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Letters: In-Sourcing; John Hawkes


Time now for some of your responses to our program.

And first, my interview yesterday with the CEO of Keen. The company is based in Portland, Oregon. It makes shoes. And we talked with CEO James Curleigh because Keen illustrates something President Obama advocated in his State of the Union Address. It recently opened a factory in the U.S. instead of China. President Obama called it insourcing.

Curleigh told us it not only makes financial sense, it's good marketing.

JAMES CURLEIGH: I think to a certain fan, they actually do connect with the fact that we're a young company and we're trying things. And just the fact that we have an effort and a very real business and brand effort that creates product in America, I think, is important.


John Fowler(ph) of Vancouver, Washington, is definitely one of those fans. Let's hear it for Keens, he writes.

Mister Fowler goes on to say: My first pair took me across icy, rocky rivers in Yellowstone, provided comfort in the wastes of Alaska, even on Kilimanjaro. And when that pair wore out, I was hammering at the door of the Portland store - they'd just closed, but let me in - and I ordered a pair exactly like the first ones. This is how we'll put America back to work one job at a time.

SIEGEL: And Royce Anderson of Seattle offered this response to the question of whether consumers consider a made in America tag when buying shoes.

Yes, he writes. I search, and I search, and I search. And when I find a store or a maker of anything that is dedicated to production in the U.S., or at least in a country that has reasonable wages and worker protection laws, I become a loyal consumer.

BLOCK: Also this week, we profiled actor John Hawkes, who's made a career disappearing into roles, from the blockbuster "The Perfect Storm" to his Oscar-nominated turn in the indie movie, "Winter's Bone." He told me he's happy not a huge celebrity.

JOHN HAWKES: I have no kind of desire to be a household name, for sure. I don't think I have the face for it, anyway. I don't think I have to worry too much about it. But I'd rather be invisible. I'd rather be a mystery.

BLOCK: Well, Carol McKenzie of Marshall, Wisconsin, writes this: John Hawkes isn't quite as mysterious over the radio as he may feel he is in person. I knew right away I was listening to Bugsy from "The Perfect Storm." The minute I heard him speak, I was immediately sitting at the bar next to Rusty Schwimmer, waiting for George Clooney to walk through the door on his way to catch Moby Dick.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for all your letters. You can reach us at NPR.org. Click on Contact Us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.