updated 10/04/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/04/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Two months after the breakup of Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson went very, very public, sentiment is running heavily in favor of Loni (PEOPLE, Sept. 13). Correspondents criticized Burt both for bad-mouthing his wife and for flaunting his own infidelity. Lisa Smith, Reynolds's personal photographer, touched a nerve when she noted in Burt's defense that Loni rarely cooked.

Scott Jackson, Burt Reynolds's executive assistant, states that "from now on, Burt will comport himself as the gentleman he is and think things through more judiciously." Ah, excuse me, but Burt Reynolds is no gentleman. A gentleman doesn't have an affair to get back at his wife for her alleged infidelity. Nor does a gentleman choose to air his dirty laundry in public.
VICKI SULLIVAN, Gilbert, Ariz.

The longer Burt Reynolds's mouth stays open, the better Loni Anderson looks! I hope she has had an affair or two; living with his ego, she's earned it!
JOYE GOFF MORFORD, Studio City, Calif.

Excuse me, did they change the marriage vows when I wasn't looking to "love, honor and cook?" I am very happily married, and I don't cook either. That does not make me a lousy wife, that makes me a lousy cook.
LYNETTE WILKERSON, San Bernardino, Calif.

Burt is worth $15 million. Trust me, if my husband was worth that much, I would have the kitchen surgically removed from my home.
HELEN M. GORMAN, Sicklerville, N.J.

Loni cooked only "nine or eleven times" during her marriage to Burt? I'd like to know how many times Burt cooked.
GERTRUDE SMITH, Stewart Manor, N.Y.

My husband and I and our 3-year-old daughter are an adoptive family. When I am introducing them, I don't say, "I'd like you to meet my husband and adopted daughter." In most situations, information about my daughter's status is irrelevant. I found your repeated use of the phrase "the couple's 5-year-old adopted son" hurtful as well as potentially harmful to Quinton. It establishes a separateness that doesn't exist.

My heart goes out to the Robie family on the loss of their precious son, Derrick. But one question disturbs me: Why was a 4-year-old boy walking unescorted to a recreation program two blocks away? Small town or not, a child of that age should never have left his yard without supervision. No one and no town is immune to danger in times such as these.

Paul, since you're a " '90s dad who changes diapers and helps with late-night feedings," I was certain you'd be interested in the correct Dad lingo. When you arc home taking care of your infant daughter, it's not called baby-sitting. Hip dads call it parenting.
HEIDI VAUGHN HOSLER, East Lansing, Mich.

I had never been moved to write a letter to any publication until I read the Dennis Byrd story. In 1968, while I was in Hawaii on R&R from Vietnam, I had a swimming accident that resulted in the exact injuries that Dennis suffered. I was 19. Two days later I asked my surgeon, "Will I walk again? Will I be able to live a normal life?" All he could say was, "I don't know, John." When I asked my wife the same question, she said, "Are you kidding? You'll dance me all over the house at our 25th anniversary party." I had a lot to live for, and I was determined to live it. On June 8, 1991, 23 years and five children later after that fateful day in the Pacific, on the night of our 25th wedding anniversary, I danced my wife from the basement to the attic.
JOHN M. HERBERT, Merchantville, N.J.

What a moving article! It is wonderful to see that Camp Janus is helping so many severely burned young people. Please print the address for donations.

Donations may be sent to: Cyndy Thomas, 8787 Brae Acres Road, #817, Houston, Texas 77074. Please designate contributions for either the educational or camp fund.—ED.

I'm writing in response to a reader's letter (PEOPLE, Aug. 9) that questioned Katie Couric's role as a mother. The reader assumed, based on a statement by Katie about "not being home to give Ellie ginger ale" that she was not available or involved in daily caregiving with her child. Nothing could be further from the truth. Katie shares the dilemma of all working mothers: how to pursue two demanding careers at the same time. As Elbe's nanny since she was a newborn, I can say without hesitation that Katie is there for her daughter at the important and not-so-important times in her daily life: taking her to dance class, being up at night, daily playground visits, mealtime, watching Barney, tantrums and quiet time. Katie knows very well, as does everyone, that there's a lot more to mothering than ginger ale.

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