Letters: Wages, NASCAR, Voegeli

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Listeners respond to the story on companies cutting wages, the interview with NASCAR winner Jimmie Johnson, and the remembrance of composer Don Voegeli. Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.


And now some of your letters. Our story this week on companies cutting wages profiled a professional pilot who recently saw his pay drop from $67 to $42 an hour. Many of you were not sympathetic. Bill McKeon(ph) of Tampa, Florida writes: What an elitist point of view to run a hard luck story about a pilot who only earns $42 an hour. He continues: Millions of people in this country are out of work and millions more are living on minimum wage. Who was supposed to feel sorry for this man? Donald Trump?


On Sunday, racecar driver Jimmie Johnson won his record fourth consecutive NASCAR championship. Racing is not a regular topic on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. And my interview with Johnson shocked several listeners. One of them was Jeff Mornarich(ph) of Roseburg, Oregon, who writes this: I am a right-wing conservative and I listen to NPR all the time. I cannot convince my conservative friends that NPR is an unbiased straight shooting news source. But maybe that has all changed. My friends will not believe that NPR actually interviewed NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson.

Mornarich doesn't stop there. He continues: Your interview was the first I've heard in my life where the driver did not drop a sponsor name one single time. I'm not sure how NPR pulled that one off, but I'm guessing you have a pretty good pit crew.

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NORRIS: And many of you were saddened by this week's news of Don Voegeli's passing. He was a pianist and the composer of our ALL THINGS CONSIDERED theme song. Michael Kramer(ph) of Atlanta, Georgia writes I'm 40 years old now and my first memories of NPR and ATC are from when I was 12 or so. And my mother would play NPR while making dinner. To this day, the sound of the ATC theme song brings back memories of the smell of onions sauteing in olive oil. And vice versa, the smell of dinner at home reminds me of that tune. I'm thankful to him and to you all for a lifetime of good memories and memory connections.

BLOCK: Well, please keep those letters and memories coming. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us.

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