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AMERICAN MOSAIC - November 2, 2001 - 2001-11-01


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:

We play some saxophone music ...

answer a question about American life and the movies ...

and report about a popular college football coach.

Joe Paterno


Most large American universities have football teams. One university team has had the same head coach for more than thirty years. And he has just broken an important record in the history of college sports. Shirley Griffith has more.


His name is Joe Paterno. He is the head football coach at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. He has helped train college football players there since Nineteen-Fifty. He has been the head coach since Nineteen-Sixty-Six.

On October twenty-seventh, Mister Paterno won his three-hundred-twenty-fourth game as head coach in college football. That broke a record set by another famous college football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant. Mister Bryant coached the University of Alabama football team from Nineteen-Fifty-Eight to Nineteen-Eighty-Two.

Mister Paterno has now won more football games than any other coach of a major college in history. Yet, he almost did not become a football coach at all.

In Nineteen-Fifty, Joe Paterno was planning to study law. But his college football coach offered him a job as an assistant at Penn State. He took the job, and has been there ever since. He is seventy-four years old.

Joe Paterno has coached five undefeated teams. His teams have won two national championships. He has won the College Football Coach of the Year award four times. His players have won many awards, too. Mister Paterno and the players he has coached have won almost every kind of award in college football.

Other coaches and sports reporters have praised Mister Paterno as a leader among college coaches. He has worked for improved education for college athletes. He has also provided more than four-million dollars to the Pennsylvania State University for educational purposes.

This year, Mister Paterno’s team has not been as successful as it has been in the past. Penn State has won only two games so far. Yet Coach Paterno says he has no plans to retire. He just wants to continue winning.

America & The Movies


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Indonesia and China. Three people asked the same question. They want to know if life in the United States is like what they see in the movies.

The short answer is no. Movies do not attempt to show the lives of all the people of the United States. Many movies contain some truth. But even a movie that deals with true subjects represents the ideas of the person who wrote it, the people who acted in it and the person who directed it.

Often, at the beginning of a movie, words on the screen say “Based on a real incident.” That usually means the person who wrote the movie wrote about something that really happened and then added action to make the movie more interesting.

Such American movies might make it seem like violence and criminal acts are extremely common in the United States. They show a false image of America and its people.

Many American movies are made for young people in high school or college. They tell stories that are funny or that are about sex. That does not mean that these situations are realistic or are about the lives of young people in America.

Over the years, some Americans have tried to ban some kinds of movies. These include movies that are violent or show people having sexual relations. People have taken legal action to stop such movies. But court decisions have said that the right to make any kind of movie is protected by the part of the United States Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech. In the United States, people have the right to produce a bad movie or write a bad book.

People who make movies try to provide entertainment and excitement. Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes they fail. However, entertainment and excitement often have nothing to do with the real world.

Washington Saxophone Quartet


The Washington Saxophone Quartet performs in the nation’s capital and around the world. This weekend, the group will play at a local church. The money earned will go to an organization that provides hot meals to homeless people in Washington. Shep O’Neal tells us more about this musical group.


The Washington Saxophone Quartet plays famous music pieces that have been specially written for four different saxophones. The four musicians have been playing together since Nineteen-Seventy-Six. They have shown that four saxophones can produce sounds of many instruments.

Their latest album is called “Daydream.” Here they play “Pavane” by French composer Gabriel Faure (Faw-RAY).


The members of the Washington Saxophone Quartet are Reginald Jackson, James Steele, Rick Parrell and Rich Kleinfeldt. You may recognize that last name. Rich Kleinfeldt worked at the Voice of America for many years. He was an editor, classical music program host, and Special English announcer.

The Washington Saxophone Quartet plays many different kinds of music. This piece is called “Oblivion.” It was written by Astor Piazzolla, who was called Argentina’s “King of Tango.”


The Washington Saxophone Quartet also plays modern music pieces by famous American composers. We leave you now with “Lullaby” by George Gershwin.



This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Shelley Gollust, Mario Ritter and Paul Thompson. Our studio engineer was Tom Verba. And our producer was Paul Thompson.