Letters: Humvee Gas Efficiency, Clemente, Lawn Mowing Liane Hansen reads e-mails from Weekend Edition listeners. Subjects include the gas efficiency of Humvees, Roberto Clemente, and lawn mowing.
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Letters: Humvee Gas Efficiency, Clemente, Lawn Mowing

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Letters: Humvee Gas Efficiency, Clemente, Lawn Mowing

Letters: Humvee Gas Efficiency, Clemente, Lawn Mowing

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

Time now for your letters.

Ted Robbins' story last week on how rising gas prices are affecting drivers in Arizona included a man who drove a Humvee but filled it with bio-diesel fuel, thereby considering his driving environmentally friendly and his costs cheaper per gallon then regular gasoline.

That raised a few eyebrows. Jeff Schue(ph), of Portland, Oregon, writes, Surely you know better than assuming the cost of fuel is equivalent to the cost of driving, he writes. There is no chance that even with bio-diesel, which hardly justifies a Hummer, that such a vehicle can be cheaper to operate dollars per mile than all but the most poorly tuned civilian vehicle. Furthermore, the driver certainly can't claim goodness for the earth simply by running bio-diesel while, at the same time, taking his behemoth off-road, which not only isn't good for the land but can be considered a frivolous waste even of bio-diesel.

Don Gonyea's interview with biographer David Maraniss about baseball great Roberto Clemente brought back memories for many of you.

I was a 12-year-old boy sleeping in a home on the outskirts of Managua when the two major quakes hit on the night of December 23rd, 1972, writes Steve Johnson, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I remember everyone talking about Clemente in almost reverential tones. In the following decade I encountered his name in many places, a baseball park in rural Nicaragua, a high school in Chicago; but not until I heard your story did I realize that he was the first Latino to make it big in the Big Leagues, and thus why he has been so venerated both in Latin America and in the North American Latino community.

And Eric Gradman(ph), of Mercer Island, Washington, remembers when his father took him to a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Afterwards he waited by the team bus to get some autographs. As the Pirates filed out of Forbes Field I asked each approaching player to sign my glove, he writes. I was either ignored or told, Sorry kid, gotta catch the bus. Only one player stopped and took the time to sign my glove. I didn't recognize him, but my father in his excitement told me it was Roberto Clemente. Just a small, 20-second gesture on Roberto's part left a huge impression with me, and immortalized him in my mind as a selfless person who gave his time and life to help others.

Finally, Scott Horsley's piece on lawn mowing brought smiles to many of you. Larry Milner, of Colorado, wrote, Ten years ago I moved from a home with two acres of lawn to one in the development in the foothills of Denver that prohibited non-native grasses. On that day I threw my lawnmower into a dumpster and declared Free at last! God bless buffalo grass!

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