Letters: Bachata Music, Barbecue's Origins

Jacki Lyden reads from listeners' letters. Topics include a correction on the origin of bachata music — it's from the Dominican Republic — and one listener's suggestion for the derivation of the term barbecue. And another reader was outraged by LAPD's crackdown on counterfeit goods.

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Time now for your letters. We start with a correction.

Our story about the growth of Hispanic media incorrectly identified a type of music known as pachata as Colombian. Listener Alex Ulanoff(ph) wrote to tell us `That pachata is from the Dominican Republican and, though it's been adopted by other countries, the vast majority of its singers are indeed Dominican.' Mr. Ulanoff goes on to say `That the music originated in poor shanty towns during the Trujillo regime. Often, the lyrics were encoded with hidden protests against the dictator.'

Steve Bauer(ph) was outraged by our story about the Los Angeles Police Department and its crackdown on the selling of counterfeit goods, like purses and DVDs. `Talk about a victimless crime,' Bauer wrote, `when so many other public safety needs go unmet. This is something the private sector should enforce for itself. It's an unbelievable waste of public resources for the police to waste their time on this.'

Listener Debbie Topliff(ph), of Saugatuck, Michigan, says that Jennifer Ludden's visit to Maymont House, the site of a new museum dedicated to the domestic workers of a Richmond, Virginia, mansion, brought back a memory for her. `As a child,' Topliff recalls, `I vacationed at my grandmother's cottage on a lake in northern Michigan. She had a live-in cook for the summer, as did many of the families in our small village. There was a modest country club across the road, and Thursday night was a family-style club dinner because that night was cook's night out.'

And finally, you may remember our excursion the day before the Fourth of July with barbecue master Mike Mills. We asked you to send us your barbecue questions for Mr. Mills so he could answer them on future shows. Listener Don Goodwill(ph) said he enjoyed the story and, while he didn't have a question, he does have this story of how the barbecue got its name. `I recall being told in my youth that historically chefs often used meat hooks, called, of course, barbs, to hold the meat when it was waiting in a cue to be prepared. Thus the meat was barbed to cue.' He adds, `I have no reference as to the authenticity of the information.'

You can write to us with your questions and comments this summer season and we also welcome your barbecue questions from Mike Mills. Simply go to our Web site, npr.org, and click on the words `Contact Us.'

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