Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I’m Doug Johnson.
Today we hear music from the band Beach House …
Answer a listener’s question about the new governor of New York …
And, report about a special wedding.
Jenna Bush's Wedding
President Bush’s twenty-six year old twin daughter, Jenna, is getting married on Saturday, May tenth. But this social event will not be held at the White House. Barbara Klein tells us about the wedding plans.
Jenna Bush did not want a wedding at the White House. She said she and her future husband love the outdoors and wanted an outdoor wedding. She chose to have the wedding in Texas because it is her home. About two hundred people are expected to attend the ceremony and party Saturday evening at the Bush ranch in Crawford. First Lady Laura Bush describes it as a "small and private" wedding. Jenna Bush will wear a dress designed by Oscar de la Renta. Her twin sister, Barbara, will serve as maid of honor. Fourteen young women will serve as attendants to the bride.
Jenna Bush is marrying Henry Hager who is twenty-nine. He was a White House intern in two thousand three. He met Jenna while working on her father's reelection campaign in two thousand four. Mister Hager is finishing studies for his master’s degree in business from the University of Virginia. Jenna is a former schoolteacher and has written two books. The couple will live in Baltimore, Maryland after their marriage.
Twenty-two children of American presidents have been married while their fathers were in office. Nine of them took place at the White House. Most of the weddings were big events.
The last White House wedding was in nineteen seventy-one. President Richard Nixon’s daughter, Tricia, married Edward Cox. Four hundred guests attended. The wedding was a big media event. It was the only White House wedding to take place in the beautiful Rose Garden. And it was the only White House wedding to be broadcast live on television.
While several children of presidents have married at the White House, there has only been one presidential wedding there. President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom at a White House ceremony in June of eighteen eighty-six.
Our listener question this week is about the new governor of New York State. Linh Van Vo wants to know more about David Paterson and how he got where he is today.
David Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York on March seventeenth. He had been lieutenant governor under Eliot Spitzer. But Mister Spitzer resigned as governor after reports that he had bought services from an illegal sex business.
David Paterson made history in two ways on March seventeenth. He became the first African American governor of New York. He also became the state’s first legally blind governor.
David Paterson lost most of his eyesight when he was just three months old. An infection damaged his optic nerve. He has no vision in one eye and extremely limited vision in the other.
However, Governor Paterson has a clear vision for New York. He spoke about it to the New York State legislature and guests at his swearing-in ceremony. He called New York a place where goals are met only through hard work. He said it was a place where anyone can succeed. He said New York families face many problems today and everyone will have to work together to find the solutions. Mister Paterson noted that the answers might not be clear yet. But he said he knew a little bit about finding one’s way through the darkness.
David Paterson was born in nineteen fifty-four in the Brooklyn area of New York City. His parents moved to Long Island where there were more public education possibilities for blind children. He has lived his adult life in the Harlem area of New York City.
David Paterson never learned to read using the system for blind people called Braille. He had people read to him and also used recorded reading materials. He graduated from Columbia University and earned a law degree in nineteen eighty-two from Hofstra University. Three years later he was elected to the New York State Senate, in the same seat occupied by his father years earlier. David Paterson made history then too -- at thirty-one, he was the youngest person ever elected to the Senate.
At work, his assistants record his written speeches and other information so he can memorize them. Other assistants help guide him and identify people at gatherings.
David Paterson is known for his sharp but good-natured sense of humor. He laughs about many of the difficulties he faces because of his disability. But he also says it is important for society to help the disabled.
Beach House is a group of two young musicians based in Baltimore, Maryland. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally make dreamy music with slow beats and soft vocals. One critic has said their music is like a secret hideaway. Mario Ritter has more on Beach House’s latest album, “Devotion”.
(MUSIC: "Wedding Bell")
That was “Wedding Bell." Its sleepy and soft sound is a good example of Beach House’s style. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally met about four years ago in Baltimore. They soon decided to form a band.
The first album by Beach House was recorded in Scally’s house. The sound quality of the recording was not perfect. But listeners and critics praised the songs on the album. For example, the Pitchfork media Web site listed this first album one of the best records of two thousand six.
Legrand writes the words to most Beach House songs. Then, she and Scally work together to create rich layers of keyboard, bell and drum sounds. The result is a sound that is very different from the classical music Legrand studied when she was growing up. Here is “You Came to Me” from “Devotion.”
Beach House has been traveling around the United States playing their music. We leave you with the floating sound of “Heart of Chambers.” The poetic images in this song tell a story of love and longing.
I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
It was written by Dana Demange and Caty Weaver, who was also our producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.
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