updated 04/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
No matter what sort of father or husband Bing Crosby (PEOPLE, March 21) was, nothing can detract from the voice and the acting skills that made him one of America's most beloved entertainers. But the fact that he belonged to the masses doesn't mean that Der Bingle wasn't human. I applaud son Gary for having the gumption to share his side of the man.
Timothy A. Morgereth
Gary Crosby could never accept the fact that he couldn't tie his father's shoelaces when it came to talent. And to write the book after Bing died was despicable. Phil Harris hit the nail on the head when he said of the Crosby kids, "I don't know a one of them who works." A day's work would probably kill them. Rest in peace, Bing, you earned it.
West Hempstead, N.Y.
Thank heavens another sufferer of child abuse has had the guts to tell of his experience. It is attitudes like those of Phil Harris—"I don't think a man can sing like he did and have as many people love him as he did and be too bad"—that allow child abusers to roam free. And Kathryn Crosby's statement, "What comes out on film is what is within the actor," is almost laughable. Doesn't she realize that actors get paid for acting, and the better the actor the more convincing are the roles he plays? Bing and thousands of seemingly perfect parents are not always what they appear.
I found it quite ironic that your stories on celebrities helping abused children and on the Crosby boys appeared in the same issue. I wonder if the abused children at MacLaren Hall have had to put up with the additional traumas of 20-room mansions, trust funds, private schools, etc. Maybe if the Crosby brothers would stop wallowing in filth, beer and self-pity, they could use their experiences to help kids in the same position now that they supposedly once were in themselves.
I have to make a small correction in your story about "the costliest clothes in the world." Although Bijan of Beverly Hills flattered me by naming me to their Best Dressed List, I am not a Bijan shopper. As a matter of fact, I've never bought anything there. There's something in me that rebels at paying $1,500 for a suit—even if it comes with two pairs of pants.
Your article on clothesaholics was responsible for changing my entire outlook. Being a mother of a child who was voted "best dressed in the eighth grade," I had little knowledge of true decadence. My son's clothes, Polos, purchased at the discount store, are no match for the people portrayed in your article. How can a boy try to compete with Rick James and Arndt Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach? How can I hold my head up at Little League games in Gloria Vanderbilts without hand-embroidered silk cowpaddies?
San Jose, Calif.
The Houston clothesaholic who devotes six rooms in her home to storing clothes makes a shocking contrast with the man who ended up in the poorhouse because he needed help to pay his rent of $120 a month. The inequity leaves me almost speechless—and furious at your lack of taste in running the two articles concurrently.
New York City
You should have put your story about clothesaholics right next to your story about the poorhouse. But then the contrast might have been distressing for the wealthy who might accidentally have caught a glimpse of the real world..
It is too bad that California can't afford to send all its welfare recipients to local Hiltons to live. And isn't it terrible that the residents of the Bannon Street poorhouse are forced to work seven whole days a month! I will worry about this again next Friday when, after working a 40-hour week, I pick up my paycheck and see a good hunk gone to pay for programs like Bannon Street.
Bravo for Sacramento County! As a former recipient of financial aid from that county, I can say in no uncertain terms that such a poorhouse should have been instituted years ago. Had I been faced with the prospect of being sent to one, I would have doubled my efforts to find a job instead of taking the easy way out.
Vicki Lawrence feels she "got the shaft" on The Carol Burnett Show because she was making only $800 a week. A lot of unemployed people like myself would call it a blessing from heaven if we were offered a job making $800 a month.
As the mother of the child who plays John Ross Ewing III, I was saddened to hear that Linda Gray and her husband are splitting up. Linda is a loving mother and a genuinely nice lady who has made my child happy and content on the set. She is tugged in many different directions, yet I've never seen her lose her pleasant disposition.
It occurs to me that being featured in PEOPLE must be the kiss of death for a relationship. Your track record is terrible. No sooner do we read about these apparently happy couples and their special lives than we read about their split—Joan Collins and now Linda Gray. My marriage is happy and interesting, so please don't write about it in your magazine!