The article on David (PEOPLE, Oct. 29) was overwhelming. I found myself both crying and chuckling as I read. As the mother of a hemophiliac son, I could relate to some of the feelings felt by David's family. He definitely was a loving, sensitive, intelligent and courageous boy. I will remember him and his strong, supportive family in my heart always. And to David's mother, Carol Ann: I want to thank you for sharing such a tender story and to say that I know how proud you must be to have had David as your son.
Brenda L. Bennett
Isn't it amazing how parents and children can overcome insurmountable obstacles and transform them into beautiful experiences? What love in this story! My husband and I still look back at our son's premature birth and remember with fear and anxiety when our son came home on a monitor to prevent sudden infant death. Reading Carol Ann's account reaffirms how blessed we truly are. Thank you for sharing this warm story.
I wish every person in this country who is busy crying out against capital punishment would take a few minutes to think about the final moments—not of the killer, but of the victim. It is difficult to imagine the terror and pain Velma Barfield caused. Imagine a loved one being slowly and painfully poisoned, and then think of at least one good reason why someone like Barfield should be spared.
Baton Rouge, La.
It's absolutely wonderful that Prince Charles is spending more time with his children and less on public appearances. I would choose to be represented by a man who realizes that parental care and guidance make a difference in a child's character and psychological well-being. As a truly involved father, he is making a statement worthy of royalty.
Eliza Garrett Simons
Santa Monica, Calif.
I don't understand why women insisted on joining the Jaycees. Why couldn't they be content with their own organization? I think men deserve their own club. What's the big deal? I am a member of a women's club in my town, and I wouldn't want men there; besides, they wouldn't enjoy our fashion shows and infant-care classes. Let the men have their fun. What the Zilwaukee, Mich. Jaycees should have done was let the women join them and then at the next meeting play strip poker.
Let the Jaycees burn their banners and bylaws. I applaud the court for recognizing discrimination in a civic organization where there is great opportunity for men and women to work as equal partners. As a dutiful member of the female branch of the Jaycees I put on an apron and cooked and cleaned up for the many club dinners and inter-group gatherings, took the booth shifts that the men were unable to work, was invited to conventions only to be sent to the "ladies' corner" while the men talked "real business," and then did cleanup duty again. We were treated as little more than second-class housekeepers.
Let's hear it for the American male, epitomized by the Jaycees of Zilwaukee. My only question: Why didn't they just go down and hang out at the local bar to begin with?
Rebecca M. Smith
Picks & Pans
Did your critic Peter Travers actually view Body Double before reviewing it? This film was hardly a "witty, suspenseful, dazzlingly erotic intrigue." Director Brian De Palma went for cheap laughs and even cheaper sex. The makeup of the mystery Indian was so overdone that it did away with the mystery. By the end we were sitting there laughing with the rest of the audience at this poorly made horror-porn movie. If "the film belongs to De Palma"—he can keep it!
Susan & Matthew Reynolds
Rarely does someone come along who has the remarkable combination of handsomeness, talent and zest for life that Jon-Erik Hexum had. With all that, he was still a hardworking, decent and downright likable person. He was truly a credit to his mother Gretha's upbringing.
When I was asked how I could possibly mourn the death of a man who was "old enough to know better than to play with guns," I replied that I was mourning the death of a gifted actor. As one who enjoyed his acting, I will miss him.
Las Cruces, N.Mex.
Perhaps a senseless, tragic shooting like the one that ended the promising career and life of actor Jon-Erik Hexum will help to do away with the glamorous image of the handgun and its all-too-frequent association with virility.
After Jon-Erik died, his mother, Gretha, donated his heart, corneas and kidneys so that others might live. Those recipients can never repay the kindness and generosity of this grieving mother, nor can they restore her son—or can they, in some part? Jon-Erik has given them a chance to go on living and, maybe in some manner, benefit another human being. I carry an organ-donor card stating that my heart and liver should be used in the event of my death. Why not my kidney? I'm partial to it—a young gentleman from Mississippi gave me this gift of life 14 months ago. I wish to thank his family, Mrs. Hexum and others like them. Your loved ones continue to live through us. God bless them and you; we certainly do.
New Port Richey, Fla.