Mail

updated 06/18/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/18/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Readers were saddened by the deaths of Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson, and disturbed that Henson was not given a place on our cover (PEOPLE, May 28)—an omission, forced by the lateness of his death in our editorial week, that has since been rectified (see cover). "The real tragedy," wrote one correspondent, "is that both men died too soon. They had so much to give the world."

SAMMY DAVIS JR.
I never saw Sammy Davis Jr. perform live—something I'll always regret. Quirky politics, painful personal struggles and extreme mannerisms aside, Sammy was the very embodiment of true entertainment. I've snickered at his garish attire, winced at his corny material and stared in disbelief at his nonpareil brand of totally sincere insincerity, yet I've always been left spellbound by his superb talent and inordinate dedication to showmanship. For a person of such diminutive stature, Sammy Davis Jr. truly was larger than life.
Scott Breuninger
Weston, Conn.

It's a shame Sammy had to die to get on everybody's in list. As one of the fans who thought Sammy was tops even when he was out, I think your salutatory cover story comes five years too late. Altovise has one consolation. There won't be any parasitic biographers scavenging through her husband's closet. Sammy's two autobiographies invited the world to look at—and learn from—the skeletons inside. He left this world with a clean slate.
Tom Andel
Seven Hills, Ohio

JIM HENSON
How dare you obscure the contributions of Jim Henson! I was a devoted fan of Sammy Davis, but why not have put both men on the cover? Thanks to the talents and efforts of Jim Henson, the Muppet generation began their school days knowing the ABCs and how to make friends. Mr. Henson deserves praise from parents, children and educators and should have been memorialized with more respect.
Sheila Brayman-Borgese
West Windsor, N.J.

Not only do children all over the world mourn the loss of Jim Henson, so do their parents. He was a treasure, a talented man with a rare gift for making people of all ages feel good. He left the world a "kinder, gentler" place. Fortunately for us, his fabulous spirit lives on through the many Muppet friends he created for us.
Wendy DiTraglia
Issaquah, Wash.

DAN & KEVIN HOOD
I don't feel sorry for either Dan Hood or his son, Kevin. Dan seems to think that Kevin should be forever indebted to Dan for bringing him out of Vietnam. On the other hand, Kevin doesn't seem to appreciate anything his father does for him. Whatever Dan's reasons were for bringing Kevin back, his decision not to involve Kevin's mother in any details of the boy's life shows that he doesn't really care. Kevin, however, hasn't ever expressed a desire to see his real mom, only complained about Dan. And refusing to go to the college of his "dreams" because the father he hates won't pay for it all? That's just stupid.
Karmi Mattson
Centerville, S.D.

As a mother of six, I do not find it unusual to find a teenage boy who is sulky, selfish and angry—even if he is an American-raised Vietnamese.
A. Carroll
Carmel, Calif.

ANDREW DICE CLAY
Andrew Dice Clay says, "I'll be nominated for an Oscar in five years." I'll nominate him right now for an O-S-C-A-R (Obscene, Scatological, Crude, Arrogant, Reprehensible). As for the real Oscar, no dice, Dice.
James A. Able Jr.
Tampa, Fla.

PICKS & PANS
Ralph Novak's main criticism of Longtime Companion was that it was insular and alienating to "straight" people. Although I do not consider myself one of the "hard-core gay chauvinists" referred to by Mr. Novak, I was glad to see a movie that portrayed certain gay life-styles realistically, rather than in the usual stiff and sterilized manner tailored not to offend the mainstream. My feeling was that the movie's purpose was to portray a devastating disease's profound effect on the gay community. Because of AIDS, this community has been forced to strive for truth, dignity and our very lives, sometimes at the expense of approval from others. I have yet to read a review of a movie that was criticized for being inaccessible to a gay audience.
Keith Hoffman
Brooklyn, N.Y.

ADDENDUM
On behalf of the World Contacts Network, our volunteers and thousands of letter-writing participants on both sides of the Atlantic, I would like to extend my appreciation for your recent article on our organization (PEOPLE, June 4). The article, however, failed to mention that WCN requires $4 for handling per contact requested. As these charges are our only source of funding, PEOPLE readers who have requested East bloc contacts from us will, unfortunately, have to resubmit their requests with handling costs enclosed.
Michael Walsten
World Contacts Network
Eden Prairie, Minn.

From Our Partners