Letters: Stilts; 'People's Mic'; Backseat Book Club Robert Siegel and Lynn Neary read emails from listeners.

Letters: Stilts; 'People's Mic'; Backseat Book Club

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Time now for your letters. First, some on your story, Robert, about stilts.


That's right. I focused on stilt jousting the other day. But Robin MacRostie of Amherst, Massachusetts, broadened our horizons, as far as stilt-related activities. She writes this:

NEARY: About the time of my 63rd birthday, it seemed like a good time to learn to stilt dance.

Since then, MacRostie says, she's stilt-danced down Broadway, at country clubs and outdoor festivals.

SIEGEL: And Brittanie Holland, of Houston, sent this about our story: It made me think of my Pawpaw, a general contractor who often let my cousin and I play on his work stilts. Robert talking about his sense of wonderment watching the workmen brought back very magical childhood memories of being able to walk on air.

NEARY: Now to a story about Occupy protesters and the so-called People's Mic. When they aren't allowed to use a megaphone, the crowds have amplified what a speaker says by repeating it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is what you do.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: This is what you do.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Since we can't use a megaphone...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Since we can't use a megaphone...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ...repeat back what I say.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: ...we'll repeat back what you say.

SIEGEL: In our story, we mentioned that the People's Mic is not new. It was used in anti-nuclear rallies in the 1980s, and in anti-globalization protests in the 1990s.

Well, Harvey Katz of Corte Madera, California, writes to remind us of an even earlier use of the same technique.


CHEVY CHASE: And now, as a public service to those of our viewers who have difficulty with their hearing, I will repeat the top story of the day, aided by the headmaster of the New York School for the Hard of Hearing, Garrett Morris.

Our top story tonight...

GARRETT MORRIS: Our top story tonight...

NEARY: That's Chevy Chase and Garrett Morris in the fifth episode of "Saturday Night Live," in 1975.


CHASE: Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

MORRIS: Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

NEARY: And finally, we have another request for our younger members of the audience. Listen up: NPR's Backseat Book Club has chosen a book for December. It's a magical and mysterious winter tale called "Breadcrumbs."

Here's a listener named Annie with her thoughts for the author, Anne Ursu.

ANNIE: Mrs. Ursu, I have a question. Is "Breadcrumbs" going to be a whole series? And I have a comment. One is, we have the same name because my real name is Anne, and I like breadcrumbs very much.

SIEGEL: And we want more questions for author Anne Ursu. Please send them to backseatbookclub@npr.org. And at our website, you can also start reading. We've posted the first chapter of the book there.

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