Thank you for the cover story on Dolly Parton (PEOPLE, May 5)! She is a real sweetheart. Being from the mountains of North Carolina myself, I think it's great that she is preserving the mountain heritage and sharing so much with us. I wish success with Dollywood and can't wait to visit.
L. Michael White
All these years I've been a Dolly Parton fan because I admired her down-to-earth goodness and family ties. What a country bumpkin I am! Considering the admission price to Dollywood for the average Pigeon Forge, Tenn. family is $50,I daresay Miss Parton has a method to her "generosity." She speaks of her beautiful homes, needs eight pieces of matching luggage for a trip home and then speaks of peeing on those "Beverly Hills snobs." She shouldn't have to aim too far to find one. Shame on you, Dolly. The park is so obviously a tribute to your own ego, not to the hills that surround it.
I'm glad Deborah Fallows could quit her job to be with her children, but her situation hardly represents the norm. For many women it's not a question of career versus family. They're working at whatever jobs are available because their income is needed to help support their families. Ms. Fallows' suggestion that 47 percent of single mothers with children under age 6 are deciding to stay home despite economic pressures is unrealistic. Unless she receives a hefty child-support check, a single mother who doesn't work is on welfare assistance. Some women are taking a free ride, but a lot of them are on welfare because they can't find jobs or are unable to make ends meet. After my divorce, I didn't want to raise my daughter on welfare and food stamps except as a last resort. Of course, I would have preferred to quit my job and stay home, but in the real world of rent and utility bills, the ideal and preferred way takes a backseat to reality.
Sioux Falls, S.Dak.
I could not agree more with Deborah Fallows' opinions on day care, super-moms and the myth of quality time. Having babies has become so trendy, something to squeeze into a busy schedule right before the biological time clock stops ticking—but certainly not something important enough to actually interfere with a career or lifestyle. If a baby's own mother (or father) can't give up a career for at least a few brief years in order to get their child off to a good start, I wish they wouldn't have any children. They would be doing a huge favor to themselves, the children and society.
The need to work for this single mother is indeed for "material" desires—clothing, food, heat, shelter—and my individual definition of success, pride. Congratulations to Deborah Fallows for having a husband whose career affords her the luxury of staying home with the kids and allows her to feel so good about herself. Would her children benefit from, and would she still feel that good on, welfare?
I am sick and tired of people like Deborah Fallows shaking her finger in my face and condemning me for working. I think it's great that she can afford to stay home with her children, but she doesn't have to try and make working mothers feel guilty because they don't.
I'm very tired of reading the so-called "experts" tell us that we should stay at home with our children for their sake, or keep working for our own. The bottom line is we must decide for ourselves what is right for our situation and what we can live with.
Your article on Olympic wrestler Jeff Blatnick was inspiring. Jeff won a gold, medal at the Olympics—a gold star in my book, too!
New York City
Roseanna Christiansen should be more careful how she spends her earnings from Dallas ($850 a day; average two days a week) or she may wind up a full-time secretary and find out what it's like to really work.
Your article on the Osmond family was a delightful mix of the past and present. Many of us grew up with the "older generation" of brothers, and it's so neat to see another generation come along with the warmth and talent of the first. The only thing abnormal about the Osmonds is how normal they are.
The letters from my fellow Canadians regarding your "O Canada" article (PEOPLE, April 14) made me cringe. Prickly Canadians are sometimes fond of reverse snobbery when it comes to Americans, and nowhere is it more apparent than in those two letters. Along with many other Canadians, I can value the friendship of America and Americans without feeling that it detracts from my own nationalism. Canadians may be recognized as "gracious guests," but we don't get the cigar this time, folks, for being gracious letter writers.
As I read the letters section I felt saddened that our Canadian neighbors see Americans as ungracious and uncaring. Maybe both Canadians and Americans should make an effort to find out more about each other. We have good reason to take pride in both our countries. We should never make the mistake of judging a country as a whole by judging the actions of a few.
Michelle R. Anderson