Stories My Parents Told Me

1. The Danish

My dad told me that Hitler sent a letter to the King of Denmark that said Hitler thought they should unite their countries—it would have been a decisively strategic move for Hitler if it had worked.

But the King wrote back, Thanks for the offer, but I'm getting too old to rule two countries.

Later, Hitler sent the King a telegram congratulating him on his birthday. For months he didn't get a response. Finally, Hitler sent another telegram asking the King if he received the first telegram.

The King sent a telegram back. All it said was, Thanks.

2. The Belgian

My mom told me that her aunt's father was the mayor of the small Belgian town she grew up in when the Nazis invaded Belgium, and, wanting to keep the town in line, they shipped him off to a concentration camp in Belgium.

The people of the town didn't know what to think—everyone sent to the camp never came back, so they grieved for him. He was a popular mayor. People cared about him.

In the camp, he noticed there were fewer and fewer Germans around. One day, a German guard appeared at his cell, unlocked it, and said, Don't leave for three days. He was a good man. He waited three days. When he walked out of his cell, there weren't any Germans for miles. He walked back to his town, and the people were elated to have him back again.

3. This I Know

In camps, the Nazis designated Jewish prisoners by making them wear an armband with a Star of David on it. Gay people—because they believe gay people to be also the scourge of humanity—gay people they assigned a pink armband with a triangle on it. Half a Star of David. A pink triangle.


  1. You know... I never come to your BLOG. I officaly am coming everyday. I am doing my best to get some exposure with my blog. I have set the honest to god goal of getting paid to be a photographer.

    did you get my Voice Mail?

    Should I bring back interview with a stranger? I will give you Exec. Producer credits. You can have full creative control. ;)

  2. Interview with a Stranger is the fucking coolest thing we ever did—way cooler than the Roadkill Photo Series.

    You should totally revive that project.

    I got your voicemail; I'm busy until Wednesday this week. Can I call you then?

  3. So many drinks, such pretty flowers...pop song o'the week is "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" by Pet Shop Boys.

    "Bidet of Evil"...didn't Baudelaire write that? Mon semblable, mon frere!

  4. "You always wanted me to be something I wasn’t/You always wanted too much"
    Yes: PSB: What Have I Done to Deserve This? from Actually

    I love "The Danish."
    "I'm getting too old to rule two countries." Hahahaha

  5. Wednesday works like a charm.

  6. Aha, now I know why I adore you, you have Belgian roots. I lived in Belgium when I was young. It is one of my favorite places in the world. Do you know what town your mother grew up in? Are you Flemish? I lived outside of waterloo, on a good day I could walk the steps of Napoleon. Haven’t thought about that in a long time, thank you.

  7. My mom was born and lived in Bornem until she was 12. She's Flemish. My grandmother still speaks broken English with a very thick accent, but my mom has no trace of it—a teacher made her talk with marbles in her mouth after she came to America, and it erased it.

    We still have an enormous amount of family in Belgium. My cousin Elise visited us here in AZ this past winter. I've been over there twice, when I was 5 and when I was 18. It's such a beautiful country.

    Why were you there?