I enjoyed your article on the brilliant actor Tim Hutton (PEOPLE, Feb. 8). It's surprising to read about a celebrity and find out something interesting. We usually hear about his zodiac sign and what color socks he puts on in the morning. I'm glad there is a magazine that cares about an actor's emotions and his relationship with his family.
I had one small gripe. I felt that Timothy Hutton's mom's bias in favor of his dating actresses because "at least they're not after him for his fame" was unjustified. She may have met with a few rotten apples, but they're perched on a very large unspoiled bunch. Most young women do not consider wealth, let alone fame, as a prerequisite for dating. It is the quality of the company that makes for a special evening. It's a shame she feels that ordinary people aren't good enough for her son.
Owings Mills, Md.
We need more physically handicapped people like comedienne Geri Jewell to tell society that cerebral palsy and other physical handicaps are not forms of mental retardation. My sister has cerebral palsy. Today she has a very exciting and satisfying job as a teacher's aide at a multihandicap center in Virginia, but it took years of unnecessary tears, anger and fighting for her to get there. Thanks, Geri. Keep putting out your message. It's catching on.
While not minimizing Geri Jewell's remarkable accomplishments, it is unfortunate that she felt personal and public acceptance was to be found by turning herself and cerebral palsy into a joking matter. Having had cerebral palsy since birth, I do know how important a sense of humor can be in coping with disabling limitations. However, I also realize that humor is but one part of a total personality. Acceptance and respect come from my ability to be open, friendly, comfortable and caring.
Fairview Park, Ohio
I think it is disgraceful, disloyal and unappreciative that President Reagan refuses to campaign for Maureen. Didn't she campaign tirelessly and devotedly for him?
Mary A. Heustis
Curtis and Lisa Sliwa
I'm tired of hearing about the Guardian Angels. Throughout the United States there are many volunteer police officers in legitimate police reserves and auxiliaries, yet they never get the recognition that Sliwa and his group get. We need more reserves, not more independent vigilantes.
Falls Church, Va.
Recently Curtis Sliwa was in Detroit to organize a chapter of the Guardian Angels. City officials wanted nothing to do with the Angels and used the excuse that Detroit didn't need vigilante groups running around along with other street gangs. I can't help thinking that these officials feared that the Angels might do the job the police are being paid to do and so cast a shadow of doubt on our enforcers of the law.
Joanne Starr's birth experience was a happy, natural event. However, it is unfair to suggest that only nurse-mid-wives like Barbara Brennan are providing this experience for their patients. There are thousands of obstetricians like myself who routinely deliver babies in exactly the way you describe. And there are hundreds of hospitals that not only permit the family to remain together before and after birth but actively encourage it.
Robert D. Dyson, M.D.
A woman in labor will usually go along with whatever her doctor deems necessary, including major surgery such as a cesarean section. The midwife is a fine answer for the family that wants to have real peace of mind that all efforts will be made for a natural, un-medicated birth. The public should demand midwives, and there should be a midwife program in every hospital in the nation. Congratulations to Roosevelt Hospital.
Terry O'Neal Sorrells
I went to a Barry Manilow concert thinking he was a great songwriter but not much of a singer. There were 10-year-olds and 70-year-olds, blue jeans and three-piece suits in the audience that night, but by the time the show ended we were all on our feet screaming. Best money I ever spent.
I get infuriated when I read that Norman Mailer and others are defending Jack Abbott for the sake of art. Literature is a wonderful thing, but one human life is worth much, much more than the flourishing of a murderer's writing ability. I wonder how Norman Mailer would feel if his own child were murdered by an "artist."
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Having lost a family member to a violent death, I can sympathize with Richard Adan's family. However, considering Jack Abbott's background, I can also sympathize with him and feel that it is very possible that his testimony is true. I think your story was one-sided: Adan's death is tragic, but so is Jack Abbott's entire life. Instead of wanting to lock Abbott up and throw away the key, we should be trying to get him effective therapy.
My brother-in-law's murderer had a troubled, violent emotional history. As a result of the death, he received the help he had long needed and is now living a stable, productive life. Although I still grieve over the loss, I think I would feel even worse if the perpetrator had been deemed unsalvageable. The loss of one life was senseless and tragic enough.