As an African, I would like to express my profound gratitude to Senator Kennedy (PEOPLE, Jan. 28) and his children Kara and Teddy for sharing the gift of love with our Ethiopian brothers and sisters during their week-long visit to various famine camps at Christmas time. The Kennedys' labor of love is just what was needed at this precise moment when interest in the Ethiopian disaster seemed to be on the wane. It is sure to galvanize anew the conscience of people of good will in their commitment to the struggle against hunger and scarcity.
I have a funny feeling I will be hearing about a certain Massachusetts Senator's lifesaving trip to Ethiopia come, oh, I don't know, next presidential election? I was surprised to find that PEOPLE would use its powerful influence as a national magazine in such an unprofessional and biased manner. You have insulted your readers.
Sharon L. Gee
Your cover story is an example of responsible journalism at its finest. Senator Kennedy and his family cared enough about the plight of starving people to travel far from home to bring hope and consolation not just to the victims but also to the many volunteers who are giving of themselves so selflessly. PEOPLE, in turn, cared enough to publish the Senator's story so that those of us who cannot make the journey could be renewed in our resolve to do what we can to help.
Sr. Marie Conn, IHM
Being a Kennedy, the author of your article has no idea of what doing without means. Being a U.S. Senator, he should pay more attention to the homeless and suffering in his own backyard!
For many years I have had the privilege of living in one of the most bountiful agricultural areas in this nation. Tomatoes, lettuce, corn, rice, beef, poultry, citrus, grapes, you name it, it grows here, with such abundance it is a shame that anyone in the world is starving. But the reality is that our government regulates growers to a ridiculous point, controlling what and how much farmers grow by means of price supports and payments in kind. I feel that if we could get governments out of the food chain and put growing and distribution into the hands of farmers and relief agencies, there would be enough food for everyone.
Ann E. Cowan
Perhaps it was the starvation all about him that made Ted Kennedy look so embarrassingly over nourished.
Jerry B. Malone
As I scrape the leftovers from dinner into the garbage, I recall my mother saying, "Finish your food; there are people starving in other countries." My usual reply was, "Fine, put it in a box and mail it." How wise my mother was, and how sad and foolish I feel. I will donate my share—thanks for the eye-opener, Senator Kennedy.
Years ago, three of us, all girls, went to see Frank Sinatra at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh. Afterward we went for a bite to eat. Because all the tables were filled, we sat at the counter. To my surprise, Sinatra was sitting next to me. He put his finger to his lips and said, "Shh." I didn't even tell my girlfriends until we got home. He has always been my idol. His voice changed as he got older—but then, so have we all.
Wanda F. Davis
I certainly do not consider Frank Sinatra a "feisty guy who won't take crap from anybody." A bully and an oaf who uses his position to abuse and control others is more like it.
Donna M. Anstey
To compare Frank Sinatra in the same breath with Bing Crosby is laughable. Before lavishing such praise on Frank, John Rockwell should have listened again to Bing's recordings from the late '20s and early '30s. No male singer has ever come close to the intense passion and feeling of those early recordings. I must say, however, that I did enjoy the article. I needed a laugh at the time.
Harry B. Crowell
Not long ago I saw Johnny's father, Edward Bigley, on Good Morning America. He explained the precautions he and his wife were taking to protect the other children from the type of herpes that Johnny has. I have children that I love very much. I would have no fears whatsoever if they attended the same school Johnny does. It is a shame that a little boy has to pay the price of other people's fears.
Grand Forks, N.Dak.
Twenty years ago no one gave it a second thought if you went to school or to work with a cold sore or a fever blister on your face. Today the person with herpes is treated like a modern-day leper. Of course, precautions should be taken with personal items and physical contact; I am not trying to minimize the risk. Learn the facts, ask questions, but please don't add to a painful situation by pushing us away. Try to understand that we're having a tough enough time on our own.
Thank you for the absorbing article about Paul Sitarz, the 16-year-old Polish immigrant who died of cancer rather than overwhelm his family with medical bills. I could not help wonder, though, as I read through the piece, if there is not an underlying story about the national shame of a country where medical care can wipe out a family financially.
Wild Rose, Wis.