07/06/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT
Alan Alda (PEOPLE, June 15) is admired, envied and adored because he has managed to grow up, not just older. We should all age so gracefully. And enjoy it so much.
Suzanne Somers, Kate Jackson, Far-rah Fawcett and Alan Alda are all "names" I had never heard of before seeing them on TV. With the exception of Alda, I've felt cheated when they decided to move on to new heights, bigger pay, or just to "grow" as I've often heard it put. However, Alan Alda really has grown—outside of M*A*S*H as well as with the show itself.
Yolanda C. Perez
So? For us Alan Alda fans who were working and unable to watch Donahue, what's the answer to the question, "What are you absolutely lousy at?"
Santa Ana, Calif.
In response, Alda cites wife Arlene's complaint that when he's looking in the refrigerator for the mustard, "I'm suddenly struck blind." Even with precise directions, Arlene adds, "I have to come and find it for him."—ED.
Far be it from me to be the dog to bite Alan Alda. I have followed his work for years and feel he has great talent as well as moral integrity. But I choked on a paragraph in your story that spoke of his work for women's liberation. While I don't doubt the truth of his refusal of scripts that are hostile to women, some of those for M*A*S*H are the most blatantly sexist on television. Only the talent of the actors and touching humanity of the stories make the show palatable. I hope Alda will use his influence to bring scripts to the show that treat women fairly and lend dignity to the nursing profession.
It is apparent that there are very few people making an effort to help continue the existence of our society, let alone improve it. But what if the reported two to five million "survivalists" were to channel their effort, time and money into solving our present-day problems? Perhaps then they would not ever have to face a doomsday.
If America were attacked by the Communists or hit in a nuclear war, I would not want to be around to see the end result. I cannot understand the survivalists' reasons for wanting to live an underground existence of fear and death after mankind and nature have been destroyed. But then I feel safe. I live in Brooklyn, and if we were attacked I would go down into the subways. Nuclear waste could not penetrate the pollution and stench, and the Communists couldn't afford the new fares.
New York City
Your article about the Byerly supermarkets in Minneapolis brought tears to my eyes. Since moving from Minnesota I have longed for a store that would even come close. Oh, how sweet it was!
Geri A. Lorensen
Missouri City, Texas
You state that the average Byerly's shopper spends $19 per visit—$7 more than in other markets. Recently, after finishing the family shopping (I spent $46), I checked 72 other buyers and the amount each spent. The average was $27.72. Your figures must be wrong. What you say is average—$12 worth of groceries—would fit in the glove compartment of my car. Please check your checker.
Dr. Franklin Ashley
Your article on cosmetic surgery was interesting, but what a shame that only the rich can stay young this way. We middle-class people like to look good and have firm breasts, little noses and tight tummies too. Alas, my kids need a lot of dental work this year. I guess I will just have to grow old gracefully—and saggily.
Phyllis Diller's remark in your story about plastic surgery that "sometimes God goofs, He made the Elephant Man too," is shallow and unfeeling. As one who suffers from the same disease as the so-called Elephant Man, John Merrick, I've had to spend my entire life explaining my disfigurement to people. Comments such as Phyllis Diller's don't help.
I would like to respond to the negative things said about Faye Dunaway in connection with the making of Mommie Dearest. I worked with Miss Dunaway in this film, and found her to be a pro of the first order. Not only did she fulfill the role of Joan Crawford to the extent that it spooked me, she also made sure that everything was just right for her fellow actors. I would work with her anytime or place.
Miss Nunn plays Joan Crawford's housekeeper in the movie.—ED.
Your article by Virl Osmond was great! I am 22 and have been deaf for over a year. What he said about how our weakness just requires us to work a little harder and a little longer is true. Reading his story makes me want to try just that much more.
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Thank you for Virl Osmond's story on coping with his hearing loss. When we were first told our 2½-year-old son Jason was hearing handicapped, we felt helpless. But our feelings didn't compare to the frustrations Jason himself was experiencing because he couldn't communicate with us. However, with help, our son, who is now 4, is communicating well with sign language and can hear somewhat with the assistance of a hearing aid. We are trying to let Jason grow and be himself but sometimes it is hard because, as parents, we feel the need to protect him. Virl's article has given me a new reassurance that Jason too will find his own special place in life.