From Our Listeners

Letters: Family Dinners, Remembering Pianist Van Cliburn

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Audie Cornish reads emails from listeners about family dinners and the legacy of pianist Van Cliburn.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. And we got your attention this week with several stories, like this one:



CORNISH: For our series about kids and health, we profiled Jessica Leichsenring. She's a Wisconsin mom who revealed the challenges in her house to getting the family together around the dinner table, especially in the face of jobs, afterschool activities and digital distractions.


LEICHSENRING: My family dinners, while they are surely Norman Rockwell in my head, in real life, it's more like the TV show "The Simpsons."


CORNISH: Our story concluded with some findings that the benefits of family dinner may not be as strong as previously thought. But Lise Anderson of Ann Arbor, Michigan, writes: She's not giving up. She says this: I am dismayed by the idea that there's nothing we can do that a longer than eight-minute family dinner is somehow impossible in the age of electronics. Turn it off.

We got a different suggestion from Richard Spinner of La Crescenta, California: Forget family dinner, he writes. Lower the fuel intake at night and take some time for a good walk together in the evening instead. Walking and talking is a great way to pass the time.


CORNISH: And finally, several of you wrote in about our tribute to pianist Van Cliburn. He made his name by winning a piano contest in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. He died yesterday.

Judy Levine of Philadelphia says Cliburn was an inspiration. She writes: His humility and his statement about being a musical servant is especially unique and moving. More of this music and more of this attitude could make a significant improvement to our 21st century culture.

We appreciate your comments, so keep them coming. Please send them to us at Just click on Contact Us.

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