MELISSA BLOCK, host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
And I'm Madeleine Brand.
Time now for your letters. Our regular Friday analysts, E.J. Dionne and David Brooks, were off last week, and so we took our political chat here to the West, where I've been co-hosting the show.
I spoke with Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and Dennis Prager, the writer and radio talk show host. And you, listeners, you had widely divergent views.
BLOCK: For some, our debate on health care overhaul left a bad taste in your mouth. Oliver Bass(ph) of Springfield, Pennsylvania, writes that this is a gravely serious issue. It is imperative that Congress get it right and that we, the American people, understand our options. The blowhards on the left and right don't add anything to our understanding. Rather, they continue their assault on civility and reason for personal and political gain. NPR, you can do better.
BLOCK: But John Stark(ph) of Atlanta, Georgia, writes: I applaud NPR for attempting to entertain both sides of an important political debate. In my estimation, however, Mr. Prager's view on this topic is insightful and clearly thought through and thus deserves more airtime than he received. I recognize Mr. Prager's views differ sharply from those held by most commentators on NPR, but all the more reason why his perspective should be given a fair hearing.
BRAND: We also aired a feature on American castles, including Gillette Castle, which was built in Connecticut by the famous stage actor William Gillette. He made his fortune playing the role of Sherlock Holmes, and a listener let us know how that played a role at the castle.
Deborah Hyman(ph) of Seattle explains: I grew up in Connecticut. And for the summer of 1975, when I was 17 years old, I was hired by the State Parks Department to be a tour guide at Gillette Castle. The job consisted of early morning hours polishing the extensive and beautiful woodwork throughout the building, then opening time would bring vacationing families. We tour guides then took up our stations, and our job was to tell visitors about the slightly eccentric William Gillette and about some of the extraordinary features of the castle.
Ms. Hyman continues: The favorite, particularly of young boys, was the system of mirrors William Gillette had installed so that he could keep an eye on servants and guests from his bedroom. He was apparently deeply affected by playing the role of Sherlock Holmes. Thank you for highlighting a special place.
BLOCK: If you have something to add about our program, we would like to hear from you. Please write to us by going to npr.org. Click on contact us.
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