Letters: Relay Race, King Memorial

Sep 3, 2011

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: Last week, we interviewed filmmaker Christoph Baaden about Oregon's near 200-mile relay race Hood to Coast.

CHRISTOPH BAADEN: There really isn't any kind of prize money or different medals for people finishing this thing first. It's just for the love of, I think, of running but more importantly, camaraderie.

SIMON: Cramps and stiff knees aside, it kicked up some good memories. Stephen Kroll from St. Louis, Missouri wrote: I had a driveway moment, albeit in the kitchen. I ran the race just once in 1992, the first year where participants scored road kills as they passed other runners, and I attribute my 6:10 mile to an intense desire to pass the runner ahead of me in the middle of my final leg. Crossing the finish line in the sand at Seaside, Oregon, the 12th runner on one side and his 11 teammates on the other side of the chute, is a memory I treasure. And Ari Shapiro's interview with Nate Masters moved many of you to write. The 63-year-old Mr. Masters had come to the National Mall to see the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

NATE MASTERS: I was here in '63. I was at the I Have a Dream speech and I happened to be there. And I was sitting there looking from the wall, all what I'm trying to do is keep the tears not coming down, you understand?

SIMON: JD Crutchfield from Long Island City emailed: As a white Southerner, born at the end of the segregation era, I have benefited greatly - though in less visible ways perhaps than Mr. Masters - from the progress our society has made, thanks to Dr. King. And even more, thanks to millions of good, courageous, and forgiving people like Mr. Masters. Thank you.

And Richard Featherly from Houghton, Michigan emailed: Your interview with Nate Masters brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy for the opportunity to hear the wisdom and love in that middle-aged man's voice.

Oh, we want to hear your voice. You can go to our web site, NPR.org, and click on the link that says Contact Us. You can also find us on Facebook at nprweekend. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.