Saturday, August 15, 2015

Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald in Vita Magica




Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

this is an article by Axel Schappei published in 1983.

Wolfgang Hampel founded Betty MacDonald fan club  in 1983 with only four members.

In 2015 Betty MacDonald fan club got members from 40 countries from all over the World.

A great success story!


Wolfgang Hampel's new project Vita Magica is really  fascinating  because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.
 

The next Vita Magica will be on August 25, 2015. 

Have a very nice Saturday,

Take care,

Bengt




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. 

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. 

Autor und Journalist Wolfgang Hampel  hat sich kurzerhand auf die Spuren von Betty MacDonald begeben und die Familie und Freude von Betty besucht. 

Wolfgang Hampel gründete den Betty MacDonald Fan Club mit Fans in 40 Ländern. 

Die 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 Burnett. 

Übrigens haben die Kettles im Leben von Betty MacDonald eine große Rolle gespielt. 



Vita Magica

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - 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 organizer Linde Lund

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