Letters: Val Kilmer, Pet Raccoons

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Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel read from listeners' emails about Val Kilmer and pet raccoons.


Time now for your letters. First, a clarification for all you Wyatt Earp fans. We received many scolding emails and tweets after we said that Val Kilmer had portrayed Wyatt Earp. Rachel Letter(ph) of Lompoc, California, writes this: I'm sure I am the 100th listener to correct you on the list of actors who have portrayed Wyatt Earp. Val Kilmer portrayed Doc Holliday in the movie "Tombstone," while Kurt Russell portrayed Wyatt Earp.

And she continues: I think your researchers need a refresher in using imdb.com.


Well, you're right. In the 1993 film "Tombstone," Kilmer did play the part of Doc Holliday. But you may also want to check IMDB. Val Kilmer played the title role in another movie, "Wyatt Earp's Revenge," just last year.

SIEGEL: Well, with that out of the way, we can move on to the plight of Mark "Coon Rippy" Brown and his pet raccoon of YouTube fame. Mr. Brown recently appeared with his beloved Rebekah on his shoulders as he shampooed his beard in the shower. And then, Tennessee wildlife officials took Rebekah away. I spoke with Mr. Brown yesterday about his appeal to get her back.

MARK BROWN: Everybody has their own niche about something. You know, some people are good at accounting, some people are good at farming. I just happen to be good at knowing raccoon behavior.

SIEGEL: Well, Thomas Flagel(ph) of Franklin, Tennessee, heard that and writes this: I can report that our state officials may be adept at red tape, but they may need a lesson in history. There was a rather famous couple who owned a pet raccoon, sans permit, and let it ride upon their shoulders as they walked around their rather large house among guests and family.

The couple's names were Grace and Calvin Coolidge.

CORNISH: Wonder of wonders, the first family's pet raccoon was named Rebecca(ph). According to a website curated by the National Archives, President Coolidge built his Rebecca a home and frolicked with her on the White House lawn. But no word on whether the president showered with his raccoon.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for your comments. Keep sending them our way at npr.org. Just click on contact us.

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