 Universal film Feudin', Fussin' And A-Fightin'. The movie also starred Donald O'Connor and Joe Besser. Many have mistaken this movie to be a Kettle film. Main played Maribel Matthews and Kilbride played Billy Caswell. 

Kilbride retired after making Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki. The Pa Kettle character did not appear in The Kettles in the Ozarks. Arthur Hunnicutt played Pa's brother Sedgewick Kettle in that movie and in The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm, the last Kettle movie, Parker Fennelly played Pa Kettle.

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. 

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli got so many fans from all over the World. 

Mr. Tigerli is very busy around the World because of so many serious problems.

I totally agree  that our unique Betty MacDonald fan club honor members are brillinat artists and writers.

Let's talk about great writers and poets Letizia Mancino, Hilde Domin and Betty MacDonald.

Betty MacDonald fan Club honor member, artist and writer Letizia Mancino shares her delightful story THE SECOND PARADISE. 

Enjoy the brilliant translation by Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mary Holmes, please.

Thanks a million dearest Mary Holmes!

I'm one of Letizia's and Mary's many devoted fans.

Letizia Mancino sent this connecting piece to " The Second Paradise".


Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino

translated by Mary Holmes 

All rights reserved

That was how my friend Hilde Domin was, dear Betty! You would have liked her so much. She had also been in America. At that time you were a famous author but she was still unknown.

-Did she love cats like you do?

-Yes Betty, she sure did!! Otherwise how do you think she could have been a friend of mine?

-Oh Letizia, don’t boast! Hilde was famous!

-It’s all the same to me, Betty, whether a person is famous or not but that person must love animals

-Why was she as defiant as a cock?

-Well Betty, she was simply so!

-Like a pregnant woman in my “Egg and I”?

-No not so! Betty, Hilde was a whole farm!

- A farm, how was that?

- No Betty, Hilde was more! Almost a zoo! Even more. She was all the animals in the world!

-You loved her very much.

-As I love all animals. 

You Betty, if I had known you, I would have loved you exactly so because you loved animals.

-But as defiant as a cock from my Bob-farm!

-Yes and no! (Hilde really loved this double form of answer). Listen Betty , I’ll tell you a story about how Hilde was. You would certainly have loved her.
I’ll call my story “The Second Paradise”.


Copyright 2011/2015 by Letizia Mancino

translated by Mary Holmes

All rights reserved

The Lord God, one day, met Adam in Paradise and saw him lying under a palm.

And God spoke to him: Adam, my son, are you happy, are you content with Paradise ?

Adam answered: Oh Lord, it is wonderful!

And God said: But I will create a second Paradise and give you a wife.

Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful!

And God said: I will create the wife according to your wishes.

And Adam stood under the palm and thought hard.

And God said: Adam, are you ready?

Adam answered: My wife should be as lively as a bird but she should not fly. She should swim like a goldfish but not be a fish….. She should be as playful as a cat but not catch mice….. She should be as busy as an ant but not so small.

And God said: So shall she be: Like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant…

Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful, but she should be as faithful as a dog.

And God asked: Adam, have you finished?

Oh Lord, cried Adam. She should also be as delightful and gentle as a lamb and as defiant as a cock!

….She should be as curious as a monkey and as pampered as a lapdog.

And God said: So shall she be.

And Adam said: My wife should be as courageous as a lion and as headstrong as a goat…

And God said: So, like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant, a dog, a lamb, a cock, a monkey, a lapdog, a lion, a goat… and slowly and surely he wished to begin creating…

But Adam stretched himself under the palm and called:

Lord, Lord, she should be as adaptable as a chameleon but not creep on four feet.

She should have sparkling eyes like, like… real diamonds. She should be as fiery as a volcano

But … she should have crystal-clear thoughts like a mountain spring.

God, the Almighty, was speechless…

And Adam spoke: Also she should be as quick as lightening…

And God said: Man, have you finished????

No, said Adam! She should be as strong as a horse, as long living as an elephant but as light as a butterfly!

God found Adam’s thoughts were good and said: So, bird, goldfish, cat, ant, dog, lamb, cock, monkey, lapdog, lion, goat, chameleon, genuine diamonds, volcano, mountain spring, lightening, horse, elephant…. butterfly…

God wished at last to begin creating her…

Lord, called Adam… she should be as stable as steel, but as sweet as three graceful women in one…

And God asked: Should she also be a poet?

Yes, called Adam from under the palm…

And God said: Adam have you finished?

Lord, I wish that, in the second Paradise I shall be one and doubled:

So God according to Adams last words created:



Very best wishes

Letizia Mancino

Letizia Mancino is an outstanding writer and artist.

