"He'll always be that one degree higher," says Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr. of his father (PEOPLE, June 18). What a tribute to admire someone that way. My father was not as famous, but certainly he was as well-respected.
Linda J. Kelley
Why don't you show the other side of the coin? I am sure there are a number of offspring who are unable to cope with "the famous father syndrome" and resort to suicide or some other means of escape. It isn't an easy job to find one's own identity and happiness. Once the stigma is there, it's a difficult barrier to break.
Mrs. William Pickering
Simi Valley, Calif.
You say Carl Reiner "refused to allow his son to read for a role in his movie Enter Laughing." But Rob did appear in the film. He was one of the young men auditioning for a role at José Ferrer's Depression theater.
Explains Carl Reiner: "Well, after taking a firm stand against nepotism, my co-writer, Joe Stein, said he wanted his kid in the audition scene. I told him that that was nepotism. He said, 'Damn right!' So I said, 'If you're going to put your kid in that scene then I'm going to put my kid in that scene.' And I did. Nepotism isn't so bad after all."
It is good to see there are those who continue with a consistent concern for human rights and dignity and have not forsaken that cause regardless of who violates it. Unfortunately, many of us active in the '60s and '70s have focused too much on ourselves during the "me" years.
William W. Bushing
When it is "hip" to be against the atrocities that are again occurring in Vietnam, I am sure J. Fonda, W. Kunstler, etc. will "take up the cross." Until then the struggle for human rights will go on with a very beautiful human in the lead.
Fond du Lac, Wis.
What a surprise to find an article on my favorite singer, "The Big O." So many articles I've read on him in the past 23 years (I've been a fan since age 11) have dwelled on the tragedies in his life. But in the words of Roy's songs, "It's over, it's over." There's only one way for him to go—up! Thanks to you for seeing that.
Barbara Gordon is to be commended for warning unsuspecting others away from the jagged reefs where her ship wrecked (cavalierly captained by her psychiatrist). Unfortunately, she is still wrong about the value of Valium to psychotherapy. As an adjunct to the treatment of emotional distress, Valium is not only without value, it is an insidiously addicting preventer of any sort of problem solution or personal growth.
Allan D. Simmons, Ph.D.
Having had tranquilizers pushed on me by several dozen physicians, including my own husband, because of family stress situations, I know what Barbara Gordon went through. Worse, however, is that doctors are still unconvinced of the dangers. Last summer, when I appealed for help to "get off pills," three different physicians insisted the pills were harmless and "addiction is all in one's mind." I finally did it myself, though I still haven't gone off totally.
As a police officer, I normally would not condone a vigilante group such as the "Magnificent 13." However, as a woman and therefore a possible target for muggers and rapists, I give these young men a resounding thank-you.
Christine J. Myers
East Hartford, Conn.
I still won't take the N.Y.C. subway.
Picks & Pans
On the day I read your article (June 11) saying that many of the restaurants on Fisherman's Wharf "don't serve fresh fish," I went into the kitchen of my restaurant in the heart of the wharf. There I found we had 10 items of fresh fish on the menu for that day: salmon, rex sole, sand dabs, filet of sole, crab, petrale, red snapper, sea bass, clams and oysters. Fresh fish has always been available in quantity in the majority of wharf restaurants.
Lucien A. Sabella
PEOPLE, you helped me survive an hour and 45 minutes on a gas line.
West Orange, N.J.