If I were to conjure up in my imagination the perfect male, I couldn't fantasize anyone more beautiful than Richard Gere (PEOPLE, April 7). Gere has me feeling the magic of a teenager mooning over a screen idol.
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
I find it somewhat ironic that Gere, who has said in previous interviews that he wasn't a "marketable tomato," and who has discussed the "absurdity of appearance," is posing on covers in standard beefcake fashion. Perhaps the box office has suggested that appearance is not so "absurd" after all.
I've seen Richard Gere's performance in Bent three times so far, and even though his portrayal of a homosexual is beautifully convincing, I never once left the theater thinking that he might really be gay. Instead I left very moved, with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Mr. Gere is a superb actor. He could make Anita Bryant feel compassion for the character he portrays.
Maureen Kelly Kevorkian
New Britain, Conn.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
In 1967 I lost a son to crib death. Nobody knew anything about this killer, not even the doctors. I had two more children, and we watched these babies, but didn't even know what we were looking for! Then in 1975 I had another son. At four weeks Shawn started turning blue around the mouth and under the skin. I called our local chapter of SIDS and Shawn was placed on an apnea monitor for six months. In this day and age the only excuse for crib death is ignorance. With articles such as yours, the most complete I've read, and word of mouth, maybe everyone will become aware that this is a needless death. I have living proof. Shawn celebrated his fifth birthday in March.
Mrs. Virginia Cummings
Rep. Bob Giaimo
It was not Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, with all their extravagances, who brought about the French Revolution. It was the nobility and clergy who refused to give up their privileges that caused the people to revolt. Three cheers for the chairman of the House Budget Committee, who is willing to say "no" to the "screaming mayors" and worried interest groups.
"People say they want to conserve, yet they're not willing to discomfort themselves one iota." You first, Rep. Giaimo. Stop flying in those low-cal breadsticks from New York. Let them take a bus.
John A. Mixon
I got worried about your magazine after your recent comment on Ann Wilson's [Heart] "Slicker-than-Grace vocals." But now thanks for the Grace Slick article. Dreams is a beautiful personal album. The range, power and sensitivity of Grace's voice are unique. It's the kind that stays forever.
I stand in awe of the simplicity with which Supersisters has filled a tremendous gap in our culture. There should be a Pulitzer for trading cards.
Barbara R. Anderson
Hurrah for Roger Reynolds and his courageous battle to recover from his near-fatal parachuting accident. My husband was in a car accident that left him with two broken legs (femurs), among many other broken bones. He is just starting therapy to walk with casts on his legs. I'm going to show him your story.
Nancy K. Talley
In referring to the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachuting operations, Reynolds says, "We jumped drunk all the time." This is a flagrant falsehood. At no time during my 1,200-jump tour of duty with the team (December '75-December '78) did I observe any member jump while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance. It was common knowledge on the team that the accident was the result of a blatant error on his part. Reynolds simply failed to apply the proper emergency procedures and deploy the reserve parachute when faced with the malfunction.
Michael P. Bachan
You didn't say quite enough about that recent incident in San Antonio. How would you feel if on your way home after playing a tough basketball game, an abusive fan spat on you? Larry Bird excels in image as far as I'm concerned. He's an unselfish, quiet man with good manners.
As a fan since 1965, I have seen Polly Holliday do 30 different roles on the Asolo stage in Sarasota. Her first entrance as Major Barbara still holds the record as the funniest moment of all; she cried in a Chekhov play as convincingly as Sophia Loren in Two Women; her performance and murder scene in House of Blue Leaves haunts me still; she did Molière and Shakespeare as though she had lived in those periods. In my book, Holliday leads the Streep, Alexander and Fonda pack.
St. Petersburg Beach
Disneyland vs. Khrushchev
In your story on Disneyland (March 10), you say Soviet Premier Khrushchev was prohibited from visiting Disneyland in 1959 for security reasons. Not so, and to my knowledge the real reason has never been made public. The late Joe Reddy, publicist for Walt Disney, told me: "Disney, like most studios, makes available prints of its films for foreign embassy use. But the Russians took our films, showed them commercially all over Russia and paid Disney nothing for it. So when Walt heard that Khrushchev wanted to visit Disneyland, he said, 'It's my park and he doesn't get in.' "
Los Gatos, Calif.