25 Most Intriguing People
Would you like to tell me what is so intriguing about a woman who, after news breaks of her husband's affair with a girl half his age, goes on national television and proclaims that the story is a Republican plot? When he finally admitted to the indiscretion, this "intriguing woman" thought she would set a shining example by standing by her man. How intriguing to teach women that a marriage to power is so much more important than self-respect. Too bad Hillary Rodham Clinton didn't have the nerve to come forward and say "Hey, America, Bill and I have an open marriage. He can have sex with whomever he likes. I'm in it for the power of being First Lady." That would have been intriguing.
Sue Gordon, Boulder, Colo.

Hillary Clinton has wasted her life building up the ego of a man who wouldn't know the meaning of true love if it slapped him across the face. I don't find her intriguing. She's pathetic.
Christine Fassano, Washington, D.C.

Count me in as a fan of Ken Starr's. He was given a job and pursued it in spite of the White House pit bulls.
June Schwarz, Ottawa, Ohio

James Brolin is discovered surfing the Internet at 2 a.m. by wife Barbra Streisand. This makes him intriguing? I took out the trash today. You must think I'm downright fascinating!
Helen A. Stuessy, Haddon Township, N.J.

Bravo for selecting Camryn Manheim for your 25 Most Intriguing People. I love her character on The Practice, and it proves that you don't have to be thin like Calista Flockhart or Cameron Diaz to be intriguing. Talent does matter.
Katie Elder, Covina, Calif,

How many times must you overlook Ben Affleck? For the Sexiest Man Alive, I understood, because you always seem to choose someone older than 30. For the 50 Most Beautiful People issue I just figured none of your editors had actually looked at him. This year he rose from a relative unknown to a huge celebrity. What did Leonardo DiCaprio do this year? He went clubbing with his posse. If that makes him intriguing, why aren't the Roxbury guys from Saturday Night Live on your list?
Katie Riches, Los Altos, Calif.

While I'm sure Katie Couric is probably a charming person, to be one of the 25 Most Intriguing—I think not! Adults lose spouses and children lose a parent every day. You say that "only a month" after her husband's death, Couric returned to work (a $28 million job). How lucky she is indeed! Most people have to gather their composure, console their children and get back to the grind after only one week. And by the way, as a single mother of two, I must race home to my children every day in order to avoid a late fee for after-school child care.
Cheri Schumann, Gainesville, Fla.

I bought your issue because of one single face on the cover—Katie Couric's. It's tough enough losing someone you love; it's harder still when you have to go on with your life in front of so many people. Katie, in my eyes, is the most intriguing personality of 1998. She epitomizes strength and courage, yet remains as human as ever.
J. Dibble, New York City

We have watched Mark McGwire develop since his rookie year with the Oakland Athletics. We always knew there was something special about him. Mark is a tremendous role model for any young man—or woman, for that matter. He has integrity and class.
Judy Duncan, Napa, Calif.

I agree with all of your choices for the 25 Most Intriguing except one. I am appalled that you would include Mark McGwire. I don't look up to him, because he achieved 70 home runs using steroids! Is that the role model you want for future baseball players? I am 12, and if I was 9 or 10 I would have Mark McGwire as a role model. Little kids are like "monkey see, monkey do." If Mark uses steroids, then kids are going to think it's okay to use performance-enhancing drugs. I applaud Sammy Sosa for doing his best naturally.
Mikhaila Skehor, via e-mail

A Spice Girl, but not Rosie O'Donnell?! Rosie is one of the biggest humanitarians I have ever seen. It's time for PEOPLE to start raising its standards.
Lynne M. Christ, Somers Point, N.J.

Where is Judge Judy? In 22 minutes, she could have solved the whole Lewinsky matter!
Howard Tucker, New York City

I have to say this was one of your best issues yet. I sat down and actually read it from cover to cover.
Lesile Quakenbush, Bellevue, Mich.

Buddy
I have read PEOPLE for many years and usually enjoy every issue, but I thought your four-page photo story about the President's dog was absolutely ridiculous. Who cares?
Susan Letourneau, Whittier, Calif.

Buddy, the Photo-Op Dog, proves the old adage: No matter how low a man gets, there's always a woman and a dog that'll love him.
Nayon Scogin, San Angelo, Texas

Picks & Pans
I was angered to find Tori Amos in your Worst of Song category. Saying her lyrics are pretentious is stepping over the line. I'm sorry if they are not as insightful as those of the Spice Girls or the Backstreet Boys, but they are from her soul and are some of the best-written lyrics in the last few years. Obviously they were too intelligent for you to understand.
Joseph Cavanaugh, Waterbury, Conn.

I only have one question regarding your placement of Aerosmith's "A Little South of Sanity" on the Worst of Song list: What are you smoking?
Angela Hamilton, Toronto
We don't smoke.—ED.

Tributes
How could you forget Harry Caray? Holy cow!
Nicky Seymour, Lake Villa, Ill.

Could you find no one who would pay tribute to Frankie Yankovic? Every summer between the mid-'40s to the mid-'60s, my generation danced to his "squeeze-box" music, following him from town to town on Minnesota's Iron Range as he made his annual polka junket.
Bob Holter, Houston

Enjoyed your 25 Most Intriguing issue, but to me the best part was the Tributes. All those wonderful people gone. All those great memories. Read them all. Laughed and smiled while tears kept rolling down. Thank you! Jay Kashkin, Monterey Park, Calif.

Mailbag
How magnanimous of you to allow Shirley L. Phelps-Roper, attorney, mother and God-fearing individual, to rebut those letters that "scourged" her for holding an anti-homosexual picket sign outside the funeral of Matthew Shepard. There are always two sides to a story, and her explanation of her beliefs confirms mine: that this world is full of educated idiots lacking two very basic intelligence traits: common sense and compassion. I just shudder when I think there are nine more like her back home.
Sue Ring, Lombard, Ill.

I suggest Mrs. Phelps-Roper think about how she would have felt if one of her nine happy and God-fearing children was murdered in cold blood. How would it feel to grieve for the death of a child while religious zealots picketed the funeral?
Jane A. Wilkins, Salt Lake City

I am a 28-year-old gay male and still have yet to receive my "homosexual agenda." I guess there is a mix-up at headquarters. I wonder if Shirley L. Phelps-Roper could send me her copy?
Mike Ceceri, Brockton, Mass.