updated 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

As a fan of the legendary Bette Davis, I was touched by your tribute (PEOPLE, Oct. 23). Miss Davis's gutsy talent exceeded even the studio heads' expectations and contributed to her "defiant" and "dazzling" nature. She was one-of-a-kind, and her kind is not being replaced.
David Lee Dotson
Columbus, Ohio

Bravo for your cover story on Bette Davis. However, Brad Darrach might have mentioned that Miss Davis was the first woman elected president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, as well as the first female recipient of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. There is a line from All About Eve that says it best. Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) introduces Margo Channing (Bette Davis) with these words: "Margo is a great star, Margo is a true star, she never was nor will be anything more or anything less." And so it was with Ruth Elizabeth Davis.
Charles P. Adams
Layton, Utah

In response to your article on student dress codes, I find myself a fence sitter despite the fact that I had to wear uniforms in a nonsectarian high school in my youth and am now a teacher. I don't find kids' clothing today as distracting as their lack of respect and good behavior. Obviously uniforms have not improved the behavior of the last little fellow in line at the Keith Public School in Detroit, as your picture shows. Even more offensive is the teacher's attire. She should also be wearing a uniform and look like the professional she is.
Linda Mindel
Glenview, Ill.

In 1971, as a high school sophomore, I wore an oversize sweater with my newly allowed pants instead of the regulation tunic top. The principal and the guidance counselor went so far as to accuse me of being a communist, although even today I still don't get the connection. I do, however, understand why they reacted as they did. They were jerks—probably still are. If kids didn't rebel against the status quo, we'd probably all still be wearing fig leaves.
Lucy S. Blakeney
Raleigh, Miss.

As a high school student, I feel it is ludicrous that people are judging us by our appearance. What a person wears is by no means going to alter his attitudes toward teachers, classes or any other part of school. Judging a person's productivity by his or her appearance is one of the lowest and most despicable forms of prejudice. The fact that I wore my Metallica jacket to the SATs didn't seem to stop me from reaching a score of 1200. Dressing the way I want and listening to the music I want has given me something to believe in—myself.
William A. Field
Westminster, Calif.

If Mary McFadden and her young husband have indeed agreed that a 20-lb. weight gain is grounds for divorce, then their relationship is as shallow and immature as they are.
Marian M. Acheson
Highland Lakes, N.J.

As the mother of a New Kids on the Block fan and a teacher of middle-school students, I have much respect for the healthy image that the New Kids project. Their antidrug, do-good-things-with-your-life message is one that most kids will emulate if given the opportunity. Thank you for recognizing New Kids as a group that hasn't sold out to negativism and violence, as some other groups have.
Rosemary A. Williams
Vernon, N.J.

Your article on the New Kids on the Block was very good. But I have one complaint. You called Joe McIntyre Mighty Young Joe. For your information, Joe will be 17 on Dec. 31!
Rebecca Stahl
Clinton, Md.

Reading about the homeless, I thought how nice all these stars were to "demand" that our government do something about it. Why don't Mario Thomas, Whoopi Goldberg, Valerie Harper and Susan Dey, along with Ray Leonard, Martin Sheen, Gregory Hines and Jon Voight, "adopt" a family themselves. Think how wonderful they would feel. Instead of asking for another handout from the government, let's ask for affordable housing for people who are out there working every day but still can't buy a house.
Ann S. Barker
Holyoke, Mass.

Secretariat was not a total "dud at stud." My Thoroughbred, Risen Star, who was fathered by Secretariat, captured both the 1988 Preakness and Belmont Stakes, as well as the coveted Eclipse Award. Even though Risen Star resembles Bold Ruler, Secretariat's sire, he surely ran like Big Red. In the tradition of his grand old dad, he beat the field in the Belmont by 14¾ lengths and ran the 1½-mile race in 2:26:2/5 seconds. That's the true mark of a "class" horse.
Ronnie Lamarque
Kenner, La.

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