updated 04/18/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/18/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Thorn Birds
Bravo to the cast and crew of The Thorn Birds (PEOPLE, March 28). You did the impossible, which was to make a film as good as, or perhaps even better than, the book.
Dawn Stinchcomb
Corbin, Ky.

For six years we looked forward to the film version of The Thorn Birds. Thanks to PEOPLE'S mood setter, we got to worry about whether Ralph and Meggie were slurping during their love scenes while hiding microphones in their armpits. You surpassed yourself.
Jimmie Nelson
Austin, Texas

Mobile home contest
Those three young men sitting perched under a billboard had a lot of guts and determination. They should all receive mobile homes, and the multimillionaire promoter of the competition could well afford it. If they were smart, they would have trusted each other and all come down at the same time.
Norma Breyer
Houghton Lake, Mich.

David Marks
My family firmly believes that my grandmother died as a result of a beating she received in a private nursing home in Northern California. Because of the unwillingness of doctors, police and employees of the home to get involved, nothing was done. I strongly support David Marks' efforts. After all, the elderly may not have much future, but they are our key to the past and should be cherished and preserved, not swept under the rug of indifference.
Name withheld
Harahan, La.

As an employee of a very progressive nursing home, I see the scared faces of families who must place their relatives in nursing homes. The horrors they've read about are plainly visible. Reassurances and promises just aren't enough. I realize the good that people like David Marks are doing in exposing the abuse in some homes, but how many stories do you read about fine nursing homes like mine that are truly home to countless elderly?
Theresa Steglinski, R.N.
Norridge, Ill.

Bumper stickers
Best bumper sticker I've seen lately: "Jane Wyman Was Right."
Barbara Kozel

Consider: "Buy American, the Job You Save May Be Your Own!"
Paul R. Schack
Grand Rapids, Mich.

My favorite: "God Loves You and I'm Trying."
Dorothy Jean Graves
Kansas City, Mo.

Gary Coleman
The article on Gary Coleman was of special interest to me because I, too, had a kidney transplant. It failed after a year and a half. I'm grateful for that time, although losing a transplant is emotionally painful: It's almost like losing a baby. I am now hooked up to a kidney machine 13 hours a week. I sympathize with Gary's plight, of course, but I have found that a kidney transplant isn't everything. I'm not ruling out another one, but I'm not that anxious about it.
Ken Murray
Los Angeles

Bo Gritz
I have watched the news reports on Bo Gritz's attempts to rescue our POWs with great interest. He has been accused of being a melodramatic egomaniac. But if he had been successful, we would be giving him medals and calling him a hero.
Melanie Johnson
Salt Lake City

Slam dancing
PEOPLE has chosen to look only at the surface grotesqueries of hardcore punk. It is true that many punk groups merely encourage the inanity of slamming, but all over the country there are bands whose first concern is making valid and interesting music, not knocking about on the dance floor. What if the Beatles had been remembered only for inspiring mob scenes and teen hysteria?
Tim Sommer
New York City

Thanks for printing one of the few articles on hardcore punk rock that weren't just sensationalistic, attempting to make punks out as crazy, violent weirdos good only for a laugh. I appreciate your looking at the subject with an open mind.
Justina Fader

James Michener
James Michener has failed to see that the armadillo is a respected figure in Texas folklore. He is just another know-it-all Yankee who has written one more half-baked novel about our way of life and will stagger under his royalties all the way to the bank.
Cathy Patman
Temple, Texas

I was very upset by Gayla Collins' letter criticizing Richard Jahnke's mother for saying that, after her son had killed her husband, she was planning to live life "to the hilt." I fear Collins is not alone in her ignorance. A mother does not "allow" her husband to torture her children; most often she is also abused and too scared that, if she interferes, he will kill her or the kids. She is hypnotized by fear. My mother, my four sisters and I were mentally tortured and physically abused for 13 years. After many years of hating my mother, I now realize she couldn't do anything. She finally got free, and her freedom is her reward.
Name withheld
Whittier, Calif.

DON WILSON, the subject of our April 11 story about the right to die, succumbed to cancer on March 31. His family was with him in the hospice through the last night. "We would not change one thing we did," said son Curtis. "It was perfect."

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