updated 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Thank you so much for your personal account of Joan Rivers' tragic ordeal (PEOPLE, Aug. 31). Even in the most painful of times, Joan remains the loyal and unselfish person that she is. My heart went out to her as she described her self-anger and guilt for not having recognized some of the warning signals that may have been there—just as I and millions of others must deal with our similar feelings for never taking the time to write sooner or say, "We love you."
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Like Joan Rivers I was widowed quite suddenly when my husband died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1983.1 believe I understand the pain and shock she's feeling. What I don't understand is the melodramatic, self-serving tone of the interview. Joan has assigned poor Edgar the same role in death he had in life: that of an extra. This is his tragedy, not hers.
Richard Meryman conveyed Joan's story to the world through the eyes of a tenderhearted human being. He told us of her very private moments with love in his heart. She's a wonderful woman who still manages to go on in spite of the punches.
Eileen Susan Massi
Let's not forget how unsympathetic Joan Rivers was after Prince Rainier's tragedy ("It really pulled a chunk out of my act when Princess Grace fell over") and the tragedy of Karen Carpenter's death due to anorexia ("I have no pity for anyone who becomes thin enough to get buried in pleats"). I take no joy in the death of Edgar Rosenberg, but I like to think that Joan lives in fear of hearing jokes making light of her tragedy.
David Le Baron
When Joan Rivers appeared almost four years ago to accept her Harvard Hasty Pudding "Woman-of-the-Year" Award, she was not what we expected. In place of the sarcastic, brittle humorist was a generous, warm, outgoing and witty woman with her husband, hairdresser and manager in tow. Joan would defer to Edgar, who himself was a very funny man. She constantly talked about her daughter, Melissa, in the warmest terms. Joan Rivers is a brave, caring person.
Why is it that in America people regard ancient concepts like meditation or new age philosophies as some kind of joke for weird people? In East Asian countries, for the most part, people aren't laughed at for meditating, but in the United States, because the '60s ushered in an awareness of these ideas, many associate them in a negative way with annoying hippies, drugs, etc. Many will never regard any of it as anything but fruitless nonsense for the lost continent of California. Such an attitude is simply narrow, and those who think that way have a limited outlook on life.
Your article on volleyball ace Christopher St. John "Sinjin" Smith really made me appreciate my husband of 10 years. I couldn't imagine dating someone who was more in love with himself than with me. I hope he doesn't break his arm patting himself on his back. I have only one thing to say to Chris St. John: "Grow up."
Debra Ann Seitz
West Chicago, Ill.
Emily may be a fine actress, but pretending to have an epileptic fit just to enjoy the reaction of passersby is tacky, to say the least. Believe me, as an epileptic myself, there is absolutely no joke to a seizure.
The problem of the homeless has escalated to epidemic proportions in this country. I find it sad and heartless to think that we would rather see someone sleeping on a park bench or in a doorway on the streets unprotected than to know that these human beings at least had a "doghouse" to sleep in. Thank you, architect MacDonald, for reminding me about how desperately our homeless need our help and for caring enough to try to do something.
Nancy J. Nofrey
Anyone who ever has lived in a large city, or even visited one, knows the heart-wrenching sight of seeing homeless people sleeping on the streets—especially during rain, snow or bitter cold. Welfare agencies just never have sufficient room to handle them all. Donald MacDonald should be highly praised for his innovative idea of boxes for the homeless. Good citizens should muster their ranks, not to pan him but to assist in getting cities to consider such a solution and to help in the financing of it.
Spring Valley, Ill.
Picks & Pans
I take exception to Jeff Jarvis' views about Cagney & Lacey. The reason they have "battled every disease, trauma and social ill" is that the show deals with real-life plots. It does so accurately and with a great deal of compassion and warmth, which is what makes it drama at its finest.
Mary L. Miller
Camp Hill, Pa.