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Letters: Stilts; 'People's Mic'; Backseat Book Club

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Letters: Stilts; 'People's Mic'; Backseat Book Club

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Letters: Stilts; 'People's Mic'; Backseat Book Club

Letters: Stilts; 'People's Mic'; Backseat Book Club

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143462915/143463522" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Robert Siegel and Lynn Neary read emails from listeners.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Time now for your letters. First, some on your story, Robert, about stilts.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

That's right. I focused on stilt jousting the other day. But Robin MacRostie of Amherst, Massachusetts, broadened our horizons, as far as stilt-related activities. She writes this:

NEARY: About the time of my 63rd birthday, it seemed like a good time to learn to stilt dance.

Since then, MacRostie says, she's stilt-danced down Broadway, at country clubs and outdoor festivals.

SIEGEL: And Brittanie Holland, of Houston, sent this about our story: It made me think of my Pawpaw, a general contractor who often let my cousin and I play on his work stilts. Robert talking about his sense of wonderment watching the workmen brought back very magical childhood memories of being able to walk on air.

NEARY: Now to a story about Occupy protesters and the so-called People's Mic. When they aren't allowed to use a megaphone, the crowds have amplified what a speaker says by repeating it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is what you do.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: This is what you do.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Since we can't use a megaphone...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Since we can't use a megaphone...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ...repeat back what I say.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: ...we'll repeat back what you say.

SIEGEL: In our story, we mentioned that the People's Mic is not new. It was used in anti-nuclear rallies in the 1980s, and in anti-globalization protests in the 1990s.

Well, Harvey Katz of Corte Madera, California, writes to remind us of an even earlier use of the same technique.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

CHEVY CHASE: And now, as a public service to those of our viewers who have difficulty with their hearing, I will repeat the top story of the day, aided by the headmaster of the New York School for the Hard of Hearing, Garrett Morris.

Our top story tonight...

GARRETT MORRIS: Our top story tonight...

NEARY: That's Chevy Chase and Garrett Morris in the fifth episode of "Saturday Night Live," in 1975.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

CHASE: Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

MORRIS: Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

NEARY: And finally, we have another request for our younger members of the audience. Listen up: NPR's Backseat Book Club has chosen a book for December. It's a magical and mysterious winter tale called "Breadcrumbs."

Here's a listener named Annie with her thoughts for the author, Anne Ursu.

ANNIE: Mrs. Ursu, I have a question. Is "Breadcrumbs" going to be a whole series? And I have a comment. One is, we have the same name because my real name is Anne, and I like breadcrumbs very much.

SIEGEL: And we want more questions for author Anne Ursu. Please send them to backseatbookclub@npr.org. And at our website, you can also start reading. We've posted the first chapter of the book there.

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