Your Letters: Unemployment; I-95

Host Scott Simon reads from listeners' letters, including responses to his essay about unemployment and his interview with Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner about their seven years exploring diversions along Interstate 95.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typewriter and music)

SIMON: Many notes of thanks in response to my essay last week about being unemployed on Labor Day.�

Ellie Perkins-Rust wrote on NPR.org: We just sent our oldest son off to kindergarten in new shoes. My husband has shoes that are falling apart. It's things like shoes that weigh on my mind as I am with friends or family, but I'm afraid to mention. I don't want to sound whiny or spoil the good mood of a friendly get-together. Not saying these things makes them more of a burden, like I 'm hiding some secret. Knowing there are others out there lessens the burden of my secret.

Also, many comments about our conversation with Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips Posner, authors of the book "Drive I-95: Exit by Exit Info, Maps, History and Trivia."�

Chris Duckworth of Arlington, Virginia, writes: As a child of divorce in the 1980s, I spent most Friday and Sunday evenings in the back seat of my dad's car along a stretch of I-95 between my mom's and my dad's houses. As an adult, for nearly three years I worked as a traveling Bible and church supply salesman along I-95. These roads connected not only points A and B on a map, but me with my father and with the faith and life of people as fascinating as the highway exits off of which they gather to pray.

Many other listeners wrote in after I said this...

I don't even have a driver's license, and you've finally said a series of things that make me think maybe I should get one.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: And asked why I don't have a driver's license. Was it taken away for some legal or medical reason? Do I rely on my wife to haul me?

Let me clear this up: I have never had a drivers license. I'm a city kid who never learned to drive, and I've always relied on subways, buses, and cabs. When I take our children to breakfast, school, or on some errand, we walk or take a cab or subway, which our daughters find grand entertainment.�

Studs Terkel and Joe DiMaggio also never had drivers licenses. Years ago, Studs told me that driving wasnt a constitutional right like voting. It's an invitation to steer a big, dangerous machine through the streets at great speeds.�

Studs said he knew that he wouldn't be a safe driver: he'd just talk, sing, and wave his arms behind the wheel. I would too, so I try to make the world a safer place by not driving.�

Licensed or not, we'd like to hear from you. Go to NPR.org, click on the�Contact the Show link. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/NPRWeekend. Follow us on Twitter @nprweekend. I'm nprscottsimon.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: This is NPR News.

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