This week in Mailbox: Czech folk music on Radio Prague, General Frantisek Fajtl, BJ Prochazka's tour around the world, the 70th birthday of Vaclav Havel. Listeners quoted: Marty Sultan, Gina Hearn, Mike Talbot, Mike Safranek, Roger Coates, Lynda-Marie Hauptman, Mary Lou Krenek, David Eldridge.
Welcome to Radio Prague's Mailbox, our weekly programme in which we read from your letters and e-mails. Let's start off with this e-mail from Marty Sultan from the United States.
"Do you ever broadcast old Czech music? If so, would you let me know on what days and at what time? Thank you for your response."
In our Encore programme, we regularly broadcast and discuss works of Czech classical music composers but I believe what you have in mind is Czech national or folk music. I'm sorry to say that at the moment we do not have a special feature devoted to that genre but anyone who is interested in listening to Czech "lidovky" or traditional songs can tune in to our Czech Section's monthly programme "Ach, synku, synku". You can write in for the details and frequencies for your part of the world or look up this Mailbox programme on the internet where we'll post the address of the programme on the Czech Section's website which is, I'm afraid, too long to spell out on the air.
"I so enjoyed the 'Remembering Frantisek Fajtl' item in today's news. General Fajtl was indeed a giant amongst men who was there to serve his country in its hour of need. It was very appropriate to honour his memory with your tribute."
On a different note, this e-mail came from Gina Hearn from London.
"I have just started to receive your news emails via my boyfriend. We are moving to Prague in December, where he is taking up the post of Head of Chemistry at the English College in Prague, and I have learned more about Czech news in two of your bulletins than in several weeks of reading The Prague Post! And in better English, too! Many congratulations and I am greatly looking forward to the next one."
Thank you very much for that and we hope you will find our news service useful once in Prague, too.
In response to Ian Willoughby's recent special on a tour around the world conducted in the 1930s by a Czech called Bohuslav Jan Prochazka, our listener Mike Safranek from the US sent us this.
"The 'round-the-world' drive in the Skoda Rapid (story of the 28th of September) reminded me immediately of the pre-war Lockheed Model 10 Electra owned and operated by the Bata shoe magnates of the 1930's. What a story this aircraft could tell if only it could speak! I very much look forward to the telling of this long dormant tale because the aircraft STILL EXISTS here in the US."
Thank you very much for the interesting tip.
Roger Coates from somewhere in cyberspace sent us this:
"Your reporter tonight is not very well-qualified to comment on political issues as he seems to believe that the president of Lithuania is hoping to be the next General Secretary of the U.N.!"
We sincerely apologise. Of course, we meant Latvia which, by the way, sounds almost like the Czech word Litva which means Lithuania. The mistake has been corrected on our site and, once again, we apologise.
The former Czech president Vaclav Havel celebrated his 70th birthday last week and we broadcast two programmes dedicated to the occasion, which incited both a positive and negative response among our listeners. Lynda-Marie Hauptman and Mary Lou Krenek from the US joined the well-wishers. Ms Krenek wrote and I quote "He is a living miracle surviving many bouts of illness and the years of humiliation and harassment by the Communist government. What a remarkable, international person he is; the moral conscious of what is decent in any government today."
On the other hand David Eldridge from England sent in a critical e-mail in which he wrote among other things that "Vaclav Havel was simply a convenient tool for the United States to use for facilitating the penetration of US capital into central and eastern Europe".
It is always interesting for us to know your opinions, so please keep those letters coming to email@example.com or Radio Prague, 12099, Prague, Czech Republic. Which are also the addresses for your competition answers. This month's quiz question is quite straightforward:
Which US Secretary of State was born in Prague?
Your answers should reach us by the end of the month. Thanks for listening and till next week, bye-bye.