01/29/1990 at 01:00 AM EST
This week readers questioned whether Nancy Reagan is entitled to the kind of extravagant living that some might consider the best revenge. Whereas the IRS and fashion executive—turned-investigator M. Chris Blazakis regard her expensive "borrowed" clothes as a tax problem (PEOPLE, Jan. 8), our correspondents were more concerned with the presumed insensitivity of such conspicuous consumption. On another front, readers were disappointed and angry at what they consider the lenient 16-year prison sentence received by drunk driver Larry Mahoney, whose collision with a Kentucky school bus took 27 lives.
Only 1,000 PEOPLE readers were invited to participate in your 11th annual poll. I, a subscriber, was not one of them. I feel slighted. Would it kill you to include the survey page in the magazine so we can all have a go at it? Think about it for your 12th annual poll.
M. CHRIS BLAZAKIS
Never mind that Mrs. Reagan's designer-clothes scam is just one more in a long line of deceits by the Reagans and their cronies during their years in Washington. Shouldn't there have been, even in the royal Reagan family, some sort of decency or compassion that would have prevented dressing in clothes that cost thousands of dollars, accessorized with jewels that cost more thousands, when there are homeless on the streets of America? The only difference I see between Nancy Reagan and Imelda Marcos is that Mrs. Marcos sings better.
Deborah G. Rankin
The First Lady deserves to wear whatever she chooses. I want my First Lady to look smashing—at any cost. She represents the greatest country in the world and should look the part.
Mrs. Reagan's penchant for designer clothing is almost as appalling as Big Brother, the IRS, poring over thousands of photographs examining her White House wardrobe. I say drop the Reagan case and audit M. Chris Blazakis.
Diane Marie Hurst
Long Beach, Calif.
Pity poor Nancy, who must now be satisfied with wearing only clothes she can afford to buy and will henceforth be referred to by the press as "dowdy" and "frumpy." Perhaps my grandmother was right about making silk purses out of sows' ears.
How do you explain to a child who didn't get a toy for Christmas, a woman who sleeps over a steam grate or a man who hasn't eaten in three days why a woman has to wear a dress that costs $45,000? For $45,000 it should at least have a kitchen.
In the current issue of PEOPLE there is a photograph of Mrs. Reagan wearing a suit of ours that was designed in 1984. The price of the suit at that time was $1,900, and you quote the price in your issue at $3,000. I consider that erroneous information.
New York City
We were referring to the approximate retail price of the dress, which was higher than the wholesale or cost price.—ED.
Your article about Tim Richmond was accurate and honest. Thanks for dispelling the rumors of Tim being a drug addict. His friends and crew members have constantly denied the drug stories but were never believed. Tim's only vice was the fast social life that goes with successful racing.
Willow Grove, Pa.
I find it almost impossible to believe that the jury in the Larry Mahoney case did not agree with Attorney General Paul Richwalsky Jr., who said, "Plain and simple, this is a murder case." Unfortunately, the Mahoney jury has sent a very clear message to drunk drivers everywhere that drinking, driving and killing is punishable by little more than a slap on the wrist.
If Larry Mahoney is so remorseful, so guilt stricken, why is he appealing his sentence? I agree with the victims' families. Larry Mahoney should have been sentenced to life without parole—and his cell walls should be hung with the photographs of the children he murdered.
Since I bought my Nintendo game set, I too have had good and not-so-good sessions playing Super Mario Brothers. You printed a great story about the people there to help us game junkies, but you failed to include the phone number. By the way, is this a 24-hour phone number? What if I get stuck in a dungeon at 3 A.M.?
Maxine M. Nagel-Mattick
The hot-line honchos are available at 206-885-7529, Monday through Saturday, 4 A.M. to 10 P.M., PST—ED.