Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
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 Santa Rosa, California. It celebrates the life and work of an artist who created and drew a newspaper comic strip for almost fifty years. The comic strip was “Peanuts.” The artist was Charles Schulz. Shep O’Neal has more.
Charles Schulz stopped writing “Peanuts” shortly before he died in February, two-thousand. At that time, “Peanuts” appeared in two-thousand-six-hundred newspapers in seventy-five countries.
Many people around the world still enjoy earlier “Peanuts” comic strips in local newspapers. Now, they can also enjoy Charles Schulz’s work in the new museum.
Charles Schulz agreed to the idea of a museum before he died. Its purpose is to provide a place where people can see the first drawings of all his comic strips and to help people learn about his work. The museum also includes drawings he made for the popular television shows about the “Peanuts” characters. They include the children Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Schroeder.
The museum also shows works by other artists that honor “Peanuts”. For example, Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani created a picture of Charlie Brown and Lucy made of more than three-thousand tile copies of the comic strip. He also made a woodcut sculpture that honors the “Peanuts” characters, including Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy.
Works of other comic strip artists will also be shown in the museum. The first such exhibit shows comic strips by other artists that honored the “Peanuts” characters when Schulz became sick and retired. Another part of the museum re-creates the room where Charles Schulz drew his cartoons. Another part of the building shows things from his childhood and awards he received. The museum has no computers because Charles Schulz did not use them in his work.
The museum was built very near the place where Charles Schulz wrote and drew “Peanuts.” It is also across the street from the ice skating arena he built for the town of Santa Rosa. His wife Jean said she wanted the museum to show not only his work, but also how he lived. Missus Schulz said she wants visitors to feel as if they are taking part in his daily life.
The Grand Canyon
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Thai Thu Thu asks about the Grand Canyon in the southwestern state of Arizona.
The Grand Canyon is considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It is one of America’s most famous national parks. Visitors to the canyon come from all parts of the world. Officials say about five-million people visit the Grand Canyon each year.
The canyon extends four-hundred-fifty kilometers. But the surrounding area does not suggest the existence of such a large opening in the Earth. Visitors come upon the canyon suddenly, when they reach the edge. Then they are looking at a land like nothing else in the world.
Walls of rock fall away sharply. In some places, the canyon walls are more than a kilometer deep. Far below is the dark, turning line of the Colorado River. On the other side of the canyon, sunshine lights up the rock walls in red, orange and gold. The bright colors are the result of minerals in the rocks.
Their appearance changes with the light, the time of year and the weather. At sunset, when the sun has moved across the sky, the canyon walls take on quieter colors of blue, purple and green. Hundreds of rocky points rise from the bottom of the canyon. Some are very tall. Yet all are below the level of an observer on the edge, looking over.
There are several ways to see the Grand Canyon. Many visitors walk along paths part way down into the canyon. It takes several hours to walk to the bottom. It takes two times as long to walk back up. Some visitors ride mules to the bottom of the canyon and back. Mules are strong animals that look like horses. They are known for their ability to walk slowly and safely on the paths.
Many people see the Grand Canyon by air. They pay a helicopter or airplane pilot to fly them above and around the canyon. Others see it from the Colorado River. They ride boats over the fast moving water. These trips can last from one week to three weeks.
America’s National Park Service is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon from the effects of so many visitors. Visitors must carry all waste materials out of the area. All rocks, historical objects, plants and wildlife must be left untouched. The National Park tells its visitors, “Take only photographs. Leave only footprints.”
The Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks have released another hit album with Sony Music following a ten-month legal battle against the company. Mary Tillotson tells us more.
The dispute began last summer. Sony took legal action against the Dixie Chicks after they said they were leaving the company. The Dixie Chicks then took legal action against Sony, saying it had stolen money from the band. The two sides settled their dispute in June. The Dixie Chicks say their new agreement with Sony is everything they wanted.
Their new album, “Home,” has been at the top of American record sales since its release last month. “Home” already has sold more than one-million copies. Listen now to “Long Time Gone.” It was the first 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 it with a bluegrass sound.
Last year, Natalie Maines gave birth to a baby boy. Dixie Chick Emily Robison is expecting a baby next month. The Dixie Chicks sing about a parent’s love for a young son. We leave you now with the song ”Godspeed.”
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 Nancy Steinbach and Caty Weaver. Our studio engineer was Curtis Bynum. And our producer was Paul Thompson.