updated 11/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST
It is ironic that after a lifetime of royal preparation and grooming, Prince Charles (PEOPLE, Oct. 31) has carved out much less of a role for himself than his wife has in her seven years as Princess of Wales. Considering his childhood relationship with his demanding father, it's no surprise that Charles obviously has no sense of what is expected of him. Perhaps the best solution for his identity crisis is to devote more time to what his wife is trying so hard to create—a normal and stable home environment for their two sons.
Short Hills, N.J.
I really took exception to your "Charles at 40" cover, which contained a headline that said in part, "Diana gets a taste of single motherhood." Marital problems aside, nobody with a palaceful of nannies and servants is getting a taste of single motherhood.
I've lost count of the number of times the royal family has graced the cover of your magazine. To put it mildly, you are becoming as boring as the unhappy couple. Give us a break.
I would like to thank you and the Fair family for the article on the tragic bus accident in Kentucky. The type of cold-blooded decision made by Ford Motor Company in regard to the three-year delay in placing safety cages around the gas tanks of school buses is horrifying. These people had no right to play the odds for three years. Their decisions involved the lives of children. I will never buy another Ford product. I will also be doing all I can to make sure my daughter never rides in a pre-April 1, 1977, Ford school bus.
My eternal thanks to the Fair and Nunnallee families for their decision to try to right the wrong done to them and to so many other families in their community. No story you have ever published touched me and angered me like this one did. God willing, I will never know the Fairs' pain, but I will always be in awe of their courage in trying to see to it that the catastrophe that shattered their lives never happens again.
Betsy B. Barnes
My heart goes out to the Fairs and Nunnallees for the tragic losses they've suffered. To discover that the deaths of these children could have and should have been prevented must be unbearable. But there is also another, equally important school-bus issue. If I were stopped by a police officer who found my child was not restrained by a car-seat or seat belt, I would be fined, and rightfully so. Yet in two years, when my daughter starts school, I'll be expected to put her in a big yellow tin can that doesn't offer a single seat belt. Seems like a very dangerous double standard to me.
Your recent story on the tragic Carrollton bus accident focused almost exclusively on the implication that Ford Motor Company, the chassis manufacturer, and Sheller Globe, the body builder, were responsible for this tragedy and that the bus was unsafely designed. That conclusion misrepresents the facts and is a real disservice to your readers to the extent that it prompts people to substitute less-safe means of transportation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has described school buses as one of the safest means of transportation available. The story would have been more balanced if you had taken the time to investigate the outstanding safety record of school buses completed on Ford chassis and school buses in general. The bus chassis involved in the accident was ordered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in December 1976 and complied with both Kentucky and national standards for school buses. These standards specified the exact location of the fuel tank. A fuel-tank guard was available as an option and could have been ordered. It is a matter of sheer speculation as to whether a guard would have made any difference given the unique circumstances of this accident. This tragedy was caused by drunk driving. The real answer to reducing needless highway fatalities is getting drunk and drugged drivers off the road.
R.H. Munson, Director
Automotive Safety Office
Ford Motor Company
Concerning the criticism Morgan Fairchild received for the dress she wore to last month's Starlight Foundation party, it's time the public learned something about the reality of Hollywood. When Morgan attended the party, she was told by her public relations people that they wanted her to wear a dress by a certain designer who promised to donate a large sum of money to the children. Morgan was sent one dress, which she had to have altered, at great expense to herself, since it was too low cut. What was captured on film was not the way she looked that night—it was a shadow that caused the dress to appear revealing. Morgan is the ultimate lady and is never inappropriately dressed. Moreover, she was one of the few who gave her entire evening to the children, while all the "movers and shakers" were outside trying to make deals.
Sunni Walton is an actress-singer who has known Ms. Fairchild for two years—ED.