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VOA Snapshot: 'Talk To America's' Varied Guests and Memorable Shows - 2002-06-28


A VOA Snapshot - Part of the continuing coverage in this, VOA's 60th Anniversary Year

For more than seven years the call-in show Talk to America has connected the world to guests such as former First Lady Hillary Clinton, country music superstar Garth Brooks, and an array of others from all walks of life. Over the years, many of the guests and shows have stood out in the minds of the Talk to America staff members.

"I'm Carol Pearson. In the United States, anyone with a sweet tooth knows the name 'Famous Amos,' father of the great chocolate chip cookie," announces Talk to America's host. Mrs. Pearson says she's been especially impressed by some of her guests.

"I've been inspired by 'Famous Amos,' the cookie maker and his whole philosophy of really working hard and doing your absolute best, no matter what people say. You're doing it for you," she says.

Talk to America's Executive Producer Irina Burgener says one of the most touching shows she recalls was last September 11, the day of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

"And it was one call after another from countries we had never heard from just to say that they felt for us. And they, the listeners, wanted to console us for a change," Ms. Burgener says. She added that some of the most memorable and most popular shows, are what she calls "open mic," when the listeners choose the topics.

"We actually had a caller in Ghana, another in South Africa, and another in India. And our other listeners could call and talk to them. And it was wonderful! All of a sudden the whole world was tied together, all through our studio," she said.

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