Q: I have several questions about Vanna White, co-host of "Wheel of Fortune." As I recall, White is her stepfather's name. What happened to her birth father? Is she married? How many children does she have? J.J., New Bedford, Mass.
A: Vanna Marie Rosich entered the world in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Feb. 18, 1957. Her birth father, Miguel Angel Rosich, abandoned his family. Vanna took the name of her stepfather Herbert Stackley White Jr., a former real-estate agent in North Myrtle Beach. She married restaurant owner George San Pietro on Dec. 31, 1990; they divorced in November 2002. She has two children: Nicholas, born in 1994, and Giovanna, born in 1997. Since her divorce, she has had several boyfriends and has been engaged but has yet to remarry.
Did you know ... the most northerly capital in the world is Reykjavik, Iceland?
Q: I have many fond memories of my grandparents and spending time on their farm with my cousins. In springtime, my grandfather used to build a small fire and tell stories. He said it was a tradition from his old country, Germany. Do you know anything about this tradition? My grandparents and parents are long gone. K.L., Ames, Iowa
A: It sounds like Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht in German), which is celebrated the night of April 30 (May Day Eve). This is the night when witches are said to hold a large celebration on the Brocken (the highest mountain in northern Germany) and await for the arrival of spring. The event is named after St. Walburga, an eighth-century English nun who helped convert the Germans to Christianity; she was canonized on May 1, c. 870.
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© 2011, Gary Clothier
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