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Audrey Hepburn is Calling!

The above picture is ‘pre-fame’ Audrey Hepburn when she was modeling in London in the early fifties, a copyrighted picture of the Audrey Hepburn family archive given to me by her second son Luca Dotti.  Audrey (then 13) and I (then 7) played together in Holland during World War II. I wrote about it in my just-published paperback, entitled ‘Audrey – a Cherished Memory,’ which also includes some ‘pre-fame’ pictures, some given to me by her mother, Ellen Baroness van Heemstra, and others by Luca Dotti, also from the family archive. The paperback is a short story and you can read it in one sitting, with a coffee, a cup of tea, a scotch or a glass of wine. For Audrey lovers, it is a nice souvenir. I am sending the sales proceeds to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. Originally priced at US$8 or equivalent, I have lowered the price to US$5.99 or equivalent, to encourage more sales during the Christmas and New Year period.

Many charities are claiming your generosity these days but with this contribution, you also get a sweet Audrey story in return! So give it your best, and click on where you are buying from:

The booklet is sold by Amazon.com with the following links, in the various locations of the USA, Canada, UK (Europe), France, Italy and elsewhere. as listed below:

USA and Canada:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0999154400

Europe:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.de/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.es/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.it/dp/0999154400

MAKE IT YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFT! Audrey will be delighted.

For the cookerers among you, Luca Dotti produced a wonderful cookbook with Audrey’s recipes, including Dutch recipes, entitled Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen – http://amzn.to/2AqVPF1

Those who already purchased my Audrey booklet and want to donate directly to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund, please do so by clicking on http://www.audreyhepburn.com

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ENCHANTÉ – KILLING LIBIDO

Ted and Frank discuss the latest events in the media world while having a beer in their favorite Hullahoo bar.

“I’m going to write a different Killing book, Frank. It’s called Killing Libido.”

“Oh my, why so drastic? Didn’t we all welcome the sexual freedom in the sixties after a century of Victorian torture?”

“Libido has become a monster and been causing havoc in our civilized world to such an extent that he destroys families, lives, whole organizations. No laughing matter.”

“Do you ever feel lust in the workplace?”

“Oh man! I lust the hell out of me, but I’m scared shit they’d say fuck off, or I’ll tell your wife!”

“How does Libido get killed? He’s been alive and well since Paradise.”

“Don’t be funny, Frank. I have an ironclad plan.”

“I hope it’s more innovative than what the priest said when I went to confession, ‘cut it off.’”

“Frank, trust me. It’s going to revolutionize the world.”

“Like Viagra?”

“Much worse. My lab friends have developed the Killing Libido Pill, the KLP for short, and it’ll be mandatory like Obamacare.”

“But people could still avoid signing up for Obamacare by paying a tax.”

“Men won’t be able to get to work or enter their office building unless they swallow the KLP first. Like punching the timeclock entering the workplace. If they don’t, they’ll get no salary or are suspended.”

“So what does this pill really do?”

“It kills Libido big time. A man’s interest in women declines to zero. Their private parts remain inoperative even under the greatest temptation. Shrinks the whole thing to a used rubber. Porn stuff goes bankrupt.”

“What about those guys working from home?”

“Depends on their wives.”

“But what happens when the guys come home from work?”

“Then they can take Viagra again, but only if the wife consents.”

“Gee, Ted, that does sound revolutionary. Women in the office will be so happy to be left alone again. Does that pill have no side effects, you know, like those medicines on TV ads that scare you stiff?”

“Nice figure of speech, Frank. If the guy has a flat longer than a day, even after taking Viagra, he must consult his doctor.”

“And what if the guy has a Viagra-induced erection that stays on until he gets to the workplace again?”

“The KLP will take care of that.”

“And what if guys travel and are away from their wives or partners? You know from experience that loneliness and empty beds drive guys wild.”

“The one thing they don’t know is that we have made the KLP addictive, like nicotine or marihuana. Once you take it your urge to take it again is like your former sex drive. You can’t stop swallowing it. The more KLPs you take, the more addicted you get. You don’t even know what’s happening to you. So, women on foreign soils or women colleagues on field missions will remain safe because the guys’ operative system stays flat. They won’t even ask the girls out for dinner.”

“What about the impact on social life, if women don’t feel wanted anymore?”

“Let’s solve the sex issue first, Frank. If women feel lonely, at least they’ll feel safe. There’s a price to pay.”

“Will insurance reimburse the KLP?”

“Of course.”

“Have you been taking the KLP?”

