When I am asked for my definition of a lady, I simply reply, "Marisa Berenson" (PEOPLE, March 8).
Marisa Berenson is a classic example of what money and heavy PR can do to manipulate the public into considering an unattractive, figureless, modestly talented young lady someone actually destined for stardom. Have you seen her in Barry Lyndon? Unbelievable vapidity.
A. V. Johnson
You say Marisa Berenson does not smoke, yet I see a cigarette in her hand in the picture. What's the story?
West Newton, Pa.
The picture was taken in 1972. She gave up smoking in 1973.—ED.
Marisa Berenson claims to be strongly inclined toward vegetarianism. This will certainly come as a shock to the $10,000 worth of sables which so kindly gave their skins to adorn her.
Marisa Berenson says she wants to be a saint. I am a short, plump, fortyish housewife with a very mundane wardrobe and I would just love to come back as Marisa Berenson.
Pine Falls, Manitoba
I cannot believe that Marisa Berenson, with her feet "on the path of vegetarianism, meditation and yoga," would make some of the statements attributed to her in your article.
Nowhere else have I seen karma defined as "soul." Further, her aspirations for sainthood appear as misinterpretation of the concept of purification through repeated incarnation; one eventually becomes pure enough to escape the cycle of birth and death.
East Lansing, Mich.
If I expect to grace the pages of New York City's top magazines as a model, I must also expect to keep my size 6 figure. Perhaps I should just start eating and find myself a President. Then will I be allowed to wear a size 10?
If Kathleen Cleaver wants to raise $100,000 for her husband's defense, she will be wasting her time if she appeals to wealthy blacks for support. As a black woman, I have yet to hear of those people ever helping their own.
I have learned that in my hard lifetime it was whites who fought the Civil War to free blacks, but blacks give them no credit for it. I have also learned that any black man or woman, although born into poverty, can use what brains they have to elevate themselves in this society. They'll be treated like everyone else. I'm tired of militant young blacks forever complaining of their mistreatment, which no longer exists except where they bring it upon themselves. As Kathleen Cleaver, and I, have learned, people in foreign countries are not as well disposed toward blacks as are Americans, and I, for one, give them credit for it. I've made out all right with their assistance.
Ed and Cathy Rush
Two statements in your article on Cathy Rush bother me greatly. 1) "There's no sense arguing with the referees." Ms. Rush complained about the referees in the Mighty Macs' only defeat this year and stated publicly that the Mississippi referees gave her school a "raw deal." 2) The statement that "she is the U.S.'s top female basketball coach." Coach Margaret Wade of Delta State University holds and has held that title for the last 30 years and she has two added qualities—she's a great lady and a good sport.
Leonard C. Vincent
Cathy Rush replies: "The statement attributed to me about the officiating was a columnist's opinion, not mine. Coach Margaret Wade is held in honor by everyone in women's basketball and her team is the one to beat in the playoffs beginning this week."—ED.
On behalf of my father, Reverend Forrest Burton Gray, an active missionary of some 30 years (Africa), I resent the derogatory reference to missionaries in the story on Dr. Behrhorst in Guatemala. Whether or not one accepts the necessity of "spreading the Word," one must admit that missionaries are a very special breed, and their contribution in the areas of health and education has been vast.
Florence Gray Laros
It has always irked me that public officials, editors and just about all the rest of male officialdom refer to the consumer as "she," as in your first question to Betty Furness. I've been married for eight years and am every bit as much of a consumer as my wife is. When you get right down to it, we are all consumers of one sort or another. It's about time officials and observers quit thinking the consumer movement is only a "women's issue."
David K. Nickels
The dichotomy between the prominence which Taylor Caldwell enjoys as a successful woman writer and her condemnation of women's rights is mind-boggling. It is unfortunate (even criminal) that one so confident of her own abilities should discourage other women from developing theirs.
This is just to let you know how much I enjoyed reading the Taylor Caldwell article. I'm a fairly recent widow and though I have children and some friends, I feel like "total emptiness" without a man to love, reach out to and do for. I feel like half a pair of scissors.
Taylor Caldwell has had too much straight bourbon.
Thank you for your excellent article on a super-talented lady. Her novels make it easy to step back into time when the world moved a little slower and women were women.
It is easy to see why Caldwell has such a knack for historical novels. Her values concerning women and children certainly belong to history; they have no place in 1976.
Susan St. Clair
As a teacher I question why Bob Sayers would make some of the statements attributed to him in your article. For example, "Men as breadwinners spend five or ten minutes a day with their children on the average." This has to be the most ludicrous insult a teacher, or anybody for that matter, could give to any parent. His statement that his women teachers were "easily manipulate" is thoughtless. Since he had stated that Sacramento was his hometown, this statement was certainly a kick in the head for his former teachers.
John H. Olson
Taylor and Burton
Who does Elizabeth Taylor's makeup? He/she should be shot. To me, Ms. Taylor is no raving beauty (classic, but not raving), but she's no beauty at all with her eyes blackened out.
To quote La Rochefoucauld: "No disguise can long conceal love where it is, nor feign it where it is not." Frankly, I think my favorite twosome deserve each other. What would we readers do without our "Liz and Dick"? Wouldn't be half so interesting having, say, a "Liz and Peter" or a "Dick and Suzy" to read and worry about.
M. Henry Petersen
Incredible! Liz on different continents with different men, but with the same outfit. Times are tough all over!
Baskin-Robbins of Spartanburg, S.C. helped 18 girls get through their freshman year at Converse College last year. One night I walked two blocks in the rain just for a double dish of "Boston Cream Pie" ice cream. My only complaint is there is no "B-R" in Ocala.
Mr. Robbins' ice-cream-cone swimming pool is cleverly shaped. However, if I had been as successful as he, I surely would have gone for a double dip!