I just finished Onions for the 20th time -at least- and was looking for Vashon Island info when I stumbled upon this site. I was so enthralled with Betty's books in the 90's I insisted a friend take me to Vashon just to see it. It was only a 5 hour drive and a ferry ride away. We walked the trail, all the while looking for things I had read about. Suddenly a well-dressed couple met us coming the opposite direction and we stopped to chat and I asked about the house. They said there had been a landslide (didn't ask when) so the trail stopped there and that the house had burned down years ago. Then they hurried off. The trail seemed to me to slope down toward a house near the water that they had just come from. I was reading all the old forums -- back to 2003 but didn't see anything about the house burning or the trail being obliterated. Is that true? I was so disappointed and even wondered about the couple and if they were just trying to head us off at the pass--so to speak. Anyone know?
Many Many thanks to dear Cathy Bredlau for sharing yet another precious Betty find. This letter shows wit and charm in every line and I had to smile as I read it. I started reading the chapter in "Onions in the Stew" about the flower bulbs Betty impulsively buys, and the difficulty she has getting them in the ground since I bought Star Gazer Lily bulbs and have been prevented from putting them in the ground by similar events, including a spouse who has suggestions that...sound just like Don's oh so silly ones. Right on Betty. And I echo the sentiments from the letter...and wish dear Betty, who was a genius, had spent less time in that kitchen and been given more freedom and time to write, write write.
Jean Louise, you are absolutely correct. Betty was a genius. As far as being in the kitchen too much and writing too little, does anybody remember in which book it was that Betty said she was sitting in the kitchen on Vashon, where she did most of her writing, and all she could think about was making enough money on a single book so that she would never again have to write another word? Writing is hard! I can't recall, either, which famous author said that writing is easy: all you do is stare at a sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. Betty would have empathized.
I think it was Grace Metalious who wrote "Peyton Place", "Return to Peyton Place" "The Tight White Collar" and "No Adam in Eden" (all outstanding books by the way)who said "all you do is stare at a sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." I wonder if Betty had read Peyton Place.
Welcome, Cheri! I, too, became a "Betty Explorer" after reading her books and realizing it was worth the ferry ride to see what I could find! You got some good information, and some bad, when you went to Vashon. During the libel trial (Bishops vs. MacDonald) in 1951, there was a slide that took out a good portion of the hill near Betty & Don's home. There was no fire, however, and as John stated, the home still stands. The farmhouse in Chimacum burned so it sounds like two stories got blended into one! You can see photos of both homes in our Gallery. Enjoy!
Hello, my name is Lise ( like in "leez" ) I am a writer, of french origine, living in NY state (up-state). I am actually seeking more information about Betty macDonald's life , and I wanted to thank you all very much for the Friends of Betty MacDonald's Magazine. Everything I am reading here is of most valuable importance to me.
I would like to know if Betty's daughter Anne has children and grand-children ?