“Haven’t you seen me ignoring all the gals at the bar today?”

“Yeah, now you say, you’ve been acting rather strange for your doing.”

“I urge you to do the same. The first bottle is free. Here you go.”

“Does it matter if you take them with alcohol?”

“It’ll work twice as fast.”

“I’ll give it a try right now.” Frank swallows a KLP with his beer.

“Hey you guys over there,” Ilene, a lovely blonde, yells. “You’re not offering me a beer anymore?”

“If you want to know,” Ted says, “My Libido is dead. It’s official healthcare policy now. I have no incentive anymore to buy you a beer.”

“And what about you, Frank?”

“Sorry Ilene, I wanted to but just swallowed a KLP, and now I’m out.”

“Gee, you guys are boring.”

“Sure,” Ted says. “But at least you can’t sue me when I’m 80 for having tried to intoxicate you forty years ago.”


Help the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund by ordering a copy of Audrey – A Cherished Memory at http://amzn.to/2BuYKw6

Only US$8 and all proceeds go to the Audrey Fund. Give Audrey a chance!

Soon to come on Amazon.com: Francine, Dazzling Daugther of the Mountain State:

A corporate novel chronicles a young woman’s meteoric rise at a coal mining company. A dramatically taut tale propelled by artful characterization and political relevance – Kirkus Reviews.

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ENCHANTÉ – Audrey Hepburn – A Cherished Memory

Thanks to all of you who are contributing to the www.audreyhepburn.com Children’s Fund by ordering my personal memoir of Audrey – A Cherished Memory!  The full proceeds of the sales will be transferred to the Audrey Fund. 

 

 

Finally, Sun Hill Books, USA, has published its first little booklet, entitled Audrey – A Cherished Memory. It is an updated 32-page printed version of the 2014 e-book “Audrey” with a few additional “pre-fame” photographs of Audrey when she was still a young girl as I knew her, which were given to me by her second son, Luca Dotti, from their family archive, on behalf of the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.  Much later, there were so many photographs of her widely published that adding one of those to my Audrey story would be superfluous. Sadly in the seventies, we did not make personal photographs the way we do now with our cell phones. The cover photograph of the Audrey booklet is “pre-fame” by Noel Mayne of Baron Studios in London, made in the early nineteen fifties when Audrey was modeling. I received this photograph from her mother through an aunt of mine when I was still in secondary school. It is rare because it was part of Baron’s negatives which perished in a flooding before Baron’s photos were transferred to the National Photo Gallery in London. Luca Dotti, who is now chairman of the board of the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund (Pasadena, California) sent me the second photograph above, which is from the same period and copyrighted by the Audrey Hepburn Family Archive.

Sun Hill Books issues this booklet for the benefit of the Audrey Hepburn Children Fund,  http://www.audreyhepburn.com. We have priced it at US$8, and equivalent prices in other countries, which would net the Fund between US$5-6. Now I hope that many of you still have a loving memory of Audrey’s movies (Roman Holiday,  The Nun Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade,  My Fair Lady, Two for the Road,  some of my favorites) and buy the booklet to read how we first met as children during World War II. I know she told her two sons, Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti, of those bad days and the malnutrition she endured while living in Arnhem and Velp in The Netherlands. Both read the booklet before publication, Sean in 2014 and Luca in 2017, and they remembered their mother’s tales of World War II.

As you know, in 1988, Audrey became a beloved Ambassadrice of UNICEF, visiting malnourished and sick children in some twenty countries. She actively helped fundraise millions of dollars in the USA and Europe, while eventually succumbing to colon cancer at the age of 63 in 1993, perhaps induced by the malnutrition she suffered during World War II. She was a very engaged and courageous woman, both a famous movie star and a bright star in the firmament, which is still shining.

1988 – Audrey in Ethiopia – by John Isaac

The booklet is sold by Amazon.com with the following links, in the various locations of the USA, Canada, UK (Europe), France, Italy and elsewhere. as listed below:

USA and Canada:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0999154400

Europe:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.de/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.es/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.it/dp/0999154400

For the cookerers among you, Luca Dotti produced a wonderful cookbook with Audrey’s recipes, including Dutch recipes, entitled Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen – http://amzn.to/2AqVPF1

Those who already purchased my Audrey booklet or want to donate directly to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund, please do so by clicking on http://www.audreyhepburn.com

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ENCHANTÉ – HOW TO SELL BOOKS

Frank and Ted love writing books. Franks writes romantic stories and Ted writes thrillers, and both are self-publishing. Both have sex in their books but they try to keep it above the porn-line. They never show these sex pieces to their writing group to avoid embarrassment, even though their writing group team members are waiting for them with lusting eyes and are utterly frustrated when they don’t get them for critique.

