My husband and I just returned from seeing Terms of Endearment (PEOPLE, Feb. 6) and found it very difficult to choose between the performances of Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger. Both deserve Oscars.
Brooklyn Park, Minn.
I rushed to see Terms of Endearment because of the fabulous reviews. That was a $4 mistake. I sat there thinking, "What am I doing watching this boring, dragging movie?" I did shed tears at the end, tears of joy because the credits were rolling.
F. Lee Clark
Ever since Debra Winger mastered the mechanical bull in Urban Cowboy, I've wanted to know more about this fine, refreshing actress. Now that she is getting so much exposure as a result of her work in Terms of Endearment, I wish I didn't know quite so much. Describing her as "fearsome" and "feverish" is a polite cover-up for arrogance and hotheadedness.
New York City
A director who had worked with many brilliant and difficult actors once said, "Show me an actor with no temperament, and I'll show you one with no talent." Miss Winger's talent is obvious.
Walter L. Sherfey
It is people like Janice Herbranson who make sure that our children are educated despite the low salaries that our teachers are paid. It is too bad that athletes and entertainers are paid millions, while those who have so much to do with the nation's future make as little as $6,300 a year. Let the Mr. Ts and the John McEnroes teach our kids for a while. Bet they'd ask for a raise.
As a classroom teacher in a large city, I think that Janice Herbranson is terribly overpaid. Since she has only five students, her salary, per student, is a whopping $1,300. I teach 94 students; at that rate, my salary would be $120,000 a year. Let's hear about some real educators, not the novelties.
A teacher's take-home pay for one year here at the Adult Learning Center, part of the Albany City School District, is less than $11,000. The school year is 12 months, there are no paid vacations, and a teacher who has worked for 19 years makes less than a first-year teacher in other district schools. We have labored under these conditions for so long because we felt that we were doing something to aid the undereducated, the illiterate and the unemployed. In 1980 alone, 260 general education diplomas were achieved by our students, and more than 400 students were helped to get off welfare and find meaningful employment. Imagine the hundreds of thousands of tax dollars saved in just that one year. As Janice Herbranson said, "If the people here were loaded and I was the lowest paid, I wouldn't laugh." The three of us, who have worked at the ALC for a cumulative 52 years, are no longer laughing.
Barbara Benware Burt
John Clark Gable
As a longtime fan of Clark Gable, I had often thought how tragic it was that his son never had a chance to know him. After reading your article about John Gable, I now see that the real tragedy is that Mr. G never had the privilege of knowing his son.
I am an American. I am Jewish. I am a husband. I am a father. I am an executive. I am a home owner. I am a taxpayer. I am your neighbor, your associate, your friend. I am not "spacey," "eccentric" or a member of a cult. I am a meditator and a sidha, a practitioner of yoga and a lover of peace. Please don't let uninformed and unenlightened reporting make me and several million other meditators into something we're not.
Costa Mesa, Calif.
It is hard to believe that such a negative and petty story could be written about so positive an occasion as the Maharishi's bringing 7,000 people together to meditate for peace. Any 7,000 people making an effort for peace should be great news. Your article may reflect the biggest reason that there is so much unrest in the world—war is more exciting.
Picks & Pans
I watched the last episode of Little House on the Prairie this week and felt sad as I watched the citizens of Walnut Grove blow up their town. I had watched the show since it started, and I'm going to miss it.
Jennie De Falco
In your story, Bijan Pakzad, the owner of the chic Beverly Hills boutique, said, "I am sorry but I cannot please people with taste and no money." A man who is selling an $11,500 suit featuring 24-karat pinstripes is clearly catering to customers with money and no taste.
Who would need a .38-caliber Colt revolver—with gold inlay, a mink pouch and a Baccarat crystal case—that "fires real bullets?" On Jan. 13 I buried the father of my two children. He was not a victim of random violence but of the impulsive act of a friend and colleague. The friend bought the gun with a VISA card on his lunch hour and used it, first on my husband and then on himself. Please support handgun control.
Boca Raton, Fla.