Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
play some songs recorded by Peggy Lee ...
answer a question about the holiday called Valentine's Day ...
and report about ways animals help people.
Last September, trained dogs provided emotional support for someof the families of victims of the terrorist attacks on the UnitedStates. The dogs also helped people who escaped from the World TradeCenter in New York City. Such dogs also aid patients in hospitalsand nursing centers. Shep O'Neal has more.
Jean Owen of New York City is a dog trainer. She and her two dogsbelong to an organization called Therapy Dogs International. OnSeptember Eleventh, Mizz Owen and her dogs helped people who hadescaped the World Trade Center attack. These people were runningthrough the streets in terror. Many people were covered with dustfrom explosions. Mizz Owen said they felt much calmer after holdingand talking to her dogs.Graphic Image
Mizz Owen is among thousands ofpeople in the United States who own animals trained to help peoplefeel better. Each year these teams of humans and animals give theirtime during emergencies. They also visit millions of patients inhospitals and long-term care centers for old people.
p>For many years, American hospitals and nursing homes bannedanimals. Doctors feared the animals carried germs that would harmpatients. Recently, however, scientific studies have shown thatplaying with a pet animal can improve health. It can decrease highblood pressure. It can lower heart rate. Spending time with afriendly animal also helps ease loneliness and sadness.Graphic Image
More than two-hundred Americangroups organize animal visits to sick people. One of the largest isthe Delta Society of Renton, Washington. Four-thousand-five-hundredhuman and animal teams belong to Delta. They visit almostone-million people every year in the United States and five othernations. Most of the animals are dogs. However, cats, pet pigs andeven a small horse also visit patients.
All these animals are carefully examined before they enterhospitals and nursing homes. They must be friendly. But they mustnot be too active. After acceptance into the program, animals andtheir humans attend hours of training.
Many hospitals and nursing home officials praise these animalvisits. They say seeing an animal helps patients forget theirtroubles. They say these visits make the patients feel more likethey are at home.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Vietnam. NguyenThanh Duc asks about the holiday called Valentine's Day.
Americans celebrate Valentine's Day each year on Februaryfourteenth. It is a holiday for lovers.Graphic Image
Valentine's Day is a good day fora man to ask his girlfriend to marry him. It is also a good day forcouples to get married. But most Americans do not go that far tocelebrate the day named for Saint Valentine. He was an earlyChristian churchman who reportedly helped young lovers.
Valentine was executed for his Christian beliefs on Februaryfourteenth, more than one-thousand-seven-hundred years ago. But theday that has his name is even older than that.
The ancient Romans celebrated a holiday for lovers more thantwo-thousand years ago. As part of the celebration, girls wrotetheir names on pieces of paper and put them in a large container.Boys reached into the container and pulled out the name of a girl.That girl became his girlfriend or sweetheart for a year.
Lovers still put their names on pieces of paper. They send eachother Valentine's Day cards that tell of their love. Sometimes theyalso send other gifts too, like jewelry or flowers or candy.
Americans usually send cards through the mail system or in acomputer message. But there is another way many Americans sendmessages of love on Valentine's Day. They pay to have them printedin a newspaper.
Some of the messages are simple and short: "Debby, I love youvery much. From Bob." Others say more: "Dan, roses are red, violetsare blue, I hope you love me as much as I love you. Forever, Mary."
There is only one problem in sending a Valentine's Day messagethis way. It will only reach the one you love if he or she reads theValentine Day messages in the newspaper that day.
American singer Peggy Lee died last month of a heart attack. Shewas eighty-one years old. Critics called her one of the most popularsingers of the Twentieth Century. Steve Ember tells us about her.
Peggy Lee was named Norma Egstrom when she was born in Jamestown,North Dakota. She said she always wanted to become a singer. PeggyLee sang with Benny Goodman's band in the Nineteen-Forties. In theNineteen-Fifties, she appeared in several movies. She was nominatedfor an Academy Award for her work in the film "Pete Kelly's Blues."But she wanted to sing more than she wanted to act.Graphic Image
Peggy Lee wrote many of the songsshe performed. In Nineteen-Fifty-Two, she wrote songs for thepopular Walt Disney cartoon movie about dogs called "Lady and theTramp." She sang some of the songs in the movie too, including thisone, "He's a Tramp."
((CUT 1: HE'S A TRAMP))
Peggy Lee recorded songs written by other songwriters, too. InNineteen-Sixty-Nine, she won a Grammy Award for her recording ofthis song written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. It asks thequestion "Is That All There Is?"
((CUT 2: IS THAT ALL THERE IS?))
Peggy Lee made hundreds of recordings and fifty record albums.Yet she will probably be remembered best for one song that sherecorded in the Nineteen-Fifties. We leave you now with Peggy Leesinging that song, "Fever."
((CUT 3: FEVER))
This is Doug Johnson . I hope you enjoyed our program today. AndI hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Nancy Steinbach andJerilyn Watson. Our studio engineer was Kevin Raiman. And ourproducer was Paul Thompson.