09/02/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT
More than 300 readers offered the same earnest advice to singer Gloria Estefan: Put your daughter in a car seat. Correspondents were appalled that Estefan (PEOPLE, Aug. 12), who survived a near-fatal bus accident in 1990, would ride in her Range Rover with 20-month-old Emily on her lap. Another celeb taken to task was basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, father of a 6-week-old daughter, for remarking that he is looking forward to having sons so he can pass on his "stuff."
Your story on Gloria Estefan was a wonderful example of the American dream come true. However, I was surprised that Ms. Estefan allows her 20-month-old daughter to ride on her lap in the car, especially after Ms. Estefan's terrible bus accident and her difficulties conceiving. Adult seat belts do not protect children. While the Estefans may be able to afford a fine, they would not be able to so easily afford the loss of their child.
SARA WILSON STANDER, Fresno, Calif.
Anyone who travels with a child on their lap, even if only for a 15-minute ride, is asking for trouble and heartache.
LINDA MULLINS, Peoria, Ariz.
It's refreshing to see such talent infused with a sense of spirituality and true family values. Gloria Estefan is in a class by herself.
JAN-MARIE SCHNEIDER, Milwaukee
I can personally identify with Gloria Estefan's struggle to conceive a second child. But I am reminded of the many women who try unsuccessfully for years to have a baby, then can no longer pay out-of-pocket expenses or run out of insurance benefits altogether. Many women never get to take advantage of the best treatments available. Ms. Estefan is truly blessed.
ANITA GROSS BRESLIN
East Brunswick, N.J.
Would someone please let Shaq in on a little secret? He can pass his "stuff" to his daughter as well as any sons he might have in the future. If I were his daughter, I would tell my dad to keep his chauvinistic ideals to himself!
MELODY THOMASON, Oklahoma City
CENTENNIAL PARK BOMBING
I'm glad someone cared enough to express the sorrow in losing Alice Hawthorne. It seems that everyone else focused on the bombing and left out the victim.
CANDICE BOYLES, Sherwood, Ark.
I am 28 and have had diabetes for 23 years. What struck me about your article on Dana Hill was her mother's seemingly negative attitude toward her daughter's very controllable condition. When I was diagnosed, it was a blow to my parents, but we all met diabetes head-on. I am happy to say my childhood was a typical one. I still lead an active life. I line-dance, travel, have a great job and husband. Diabetes is one aspect of my life that I control. It doesn't control me.
ALLYSON KISH, Metuchen, N.J.
The tragic early death of Dana Hill seemed to be reported in PEOPLE as her own fault. While it may be true that vigilant management will reduce the severity of complications, it is also true that insulin does not cure diabetes. Good care alone does not fix this disease either, and Dana Hill's grieving family need not characterize her as a "loser" because she could not stop its destructive effects. We all need to be aware that diabetes is incurable and that diabetics need support for research toward a cure.
DOROTHY SCHOENING, Rockville, Md.
Congratulations to Richard and Georgiana Thomas—not only on the birth of Montana but for choosing to birth at home. As a mother of four, three born at home, I applaud their decision. Home birth, however, is not a "feminist" decision. It is a decision families make not to be medicated, probed and generally treated like a patient instead of a parent.
TAMRA B. ORR, Warsaw, Ind.
TWA FLIGHT 800
We TWA flight attendants based in New York City are just coming out of our grief to focus on the future. There were 32 flight attendants on Flight 800 who left behind 19 children. A fund has been established to help these children. Donations may be sent to Friends of Flight 800 Fund, IFFA, 720 Olive St., Suite 1700, St. Louis, Mo. 63101.
TONI WEBER, Lighthouse Point, Fla.