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UPDATED 07/29/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/29/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT

Some readers took celebrity moms to task for their excessive reliance on hired help, while others were convinced their household names made adopting easier (PEOPLE, July 8). Words of praise were saved for Keshia Thomas, the teen who saved a man from an angry mob. One reader wrote, "I cut out her photo and put it in my scrapbook with Rosa Parks, both remarkable women."

BABY BOOM
How about an article on moms who have no nannies, limos, $5,000 cribs or too many gifts to count? Millions of us quietly mother our children on average salaries and clean our homes ourselves after helping to finish a science project. Self-indulgence is for the privileged few; self-reliance is for the rest of us.
JUDITH NOBLES, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Your baby boom article made having a baby seem like buying a doll in a toy store. I hope these stars know how blessed they are to have these children. If they really want to know what it feels like to be a mom, they should get rid of their nannies and maids, put their careers on hold and devote themselves 100 percent to their babies.
WENDY THOMPSON, Little Rock

I am horrified to see that having (or adopting) a child is becoming a trend. Children are people. They are not playthings, status symbols or accessories.
MARY PERKINS, Atherton, Calif.

We get to see all the other babies. How come we don't get to see Parker Jaren O'Donnell's face?
LEE ANNE KRASUE, Beaverton, Ore.

For security reasons, Rosie requested her son's face not be shown.—Ed.

KESHIA THOMAS
Keshia Thomas is certainly to be commended for rescuing a fellow human being from an angry mob. However, I think Jeffrey Berry, a national imperial wizard of the KKK, should also give thanks to the many black, Jewish, Arabic, Indian, Hispanic, Asian, straight and gay men and women who have risked and given their lives for this great nation. Without them, he and his followers wouldn't have the freedom to spread their wicked, ignorant, antagonistic, racist hatred. As a man born and raised in the South, I can tell you that the Klan is an embarrassment not only to the white race but to the entire human race as well.
RICHARD S. BRYMER JR. Orange Park, Fla.

Keshia Thomas is the best kind of hero, an ordinary person doing the extraordinary. Congratulations, Keshia, for showing all those narrow-minded bigots that compassion is color-blind.
JENNA FISH, Chicago

My fourth graders think that a hero is someone who can dunk a basket or kick a ball. I am going to tell them about Keshia Thomas.
CARMELLE LAMOTHE Manchester, N.H.

Keshia Thomas proved that though there is such an ugly word as "racist," there are even stronger words, such as "integrity" and "courage."
ALISA M. OBORN, Sandy, Utah

PICKS & PANS
Joanne Kaufman showed her ignorance of romance novels when she referred to Regency romances as bodice rippers. She suggested it is rare to use words like "witty" to describe a Regency romance, when the opposite is true. Regencies, comedies of manners set in the English Regency period, are known for their witty repartee. As for the term "bodice ripper," it refers to a set of historical romances published in the early '80s in which heroines were nearly raped by heroes in the thrall of passion. As a Regency author and a history graduate of Rice University, I know whereof I speak.
PATRICIA WYNN RICKS, Austin, Texas

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
River Phoenix. Robert Downey Jr. Two of the few great actors of my generation. River is gone. Robert, please seek help. The thought of losing another young, brilliant, incredibly diverse actor is unbearable.
CHRISTINE WAGNER, Las Vegas

BIKINI'S BIRTHDAY
I was shocked by the photo of the Chanel bikini representing the '90s. No, not the size of the suit but the size of the model. Amid the beautiful and voluptuous figures of Raquel and Marilyn, the "ideal" of not so long ago, the '90s model looks as though she had just escaped from Bosnia. Please, somebody feed that woman! CHARLOTTE WIETHOFF Redondo Beach, Calif.

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