updated 01/19/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/19/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Special Double Issue
What an excellent issue (PEOPLE, Dec. 22-29). It's very refreshing to read something other than who is hopping into bed with whom. Got a big kick out of "Americana"—let's have another one. Also enjoyed "We the People." The issue was the best of the year.
Zoe Rae Sanders
Vaughn, Wash.

I've been reading your magazine for approximately the past six years. I read it from front cover to back and really enjoy it. But I was disappointed with the "Double Issue." The articles were much too brief.
Vicki Hevesy
South Holland, Ill.

The Intriguing 25
I'm 12 years old and I still always enjoy hearing Dr. Seuss! He's one of my all-time favorites. But I have one question. Who wrote the short story in your issue? Whoever did deserves a lot of credit!
Samantha Krajkovich
Somerville, N.J.

Assistant Editor Bonnie Johnson

Vanna White is about as intriguing as a piece of popcorn. How could you possibly overlook Corazon Aquino and her accomplishments of the past year? Aquino brings the rare characteristics of dignity and sincerity to the political arena.
Catherine Lindell

The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court plays trivia games with court clerks during "boring" arguments? The Chief Justice goes to an art class instead of the President's State of the Union address? Come on, Mr. Rehnquist. Start taking your job a little more seriously. There is too much at stake here.
Marilyn Lummis
Morrisville, Pa.

Three cheers for Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen! It takes true courage to try and jar the Vatican out of the Stone Age. How many truly dedicated priests, nuns and laymen must we lose before things start to change? After having witnessed the total blindness of the diocese of Fort Worth during troubles at our local parish, I can only sympathize with the people of his diocese. There is perhaps nothing as sad as having no haven in your church community.
Barbara Reed
Lewisville, Texas

I have only one thing to say regarding our American Catholic bishops and archbishops, i.e., Raymond Hunthausen...disobedience. Adam and Eve's problem too.
Mrs. William B. Erb
Millersville, Pa.

Your article on Daniel Ortega was repugnant. This man advocates hate and scorn for all Americans and would like to see South American countries in the grasp of his Marxist regime. Seeing him pose in an American T-shirt and hat, with a machine gun in hand, was tacky-tacky!
Claire Boyle
Fort Myers, Fla.

Local Heroes
Please give much deserved credit and thanks to those responsible for this section. Local Heroes aren't as famous as the 25 Most Intriguing People of '86, but they certainly are the most important. Thank you for stories such as these. It's nice to know there are still a few good people left, and this issue will be a nice reminder.
Bob Owens
Mountain View, Ark.

I am a college student. At a time when all I'm thinking about is the computer, ski equipment, etc., that I deserve for surviving finals week, your article on Paul Sayanek succeeded in bringing me down to earth. In fact, it moved me to tears as I not only thought of how little importance material things really are, but how the wonderful love this man exhibited made it possible for me to appreciate and use my own education. He taught one self-centered soul one of the most valuable lessons she'll probably ever learn.
Marlo Ann Ortiz
Danville, Calif.

Dear PEOPLE Magazine,
Let me tell your readers a story. About a month ago a movie company was up in Provincetown on Cape Cod shooting a film called Tough Guys Don't Dance. An Italian journalist on the scene, unable to obtain an interview with the director of the film, made up his story from bits he heard on the street and in the bars, and contributed it to an Italian journal called La Repubblica.

Then the bureau chief of PEOPLE magazine in Rome encountered the story, translated it to English, and sent it to New York for the Chatter page. No one who worked in research on the magazine saw fit to query the dialogue. After all, the director was Norman Mailer and it is known that Mailer says anything at all. So the interview was reprinted.

Mailer, however, was furious when he saw it. Over the years he had read many stories about himself. In some he had spoken rashly; at other times he had been misquoted and sounded stupid. But never before had he been presented as saying the opposite of all he felt. In seven sentences that appeared in quotation marks, only one phrase was accurate. Everything else was in the words of another man.

Here are samples: "I will marry film. It's a miracle they gave me two big-name stars like Ryan O'Neal and Isabella Rossellini. O'Neal is an actor who lets you mold him, and the women—the women just have to be beautiful. I'll take care of the rest."

Mailer had spent 40 years trying to be a professional writer and language was important to him. He did not wish to speak in the voice of an Italian journalist.

Also, Mailer was a new director, and by one measure an uncommon one. He had regard for actors. He thought they followed a difficult profession. They practiced an elusive art. He did not wish to be characterized as sneering at them. Ergo, he respected PEOPLE magazine for admitting that their journalistic behavior was, in this case, slovenly.
Norman Mailer
New York City

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