Your story on Baby Jessica was a masterpiece (PEOPLE, NOV. 2). When I read those words, all the love and hope and worry I felt during her rescue came flooding back. Jessica's saga has renewed my faith in human beings. Your article, once again, reminded me why your magazine is called PEOPLE.
Connie I. Mars
North Highlands, Calif.
As the mother of a 21-month-old son, I savor the time when I can curl up with the latest PEOPLE and devour it cover to cover. But this week, after reading the incredible story of little Jessica McClure's rescue, I had to put aside the issue and cry and cry and cry. The emotions these courageous and devoted rescuers have lived through can only be imagined. The appreciation of the nation should go to them all for their refusal to quit. Thanks for bringing it close to my home and heart.
As a mother of two kids, ages 2 and 4, who are always finding new ways to aggravate me, I find myself hugging them close for no reason these days. They gave up Sesame Street that Friday night to watch the news until Baby Jessica was rescued. They hollered and jumped up and down, and my husband and I cried when she surfaced. The people who volunteered to help should be commended for the selfless time and effort they gave so readily.
San Jose, Calif.
Though we featured only six of Baby Jessica's rescuers because of space limitations, there were hundreds of volunteers who helped save her. We apologize to all those we simply didn't have room to mention.
I am sure that your words of advice to Nancy Reagan from women who have had mastectomies were helpful to many women, but I wish you had included the reactions of single women who have had this surgery. The support of the husbands described in the article was most encouraging, but I wonder how a single woman goes about telling a man with whom she has never been intimate that she has lost one or both breasts. It is one thing to have the wholehearted support of a man who already loves you when you undergo the surgery and quite another to have to develop a relationship with someone new after the surgery. Let's face it, physical attraction is an element of initially caring for someone.
Judith A. Hoffman
I just wouldn't want everyone who has had or anticipates having a mastectomy to expect the same support, love and encouragement received by these ladies. Most of my "friends" couldn't handle it and stopped calling altogether. My cancer is in remission, but my heart is broken.
At age 22, I instantly became a part of the "sisterhood." At the same time Ann Jillian and her husband were going through the experience, my husband and I were. Ann and I went through our treatments at the same time, had our surgeries at the same time, we even bought our wigs at the same time. I've always wanted to say "thank you" to Ann and Andy Murcia for being so encouraging. I hope someday I will get to thank them personally.
I would like to express my thanks to Ann Jillian, Betty Rollin and Jill Ireland for all the hard work they've been doing to bring mastectomies out of the closet. As for Julia Child, I'd like you to give her my address. At age 23 I had a double mastectomy with plans of reconstructive surgery. At that time my husband referred to me as "half a woman." Now, 12 years later and after many reconstructive surgeries, he calls me "rubber woman." Maybe Julia's husband could beat some sense into this guy. As for me, I may just have gotten some courage from these ladies, and I think I'll call a lawyer.
Holmes and Schmieler
The story of Marjorie Holmes and George Schmieler, was the most touching story I have read about "second-time-around love." This couple lost both of their spouses tragically. How wonderful that they were able to find someone to fill their days. I loved the story and them.
Often celebrities who are living together or getting divorced get all the media coverage. It's inspiring to read about couples like Marjorie Holmes and George Schmieler whose lives can include a second committed and satisfying marriage when the death of a spouse ends their first.
Lucille Ryman Carroll
Your article on MGM vet Lucille Ryman Carroll left me cold. Haven't we read it all before? Spare us. Ms. Ryman's "celebrity anecdotes" were pointless and inane. Marilyn Monroe and Rock Hudson gave the world endless hours of motion picture magic, and what they did in private was their business. Everyone has a closet with at least one skeleton in it. May Ms. Ryman rest in peace knowing that after she is dead someone, somewhere, will probably publish pointless and inane trivia about her.