January, 2013

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Saturday January 12. Coincidences or Small World?.

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

viagra en barcelona propecia one year 4555 free levitra 6563 https://aaan.org/indications/viagra-how-many-to-take/27/ https://peacerivergardens.org/proof/problems-of-nursing-profession-essay/25/ https://plastic-pollution.org/trialrx/pour-quand-le-generique-du-cialis/31/ online viagra prescription australia descriptive essays on paintings go my childhood essay nolvadex tapering rebound jesus galindez dissertation short essay honesty elementary school persuasive essays see buy viagra online walmart dissertation binding doncaster enter phenomenological qualitative research click here essay for nursing requirements for dominican periodic table homework help viagra es droga against essay examples ramapo admissions essay https://journeysmobilevet.com/edimprove/thyroid-synthroid-alopecia/26/ source here https://aaan.org/indications/levitra-retina/27/ research paper indian automobile industry source site real viagra without a prescription I just received an e-mail from Sjoerd Koppert in Carpinteria, California. He finished reading the Dutch version of my book “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”. We met each other on the internet in 1998, through the fact that both our mothers are ex-political WW2 prisoners. He lived in Montecito, next to Santa Barbara where my girlfriend, Brenda, had moved from Seattle. We met that year and when I left Santa Barbara for the Marquesas in 2005, Sjoerd saw me off and gave me a large photograph of one of the very first reunions of the survivors of the AGFA-Kommando, held in 1947. Both our mothers are in the picture. This picture is in the book “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”.  And it is also the same picture through which I discovered the story of Tiny Boosman, another of the same ex-prisoners, which was preceded by an even rarer co-incidental encounter in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with Bart Boosman, another solo-sailor. (See my blog Sept 7 and 9 of 2009). Boosman’s memoirs became an essential part of the book for to the complete story of what our mothers experienced. Now for the rest of the story. It just so happened that an old class mate from the fifties, I had reconnected with through Schoolbank.nl, flew to California last week for her daughter’s 50th birthday celebration. Her daughter, Wilja Happé , owns a large flower nursery www.Brandflowers.com  in Carpinteria. Her mother, Willy, handdelivered the book to Sjoerd. And just their reactions to the book made the many hours invested in it worth the while. The publication on Amazon of the print and e-book English version is just days away. The manuscript has met their submission requirements. I am now working on renumbering the 300 plus names in the index, because of a few shifts that took place while uploading the book to their system.

The above is one of many coincidental experiences I have with connecting people to people. I am writing this from the living room table of my friends the Wijnans. Arthur and I became friends in 1973 when he came to Tacoma to purchase wood products from me. When I was searching in the National Archives in The Hague for information for the book, I started a conversation with an attractive lady (I can’t resist) who was doing research for her writing project. She turned out to be Sylvia from a small town south of Amsterdam, Oegstgeest. I asked her if she could check her town’s records for an aunt I used to have in Oegstgeest. She did, and I discovered many new relatives and now have regular contact with a cousin of my generation who is the source for the pictures in the book of the two commercial sailing barges owned by my mother’s aunt and uncle. Then I also remembered that Arthur had grown up in Oegstgeest. Turns out Sylvia’s parents were life long friends of Arthur’s parents. Sylvia published a book: ‘Een Perzisch kleed voor een kistje aardappels’ (www.oudoegstgeest.nl ) and the front cover is the portrait of her mother done by Arthur’s father, who was an accomplished painter. Sylvia is still very good friends with Arthur’s step mother. Sylvia also is one of the friends who helped me with the editing of the Dutch book.

Then there was the meeting last year of Melina with her father she had been searching for for over 40 years, which came about through my reporting meeting her Greek-Cypriot-American father in a small town in Roumania. One of the most unusual meetings was in a ski lift in Lech, Austria in the early seventies. When I mentioned this meeting to my friend Roman Wydra in Tacoma it turned out that the two had fought together in the Yugoslav partisans in WW-2. They had lost track of each other in Milan in the early fifties.

