08/11/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT
We realized our decision to give the late James Stewart (PEOPLE, July 21) shared cover space with Ivana Mazzucchelli—now, once again, Ivana Trump—would upset many correspondents, and it did. "I am sure you have received hundreds of letters from outraged readers like myself, and you deserve every last one of them!" wrote Lisa R. McClintock of Santa Clarita, Calif. Commented Terrence Ellsworth of Chicago: "You have valued transient celebrity above the immortality of one of the greatest citizens this country has ever produced. You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
Why, if you thought Jimmy Stewart's passing was significant enough to give him 11 pages in the issue, was he not the cover? Who cares if Ivana is divorcing again? After all the years of entertainment he gave us, his dedication to his country and his family, Jimmy Stewart deserved better.
KERRY MEYERS, Harlingen, Texas
I was shocked and horrified when I saw your cover. How on earth can you think that Ivana Trump's divorce is more important than the passing of a true Hollywood legend? I guess when Bob Hope dies we'd better hope Mel Gibson doesn't get a nose ring.
ROD JOHNSON, Grand Rapids
This time you really blew it! If you truly feel that Jimmy Stewart was a "pillar of integrity," how could you possibly have him share the cover with two people who are the absolute antithesis of that? If Jimmy Stewart doesn't deserve his own cover, then no one does.
PATTI ALDEN, Granger, Ind.
You've done a disservice to the last of the nice guys with such a flagrantly tasteless choice. After all these years, I can only presume you know what sells a magazine. Perhaps it's not only a sad statement about your journalistic priorities, but also about our society as a whole, that you chose as you did.
LAURIE L. BROOKINS Coconut Grove, Fla.
To share a memorial of the greatly loved and admired Jimmy Stewart with the ending of a 20-minute marriage that nobody (including the bride and groom) apparently cared about is unbelievable. Give credit to those who really deserve it.
MARGOT CANNING, via e-mail
I always knew it would be a sad day when Jimmy Stewart died. But your photo layout and beautiful depiction of this great actor and human being left me even more emotional. He was a wonderful man, and you did a great service in memorializing him. This is an issue I will keep.
JANET WIELGOS, Lincolnwood, Ill.
I lost a good friend recently—his name was Jimmy Stewart. He probably wouldn't remember the fan letters I wrote to him (although he always wrote back) and didn't know how inspirational his films were to me. But I considered him a friend just the same. I really appreciated your well-written tribute.
JEANETTE IRWIN, Palo Alto, Calif.
After reading about the latest marriage meltdown in this family, I was struck by the amount of posturing and bravado exhibited by the parties involved, including Donald Trump. It is sadly evident that glamor, glitz, fame and enormous wealth cannot substitute for emotional maturity nor instill a true understanding of what it takes to grow with and commit to one's life mate.
JOY PARKER, Grass Valley, Calif.
What possible interest does anyone in the real world have in the activities of useless and self-serving people like Ivana Trump? Her colossal arrogance in writing a book on divorce survival boggles the mind. Real women manage to survive divorce and widowhood without benefit of unlimited funds and are to be respected. I challenge you to put some of them on your cover.
ASHLEY J. WOODS, New Castle, Pa.
Anyone who has seen Mandy Patinkin perform knows that his prodigious talents are backed by a joyous and generous spirit. By speaking out about his eye condition and his successful cornea transplant, he has focused the eyes of America on the need for donated tissue and the miraculous capacity of transplant surgery to change lives. We in the transplant community, and all those who will move from darkness to light because of a corneal transplant, thank him.
TOBY DEVENS BERNSTEIN
TBI/Tissue Banks International Baltimore
I lost my 18-year-old son in a hunting accident over four years ago. The easiest decision I had to make at the time was donation of his corneas. It is a wonderful thing that out of a tragedy some goodness will come.
MARYLEE GUY, Augusta, Kans.