I was blown away by the article on the five Costa Rican fishermen stranded in the Pacific for over five months (PEOPLE, July 11). Not only was the story as exciting as any adventure movie, but the men reminded me why we bother to keep the word "hero" in our vocabulary. These guys were courageous, resourceful, devoted to each other and to their wives and children. Faced with a predicament that would make some Wall Street types gag on their pasta, they survived and cherished life even more after it was all over.
Instead of the usual drug problems and courtroom battles of surly rock stars, you showed us that rarity of rarities—a truly nice, talented girl who apparently hasn't been spoiled by success. Debbie Gibson's music and life-style are a refreshing change. Keep up the good work, Debs.
Melanie Gale Poloff
After reading the Publisher's Letter on the life of PEOPLE photographer Mike Fuller, I felt as though I knew him. Yes, the good do die young, but as a critical-care nurse asked me 10 years ago as my mother lay dying, "If you were in a garden picking flowers, which ones would you pick?" I replied, "Well, the prettiest one, of course." She then said, "That is the way God is when He picks the ones He wants to be with Him." I hope these words from the past can give you all comfort. In those words, and in the life of Mike Fuller, you can rejoice.
Kathleen A. Donovan
Tom & Janice Colella
Your article "He's Not Our Son" spoke to us as parents who experience fear and helplessness when confronted by their child's rage. We are the parents of four children—two by adoption, two by birth. Our first child, a daughter adopted at 22 months, soon demonstrated severe emotional and behavioral problems. We were convinced we could "love" them away. Despite therapy beginning at age 3, our daughter's self-abuse, preoccupation with fire and death, and inability to give and receive love remain. Because of the stress she put on the entire family, we faced the painful reality of residential treatment for her at age 7. The cost of such care is staggering and not covered by most insurance plans. Like the Colellas, we too tried to reverse the adoption. It was a vain attempt to afford her the help she needed through the government social agencies—help that is financially beyond us. Not all unattached children become sociopaths, psychopaths and killers. But such children as Tommy and our daughter are just the tip of the iceberg of horrifying problems these children will bring to this society when they reach adolescence. The rage that is locked within them because of their abandonment and abuse as infants has many ugly faces, and we as a society become their victims. Liken life to making a cake and forgetting to add sugar. It just doesn't work to sprinkle it on top later.
Marshall and Sylvia Marvelli
I am an unemployed actor still searching the earth for that big film break. However, unlike Michael Chiklis and Gary Groomes, I would rather go on struggling than lick the blood from the bones of John Belushi's corpse. There's something pretty cold and disgusting about making money off a man's death. Wired, first the book and now the film, is nothing more than a cheap shot at the quick buck, which will ruin the memory of Belushi's great talent and put his family and friends through unnecessary pain. If Chiklis and Groomes never work again, they'll have gotten what they deserve.
Westchester County, N.Y.
The letter from Susan V. Julian in PEOPLE, July 11, showed that she is as ignorant as she is spiteful. She states venomously that her tax dollars should go to causes like heart disease and cancer that are not "self-inflicted" as AIDS is. Smoking and eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet cause both heart disease and many types of cancer. What's worse, people who smoke and load up on cholesterol probably know the health risks, but people who find themselves with AIDS may have indulged in the behavior that caused it before they were aware of any precautions to take. Prejudice, Ms. Julian, can also be "self-inflicted," but there are precious few tax dollars going to eradicate it.
I'd like to ask Susan V. Julian to what "more worthy cause" could a taxpayer's money be put than researching AIDS and treating its victims? What if one day she finds herself to be one of the innocent victims, infected by a tainted transfusion and unable to pay for the treatment? I am only 16, but I have been around for as long as AIDS has been found in humans. If AIDS were God's punishment for a perverted life-style, then He probably would have sent it a long time ago.
Stacey E. Dunkerley
Being a victim of AIDS, whether gay or straight, is not a crime. The crime, and the ultimate tragedy, is that people like Susan V. Julian inflict the greatest pain on AIDS victims and their families. They have committed the most terrible injustice of all—lack of compassion for a fellow human being.
Nancy Beekman Murray
Cedar Grove, N.J.