I know you will enjoy this very charming and witty story the same way I did!

Thanks a Million, dear Letiza Mancino! You made my day!

As you know I'm very interested in pets and excellent literature.

Betty MacDonald Fan Club founder Wolfgang Hampel is working on an Eva Vargas biography. I'd love to know: Did Eva Vargas like pets and cats?

You can read my new story in Betty MacDonald Newsletter November. 

Letizia Mancino is part of Wolfgang Hampel's new project 'Vita Magica'. 

We got so many requests from fans from all over the world and have great info for you. 

Wolfgang Hampel's stories and satirical poems will be published in several languages for his many fans from all over the world. 

Don't miss Brad Craft's ' Grump ' please. 

I adore this great ESC entry very much.

Wishing you a great Saturday,


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 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 

Satirical TV song about Erdogan sparks Turkey-Germany row

March 29, 2016

Ankara (AFP) - A song lampooning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was broadcast on a German public television satirical show has sparked a diplomatic spat between Berlin and Ankara, sources on both sides confirmed Tuesday.
Turkey last week summoned Germany's ambassador to protest the two-minute clip "Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan", which ridicules the president, his alleged extravagant spending and crackdown on civil liberties.
The song is set to the tune of German pop star Nena's 1984 love song "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann" (Anyhow, Anywhere, Anytime) and was screened on regional broadcaster NDR's "extra 3" show on March 17.
The German-language lyrics charge, among other things, that "a journalist who writes something that Erdogan doesn't like/ Is tomorrow already in jail".
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Turkish diplomatic source told AFP: "We summoned the ambassador last week to communicate our protest about the broadcast that we condemned.
"We demanded that the broadcast be removed from the air."
A German diplomatic source confirmed Tuesday that Ambassador Martin Erdmann had held repeated talks with the Turkish foreign ministry over the song.
"In these talks he made clear that the rule of law, judicial independence and the protection of fundamental freedoms, including of the press and of expression, are valuable assets that should be jointly protected," said the German source.
Erdmann had stressed that "in Germany, political satire is covered by the freedom of the press and of expression and the government has neither the need for, nor the option of, taking action."
- Freedom of speech -
Erdogan's government has been accused by critics of authoritarianism and muzzling critical media as well as lawmakers, academics, lawyers and NGOs.
Alluding to the government's military crackdown against the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the song charges about Erdogan: "He hates the Kurds like the plague /And prefers to bomb them rather than the religious brothers from Islamic State."
The government vehemently denies that the crackdown targets Turkey's Kurdish minority, saying it is only aimed at wiping out "terrorists".
The satirical show fired back at Ankara on Tuesday, publishing a framed picture of Erdogan on its Twitter feed and declaring him its "Employee of the Month".
The editor-in-chief of NDR television, Andreas Cichowicz, said Turkey's diplomatic protest was "not consistent with our understanding of freedom of the press and freedom of speech".
EU heavyweight Germany sees Turkey as the bloc's main partner in tackling a wave of refugees landing at Europe's borders, with Chancellor Angela Merkel appealing for Ankara's help on the issue.
But Merkel has also said Germany will stick to its values and keep insisting on civil and minority rights in Turkey.
German news weekly Der Spiegel said this month it had to withdraw its Istanbul correspondent and charged that Turkey was violating the freedom of the press.
Several diplomats from EU member states, including the German envoy, last week attended the trial of two journalists facing espionage charges, drawing the ire of Erdogan who accused the diplomats of overstepping their powers.
Using a hugely controversial legal article, almost 2,000 people have been prosecuted for "insulting" Erdogan since the former premier became president in August 2014.

Betty MacDonald Fan Club proudly presents:

The amazing, very witty, charming, intelligent story written by our brilliant Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor Member - artist and writer Letizia Mancino.


Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
Translated by D. Tsiaprakas

Betty, I love you! Your books „Anybody can do anything“ and „Onions in the Stew“ are really outstanding! I take them into my hand, and at a stone's throw I am right away in America ! Columbus and the egg: The great discovery!

Your bestseller „The Egg and I“ the greatest discovery. And you and I! I know America: It's true what you are writing: That's America: Absolutely right! No, even to the least detail! The landscape and the passion: Do you know the country where pistols blossom? Brava, Betty, you are describing the Americans vividly, genuinely, insufferably, brushed upon paper. If I like to read your works? To read doesn't even express it! I can even hear and see everything: Nature, culture, subculture.

