LIANE HANSEN, host:
Time now for your letters.
My visit last week to the Delaware Welcome Center Travel Plaza as part of NPR's series I-95: The Road Most Traveled drove in a variety of responses.
Ken Kowalcheck(ph) of Hampton, New Hampshire writes: Please consider reporting on the Delaware I-95 Turnpike's tolls and scalping of out-of-state travelers. The Delaware I-95 toll is the highest per mile toll in the nation. Tolls are, in fact, highway use taxes imposed more heavily on tourists and vehicles passing through, since most states and municipalities rebate residents. Delaware's motto on its license tags reads: The First State, but no other state might necessarily want to also lay claim to first in tolls.
In my report, I mentioned my fondness for a particular type of road trip souvenir:
I have to admit, I started a hobby stopping at rest stops during my travels. Invariably, there's a machine where you put in a penny and then like 50 cents and you twirl the gears and you get a squished penny with, you know, a little souvenir of the state that you're in.
That brought back memories for Cheryl Messenger(ph) of Boston, who writes: I had just gotten in the car to go to work this past Sunday, and caught your mention of the penny-squasher machines. I love them. I've collected them for years, from all over, and not just the United States. Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Cape Cod, Key West, Empire State Building, Bermuda, Maine, a science museum in Amsterdam, and saddest of all, the World Trade Center in New York. They are the best souvenirs - cheap, small, unbreakable.
And we received many comments about my interview with Mike West and Katie Euliss of the band Truckstop Honeymoon.
(Soundbite of song)
TRUCKSTOP HONEYMOON: (Singing) It's Mardi Gras again. There ain't no break, until I put on a boa and some plastic beads and this little tutu I made...
HANSEN: There were many compliments from you about the music, but a few gripes about the interview itself.
Ilana Fortgang(ph) of New Orleans writes: Your choice to feature this couple on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina was odd and uncomplimentary. Their comments about how stressful it was to live here before the storm promotes a banal stereotype. These people left, and while they acknowledge and capitalize on their origin, they have done nothing to repay, rebuild or renew. Why on this day, when there are so many lyrical and inspiring stories, and so much music that is purely, genuinely pitched, why would you feature this group? Those of us who live in New Orleans face challenges the rest of the country cannot imagine, yet every day we can say thankfully we're not in Kansas anymore.
Your letters are important to us. Go to our website, NPR.org, and click on the Contact the Show link. We're also on Twitter. Send me a tweet at NPRLiane -that's L-I-A-N-E. Send one to everybody on our show at NPRWeekend.
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