updated 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Readers are pleased that Oprah is svelte once again but skeptical that she is a realistic role model for people who can't afford a personal chef (PEOPLE, May 16). Most letters this week—more than 100—came in response to correspondent Steven Wineinger's suggestion that members of Kurt Cobain's generation live in easier times than those who grew up in the Vietnam War era.

With all due respect for her accomplishment, let's give Oprah credit for her real "secret weapon"—money. Most of us who struggle with weight and food problems could also be successful if we could afford a private chef and fitness trainer and those expensive "monthly motivators" she look, like the Grand Canyon trip.
ANNETTE DAHL, Doraville, Ga.

In the real world, people do not have the luxury of a personal chef cooking meals exclusive of fats five days a week. If they did, no one would have the need to drop 73 pounds. Cookbooks are great, but someone still has to find the time to prepare the meals and shop for the low-fat products. If it's so easy, then have Oprah do it herself.
P. NORMAN FENTON, Wintergreen, Va.

In response to Steven Wineinger's "Kiddies, you don't know how good you have it" letter: Obviously Mr. Wineinger hasn't read a newspaper in the past 20 years because the last time I looked, my generation was fighting AIDS, student violence, drug addiction, the deficit and race relations. No, maybe "these winners" don't have to worry about being thrown out of school or denied jobs because their hair is too long, but we do have to worry about going to school every day where classmates carry guns (and won't hesitate to use them) or being denied jobs because the lack of financial aid prevented us from going to college. No, mister, you don't know how good you had it.
JEAN SAMPSON, Shoreham, N.Y.

No, Steven, you may not get beaten up or thrown out of school for having hair down over your ears, but you could get beaten up or killed if someone happens to like your nice new sneakers too much or you happen to be wearing the wrong colors in a certain part of town or you have your hat on the wrong way. In the age of drive-by shootings, gangs, broken families, AIDS, widespread access to drugs and alcohol, serial murders, child abuse, guns in schools, carjackings and the L.A. riot, (he draft, the Vietnam War, student riots, Kent State, etc., keep looking better all the time.
MICHELLE WENZEL, Chambersburg, Pa.

I am a 40-year-old mother of three. It scares me to death to think of the society my children are growing up in. Never have we had such violence, hatred and disregard for human life. How dare Mr. Wineinger! How bad will things have to get if he thinks these kids have it so damn good?

I can't believe the heartlessness your readers displayed in their reactions to the suicide of Kurt Cobain. The act of taking one's life doesn't come out of being rich or famous or spoiled—it comes from a place of deep despair that most people never know. A young man is dead. What kind of people would take offense at this?
KATIE BOWEN, New York City

On the eve of my wife's surgery I had to spend the evening comforting my two young sons. Nothing worked. Then I pulled out my 30-year-old copy of Richard Scarry's Busytown, and within minutes my boys were lost in the town Richard built. The next day I learned that Richard Scarry had died. Today my wife is home and my sons have forgotten their temporary loss, but I will never forget the joy he gave my children. My hope is thai they will carry Busytown with them as a reminder that Lowly Worm and Huckle are sometimes all the friends you need on a lonely night.

How convenient. After more than 30 years of partying, Glen Campbell must be just plain "tuckered out" (sorry, Tanya). I'd say it's the perfect time to write that confessional bestseller. Of course, if he puts this story to music he'll need a violin, not a guitar. The girl in me thinks the boy in you sounds about as genuine as a rhinestone, cowboy.
JANNY ADAMSON, Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Glen Campbell may feel cleansed now that he has confessed his sins to the world, but as an evangelical Christian it was very unchristian of him to hurt others, like Tanya Tucker, in the process. While I'm sure his agent, publisher and bank account are rejoicing, I doubt the heavenly hosts are. Go ahead and write your autobiography, Mr. Campbell, but don't try and convince us it had God's blessing.

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