|BETTY MOWING THE LAWN |
ON VASHON ISLAND, WA
I could make a whole career out of plugging authors "no-one" reads, or in this case reads anymore.
One such author is the subject of this week's arts and culture column--which begins like this.
"As popular in her day as David Sedaris — and every bit as funny — Betty MacDonald (1908-1958) retains a small but devoted following of which I’m a proud member.
She’s perhaps best known as the author of “The Egg and I” (1945), the book that gave rise to the characters Ma and Pa Kettle.
But as the gap between the rich and the poor grows ever wider, the book I’m turning to again is called “Anybody Can Do Anything” (1950).
It’s about Seattle during the Depression and Betty’s wacky family — they’re all back home, living with their chain-smoking, novel-reading, mild-mannered mother — which is headed up by the oldest sibling, Mary, and how Mary gets Betty, who is divorced with two young daughters, a succession of odd jobs for which Betty is completely and utterly unqualified.
Here’s the conversation that ensues after Mary announces to Betty that she’s volunteered her for a job 'at the Western Insurance Company being private secretary to a perfectly darling man named Welton Brown' ”...
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.