Years ago my cousin wrote me that he had a good friend who is also a sailing fanatic. Both men are on the board of the Sneek Week annual sailing regatta. Because of my book research, I was able to disclose to him that four of their/our mutual great aunts/uncles were married to each other. One of the two couples are the parents of the “other” Mastmakers’ daughter.

One of these days, in a chair lift or in the middle of an ocean or a remote village, I’ll find a connection again to Betty Lou Walker of Culver City, California. Last seen in 1958. I have a message for her.





Thursday January 10th. Promises.

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

And they are already talking Ice Skating…. We are promised frost starting tomorrow and clear skies. Ever since I arrived here on the last day of September it has rained nearly every day. I left the Pacific N.W. for s specific reason. Ever since I arrived in Holland in 2009 the weather turned dry and sunny. And when I left in July 2010, May 2011 and April 2012 it turned nasty.

my backdoor Douglas Fir, Pine and hardwood forest



























I am attempting to upload my manuscript to a Robot at the self publishing arm of Amazon, it is called “Create Space”. It is a tedious process for the 286 pages. When just a letter moves in the wrong parameter you have to start all over again. I also have an index for about 300 names named in the book and when a page changes I have to adjust it again. Fortunately there is a trick that automatically renumbers the chapter index. After I get this down to a science I’ll be tempted to think up a new writing project.

Blanda is starting to get used to me. She is a very easy and thankful dog. If it snows I’ll never find her back in the woods. Maybe I’ll have to spray paint her then.

Sunday January 6th. Soest

Sunday, January 6th, 2013
I just got back from walking Blanda. It has not rained yet, all day. And the sun came through briefly. It has rained practically every day in the last six weeks. I took Arthur and Marjan to Schiphol for their early flight to South Africa and had enough time to get back here, take the dog for her morning walk and make it to 10 a.m. mass. I also stopped at the boat to make sure it was still afloat. I have thoroughly confused the poor animal. She has her set routine for the trails she is walked three times a day. And without GPS I am a lousy navigator. But she is very patient with me, she just shakes her head. The back fence of the home opens on a forest with trails through Pine and hardwood forest and patches of sand dunes and heather fields.

The traditional seating arrangement in the 1853 built Saint Peter and Paul church has been adjusted to the shrinking needs of the Dutch to celebrate their faith in a church on Sundays. And yet the seating capacity for today’s service could have been reduced by another 90% to accomodate the 50 odd parishoners. For a while I was wondering if I were in fact in a R.C. church. There was a woman pastor, no altar servers, the Our Father was said in the way the Protestant recite this prayer. But it turned out to make little difference. God was here and I was blessed. The Protestant churches will be closing another 200 churches this year in Holland. They should have built them in timber frame instead of brick then they could export them to Africa and Asia or store them for when they need God again. But there are still pockets of promise. I saw a filled bicycle rack and well filled parking lot when passing the Protestant “Oude Kerk” in Soest.

Last Sunday’s bulletin of the Saint Henricus church listed the amounts of the two collections taken at the previous Sunday as each about € 53 or a total of about $ 140… It is tough to heat a church on that kind of weekly income. It is rare to see anything but coins on the European collection plates.

Wednesday January 2nd. Meet “Blanda”

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Sunrise over Amersfoort on the 1st day of the year

This is my new friend for the next three weeks. She is a ten year old Chuvach. My friends found her in Slovakia. “Blanda” is Malay for “White”. I’ll be house sitting and looking after “Blanda” while my friends Arthur and Marjan are on vacation in South Africa.


I arrived here in Soest today from Amersfoort where I have been since Friday, last year with my 86 year old cousin. I do not mind growing old but I pray I’ll be spared acting old. No pictures to proof it this time but I went to mass at Saint Henricus church. Father Tuan, born in Vietnam, said mass. I keep running into a lot more work than I had expected in formulating my English manuscript for print ready presentation, but it has been a good learning process and I expect that it will be a lot easier with the next project that is starting to form in my head.