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AMERICAN MOSAIC - March 7, 2002: Songs by Hank Williams Junior / The effects of the Olympics on Salt Lake City / A visit to Hemingway's house - 2002-03-08



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


This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:

play some songs by Hank Williams Junior ...

answer a question about the Olympic Games that just ended ...

and report about a house owned by a famous American writer.

Hemingway House


Ernest Hemingway was one of America’s most famous writers. He wrote many of his best known books and stories in the little city of Key West, Florida. Visitors today can see Hemingway’s house and the creatures that live there. Shep O’Neal tells us about it.


The Hemingway house on Whitehead Street in Key West is across the street from a tall lighthouse. The powerful light in the tower warns ships at sea that they are approaching land. Friends of Ernest Hemingway liked to say the light also helped him find his way home at night after he left his favorite drinking place.

Hemingway’s house was built in Eighteen-Fifty-One. Its walls are made of coral rocks found on the grounds. The rooms have many high windows and doors. These could be opened during the extremely hot summer days.

A smaller house is just behind the main house. This is where Ernest Hemingway worked, in a small room on the second floor filled with pictures and books. He wrote more than half of his most famous books and stories here. These include the books “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and “To Have And Have Not,” and short stories like “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.”

Ernest Hemingway would begin work each day in the little room at about six in the morning. He would write for about six hours. Then he might go deep-sea fishing. Or he might go to his favorite drinking place with his friends.

Ernest Hemingway loved cats. About fifty of them lived in his house in Key West. He left the house in Nineteen-Forty. No one lives there now -- except about sixty cats. Many of these animals are related to an unusual cat given to Hemingway by a ship’s captain. That cat had six toes on each of its paws. Many of the cats living there now also have six toes.

Ernest Hemingway named his cats after famous writers and movie actors. That tradition is still alive. If you visit Hemingway’s house you can meet cats named William Shakespeare, Charlie Chaplin and many others.

People who visit the house usually want to know why Hemingway had so many cats. Hemingway answered the question many years ago. He said, “One cat leads to another.”

Effects of Winter Olympics


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Mongolia. Amarkhuu Ayulguisaikhan asks about the effects of the recent Olympic Winter Games on the people of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The people of Utah prepared for the Olympic Winter Games for the past seven years. They expected many changes as a result of the world competition.

Leaders of the Mormon Church hoped the Games would help more people around the world understand their religion. News reports say they succeeded because of their friendly welcome to all the athletes and visitors.

Another expected result was that the Games would bring new businesses to Utah. Experts say it is really too soon to tell yet. But they note that the city now has new roads, hotels and transportation systems that were built for the Olympics.

The owners of the state’s ski areas are hoping for a huge increase in business. About three-thousand-million people around the world saw the beautiful mountain environment of Utah on television. Officials say special competition areas built for Olympic sports like the luge and bobsled could make Utah a winter sports center.

The Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee has plans for the buildings and equipment used during the Games. For example, the buildings where the athletes stayed will become housing for students at the University of Utah. Local schools and governments will buy furniture and office equipment used by Olympic officials. The Gateway company that provided computers for the Games plans to give the equipment to schools and local communities.

Some store owners in the area say their business did not increase as a result of all the visitors. However, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee says Utah will earn at least forty-million dollars from the Olympic Winter Games. Some reports say Utah will enjoy a three-thousand-million dollar increase in business as a result of the Games during the next seven years.

Hank Williams Junior


Hank Williams Junior has recorded more than sixty albums. He began singing on stage at the age of eight. He recorded his first hit song when he was only fourteen years old. Mary Tillotson tells us more.


Hank Williams Junior is the son of the most famous country and western musician of all time, Hank Williams. Hank Williams wrote most of the songs he made famous in the Nineteen-Forties and early Nineteen-Fifties. He died at the age of twenty-nine. His son, Hank Junior, was only three years old.

Hank Junior learned to play guitar and sing his father’s songs soon after his father’s death. He quickly became famous for his ability to copy his father’s singing voice. Few people could tell the difference.

But Hank Williams Junior wanted to play very different music from his father. He expressed this difference in a hit recording called “Family Traditions.”


That record was a major hit. Hank Junior has had ten top-selling records and thirteen top-selling albums. He was voted the entertainer of the year three times by the Academy of Country Music. He received two entertainer of the year awards from the Country Music Association.

Millions of people around the world know Hank Williams Junior because of the song he sings before the popular television show “Monday Night Football.” Here it is:


Hank Williams Junior has just released a new album. He recorded it in the same building where his father once performed. It is called “Almeria Club.” We leave you now with a song from Hank Williams Junior’s new album, “Almeria Club.” It is called “Go Girl Go.”



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 Paul Thompson. Our studio engineer was Lee Dravis. And our producer was Paul Thompson.