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Letters: Kodak, 'Drive A Tank'


It's time now for your Letters, but first a correction. On Friday, in our weekly chat with sportswriter Stefan Fatsis, we talked about Wimbledon. And during the chat, we incorrectly said that player Andy Murray hailed from England when, in fact, Mr. Murray was born in Scotland.

As listener Bob Carter of Cornelius, North Carolina points out: Calling a Scot an Englishman is as quick a way to a bloody nose as would be confusing a Slovenian and a Slovakian, or a German and an Austrian.

Well, now to your Letters.


In yesterday's All Tech Considered, we told you about another loss for Kodak, which has filed for bankruptcy. This week, they're transferring about five billion of their customers' online photos to Shutterfly. Kodak is famous for its analog film, Brownie and Instamatic cameras, and slide projectors.

But Richard Adelman, of Philadelphia, writes that we failed to mention one very important achievement. Kodak was an educational institution, he writes. They published instruction manuals and documents designed to allow customers to use their products to their best potential. I remember requesting and receiving something called a medium grey card, which allowed me to determine perfect exposures and it was free.

Mr. Adelman goes on to say: Beyond that, Kodak possessed a library of excellent examples of quality photography second only perhaps to National Geographic. So the samples they showed in their instruction manuals were inspiring. This is the real legacy of Kodak - they were the foundation on which serious photography was built in the 20th century.

SIEGEL: Also yesterday, we heard from Tony Borglum. He owns a company in Kasota, Minnesota called Drive-A-Tank which, for a price, is exactly what you get to do. You can even drive it over a car.

TONY BORGLUM: Who wouldn't want to smash a car, let alone with a tank, you know? Minivans usually are the customers' favorites.

SIEGEL: Well, Liz Black of Denver was disappointed to hear that Drive-A-Tank is too far away for her to give her husband the gift that keeps on crushing.

She writes: The opportunity to get behind the wheel of a tank and rumble over a mini van, what a primal release after dealing with the economy, the upcoming election, and everything else going on in the world. Plus, I love the idea of spending money on an experience, versus an item. I wish our economy ran a bit more off this premise. Cheers to Drive-A-Tank. If I'm ever in the area, I'm going.

BLOCK: And Robert Lafsky, of Great Falls, Virginia, tells us about someone who also would've jumped at the chance to visit Drive-A-Tank.

He recalls: For years, I rode around the crowded D.C. suburbs with my mom, as she muttered, if I only had my tank. She died eight years ago and would have been 100 next month. But I'm sure if she'd heard your story about the tank driving school she'd have signed right up. And she'd have taken the car crushing option at twice the price.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for your letters. Write to us at NPR.org and click on Contact Us.

BLOCK: And Mr. Lafsky requested this song to take us out.