updated 11/05/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/05/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
I grew up with Gidget and Sister Bertrille. I've kept growing with the likes of Norma Rae and Edna Spalding. Thank you, Sally (PEOPLE, Oct. 15), for all the fun, tears, laughs and triumphs.
Myrna J. Willerton
What a great quotation from Sally Field, who said that as a working mom "you don't alleviate guilt. You just drive faster and make more lists." As the working mother of two, I hear you loud and clear.
Please tell Sally Field to stop being so hard on herself for having starred in Gidget. This 32-year-old remembers that show with great fondness. I can't even recall the name of any other show I watched when I was 14.
Johnson City, Tenn.
Rich, famous or otherwise, I was appalled at the casual attitude these celebrated parents have regarding the manner they chose to have children. Having been a bastard, carrying the terrible shame that went with it, I know it wasn't worth the pleasure my parents had in conceiving me. I wish people would do what I did when my girlfriend became pregnant—marry her.
When the poor have an illegitimate child, the baby is a bastard. When the rich and famous have one, it's called a love child. How nice for the rich and famous.
How curious that so many of the out-of-wedlock offspring you profiled have names beginning with the letter A: three Alexandras, an Aljosha and an Amir. One wonders how Nathaniel Hawthorne would have interpreted the article.
Illegitimate? What really makes the difference? Compare the smiles of a legitimate and an illegitimate child—they're no different. They both hold the joy of life.
Bernard and Odette Port
Your story on the Schatz murder case proved that our justice system has failed once again. David Port, the accused murderer, remains free while his parents are in jail for not testifying against him. How could two loving parents live with themselves after revealing information that might lead to the imprisonment of their son? It's strange that spouses don't have to testify against each other, but parents are expected or even forced to help convict their child. The judges in this case should consider what they would do if they were faced with the same situation.
St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
The story about the murder of Debora Sue Schatz sickened me. It is incomprehensible that the parents of her accused murderer, David Port, can live with themselves. David's stepmother, Odette, says she cannot testify because a "mother's instinct is to protect." It is also her duty to teach her children right from wrong. If David had stolen a package of chewing gum, she probably would have made him return it; yet she is willing to overlook a crime of the caliber of which he is accused. As far as I'm concerned, the Ports can stay in jail forever.
Picks & Pans
Your reviewer raked Punky Brewster over the coals. As the mother of two girls, ages 6 and 8, I have been thrilled to discover a show genuinely geared to young viewers. Too many of the programs allegedly created for children are frightening, violent or simply too deep for kids to understand. It has been a refreshing change to let my kids watch a show about a little girl learning to love and look forward to the future. What a shame you had to pan a show that helps me send them to bed with sweet dreams.
It is very nice to know that people can remain such good friends through everything, as Truman Capote and Jack Dunphy did. I have a friend very much like that. The clouds get heavy sometimes, but our feelings for each other see us through. May Mr. Capote rest in peace. I hope Mr. Dunphy is at peace, too, and I thank him for sharing close feelings between friends with us.
Having read your article about Geraldine Ferraro, I was appalled at the way in which Ms. Ferraro has been treated by some antiabortion demonstrators. As a "right-to-life" group member I was devastated to learn that some of our members chose to dramatize our stand on the abortion issue in such a cruel way. Yes, we do want others to hear and understand our view, but pointing an accusing finger at one individual will certainly not help our cause.
I enjoyed the chance to see Jim Britt's photographs of his daughters and their sisterhood. Looking through my old pictures, I can see the closeness my sister and I have shared over the years, and I'm now planning to make up an album of pictures to hold the memories of our growing up.
What a delightful surprise to open PEOPLE and see an article on Larry Bryggman a/k/a Dr. John Dixon of As the World Turns. He was the first boy I ever went steady with—I was in the eighth grade. And to think my parents said he would never amount to anything.
Sally Sherman Fry