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Newsletter - August 2022

Dear friends, fans, email buddies and of course MAILCHIMPERS



On this memorable extremely warm dry summer day all over Europe, I decide to stay in the shade of my lovely Villa in Amsterdam. A few weeks after my pretty wild 79th birthday party I just received the edited version of the interesting film, which was shot by my good friend Rogier Frensdorf and edited by Metje Blaak. Both of them I have known for almost half a century! How time flies!

My home is still my castle, but after this humongous last 79th birthday party on June 19, 2022 I have decided to cut down the many people I had invited this time. My man Philip was totally exhausted, after he prepared for days hundreds of chicken legs and meat balls with various salads (for up to 70 people), did all the shopping for drinks, food and other snacks, while I had the pleasure of getting free assistance of all our live-in- tenants like Patrick and his exquisite looking young Turkish girlfriend, Gjulia our Italian barkeeper and housemate, staff-member Alkis (just back from Greek holiday) and Theo, our gardener.   


SHAI SHAHAR   in his early seventies,   but still looking elegant and slender, was so to speak the Mr. Burlesque Show  host  and he still sounded like Frank Sinatra, like he did several years ago, both in Amsterdam as well as in some fancy Turkish nightclubs. CORA DE RIDDER came with him and they seem still to be together after a relationship of 30 years. There must have been at least 70 people standing and/or sitting around the green grass space, which is where the songs, dances, burlesque shows and musicians occupied the space for everyone around that spot to hear and see for the next few hours  with, of course a short break, for enjoying all the food that Philip had prepared.  Need I say more, I even had hired a south American cheerful cook FABIO, who looked after some delicious small veggie bites and my darling story teller KEES VAN WANROOIJ had baked a lovely personalized cake and treated me later on that day to a delightful and sensual great foot massage.

I won’t go and explain exactly who was who at the party. Most important, my assistants were the ex postman/author Viktor Froelke, who is also a poet as well as an entertainer; (so he dressed most elegantly in white, with a matching hat…) who was the master of ceremony,  who introduced, together with SHAI SHAHAR the various female burlesque dancers and singers or musicians like Frank de KleerDavid Kopsky the saxophonist and two delightfuly sexy singers Emmelie Zipson and Ezmee de la Bretonniere. Then there was our charming HANDYMAN as well as theatre man HERMAN DE BOCK, who helped set up the garden and stage, sound and lights.

AADJE DINGJAN  from The Hague, sang great emotional songs by Jacques Brel and Ramses Shaffy, who had originally introduced him to me about 25 years ago. FRANK DE KLEER, the fine yukelele and  guitar player, as usual at each birthday party I have had so far, was present and accompanied some of the singers and the darling new Surinam friend HENK BAKBOORD , managed to get a lot of females all excited with his wild and sexy breakdancing…

Then there were my regular friends like the now 85 year old HUUB KAUSE and his wife RIE; HANS BROUWER, the brother of the famous author Jeroen Brouwer, who had recently died. There were also my dear neighbors from around the corner: the Pakistani attractive and colorful girlfriend AZMEH, - who suffers from MS - and her sweet English husband Johnny and father of their two sons.    Our gay artistic friend from Haarlem, NORBERT WILLE showed up as well and did not get too drunk.

Amongst the visitors were my namesake from Indonesia VERA DE VRIES, her husband and their talented musician son the pianist Xavier BootAlexander van Ballegoijen, Felix Frankfurter, Anthony Stone, my cousin Ankie, Nella Stern, Ray Selby, and Sheila Gogol.  Then there was EMJAY RECHSTEINER, the film producer, who I inaugurated when he was barely 18, the writer/poet ex schoolmate Hans Plomp and his brand new very young wife Marsja and my good fun girlfriend Marjanne Strack van Schendel. Towards the end of the  party round 6  p.m. my once year- long- lover, the inventor/guitar musician and ex pilot: Albert Gielisse arrived by train from The Hague. He was happily drunk and walked in with a light limp and waving his elegant walking stick around, greeted some of both our old friends, sat down in a comfortable chair and carefully opened the screw top of his walking stick and out came some some pure vodka... He and the photographer Jan Willem Steenmeijer, also a pal from half a century ago, had not seen each other for many many years,  so the ambiance inside my house was getting more and more fun and lots of laughter. This was all more or less during a musical break towards the end of my  party, which took place mostly outside in the garden, where also  was my good girfriend Marijke Weisglas.

Meanwhile a dear rather new friend in our life is the jolly big kind of doorman/receptionist/computer nerd/journalist OLIVIER MOUWE, who has assisted me in locating dozens of copies of old films, carrying my name, where I did not even have anything to do with, but also  he had tracked down  some TV interviews with me  from the past  I had long forgotten.

The very pleasant party ended with Viktor holding the mike before a few peoples mouth to interview them. It was my turn  to be interviewed, followed by HANS PLOMPS most emotional poem about his dying father, and NELLA'S  poem she wrote about our friendship. The interesting moment came the next morning when my dear American girlfriend, the writer Brenda, now living in Prague with her Chech husband,- a jewish Chech musician-, came to visit us round 11 A.M, for a relaxed conversation about our lives... She has in the meantime edited both my latest books in English. It was a most relaxing long chat we had, and ofcourse she had a chance to listen to a few hours of interesting music and a great and sexy burlesque show the day before.




Stadionweg 17, Amsterdam, Noord Holland - 1077RV, The Netherlands