Thanks to the magic of reruns, my favorite TV character, Rhoda Morgenstern, is still with us. Valerie Harper did a wonderful job playing the "ugly duckling" who delivered such classic observations as "When you're single and over 30, there is no such thing as just dating—unless you're Gidget." Thank you for the delightful cover photo of the swan (PEOPLE, June 2).
For those of us who don't have the pectoral region of an 18-year-old girl, please tell us what weight-lifting technique Valerie Harper used.
Tony Cacciotti recommends a series of exercises performed lying on a bench. Start out with three-to-five-pound weights and gradually increase them by two to three pounds every two to three weeks, to a maximum of 10 pounds each. Slowly repeat each exercise five or six times, with elbows locked. Inhale as you start and gradually exhale. 1: Extend arms toward ceiling, drop them to the side, parallel to the body. 2: Again, arms to ceiling, then back over head in a circle and around toward body, ending with arms in starting position. 3: Reverse #2. 4: Arms toward ceiling, then back over head to a V position, hold for a second, return to starting position.
I find it hard to believe that although "little information exists about the psychology of sisterhood," there isn't a more definitive statement than author Fishel's suggestion that we are primarily characters from Little Women, furious with each other over borrowed clothes. On behalf of my two sisters and myself, thumbs down!
Mary M. Dean
I was astonished to read in the Chatter section that I "shouldered aside" an already seated guest to be at "Joan Kennedy's immediate right at a table for 10 in a chic, wine-only French restaurant" in San Francisco. I was asked to sit at her right by Robert Fitzgerald, Senator Kennedy's cousin and the man in charge of seating arrangements. I further read that I then "produced a bottle of vodka from a paper bag" and "brandished it at Joan." The vodka was given to me by the proprietor, Robert Bitton, who knows I am not overly fond of wine. I did not "brandish" it. I placed it on the floor behind my chair. I did not say to Mrs. Kennedy, "This used to be your favorite, wasn't it?" When someone from your magazine phoned to check this story, I said, "It's a good story, but it never happened."
San Francisco Chronicle
PEOPLE'S source, who was sitting at the same table, stands by his story. When PEOPLE first asked Caen about the incident, the columnist replied, "I don't remember saying it, but somebody told me I said it. I can't deny it."
As a freshman at BU, I shouted with a mixture of surprise, umbrage and joy at seeing your article on Boston University President John Silber. While 60 Minutes and Tomorrow tended to show Silber as an intelligent, righteous, authoritarian man, PEOPLE revealed him as human. I may not agree with Silber's methods or opinions, but I have a greater respect for him after reading PEOPLE.
Stop John Silber! He's a menace to mediocrity, a threat to complacency and a hazard to failure. Worst of all, the guy is just plain competent.
I don't agree with William Murray's wanting to reinstate prayer in the public schools, but I agree with his assessment of his mother. I attended a lecture by Ms. O'Hair in 1978 and it appeared to me that her crusade was more a neurotic compulsion based on hatred than a logical appeal to separate church and state in every area.
I have already sent in for my box seat ticket for Judgment Day. Just want to make sure I'm close enough to watch the expression on Madalyn's face when she sees God.
Picks & Pans
Martin Gottfried's Visitors' Guide to Broadway left out quite a few excellent items. What happened to: Vanities, Gertrude Stein, Table Settings, Happy New Year, Home, The Roast, White Chicks, A Kurt Weill Cabaret, Black-stone!, I'm Getting My Act Together?
New York City
Gottfried replies: "My theater picks were chosen on the basis of personal taste and their chances of lasting the summer. Some have already closed and others are on the brink. Of course, the bottom line remains: to each his own."
In your May 26 issue, you said Roman Welzant would soon go on trial in Baltimore for killing one teenager and wounding another after he and his wife had endured years of harassment. What happened?
After nearly 11 hours of deliberation, a jury found Welzant innocent of all charges. The jury heard testimony that the dead boy had been drinking and that the other youth may have touched the 68-year-old Welzant before the shooting. Welzant and his wife, Genevieve, with daughter Nancy above, plan to move as soon as possible.