Letters: Children's Recorded Stories

Many listeners wrote letters in response to our interview last week with Daniel Pinkwater on the children's recorded stories of Jim Copp.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters. Tony Scardatchy(ph) of Clyde, North Carolina, was thrilled to hear our interview last week with the Piedmont, California, High School football coach who's using an innovative offense called the A-11. "Imagine my great surprise to hear that his team would next be playing the Sir Francis Drake Pirates. I grew up Marin County, California, and attended Sir Francis Drake High School. I was impressed by the coach's description of the offense, but want you to know Drake beat Piedmont 21-7." Maybe without the 11, the score would have been 21 to nothing.

Several of you wrote after hearing our conversation with English Professor Paul Collins about the movement to simplify spelling. In my introduction I wondered what the C was doing in Tucson. Craig Markin(ph) of Tucson explains the name of his city is derived from an old Pima tribal phrase "Stjukshon," meaning place at the base of black mountain. "So, maybe we should pronounce the C," he suggests, "not drop it." All that would make the city "TUK-shon." What about "P-Hoenix"?

Finally, many of you wrote to thank us and Daniel Pinkwater for bringing back the recorded stories of Jim Copp. Susan Hoffman(ph) of Portland, Oregon, writes, "My sisters and I, all in our 50s, spent hours as kids laying on the floor in front of the record player listening and laughing and wondering at the strange and wonderful world Jim Copp and Ed Brown created." Laura Rhyme(ph) of New York adds, "When I was seven, I think my sisters and some of our friends acted out "Miss Goggins and the Gorilla" for our school talent show. I was Miss Goggins, lip-synching to the recording."

(Soundbite of story "Miss Goggins and the Gorilla")

Mr. JIM COPP (Actor; Writer; Musician): (As Miss Goggins) I don't know what is the matter with you children this morning. You are stupid, unruly, disobedient, and vituperative.

SIMON: "Funny," Ms. Rhymes continues, "how I still remember all the words." So does David Hunt(ph) of Davis, California. "I spent four glorious years growing up in Chicago, third to sixth grade. Attending Nettelhorst School, it was a not a stretch to place several teachers' faces on Miss Goggins' voice. As a matter of fact, one in particular, Miss S." Well, he doesn't elaborate.

(Soundbite of story "Miss Goggins and the Gorilla")

Mr. COPP: (As Miss Goggins) Report to the principal's office for punishment. The whole class will remain three hours after school. Silence! We shall sing.

SIMON: We also heard from Ted Leyhe who was Jim Copp's business partner in the re-release of his recordings on compact disk. He says the original recordings of Copp and Brown are available online through Playhouse Records and at Amazon. Send us your comments by visiting our Web site at npr.org and clicking on "Contact Us," and please tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.

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