Letters to 'Talk of the Nation'

We read from listener letters about our show.

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NEAL CONAN, host:

We did not have time for our regular Letters segment yesterday, so now it's time to read from your e-mails. We talked last week with Kevin Davis about his new book, "Defending the Damned: An Inside Look at the Job of Public Defenders." They take on some of the worst cases and generally get little thanks for what they do.

Jill Grimmit(ph) e-mailed from Kansas: My husband is a public defender. In six months, he's had a caseload of 100 clients. Often, people comment they could never defend these people. He doesn't defend their actions, but instead, he's trying to make sure the system works. As we tell our young children, daddy's making sure the law is there and works for everyone. It's a high stressed job that most overlook in the legal system.

Ken Rudin stopped by last Wednesday for our usual visit with the Political Junkie. And the story of that day was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and predictions over whether he would or would not run for president next year.

I don't know whether or not I'd want a President Bloomberg, e-mailed Kurt(ph) in Ruston, Washington, but a third party is needed. I've been cursing Ross Perot in recent years for his inability to allow the Reform Party to mature independently. I have to believe that there are a lot of voters - starting with me - who are ready for a third choice.

When it comes to choices for summer travel. We heard from a lot of listeners on which places you do not want to miss. Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, home to world's only Mustard Museum; and the troll capital of the world, in Walla Walla, Washington; the Taco Wagons; and something called Hot Poop, a funky music store downtown in Chicago; grab a hotdog at the famous SuperDog. And Katie e-mailed to tell us, here in San Francisco, we've got the market cornered on cheap and interesting. There are some great groups in our community making art with giant machines, packed up bikes, and big fire. We're all broke, but happy. There's plenty more advice on what to see this summer at our blog. That's at npr.org/blogofthenation.

Weddings were a big topic on the show last week. Ask Amy's Amy Dickenson helped us through these summer wedding season with all the bridezillas and frenkengrooms out there. Sarah Foster just wanted to elope, but e-mailed to tell us she's glad that they threw the big wedding. My husband and I were married in New Orleans, she wrote, a week before Katrina hit in August, 2005. It was a wonderful event. Now that much of our family has dispersed out of New Orleans, including us, I can truly realize how incredibly fortunate we were to have had such a wonderful occasion in New Orleans before that city was changed forever. All of our loved ones from all over the world were together for one moment in time. This is what weddings are all about.

And our conversation about online dating brought all sorts of stories from people who've tried it. Some have good results, others not so great. A listener named Amber sent this note from Colorado Springs.

I met my husband online while he was in Iraq on hotornot.com. We started e-mailing casually and it turned into 10-page letters back and forth on a daily basis. I met him the day he got back from Iraq and it felt like I'd known him for years, since I've learned so much about his personality through our e-mail exchanges. We ended up getting engaged the month after we met in person and married a mere six months after that. We have now been married for over a year and a half. I don't think I could have found a better match.

If you missed any of the programs from last week, you can always find them online as a download. Just go to npr.org/talk for details. And as always, if you have anything to add - comments, questions or corrections for us - the best way to reach us is by e-mail. The address is talk@npr.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce you name.

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