America has almost remained unchanged! O those cool Americans! Calculating, stockmarket, Wall Street, the financial crisis (even back in 1930), the gamblers, the bankruptcy of companies! The swarming of dodgers and cheaters. People left without money. Dispair und hunger! A terrible „Worst Case“ (when I knew but little English I thought it is sausage with cheese).

Still how impressive is the ability to adaptone self of the Americans: They know how to enjoy life, acrobats of survival! In the twinkle of an eye they achieved to adapt themselves and effect the work of pioneers: In the morning you are a cleaningwoman, in the evening a brothel woman! No problem!

„The insufficient, here it's becoming an event; The indescribable, here it's done;“ Mary Bard Jensen, your sister, was the treasure trove of procuring work: My word, what a power woman with unlimited imagination! She has recommended you everywhere: Betty can do everything, also write novels! Go ahead, sister, hurry up! The editor wants to see your manuscripts! Up to that point you had not written a single line! Wow! And if still everything goes wrong? No problem: When you dream, dream big!

Just look, you have become famous.The Egg and I You know that, Betty? I'll slip into „The Egg and I“ and come and be your guest! I want to get to know your chickens. I hate chickens! I'm a chickens slave from North America! O Betty, without these damned animals, no chance of you becoming famous! „The Egg and I“ you would never have written! How many readers you have made happy!

Your book is so amusing! Your witty fine (almost nasty) remarks about your family members and roundabout neighbours made me laugh so much! You have been born into a special family: Comfort was not desired: I can't but be amazed: What did your father say to your mother? After tomorrow I am going to work elsewhere: Thousands of miles away...He sent her a telegram: LEAVING FOR TWO YEARS ON THURSDAY FOR MEXICO CITY STOP GET READY IF YOU WANT TO COME ALONG – That was on Monday. Mother wired back: SHALL BE READY, and so she was.That's America! Improvisation, change, adventure. You show no weakness: Let's go! Your descriptions, Betty, about the tremendous happenings in nature have deeply frightened me.

Continent America, I'm terrified by you! I feel so small and threatened like a tiny fly before an enormous flyswatter! Your novel is very many-sided! The reader may use it even as a cook book! „The Egg and I“ starts straight away with a recipe: „Next to the wisdom that lamb meat doesn't taste good unless it has been roasted with garlic“. Do you enjoy the American food?

O Betty, it's too fatty for me and I hate garlic! (Betty is presently cooking lunch for Bob. She's continually talking to „STOVE“: STOVE is Bob's rival; in the beginning I thought it was being himself). She turns round and says: Well, so no garlic for you. No lamb either, Betty. I don't eat any meat! I'd actually prefer only fried eggs. Betty, let me make them myself. Then you try it!

Blow! „STOVE“ out of order! I don't succeed in turning it on! Damned! It's got more of a mind of its own than „STOVE“ of my friend, Hilde Domin! Bob's coming! He must eat directly! „Men eat anything, the swines! Says your grandmother Gammy“. Is it true? Do you like my chickens? Bob asked me without introducing himself. Yes, Bob (rude) I love them! I'm vegetarian. Do you want to clean the henhouse with me tomorrow? A, you're always getting up so early at four o'clock! Bob, that's not a job for me! He looked at me disdainfully! A Roman cissy! You need a reeducation at once! Help, Bob's attacking me! I rather change the novel immediately and move to the „Island“! 

Hans-Dietrich Genscher, German ex-foreign minister, dies

  • 54 minutes ago
  • From the section Europe

Former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher has died at the age of 89, his office has announced.
He died on Thursday night at his home in the town of Wachtberg-Pech, near Bonn, of heart failure, a statement said.
Mr Genscher served as West German foreign minister and vice chancellor from 1974 until reunification in 1990, continuing on in the role until 1992.
He was also chairman of his liberal FDP party from 1974 to 1985.
During the Cold War, Mr Genscher's policy of detente towards the East and his early recognition of then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's desire for change is credited with paving the way for Germany's reunification.

He was also a strong advocate of European unity.
Announcing his retirement from Parliament in 1998, he said: "European unity is the answer to the mistakes of the Germans and of European history. It is the answer to a terrible world war. These reasons stand even today."
Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy spokesman, Georg Streiter, paid tribute to Mr Genscher, saying: "He was a statesman who influenced the fate of Germany like few others. He was a great European and a great German."
One of Mr Genscher's most celebrated moments was in 1989 at the German embassy in Prague where he addressed thousands of East Germans desperate to head west.
Announcing a deal with the Czech communist government allowing them safe passage, he said: "We have come to you to tell you that today your departure..."
The rest of the sentence was drowned out by cheers.