updated 05/22/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/22/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Thank you for your moving cover story on the late Abbie Hoffman (PEOPLE, May 1). You did the public a great service by sparing them the usual media inaccuracies. For me, the tragic news of his death was like reliving the tragic loss of John Lennon all over again. For over 20 years, Abbie was an inspiration to me to concern myself with humanity and act on my beliefs. His contributions to social justice and environmentalism are beyond measure. America, as well as the rest of the world, lost a precious part of its conscience.
What killed Abbie Hoffman was the "me" generation. He gave. Today we only take.
New York City
Abbie Hoffman was a bum. Better that you write of the true heroes of that crazy era of the '60s than remind us of the social destruction that Hoffman reaped during his time on earth. Heap the laurels of patriotism and honor on the true Americans who did what they could in spite of Hoffman and Hayden and the rest of their ilk. I've waited for over 20 years to say that, and I meant every word.
Ray C. Barkley
Whether one was an activist or, like me, a soldier, we all have one thing in common now—we grew up and just plain outgrew the '60s. Abbie Hoffman did neither.
What a waste of paper. I'm a Vietnam vet, married 20 years and father of four great kids. Abbie Hoffman never spoke for my generation.
It is sad that you saw fit to put Abbie Hoffman on the cover of your magazine while relegating boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson to the far back. Hoffman, in his obvious need to perform, confused politics with show business and went out a loser. Sugar Ray, conversely, represented all that is good about America. He set a standard of excellence for us all to shoot for, and we loved him. He went out a winner. PEOPLE, your priorities are confused.
Contrary to popular belief, the Woodstock Nation is not a memory. The inhabitants work with the chronically mentally ill, the homeless, the developmentally disabled, the poor, the elderly, the infirm and the victims. We work on the streets, in the institutions and in the hospices. We volunteer time and funds to political campaigns, human rights and environmental organizations. We grew up. We live by our values. We reside in the Woodstock Nation and Abbie will be with us always.
Every yuppie stockbroker in New York, banker in Chicago, record producer in Los Angeles or anyone else who has ever sniffed, snorted, smoked or shot up an illegal drug for so-called recreational purposes has the blood of Mark Kilroy on his or her hands. Wake up, America! Drugs are taking this great country of ours: down. We can station armed drug enforcement agents every five feet around our borders, but that will not stop this pernicious disease. If there is no buyer, there will be no producer or seller.
John Hull's ranch in San Carlos is five minutes from my parents' summer home, and he used to come by and visit us. Since my parents lived in the U.S. at the time, John said he would look after the house during the winter. Nine months later my father returned, and what he found was a disaster. John had turned our home into a hospital for the contra rebels. There were armed guards and injured rebels all through the house, which is located 50 miles within Costa Rican territory. The incident cost my father thousands of dollars in repairs, and he could not get a penny out of Mr. Hull. I believe in John Hull's cause but cannot swallow how he takes advantage of Costa Rica and the people within it.
Salt Lake City
I would like to commend Brooke Shields and Anne Archer for keeping their clothes on. I'm tired of seeing women being overexposed and exploited, and I'm sick and tired of directors who assume that moviegoers have absolutely no imagination. Let's face it, if actors and actresses were truly talented, they wouldn't need to bare all.
Barbara J. Gard
Cybill Shepherd says about Bruce Willis: "I'm really happy for him and I kind of share in his big success. I think I had something to do with it." Tell me, how many times has that woman broken her arms patting herself on the back?
La Crescenta, Calif.