Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:
We play music by the Dixie Chicks ...
Answer a question about the Grand Canyon ...
And tell about a new museum to honor a popular cartoonist.
Charles Schulz Museum
A new museum has opened in SantaRosa, California. It celebrates the life and work of an artist whocreated and drew a newspaper comic strip for almost fifty years. Thecomic strip was "Peanuts." The artist was Charles Schulz. ShepO'Neal has more.
Charles Schulz stopped writing"Peanuts" shortly before he died in February, two-thousand. At thattime, "Peanuts" appeared in two-thousand-six-hundred newspapers inseventy-five countries.
Many people around the world still enjoy earlier "Peanuts" comicstrips in local newspapers. Now, they can also enjoy CharlesSchulz's work in the new museum.
Charles Schulz agreed to the idea of a museum before he died. Itspurpose is to provide a place where people can see the firstdrawings of all his comic strips and to help people learn about hiswork. The museum also includes drawings he made for the populartelevision shows about the "Peanuts" characters. They include thechildren Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Schroeder.
The museum also shows works by other artists that honor"Peanuts". For example, Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani created apicture of Charlie Brown and Lucy made of more than three-thousandtile copies of the comic strip. He also made a woodcut sculpturethat honors the "Peanuts" characters, including Charlie Brown's dog,Snoopy.
Works of other comic strip artists will also be shown in themuseum. The first such exhibit shows comic strips by other artiststhat honored the "Peanuts" characters when Schulz became sick andretired. Another part of the museum re-creates the room whereCharles Schulz drew his cartoons. Another part of the building showsthings from his childhood and awards he received. The museum has nocomputers because Charles Schulz did not use them in his work.
The museum was built very near the place where Charles Schulzwrote and drew "Peanuts." It is also across the street from the iceskating arena he built for the town of Santa Rosa. His wife Jeansaid she wanted the museum to show not only his work, but also howhe lived. Missus Schulz said she wants visitors to feel as if theyare taking part in his daily life.
The Grand Canyon
Our VOA listener question thisweek comes from Vietnam. Thai Thu Thu asks about the Grand Canyon inthe southwestern state of Arizona.
The Grand Canyon is considered one of the seven wonders of thenatural world. It is one of America's most famous national parks.Visitors to the canyon come from all parts of the world. Officialssay about five-million people visit the Grand Canyon each year.
The canyon extends four-hundred-fifty kilometers. But thesurrounding area does not suggest the existence of such a largeopening in the Earth. Visitors come upon the canyon suddenly, whenthey reach the edge. Then they are looking at a land like nothingelse in the world.
Walls of rock fall away sharply. In some places, the canyon wallsare more than a kilometer deep. Far below is the dark, turning lineof the Colorado River. On the other side of the canyon, sunshinelights up the rock walls in red, orange and gold. The bright colorsare the result of minerals in the rocks.
Their appearance changes with the light, the time of year and theweather. At sunset, when the sun has moved across the sky, thecanyon walls take on quieter colors of blue, purple and green.Hundreds of rocky points rise from the bottom of the canyon. Someare very tall. Yet all are below the level of an observer on theedge, looking over.
There are several ways to see the Grand Canyon. Many visitorswalk along paths part way down into the canyon. It takes severalhours to walk to the bottom. It takes two times as long to walk backup. Some visitors ride mules to the bottom of the canyon and back.Mules are strong animals that look like horses. They are known fortheir ability to walk slowly and safely on the paths.
Many people see the Grand Canyon by air. They pay a helicopter orairplane pilot to fly them above and around the canyon. Others seeit from the Colorado River. They ride boats over the fast movingwater. These trips can last from one week to three weeks.
America's National Park Service is responsible for protecting theGrand Canyon from the effects of so many visitors. Visitors mustcarry all waste materials out of the area. All rocks, historicalobjects, plants and wildlife must be left untouched. The NationalPark tells its visitors, "Take only photographs. Leave onlyfootprints."
The Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks have releasedanother hit album with Sony Music following a ten-month legal battleagainst the company. Mary Tillotson tells us more.
The dispute began last summer. Sony took legal action against theDixie Chicks after they said they were leaving the company. TheDixie Chicks then took legal action against Sony, saying it hadstolen money from the band. The two sides settled their dispute inJune. The Dixie Chicks say their new agreement with Sony iseverything they wanted.
Their new album, "Home," has been at the top of American recordsales since its release last month. "Home" already has sold morethan one-million copies. Listen now to "Long Time Gone." It was thefirst single the band released from the album.
"Home" includes a re-make of the Fleetwood Mac song "Landslide."Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines says she identified with the song.Chicks fiddle player Martie Maguire says the band re-recorded itwith a bluegrass sound.
Last year, Natalie Maines gave birth to a baby boy. Dixie ChickEmily Robison is expecting a baby next month. The Dixie Chicks singabout a parent's love for a young son. We leave you now with thesong "Godspeed."
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And Ihope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Nancy Steinbach andCaty Weaver. Our studio engineer was Curtis Bynum. And our producerwas Paul Thompson.