Letters: Parkinson's Sufferer; Iraqi Girl, 'Psycho'

Scott Simon reads from e-mail sent by listeners. Readers were touched by the story of a man suffering from Parkinson's disease and a 9-year-old Baghdad girl. There's also surprise over a plot-twist revealed... 46 years later.


Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typewriter)

SIMON: Many listeners were moved last week by Jesse Hardman's story about his father's struggle with Parkinson's. Christian Neperly(ph) of Salem, Oregon was reminded of a close friend's struggle with the disease. The father's flat voice, the trembling, the nightmares, all of it were like a mirror into the past. Watching my friend succumb to this disease was one of the hardest experiences of my life, seeing him trapped inside a body that slowly betrayed him. As he, Bob Hardman, said in the piece, this is not a disease for sissies.

Sack Arland(ph) of Dallas wrote, I hope I speak on behalf of all fans of public radio when I say we hope Bob Hardman soon dreams that dream that he has not dreamed, and that this undreamable dream is one day made real for him, and when that happens Jesse is on hand with a microphone, so we can be there too.

Ann Garrels' piece about Guffran, the nine-year-old Iraqi girl who continues to write letters to her father five months after he was killed, touched many listeners as well.

Elisa Nichols(ph) of Sacramento wrote, As a mother of a nine-year-old girl this story was just heartbreaking to me beyond words. At the same time, little Guffran's fierce, resolute courage, her wanting to protect her mother, her brother, her countrymen, is as astounding as her story is sad.

And from Judy Osborne(ph) of Boston: I'm sure many were surprised to hear how articulate the nine-year-old was in her fear and anger and longing. I once heard someone propose that all adults in positions of power be required to explain their proposals and expected impact to a group of eight-year-olds and then to answer their questions and concerns. Imagine the clarity possible. Thanks for the voice of this one child.

And finally this from Jesse Levy(ph) in Burbank regarding our remembrance of Joseph Stefano, who wrote the 1960 classic film Psycho: Why, oh, why, Scott, did you reveal the secrets of Psycho? There's still people, especially of a younger generation, who may not have seen this great film. In the future, please leave mention of film surprises where they belong. Mr. Hitchcock must be rolling in his grave.

I'm very sorry, Mr. or Ms. Levy, but that film is 46 years old, so please turn away from the radio when we tell you that Rosebud was a sled. Ilsa winds up with Victor Lazlo, not Rick. The Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion: they're illusions. They happened because Dorothy suffered a concussion in a tornado.

We welcome your letters. Go to our Web site, NPR.org, click your ruby red slippers and Contact Us. And please tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.

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