07/02/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT
As John Belushi's (PEOPLE, June 11) brother-in-law, as well as his friend of 15 years, I share my sister Judy's disappointment in Bob Woodward's portrait of John's losing battle with drugs. What doesn't come through is that there were two Johns: the one in trouble with drugs and the one who fought against them. I'm afraid the book gives the impression that only his character Bluto lived in John those last years. I saw the other man and understood why my sister stayed and fought this problem with him. I'm sorry they lost.
San Rafael, Calif.
The truth often hurts, and never more so than when one sees it in cold print. I have read Bob Woodward's Wired: the Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi and found the objections of Belushi's widow, Judy Jacklin, mostly unfounded. Throughout the book Woodward stresses that people genuinely liked Belushi and gives examples of his loyal and long-lasting friendships. However, as a journalist he also stuck to the facts—ugly as they sometimes were.
I'm not much of a fan letter writer, but I always wanted to tell John Belushi that he had inspired me. I draw cartoons and strive for success—I hope I have some of John's determination. A great talent is gone.
I can understand a reporter's fascination with the sordid side of the drug culture. Anyone looking in from the outside can only see it as a deep, dark abyss. But my heart goes out to Judy Jacklin for the frustration and sadness she feels about the one-sided representation of John in Wired. I have been on both sides of the problem. Experimenting with drugs was a rite of passage for many of my generation. I know I was lucky to escape with my life. But I have had to stand by and watch my husband and friends fight never-ending battles with cocaine. Addicts are confused, tormented souls, but they are also people with jobs, families who love them and, sometimes, prominent positions in the community. What makes the situation even more difficult is that they are loved for the very vulnerability and imperfections that make the addictive personality so complex. There was quite a story to be told here, but Bob Woodward missed the mark. There is so much more to the problem than a simple gluttony for drugs. Hats off to Judy Jacklin for her courage in sharing a story that needed to be told.
I commend Leonard Nimoy on his feature directorial debut, Star Trek III. The original TV series was an exception to the rule that American television has little to say. Human relationships were often the subject of the very best episodes, and their message was clear: With the help of other people, personal conflicts could be overcome. The human spirit remained undaunted. Mr. Nimoy managed to recapture the spirit of the original program by returning to a story line that focused on the relationships of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
East Stroudsburg, Pa.
Thank you for opening some eyes and ears to the wonderful music of Olivia Records. I have been buying their albums for years. They have proved that women can make it as singers, songwriters, engineers and producers.
I was touched by the article about the heroes of D-Day. I had not been born when these men and their buddies fought so courageously on the beaches of Normandy. I now know that I owe them a huge debt of gratitude and understand more deeply why America is the "home of the brave."
If D-Day occurred today, we would be in bad shape. The media would already have informed the enemy that we were on the way. The House and the Senate would be trying to cut off funds while debating whether we should invade. The men on the battlefield would not be allowed to sing Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition because the ACLU had filed a lawsuit complaining that they were violating the principle of separation of church and state. Somebody else would have objected to raising the flag. In 40 years our freedoms have slowly been taken away by a handful of people. America, wake up.
I enjoyed James McBride's article "The Glove Comes Off as Michael Goes to Work." It was well written and gave us a glimpse of the hard work and discipline that go into making a stage performance that looks fresh and natural. However, you said that "the subject of Michael's first rehearsal was, fittingly enough, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' from his Off the Wall solo LP." Not true. The cut is from Thriller.
N. Ellen Mullen
St. Augustine, Fla.
I am appalled! You missed the point of Gloria Steinem's 50 years when the reporter you sent to her birthday party made comments about the weight of her guest Phyllis George Brown. Honestly, have you ever read that a "stout, heavily tweeded Henry Kissinger swept into the room?" The tradition of sexist weight-watching is a major cause of anorexia and bulimia. Ms. Steinem fights against taking women at face value.
Rosa W. Hood Ruffino
Abita Springs, La.