Your story (PEOPLE, March 16) on Cybill Shepherd's wedding and expectations was simply superb! Thanks to you and Cybill for sharing this very happy occasion with us. Also to David Kennerly for that most joyous cover picture. Bruce Oppenheim and Cybill deserve our best wishes. What a lovely couple.
Hooray for Cybill Shepherd for making herself happy and not worrying about what anyone else says. She has her priorities in order.
How absolutely darling—two baby carriages on the wedding cake. And how touching to read about the 7-year-old child putting the finishing touches on a wedding cake "with a mommy, a baby, a rainbow and a message—'Happy mairage.' " Spare us, please. I realize that people in the entertainment business have a different set of morals (or a total lack thereof), but please let's not glamorize the whole shoddy affair. Talk about a sham—no wonder the couple "giggled through the whole ceremony." Three guesses what kind of values the 7-year-old will grow up with.
In Need of an Angel
Hats off to you on the story regarding AIDS patients and that marvelous Rita Rockett, the Wizard of Ward 5A. It is refreshing to hear of a person who gives so much to these stricken people, especially at a time when so many of us don't understand the disease or even bother to educate ourselves on the subject. She should be commended for what she is accomplishing. We all might just learn something from this woman!
Todd T. St. Leger
This morning I awoke and decided to do something I hadn't done for a long time, start reading again. When I got home from work I picked up PEOPLE, thumbed through it and came across the article on the "Angels." I really enjoyed reading about Rita Rockett and David Jones. I am looking forward to your other issues and will be reading PEOPLE more often because of your fine article on these people. Good work!
Thanks for the article regarding Nancie Wingo and Dr. and Mrs. Jim Ragland, Southern Baptist missionaries who were ordered to leave their school in West Beirut. Americans could not have better "ambassadors" than these. My wife and I visited their mission in Lebanon several years ago and were impressed with what we saw and heard.
Paul W. Stephens
Nancie Wingo forgets that having American citizenship has responsibilities and also has its drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that the good of "the whole" is not always the best for the individual. Has she forgotten about the kidnapped Americans in Beirut and what a black eye that situation has brought this country? Miss Wingo's and other Americans' presence in Beirut has put all of the U.S. in a bad position. She, as well as others, could have been taken hostage and used as pawns in the Mideast "chess game." Miss Wingo asks, "I don't understand why it is better to risk your life for a military or a scientific cause than it is to risk your life to help people...." The key word is your. By your presence in Beirut it is not just your life that you are risking, it is the lives and integrity of a whole country.
Ross D. Hasson II
I was taken aback at the number of negative letters printed about the series on Mark Chapman. Frankly, I don't see what all the fuss is about. Hey, people: John Lennon was a musician, not the Messiah. He was killed by a sick man. But sick or not, Mark Chapman is an important person. However wrong he was, his story is significant enough to tell. Frankly, I thought the series was a journalistic coup. Jim Gaines has every right to feel proud of a well-researched and well-written series of articles. And your magazine is to be commended for practicing responsible journalism.
I would like to thank you for running James R. Gaines's series on Mark David Chapman. I would also like to compliment Gaines for being objective. His article in no way defended Chapman, neither did it condemn him. Rather, it provided an enlightening insight into the unexplored regions of one human psyche. I was infuriated by the negative responses you have received from readers. I was especially appalled by those who reduced themselves to name-calling, referring to Chapman as a "cretin" and "moron." An article of this magnitude forces us to broaden our minds and learn about the unknown. It was not sensationalism. It took guts for Gaines to research and write the article. It also took guts for PEOPLE to print it. This is the kind of work I like to see in your magazine. I hope the hate mail that you received because of it does not prevent you from running similar articles in the future.
Tammy L. Wilkerson
The readers who responded to your Mark Chapman series are undoubtedly hard-core Lennon fans who failed to recognize the underlying purpose of Mr. Gaines's in-depth study of Chapman's personality disorders and missed the telltale remarks made by Chapman at the very end of the interviews: his inability to cope with the lack of love that kept his parents from coming to his side even when he was in prison. The more understanding we have of the symptoms of potential tragedies, the better we will be able to treat those involved and head off other similar catastrophies. Lennon is just one of many victims.