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updated 03/07/1983 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/07/1983 01:00AM

Winds of War
During Winds of War (PEOPLE, Feb. 14) I felt married to the TV and feared accepting dinner invitations lest we linger over dessert. Mitchum was marvelous. They don't make 'em like that anymore. And AM MacGraw has outgrown her nostril twitching. But the best performance was turned in by Herman Wouk. A week well spent.
Sue Bertram
Westlake Village, Calif.

What bothers me is that $40 million didn't buy a better cast. Mitchum, at 65, is too old for the part. Polly Bergen has never learned to speak or move as an actress should. And, while MacGraw is an authentic beauty, she expresses emotion in only two ways—with her wrinkly little nose or her brave, trembly lip.
Philip Schacca
West Hempstead, N.Y.

Remember the days when a thousand-page novel like Gone With the Wind could be translated into a classic movie in under four hours' running time? What happened to the fabulous screenwriters of yesteryear?
Harlan C. Stephens
New York City

AIDS
Our four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who has leukemia, has been on chemotherapy for two years, and she has responded wonderfully to the care of the staff at the University of California Hospital in San Francisco. Last spring, when she had a blood transfusion, we should not have had to worry that she might contract AIDS. If it would be possible to eliminate even one fear simply by asking gays not to donate blood, we feel they should understand and allow us at least that much compassion.
Milo and Cynthia Hoovler
Nice, Calif.

The fact that most people know little about AIDS makes the illness even more tragic. As a gay male with a close friend suffering from the disease, I am all too aware of its heartbreaking consequences. Isn't it sad that, for example, no telethon will ever raise money for research because of the homophobia in our society? Thank you for having the openness to tell Americans, straight and gay, about this disease.
Kevin Christopher
Jersey City, N.J.

Dorothy Lyman
Dorothy Lyman is a terrific actress and I would never presume to judge someone else's life-style, but my heart goes out to her children whom she sees "on occasional weekends."
Virginia Clark
Ferndale, Mich.

Shoot, baby! Opal Gardner may be tacky, trashy and vulgar, but honey, she must be doing something right. She's got a good kid, her own business and more than one man after her. Must be those glow-in-the-dark pants—and some good acting.
Linda A. Baldwin
Butler, N.J.

Kienast quints
What was the point of the Kienast story? We all have money problems right now, but some of us don't have quintuplets to advertise them. I know plenty of people facing financial ruin, but they don't get pages in PEOPLE.
L. Lee Mathison
Minneapolis

I assisted the photographer who shot the picture of the two-year-old quints that you printed. I remember being particularly impressed by their mother's resilience and calm in the face of such madness—seven children under five. She was an inspiration to me at the tender age of 16. Now that I'm married, own my own home, and have experienced some adult crises, my respect for the Kienast family has not diminished one iota.
Ann Withington Wojtal
Portland, Maine

Mel Gibson
Thanks, mates, for writing up such a beaut article on Mel Gibson. He deserves recognition from all over, not just Down Under.
G. Emma Strillan
Silver Spring, Md.

Janet Lynn
Like the skater Janet Lynn, I could not believe my strange symptoms were "all in my head"—constant joint pain, two-month headaches, hand tremors, frequent flu, mild depression—but I never suspected allergies. To me, allergies meant hay fever or rashes. Finally, through clinical ecology, the branch of medicine pioneered by Janet's Dr. Theron Randolph and others, I discovered my symptoms were caused by sensitivities to common chemicals like perfume, chlorine and cigarette smoke as well as many foods. Through proper management, I've regained my health, just as Janet has.
Penny McKee Keith
Arlington, Texas

Dr. Paul Keyes
In early periodontitis, surgery is easily avoided by a process called root planing, a thorough removal of bacteria from root surfaces. Surgery becomes necessary when all bacteria cannot be removed, but it should be performed only after factors such as age, medical history and emotional state have been carefully considered. However, once you have moderate to advanced bone loss and active infection, all the baking soda and peroxide in the world will not make your disease go away.
Ira S. Port, D.M.D.
Eatontown, N.J.

Just returned home today from a course on periodontal disease at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Picked up PEOPLE and read your timely article on Paul Keyes and his not-so-new treatment. Keyes is right on target when he treats this disease as a bacterial infection that must be monitored with a microscope. Your recipe for dental health will save many teeth.
Robert J. Praisner, D.D.S.
Chester, N.J.

Chatter
Doesn't the President owe the bartender in Boston 6¢? After all, according to the law effective Jan. 1, 1983, employees who are tipped must pay taxes on 8 percent of total sales.
Toni Welicki
Center Line, Mich.

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