04/12/1982 at 01:00 AM EST
With the way of the world today, it is tragic that we should lose a gifted entertainer like John Belushi (PEOPLE, March 22) who could make us laugh and forget about life's troubles for a while. It's sad that he recklessly brought about his own death when he had so much to live for. The world is a little less funny and a little more somber now.
Jeanne P. Higgins
I lost my brother to a drug overdose six months ago, and I still think sometimes that the grief of being the one left behind is going to kill me. Worthless, useless deaths like my brother's and John's and thousands of others each year make me sick. I have a suggestion for drug users who feel a twinge of guilt once in a while. Pick up this issue and turn to the full-page photo of Dan Aykroyd leading the funeral procession. If you can look at this and imagine your parent or sister or brother in his place without letting it affect you, then a lot more is wrong with you than taking drugs. This was a good, nonexploitive article, and I thank you for publishing it.
Calling John Belushi's death "tragic" was a poor choice of words. "Stupid" would have been more appropriate. Why, when a star dies in this way, is it any different?
As the sister of a 10-year-old boy who died with needle marks of a different kind on his arms, the result of vain attempts to keep him alive when he had an incurable disease, I feel compelled to comment on John Belushi's death. It sickens me when I think of all the people who are enduring the sheer torture of a terminal illness and would gladly trade their sick bodies for the one that Belushi so carelessly threw away.
Royal Oak, Mich.
The really tragic thing about John Belushi's untimely death is that a year or so from now, PEOPLE will have on its cover some other celebrity, once full of promise, who didn't learn.
Linda A. Baldwin
Sen. Bob Packwood
How nice that Sen. Bob Packwood-could say to his wife, "Let's adopt a baby," and be able to do so. It is nearly impossible to adopt healthy newborn babies today because they're being destroyed by abortions. Now Pack-wood strongly advocates the right to abortion. I'm sure glad that I was adopted before abortions became legal. Otherwise I might not have made it here!
Thank God for Senator Packwood and his outspokenness. President Reagan obviously thinks that the majority of people on welfare are undeserving cheats, and so he has punished everyone who was receiving federal help. Instead of weeding out "bad apples" or toughening welfare regulations, he has made blanket cuts that are ruining the lives of many decent people and their children. Where they barely made it before, they are now forced to live at true poverty levels. He doesn't realize how many he's hurting. God bless you for trying, Senator Packwood.
La Puente, Calif.
Thanks so much for your article on the "queen of comedy." I have always admired Carol Burnett, not only for her extraordinary talent but also for her strength and character. Even during her hard times, she always helped us to feel good about life and about ourselves by making us laugh. I'm glad that her life on Maui is "too good to be true." Anyone who brings that much joy into other people's lives deserves a little in her own.
Dr. Alan Trounson
As a woman who has been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for three years, it is difficult for me to accept that anyone would hotly debate the morality of in vitro fertilization or any other method that might enable a couple to achieve parenthood. I wonder if the people who engage in this debate don't already have several children of their own. My husband and I applaud Dr. Trounson for his research and PEOPLE for its fine reporting on his work. This gives us hope.
The majority of our problems today stem from overpopulation. I am sick and tired of hearing about artificial insemination when there are so many starving, homeless children already.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Oak Ridge Boys
The Picks & Pans critic who called the Oak Ridge Boys' rendition of Up on Cripple Creek an "exercise in tedium" has obviously never been to one of their concerts. And the use of the word "humdrum" to describe their new album is just plain laughable. The excitement that the Oaks generate onstage carries clear to the back of the theater, out the door and into the street. It's hard to transfer that same feeling into a record, but I feel the Oak Ridge Boys do just that. I've never written to a critic before, but I felt that someone ought to speak up in defense of four very talented gentlemen.
Tanya Lynn Hays
In Judith Russell's letter, she asks: How can Ted Kennedy have the "audacity" to say that he speaks "for the middle-income family, for the working man and woman" when he is so wealthy? Does your doctor have to have your disease to understand it and help you? A wealthy man can learn, through caring, study and experience, to speak for and help all the people of his country. Franklin D. Roosevelt, also a wealthy man, did more for middle-and working-class people than any other President before or since.
Walnut Creek, Calif.