“Sex pays,” Ted says. “But outside the bedroom.”

“There’s an opportunity for a book signing on Brook Street,” Frank says. “An art show. Let’s go there and sell some books.”

They rent a tent and showcase their books on a table with posters.

Art on the Avenue – Alexandria VA October 2017 – www. AlexandriaNews.org

Courtesy George Vercessi (www.vercessi.com)

Frank’s poster shows a wrestler-type torso with a busty girl in his arms, carrying the title, “Lust on Devil’s Island.” He uses the pen name, Franca Bianca, because Romance Writers of America has only female writers who write for women, and stats prove that eighty percent of readers are women.  Most men don’t read as most of them are illiterate morons watching football. Ted’s poster reads, “Killing Joan,” because he writes about the last of many (women) agents who rejected his book. The cover design shows a knife piercing through a crying heart with blood dripping down in large blots. Not very original but blood sells too. Both sell their books at ten dollars a piece.

“If this does not attract people, I’ll be damned,” Frank says, looking at the tent from the street side.

When crowds are filling Brook Street, all patrons pass by and look at other tents instead, selling cheap jewelry, pots and pans, fake antiques, starving artists paintings, dog collars, T-shirts, and popcorn. The tent next to theirs sells party ornaments.

“You should sport a female facemask, Frank, because you ain’t looking like Franca,” Ted says.

“Great idea. And you should wear an O’Reilly facemask because you stole his title series,” Frank says.

“Let’s stand in the middle of the street carrying our posters to attract people to our books,” Ted suggests.

“But I’m not wearing a skirt,” protests Frank.

“Go to that tent over there,” Ted says. “They sell Halloween masks and costumes.”

Frank leaves their tent to follow up on Ted’s bright suggestion. He buys a Hillary mask and a blue plastic skirt, walks back, and dresses up in the back of their tent.

“Did anybody come by to buy my book?” Frank asks.

“Somebody came and asked if that guy with the torso was Arnold Schwartzenegger. When I said ‘yes’ he didn’t buy the book.”

“You should go to that tent too,” Frank says. “They have O’Reilly masks and bloody knives for sale.”

Ted goes while Frank sits with his Hillary mask on, hoping to attract book buyers. One man stops, looks at him, or rather his Hillary mask, comes nearer and gawks at the torso poster. “Is that book about what happened to Hillary?”

“No, it’s about a handsome man like you who shipwrecks on an island in the Pacific and meets the girl of his life in the midst of crocodiles, snakes, donkeys, and elephants.”

“Why do you wear a Hillary mask then?”

“Well, Hillary’s world is devil’s island, don’t you think?”

“I only read non-fiction, thank you.” The guy walks on, leaving Frank frustrated.

Ted comes back with his O’Reilly mask and a few bloody knives. “Sold any books?”

“No. They think my book is about Hillary. I have to buy another mask. You look terrific, O’Reilly.”

Frank walks to the party tent again, buys himself a Melania mask, and hurries back, just in time to see Ted in a furious discussion with a woman.

“How do you dare to show off that womanizer’s face?  Shouldn’t your book be titled, Killing O’Reilly? Shame on you!”

“I guess you didn’t sell any books,” Frank says.

“No. You saw that woman’s reaction. I have to buy another mask.”

Ted leaves for the party tent. Frank dons his Melania mask and waits. A couple loiters in front of him.

“Is that Donald Trump’s torso?” asks the wife.

“No, it’s Tarzan’s,” answers Frank wrily, grumbling through his mask.

“You don’t sound like Melania, she has a foreign accent,” the husband says.

“That accent doesn’t come with the mask,” Frank says. “Buy my book and you’ll find out whose torso it is.”

“My husband doesn’t have a torso like that. That girl in his arms must be scared-shit. Is that Melania what the book is about?”

“Just imagine you as beautiful as you are, left alone on an island with snakes and crocodiles, and a guy with that torso swims ashore, naked, saves your life, takes you in his arms, and makes love to you. Would you not want to read that story?”

“Come on, Elena,” the husband says, pulling her away. “You’ve got other books to read. You haven’t even finished Nora Robert’s latest.”

“Okay, Melania,” the woman says. “I’ll look it up on Amazon. Goodbye…”

Ted comes back with a Bruce Willis Mask and a Die Hard-flagged plastic pistol.

