I find the picture of Father McLaughlin seated under a portrait of Sir Thomas More faintly amusing. One must certainly hope that he sees no resemblance to More in himself. Sir Thomas would not compromise his soul for power; McLaughlin seems to have sold his already.
My hat's indeed off to this courageous man who maintains his own proper perspective and an unshakeable equilibrium in the face of attacks from both public and clergy that would defeat most men of his stature and calling. Here is one man who certainly doesn't believe in deserting the ship because of a few leaks in the bulkhead.
C.L. Skelley Jr.
South Gate, Calif.
I am a Catholic and I stress the point so I will not be called anti-religious when I say Dr. McLaughlin is as far removed from being a priest as his dog. I imagine his clerical collar is kept as sort of an old-age pension plan in case his $30,000-a-year job should be phased out. At least his basset hound wears his own collar with dignity.
Mrs. Gustav D. Thorson
Royal Oak, Mich.
Should the good doctor ever want to really take up exorcism I know where he can find a demon to practice on within spitting distance.
As a teacher of trainable retarded children (those whose IQs range from approximately 50-25) I read with interest the story of Tracy Gamell and her family. All retarded children are unique, and young Tracy may have special problems not mentioned, but the great majority of retarded children (even those as severely handicapped as Tracy) can learn to feed and bathe themselves, become toilet trained, and are capable of simple speech. Let not Tracy's plight discourage those parents who must guide other retarded children. There is no cure for mental retardation, but new educational methods are enabling our youngsters to become more and more self-sufficient.
Dr. Frederick Hacker
I wish Dr. Frederick Hacker would cite instances where stewardesses and hijackers experienced "strong bonds." All the stewardesses I know involved in hijackings were merely using logic in trying to dissuade the criminals, as they were trained to do, and not forming any bond with them.
Dr. Hacker agrees that only relatively few stewardesses so reacted. But in those cases, "danger and adventure combined to produce a kind of attraction."—ED.
Rudolf Nureyev can speak garbled and indistinct English in my play any time. When you're that gorgeous, you don't need diction!
World Poker Championship
I have a technical question on the World Poker Championship game in Las Vegas. You say "Moss called a $40,000 raise and beat Addington's four-card club flush with a full house..." How could Addington have even gone that far into the hand with a four-card flush, which doesn't even exist in the game of poker?
Addington was drawing to an ace high five-card club flush, but neither of the last two "up" cards was a club. A four-card flush is, of course, a useless hand unless your opponent has less than a pair himself.—ED.
In your article on Bernie Cornfeld you refer to his "kosher leprechaun" appearance. What do you mean by that? I was born into a fine "kosher" family and think this reference is anything but worthy.
Mrs. Harry R. Roth
All of us perpetual weight watchers owe PEOPLE a vote of thanks for showing a startled Gina Lollobrigida on a jockey's scale. We have been conditioned by advertising to diet down to miniscule weights in order to look like sexy movie stars. Well, folks, the joke is on us because a gorgeous sex symbol like Gina Lollobrigida weighs 145 pounds, and not one pound of it is fat.
Gina's press agent complained that the scale was actually at 132 pounds, which included six pounds of camera equipment. The Associated Press photographer was there: "Gina was staring at the scale with horror and the needle was at 145."—ED.
Senator Abe Ribicoff may have been riding easy, as you say, but if he would turn around he just might shudder. Apparently local wilderness buff William Garrison has done most of his scouting and nature-loving on dry land, because one of the first rules of canoeing is "never stand up."
Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Garrison was up momentarily "reading the river" at a point where rocks were close to the surface.—ED.