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Letters: Condi's Songs, New Orleans' Piano Man

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Letters: Condi's Songs, New Orleans' Piano Man

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Letters: Condi's Songs, New Orleans' Piano Man

Letters: Condi's Songs, New Orleans' Piano Man

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Linda Wertheimer reads from listener e-mails, including comments on a list of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's favorite rock songs and the story of a man who went to New Orleans to help restore music to a storm-ravaged town.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

Time now for your letters.

Last week, the British newspaper The Independent printed a list of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's favorite songs, ranging from Elton John's Rocket Man to Brahms' Piano Concerto Number Two. And we took a moment to note and to hear from a few songs on her list.

The list prompted John Kohler(ph) of Daly City, California to write, These are less important to me than some other facts. Ms. Rice was formerly on the Chevron board. In fact, there was a supertanker named the Condoleezza Rice until her appointment as NSA advisor to the President. Since the ship name was an embarrassment, it was changed.

Roberta and Jeffery Curland(ph) from Pennsylvania Furnace P.A., writes, Whether the Secretary of State wears farmers overalls or Gucci loafers, prefers Bono or Bach, is unimportant. What matters is that she affects foreign policy due to her access to power. Ms. Rice's personality is irrelevant to an informed citizenry. Your report feeds the vanity of the powerful.

Also last week, reporter Nick Miroff brought us the story of Peter Spring, who went to New Orleans to offer his skills as a piano tuner. He's helping repair instruments damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Spring's son died of cancer. He says he understands loss. Here's a clip of Mr. Spring.

Mr. PETER SPRING (Piano Tuner): Well, I'm a third responder. I'm not interested in danger. It's not my thing. I'm not here to clean up, you know. I'm here for morale. And one of the first guys that I gave a good instrument too needed an alto sax. So I called him up and said, I got an alto sax for you.

WERTHEIMER: We received a great many letters about this story. Richard Lewis(ph) from Gainesville, Florida writes, My wife and I were driving to the beach in St. Augustine when the program aired. When it concluded, I wanted to tell my wife that this was the most beautiful story I could remember ever hearing on NPR, but I couldn't get the words out for many miles. I felt as choked up as I could hear Peter Spring was in telling his story of his son, Steve. To me, it was joyful and the truest testimony of goodness of the human spirit.

Steve Rock(ph) of Cincinnati writes, By the first few minutes, I was calling people to make sure they were tuned in. It just kept getting deeper and richer. And by the end, I was sobbing, happily thinking about what a hard and wonderful world it is.

To write to us, come to npr.org. And click on Contact Us. Select WEEKEND EDITION SATURDAY. Please don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. It's 22 minutes before the hour.

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