“Sold any books, Frank?”

“No, Melania does not sell because people don’t want her to be pulverized by Donald Trump’s torso. I need another mask.”

Frank leaves for the party tent and Ted reinvents his author bio, waiting for people to come and buy “Killing Joan.”

“Hah,” a man says to Ted. “I hate my wife Joan. Is that a “How to” book?”

“It’s about Joan of Arc, burned at the stakes,” replies Ted. The man walks away, disappointed.

Frank comes back with a Sylvester Stallone mask and a fake carton torso piece. “If this doesn’t do it, I must change genre,” Frank says.

He sits behind the table, watching onlookers passing by, not even looking at them. “We should be more proactive, Ted. Yell at them, ‘Come by and read for pleasure.'”

Frank and Ted yell, but people stare at them as if they’re crazed idiots.

“I repeat: Let’s go on the street with our posters and draw people to our tent,” Ted says.

They leave the tent for the street, Frank with his Sylvestor Stallone face and fake torso, and Ted in his Bruce Willis costume, swaying his Die Hard pistol in the air.

Two cops swerve in front of them, out from nowhere, guns drawn. “Hey, you, you have a weapons permit?”

Curious onlookers are immediately crowding around them. “It’s plastic, man! We’re selling books over there, you see?” Ted responds, pointing frantically to our tent. “We paid one hundred dollars for that piece of junk. Hi everybody, come and buy our books! Half price!”

Throngs of people suddenly stand in line. Frank and Ted sell all their books, emptying their boxes. Even the cops buy a couple.

After the art show, they have a beer at the nearby bar, smiling broadly.

“Frank, you must be goofy, writing those books,” Ted says, wiping the foam off his lips.

“And you must be cracked selling them,” Frank says. “What’s your next book?”

“Killing Frank, and yours?”

“The Kiss That Poisoned Ted.”

Coming Soon:  Francine – Dazzling Daughter of the Mountain State –

Kirkus Reviews: “A corporate novel chronicles a young woman’s meteoric rise at a coal mining company. A dramatically taut tale propelled by artful characterization and political relevance. “

Also coming:

Audrey – A Cherished Memory – A Short Story in print for the benefit of the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

Customer Reviews on Amazon.com of the 2014 e-book version:

“An engaging story from start to finish. Evocative of a particular time and place but ultimately timeless and universal in touching the human heart.” Mark Spencer

“A pleasant account of an exceptional person. There’s always something poignant about beautiful people recovering from ghastly times. Thanks for the read.” Micah Harris

“I adore Audrey Hepburn and love to hear new stories about her. Can’t get enough. And this short story was a nice little peek into her life, especially pre-fame, as a young girl… loved it.” Kendal Brenneman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ENCHANTÉ – AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 YEARS

 

160 years spun together, brother and sister through “thick and thin” – Dutch saying -, Marie and John celebrated their 80th birthdays on July 9, 2017, at the house of their granduncle, Joost van der Poorten Schwartz, alias Maarten Maartens, the once famous novel writer around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Uncle Joost was the brother of their grandfather, John (Johannes) Schwartz, after whom this John was named. Although the castle-like house, named “Zonheuvel” or “Sun Hill”, located in Doorn near Utrecht in the Netherlands, is now owned by the Dutch business training and advice institution, SBI (de stichting Slotemaker de Bruine Instituut), it is still used as a regular reunion venue for the extended Schwartz family (and their counterpart de Savornin Lohman family as well). They revere their uncle’s fame with his pen and immense imagination and like to dwell in his library and workroom, where he kept his many old literary books while writing his own. At the same time, they enjoy the good catering services of “Zonheuvel Hotel,” which SBI built on the grounds of the estate.

Both Marie and John went around the world during their lifetime, Marie for “Women in Europe for a Common Future,” a non-governmental organization she created in 1994, and which has internationally grown over the years, now operating under the name of “Women Engage for a Common Future.” Having relinquished the direction of WECF to her daughter Sascha Gabizon, who directs the organization as Executive Director from München, Germany, Sascha has expanded the operations of WECF considerably under the guidance of her mother, Marie, still acting as Honorary President and Policy Adviser. Sascha was recently elected as European Regional Representative to UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, one of the primary activities of WECF.  (UNEP’s election results are in: Sascha is now UNEP’s regional representative for civil society in Europe.) As she once told me – in all modesty – “I’m a good manager.”

