Letters: Katrina Poem, Kid TV and a Mystery Man

Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read from some of this week'sletters, including a poem reflecting on our Hurricane Katrina anniversary coverage and dismay over a story about shopping carts equipped with TVs for children. We also hear reaction to the unveiling of a mystery guitarist on the Web site YouTube.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

It's Thursday, the day we read from your e-mail. Many of you wrote this week about our Hurricane Katrina anniversary coverage.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

"Thank you for your sensitive coverage of Katrina's effect on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

SIEGEL: This is from Terry Lemon of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who heard our report on Tuesday about the rebuilding effort in her state.

BLOCK: Ms. Lemon continues, "So much attention is given to New Orleans. We more often than not are overlooked. My husband and I were very lucky. Our house survived. Our town did not have the extent of destruction that many of the other communities experienced. But the overwhelming sadness of the loss of the life we knew and the loss of our beautiful coast touches us all. Thank you for giving the world a glimpse of our loss."

SIEGEL: The Reverend Dr. David Von Schlichten of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, put his reaction to our coverage into verse. He sent this poem. "When I was stuck at endless red lights with catastrophe fatigue, your coverage made the tragedies and victories green and new in my heart and head. Thank you for correcting my priorities."

BLOCK: Different sentiments from listener Ross Tandowski(ph), who writes, "Enough with the Katrina coverage. Yes, it's a big story and yes, it deserves coverage, but the thing that makes your show great is its diversity. Every other report seems to center on New Orleans. Stick to your roots or change your name to One Thing Considered."

SIEGEL: Last Thursday we brought you the story of a sociology professor at Auburn University in Alabama who blew the whistle on football players who had never shown up for class. The story brought in a lot of mail.

BLOCK: John Thomas of Bedford, Virginia, wondered, "Does this story surprise anyone? As a long-time scholar and graduate student at a small private college, I have seen preferential treatment given to student athletes. Whether that special treatment is in the form of rescheduling of exams around a game schedule, fewer classes attended because of game traveling or less group work because of lower expectations about the athlete's participation, there is obviously a very different standard between athletes and non-athletes."

Well, another story apparently did surprise some of you.

SIEGEL: "Oh, my gosh."

BLOCK: This is from Randy Small of Alcoa, Tennessee, reacting to yesterday's news that some stores, including Wal-Mart, are trying out shopping carts with TVs built in to occupy the children.

SIEGEL: "Chalk up another one in the what is this world coming to column. Yes, grocery shopping with small children can be a challenge and grocery carts with TVs is one way to meet that challenge, but it's not the right way. Doing so teaches our children that they have the right to be entertained in every situation and that we value the immediate satisfaction of peace and quite while we shop over the long-term satisfaction of disciplined children."

BLOCK: And New York listener John Martini went so far as suggesting they provide shopping carts equipped with Valium IVs to keep the kids quiet instead.

SIEGEL: Finally to our story about a previously unknown guitarist who rose to international fame by posting a video of his performance of Pachelbel's Canon on YouTube.

(Soundbite of Pachelbel's Canon)

SIEGEL: The guitarist was Jeong-Hyun Lim, but many people wrote in to point out that he was not the originator of the piece.

BLOCK: Michael Cost(ph) of Vallejo, California, writes, "The guitarist in the video you cited may very well be Jeong-Hyun Lim, but he is only one of a myriad of other aspiring guitarists mimicking the original composer and performer of that neo-classical guitar piece. The musician you should have sought out is Jerry Chang, also know as Jerry C, of Taiwan, who has both released his tablature and background track recently at his own Web site, which accounts for the recent deluge."

SIEGEL: If you have a clarification or comment about the program, please send us an e-mail. Just go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us at the top of the page.

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