We have four kids who loved Annie (PEOPLE, July 12) and Aileen Quinn. I think the critics have been totally unfair: The movie succeeded in bringing the flavor of the cartoon strip to the screen. On the other hand, the reviews of E.T. have been exaggerated. E.T. is a sweet little robot with turtle skin, but Annie is a sweet human character played by a talented child. We’re pulling for Annie.
Fort Leavenworth, Kans.
What’s Hollywood coming to when a dog lives in a $27,000 mobile home and dines on prime rib? Why not a mansion in Beverly Hills and filet mignon? I think I’ll skip the movie and treat myself to a steak instead.
Walnut Creek, Calif.
Thank you for your story on George Ball. It’s time that someone took a stand on Israel. What happened to the Jews during World War II was a terrible and insane act, but America can’t look toward the Holocaust forever as an excuse for Israeli actions such as the invasion of Lebanon.
I was stunned to read that our Congress is giving Israel $7 million a day. That mounts up to $2.5 billion a year, at a time when the same Congress is searching for ways to cut Medicare and Social Security and to tax more services and businesses.
Kathryn Dugan Crunk
How dare George Ball call Israel’s attack on Lebanon a “reckless and bloody adventure” when anybody can see that it was a rational move in selfdefense?
Bari and David Belosa
Picks & Pans
We are Trekkies but we’re not blind. We would have no qualms about your review of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan if it hadn’t been for the abundance of ignorant remarks. Yes, there were a few Trekkie in-jokes, but anyone who has been around for the last 20 years would have understood them. And with regard to Khan himself, you haven’t done your homework. How can Ricardo Montalban be “hilariously miscast” in a role that he originated (in a 1967 TV episode)?
A hearty thank-you for excerpting one of the poems from my book The Mud Actor. But you put the wrong picture above the excerpt! That s a photo of fellow National Poetry Series winner Denis Johnson, and not yours truly.
PEOPLE apologizes for this case of mistaken identity.
I feel a disservice was done by your article about a deaf gang in New York because it perpetuated the idea that deafness is a horrible disability. I’ve been deaf for seven years, I’m married to a deaf man and have a deaf son. The greatest misconception in your article was the statement that “for many [deaf] communication is virtually impossible.” Most deaf adults manage to communicate fairly well with hearing people. It’s not always easy—sometimes it’s frustrating, and it does require patience and understanding on both sides. Deafness is not a tragedy but rather an inconvenience. We don’t want or need your pity, nor do we want your awe for managing to live productive lives. All we ask is to be accepted as human beings with the same rights and feelings as the rest of you. Stop trying to change us into your image of what a deaf person should be. Marge Liberski
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Thank you for Lou Ann Walker’s affecting article about the deaf gang, the Nasty Homicides. I hope it does something to ameliorate prejudice against the deaf. When I see people signing, I don’t stare at them—I just have trouble tearing my eyes away because I think their language is so beautiful, so animated and intimate. I know I am seeing poetry I can’t understand.
New York City
My father died of Alzheimer’s disease three years ago. It’s a horrible way to die. It robs strong, independent, intelligent human beings of those qualities and of their dignity as well. This is the first and only time I’ve ever expressed my rage. I hated Alzheimer’s as it was happening; I hate it still. My father was one of the lucky ones: It only took six years to kill him. He was 62 when he died, and I will never be able to erase the memory of the hollowness, of the blank void in his eyes. I rejoice to know that he is free and whole again through death.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
I want to tell Senator Pressler that he shouldn’t worry about whether his father knows that he is visiting him. He does. My grandfather, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, passed away last February. I can’t remember the last time he called me by name, but two weeks before he died he took my face into his hands, looked me straight in the eyes and smiled. I think this was his way of saying thanks.