Sascha’s brother Michiel Kranendonk became a devoted art painter who produces wonderful special-light-effect sea views, portraits, and sculptures and also accomplished an impressive wall-painting of the Maarten Maartens House that hangs in Hotel Zonheuvel.

 

Both Sascha with Marc Gabizon, and Michiel with Swenne van Roosmalen, were blessed with lovely children. Sascha with Lily, who at age 16 already speaks four languages fluently (Dutch, French, English, and German!), and Michiel with Marinke, a beauty in full bloom, and Ingmar, her younger brother in battle.

 

Photo above: Swenne van Roosmalen, Michiel’s wife. Next, their daughter Marinke, dancing with Preston John Schwartz, his sister Sadie looking on. Marinke’s brother, Ingmar,  appears later as an Indian warrior in Karl May’s Old Shatterhand stories Marie always read endlessly on “de plee” – (Dutch word for toilet and pronounced “play.”)

John traveled the world for the World Bank most of his life, and also as an international consultant for 17 years after he retired, looking back on mixed results, as improving public financial management, sound economic investment, and modernizing old cultural habits with deeply-vested interests in less developed nations proves difficult, slow-moving, and often exasperating. His children did not think much of it – “Daddie is always away on mission” – while Joy, his dapper wife, had to drive them to and from school in snow and ice, or thunderstorms. In the end, Pa left it to others trying to improve the world – much too late the kids said – and became a writer. In the spirit of Uncle Joost, also writing in English.

 

 

Photos above: John’s books about Maarten Maartens’ stories. Next, leaving the two books to his greatuncle on his desk, in his memory and with great admiration. Standing against the bouquet of flowers is a booklet by Maximiliaan Schwartz, a cousin of Maarten Maartens, who translated some of his stories into Dutch. It was a gift to John from Ada Baars de Savornin Lohman. This is a rare booklet and little known in the family today. Uncle Max descended from the first marriage of the Great Grandfather Carl Schwartz and was a doctor in the classical languages, who translated the works of many Greek and Latin authors into Dutch while being Dean of the City Gymnasium of Nijmegen in Holland. These books are still in print.

John’s kids did not follow their dad to the World Bank but succeeded in making good careers of their own. Samantha obtained a Ph.D. in psychology and law and works as a jury consultant (US law system) traveling to all corners of the USA, and David is a successful sales representative of Ethicon, the surgical instruments division of Johnson & Johnson, selling “hammers and nails” to needy surgeons. The grandchildren would probably still be working on grandpa’s failed missions, a never-ending story, but, so far, they seem more interested in playing football and ballet dancing.

 

 

 Sadie Ballet

 

 

Preston is a Little League football player in the US and was named “most valuable player” (at the age of 7) of his region in 2016. On “Sadie Ballet”: she is the little one second from right. At the end of her show, she makes a summersault!

As a result, on this fabulous day of celebration, the two 80-year-olds – John reached his past November 10, 2016, and Mary will reach hers next February 11, 2018 – can’t complain about their life’s achievements, despite the pain, hardship and difficult moments. It was, therefore, a great pleasure to celebrate this lifelong achievement with dear family and dear friends from different parts of the world we had not seen for many years, some never before, in bright sunny weather (a hooray for the Netherlands). It was a day of music, song, and dance, with good dishes, beer (Van Vollenhoven’s lager and stout!) provided by Poesiat & Kater, Muiderpoort-Amsterdam, courtesy brewers Eymert van Manen and Pieter Teepe, wine, and fun, and having a chance to interact with each other,  even if it was for a brief moment. The serene atmosphere of the Maarten Maartens House offers a splendid environment for such an occasion.

After all this self-boasting,  a few pictures of the event follow below. Most pictures were made by April R. Faulkner-Schwartz, an excellent amateur-photographer, whose diligence is hereby greatly appreciated. Other family members and friends (among others Nellie Mietes, Junte Schwartz, Lodewijk Regout) also contributed pictures and we are immensely grateful for that.

 

 

Welcome toasts at the Maarten Maartens House Marie – John – Max the Dog – Joy (John’s wife) son David, daughter Sam, granddaughter Sadie, Amalia Baracs, in the background Jan van Roosmalen, Michiel’s father-in-law, and

 

Mary, John, Joy, David with Sadie, Samantha, Jan van Roosmalen, Willemijn Banki (student friend of Michiel’s) and Amalia Baracs in the background – Next Joy and John toasting.

 

Guests still entering the hall of the Maarten Maartens House during the welcoming ceremony.

