06/30/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT
Thank you for printing the account of Rock Hudson's secret life (PEOPLE, June 9). As a gay man myself, I hope it has shown your readers what most gay people have to face on a day by day basis, famous or not. You are always hiding your love, unable to show any public affection whatever, pretending to be something you're not, laughing along with "fag" jokes so nobody suspects you. You do this because you're terrified someone will find out whom you love, and you may be harassed, lose your job, lose the love of your family or friends. Rock Hudson bore this incredibly stressful situation with millions and millions of other gay people.
If your article on Rock Hudson was designed to gain sympathy for him, it only served to disgust me. The actor I admired had no relationship to the simpering, oversexed, selfish homosexual you depicted. A caring person, whatever his sexual preference, would never in good conscience subject another person (Linda Evans for one) to a deadly disease. The guy was an animal.
In the '50s as a teenager I thought Rock Hudson was the sexiest man alive—I feel betrayed. I think Hollywood put one over on us.
I prefer to remember Rock Hudson as a person who gave me much enjoyment from all his movies. I, for one, get tired of reading all the muddy facts about him now that he is dead. He should be able to rest in peace.
Perhaps Rock Hudson left a legacy more powerful than his film image. His story illustrates the reality of the homosexual life-style. That may benefit all of us.
Disbelief, upset, pity, anger, love: These were emotions I felt while reading the story of burn victim David Rothenberg. God bless David and his mother for their courage and strength.
Toni Marie Filomena
It is heartbreaking to know that a father could set fire to his child. What is equally heartbreaking is knowing that after committing such a hideous crime, this man will be eligible for parole after serving only seven years of a lenient 13-year sentence. Justice may not prevail in the eye of the law, but will in the eye of the Lord (Matthew, 18:6): "But whoso shall offend one of these little children which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
I hope Marie Rothenberg's wrenching story teaches the rest of us something about life and courage. The next time we get "depressed" with our job, wife/husband, appearance or the hundred other priorities we hold so dear, let us think about David Rothenberg. His story should give inspiration to us all.
Mark A. Amato
Santa Monica, Calif.
I read with mixed feelings your article on the faltering delivery practice. I am myself a mother who has lost a child through what I believe were terrible hospital practices, but I am also a nurse who knows life is not always in our hands, nor the hands of physicians. We all need to know if we are making mistakes, but the unrealistic insurance rates are only discouraging the medical community.
I read with dismay your story on the current malpractice crisis. As president of the Pennsylvania State Dental Society of Anesthesiology I have been active in the issue of malpractice for dentists. While it is fashionable to blame it all on lawyers, I must point out that the insurance companies made some dreadful investments in the 1970s and the current high rates directly reflect an attempt to recoup those losses—though they are reluctant to admit it. The only solution will be legislation either at the state or federal level. An alternate remedy is an individual patient-owned liability policy where the patient would pay a modest surcharge for a policy protecting him against malpractice. The doctor would carry only an excess liability umbrella. The insurance industry has existed as a privileged and protected business to the point that for profit they are running roughshod over the public interest.
B. Kyle DeMartino, D.D.S.
Thank you for your kind article about my book, The Rice Diet Report. Just one statement needs clarification. My "lapses," as you so gently call them, are, alas, not all that rare. I tend to cheat anywhere from three to five times a month, and I think it is important for dieters to know that binging is not only acceptable, it is downright inevitable from time to time. Like Santa Claus and the unicorn, the perfect dieter is a wonderful creature—but does not exist.
In 1945 my father, Julius Sauber, with mounting hypertension, was given one year to live by the best doctors in Washington, D.C. and at the Mayo Clinic. My mother happened to hear about Dr. Walter Kempner and his revolutionary rice diet in Durham, N.C. and took my father to see him. My father died in 1980 at the age of 78—35 years after his one-year-to-live diagnosis, 35 years after sticking faithfully to the rice diet, 35 years after deciding that living was more important than eating. The diet can help people with weight problems, as your article reported, but over the years we have seen people miraculously improve who suffer from high blood pressure, heart problems, kidney ailments and diabetes.
Barbara S. Melnicove