updated 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Regarding Bess Myerson's comment, "People like to read about me. They like to imagine themselves in my life" (PEOPLE, June 29): What gives Miss Myerson the gall to think that anyone would choose to live her life as she has lived hers? What utter rubbish! I, for one, would not give her the time of day. I am not impressed.
I had an unpleasant encounter with Bess Myerson during the late '50s, when I was 17. In New York to see the sights with classmates, I attended a Broadway play one evening. I discovered that someone had draped her fur coat over three seats: mine and two others. I carefully moved the coat so as not to sit on it, whereupon Bess Myerson came swooping down upon me, berating and humiliating me in front of my friends and other theatergoers for having touched her coat. I shall never forget how I shook with anger and fear in the darkened theater for the first half of the performance, after which the woman departed. In the immortal words of Bert Parks: "There she goes, Miss America, our ideal."
Joan R.B. Cox
Perhaps Ms. Kirkpatrick is right that Alcoholics Anonymous does not focus on women's problems and female alcoholism, but it disturbs me to think that that might disqualify it as a good recovery program for all kinds of people, women included. It also saddens me to think that AA and Women for Sobriety should feel the need to compete at all. There is no reason that any one treatment or combination of treatments is better than any other, as long as they help the alcoholic to find sobriety and stay sober.
New York City
I am happy that Jean Kirkpatrick is alive, well and sober. It was through her influence and the help I received from Women for Sobriety in 1975 that I was able to stop drinking. However I did not experience the joy of living a sober life until I joined AA. From my experience I find Jean's criticism erroneous. I shall always be grateful to Jean Kirkpatrick and WFS for helping me to stop drinking. I am sure WFS will be helpful to others, as it was to me, but the peace and serenity that I now enjoy is the result of the AA way of life.
Apologies to Laurie Cabot, the good witch of Salem, for all of us closed-minded people who used to think that people who wore long black cloaks and carried staffs through cemeteries were invitations to accusations of satanism and evil. Maybe she should change her image if she wants more understanding. Shirley MacLaine doesn't wear Halloween costumes to get her point across. If Laurie doesn't want to be stereotyped, she shouldn't put herself on display looking exactly like the cliché she's trying to avoid.
I was very upset to read that no one who saw Millicent Collinsworth cared enough to take the few minutes needed to ask if she was all right. I commend her on her ability to try and overcome the terrible ordeal she faced, and I just hope that she has not lost all of her faith in humankind. I wish her all the luck in the world, and I hope that other people who read this article will think about helping the next time they see someone in need.
Floral Park, N.Y.
I disagree with Carla Martin's letter criticizing your use of the photograph of Michael Donald's mutilated body. It shows graphically the ugliness of bigotry and the ugliness of violence. Being forced to witness such evil, fewer people will ignore it as casually.