 

First cousins Junte and John chatting together. Next cousins Arent van Sminia and Alexander de Savornin Lohman talking.

 

Dear friend Amalia Baracs bringing flowers to Marie. Next Joy talking to Marie with April Schwartz listening in.

  

Pianist Bas Vermeyden playing classical music on Maarten Maartens grand piano, still in splendid shape, to accompany a show of Michiel’s paintings on screen. Children are watching the show.

  

Sascha, director of the performance, speaking. Cousin Samantha speaking as well.

 

 

Above Lily Gabizon, Naomi van Kleef, Sadie and Preston Schwartz, Marinke Kranendonk, Samantha Schwartz, performing.

The children and grandchildren performed a hilarious show.

 

Michiel, acting as Marie’s mother superior at her girl-boarding school, Sacré Coeur, who was not happy with her behavior.

 

Heleen de la Hayze (now Corbet), Marie’s oldest friend from Heemstede, Marie, and John watching the performance. Next Michiel being addressed by his mother during the show.

 

Ending the performance in applause and deep bows.

 

John dancing with Heleen (like they were 5 and 4 years old) – and the rest of the party in full swing.

 

More dancing after the show

 

Cousins Michiel and David having second thoughts about their parents’ speeches

Michiel turned off by David’s flirting with Lilly.

 

Joy and Alexander de Savornin Lohman. Next, Joy holding a gift photo with Mary, John, and sister Carla when they were teens.

 

From left to right: Willem Dólleman from Kenya and his wife Marie-José, John, (Willem Dólleman from Paris, hidden behind John), Judith and her father Junte. Willem Dólleman from Kenya became a successful farmer like his father Willem (from the North East Polder – Flevoland) and built a windfarm in Kenya of 365 wind turbines, producing 320 MW, with partners, in a remote but very windy area, to supply Kenya with cheaper alternative energy (at half the cost of European windfarms!) Read about it on http://bit.ly/2yHK1jL , how he overcame World Bank objections (!!!) and won the confidence of the African Development Bank, which was my employer for many years after my retirement from the World Bank. Also consult http://bit.ly/2yPUszf, and about Willem’s earlier successful exploits in Tanzania and Kenya:  http://bit.ly/2iDeo4nThis is a remarkable story! If there is one family member who deserves the crown, it’s Willem Dolleman from Kenya! I regret we did not herald his terrific achievements more loudly at the party.  The Dólleman family came from our grandmother Mary Dólleman, who married our grandfather Hector van Coehoorn van Sminia (Arent van Sminia, our cousin, below, attended our birthday party as well). Mary Dólleman’s mother was the daughter of Johan Jacob van der Wall, medalled Officer of the Cavalry in Holland, who as a young boy was forced to accompany Napoleon on his infamous Russia invasion. He was one of the very few who came back alive, on a beautiful horse, given to him by his saviors in Russia. I was delighted to meet again after many years with another dear cousin Willem Dolleman, who was a former diplomat of the Dutch Foreign Service and now lives in Paris with his French wife.  We were so glad to reconnect with this illustrious part of the family. 

Same photograph: Cousin and niece Judith, second from right, who had just recovered from a serious and mysterious infection and we were so happy to see her alive and kicking again, though still using a walking stick at the party. A few months before we were praying day-in-day-out that she would not succumb but she’s a very strong-willed girl (with a lovely little daughter Nicoline) and thank God made it back.

 Next photo above: Marie in talks with Maartje Hamers-Dolleman, sister of Willem from Kenya, and Marie-José Dolleman.

 

Children having fun in the lovely garden of the Maarten Maartens House

A few of the many group photos. Names on the photo above:

 

 

Left: The open-air theater, built by Maarten Maartens’ daughter, Aunt Ada in 1939, as photographed in 1971, in a 1991 brochure of the Maarten Maartens Foundation. Next, the theater rediscovered and restored by SBI in 2017, just ready for the birthday party (photograph by Kim Mastenbroek of Hotel Zonheuvel).

  

April Renée Faulkner-Schwartz, the great photographer, with her two children Preston John and Sadie Rose. Next, her mother Doris Kooch.

 

We did not realize how important this festivity would become when the idea of a joint 80th birthday arose. When the day was over and everybody had gone home, it dawned on us what a great day it was. To us – and hopefully to all who came – the idea of the whole family and friends being together for a  few hours became a memorable event. Even if we could not talk long with everyone, it was a great feeling being together and having seen each other again. Life is only so short.

October 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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