updated 07/18/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/18/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
I have always liked and respected Princess Diana, but I was shocked to read that she wouldn't be with Prince William (PEOPLE, June 27) on his birthday. I hope that in the future her family comes before business and fame.
Wasn't there anyone in our own country who deserved a cover story more than a 1-year-old foreigner?
Mrs. Jon Minkebige
Reading your article on Judge Richard Fitzgerald, I felt like standing up and cheering. But while this great judge is handing out stiff sentences designed to keep repeat offenders off the street, our benevolent state government has been releasing thousands of prisoners early because of overcrowding.
Judge Richard Fitzgerald, the man nicknamed Father Time for his efficiency in passing out lengthy prison terms, would be better employed hearing civil rights cases. And besides, if punishment would prevent crime, blacks would now be saints.
As I blossomed into my teen years, my skin blossomed into full-blown cystic acne. Some of the treatments were painful, but the physical pain could never compare to the emotional pain of ostracism. In your article, Patty Fischer said, "Death was always on my mind." To me at 15, death seemed the answer. I took a bottle of sleeping pills into my bedroom and locked the door. I didn't write a suicide note because I knew that my parents would know why I did it. When I began to feel nauseous I prayed to God not to let me throw up, but I did. Over the next 10 years I made mistake after mistake in my personal life because I had no self-confidence. By the grace of God, I met and married a man who looked through my acne, not at it. Then last September I began taking Accutane, and by February my acne was cured. Since then I've been busy peeling away a shell of 14 years of insecurity and shyness.
Linda Ellerbee has guts, and I admire her for not compromising. A few years ago when I was an anchor for local TV news, the big bosses were afraid I'd offend not only viewers but, God forbid, advertisers. My controversial career was brief because I couldn't transform myself into an anchor zombie. The management spent way too much time worrying about my long, unmanageable hair and what I would say next. I'm glad NBC, not known for flamboyance, decided to showcase Linda Ellerbee in a delightful new show and, most important, to let Linda be Linda.
Martha Cole Davis
Falls Church, Va.
Marty Davis, the wife of Congressman Robert W. Davis (R-Mich.), worked for Station WNEM in Flint, Mich.
Hasn't anyone noticed that Linda Ellerbee's news intros are ponderous, pretentious, often unclear and usually unnecessary?
Love Boat in China
It seems that Erin Moran, Lee Majors, John Forsythe and company have everything. Everything, that is, except taste, curiosity and sensitivity to another culture. Americans already have a reputation abroad for shallowness and vulgar disregard of anything that differs from their life-style.
Canoga Park, Calif.
While I sympathize with the fact that her long marriage has ended because of another woman, I wonder if Patricia Neal remembers the other side of the coin when she was the other woman. The difference was that, in that case, the marriage of Gary and Rocky Cooper somehow remained intact.
When Miss Neal was in her early 20s, before she married, it was widely reported that she was involved with Gary Cooper. Some years later she reflected, "I was very much in love with him. But I got myself into a sticky mess which couldn't work, didn't work, and never should have worked. I'm sorry for any damage that was done—and I'm sure there was. You always think no one is going to get hurt, but someone always does—lots of people."
I've been a fan of Patricia Neal's for years and have followed all of her trials and her remarkable recoveries. All I can say is it's his loss, not hers.
Joan A. Ladden
Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
I was amazed that PEOPLE used the North Salem, N.Y. double-suicide tragedy as an eye-catcher in its story on teen suicide. Although the article addresses a widespread problem, it does not help the people involved to open a magazine and feel the loss and pain all over again.
Donna Mullen Lober
Key West, Fla.
I appreciated the article on teen suicide because it helped me understand better three suicides and one unsuccessful attempt that occurred in our school district this past school year.
I don't think that we nonsmokers have much to fear from Bob Carli's Smokers' Club. Its members will be short-lived, which will soon improve air quality for the rest of us.
I'm tired of having a guilt trip hung on me every time I light up. Smoking is a part of the life-style I want until I die of tobacco addiction, traffic accident, atomic war or old age. To all you complaining nonsmokers: It's a matter of survival of the fittest.