Your tribute to teacher and astronaut Christa McAuliffe (PEOPLE, Feb. 10) was very moving. With her boundless spirit, she captured the hearts of Americans everywhere, and we all mourn her loss in the shuttle tragedy. However I was disappointed that you only made brief mention of the other six crew members of the Challenger; shuttle commander Francis Scobee, pilot Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka and Gregory Jarvis. Every one of them devoted their lives to the space program, putting in years of schooling and intense training. Every one of them also bravely risked death for something they believed in and loved. They should not be forgotten.
For an explanation of the focus of our story, turn to page 2
I thought I knew you well. I told my husband you would have Christa McAuliffe’s picture on the cover of the magazine this week, and you did. I told him you would have a large story and photo spread on her, and you did. I said you would have a page or half-page profile and picture on the other six Challenger astronauts who gave their lives for our space program. And you didn’t. Shame on you, PEOPLE!
West Palm Beach, Fla.
I have been trying very hard to deal with my profound sorrow over losing a good friend—Judy Resnik—in the devastating shuttle accident. Your coverage of the tragedy has not helped. As I search for solace, I remember the families and loved ones of six other individuals who are also trying to deal with their grief. Your decision to commemorate only one of the seven Challenger crew members was unenlightened and insensitive.
Mary S. Helfer
Thank you for your speedy and excellent article on Christa McAuliffe. Your touching interviews with several of her former students gave me a deeper insight into the power of a teacher who inspired all of us with the example of her zestful life and fearless death. Your cover photograph of her is now posted on our school’s activity room bulletin board with the caption “Reach for the Stars.”
Sister Bonita Determan
Cathedral Grade School
Your story on Christa McAuliffe was a worthy tribute to a woman who had it all—vision, curiosity and the love and support of her family. I hope and pray that the day will come when I can see her picture and not feel tears well up.
I have defended the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) with my heart and soul in the past—but no more. I can’t believe N.O.W. opposed Lillian Garland’s efforts to have the U.S. Supreme Court affirm her right to return to her job in a Los Angeles bank after maternity leave. It is ridiculous to argue that this would deny equal treatment to men, who can lose their jobs because of medical disability. Giving birth to a child is not a disability. It is a miracle which should not be cause for someone to lose their livelihood.
Janis Lynn Loring
Battle Creek, Mich.
We women are going to ruin any progress toward equality by being irrational and greedy. Lillian Garland chose to have a baby rather than to work and should accept responsibility for her choice. Should a company be penalized by having to hire and train a temporary employee so a woman can fulfill a personal need?
E. Christine Mokricky
As a paraprofessional in the mental health field, I read with great interest your interview with Dr. Ellen Bassuk of Harvard on the psychology of the homeless. I work with clientele for whom homelessness is a condition secondary to their mental illness. For many of these individuals, deinstitutionalization is not practical. Soup kitchens and shelters can provide custodial care, but not the structure, support and follow-up that are necessary for them to keep the symptoms of their illness in remission. Compassion, understanding and ultimately a wider recognition of the problem are necessary before we can begin to effectively deal with homelessness.
Joan Collins with a conscience? Hah! If the poor man’s Liz Taylor had a conscience, she wouldn’t know what to do with it. Her statement that homosexuality is fine “within reason, like if two hairdressers live together” is too stereotypical and narrow-minded to be believed. Shame on you Joan! Shame!
Roselle Park, N.J.
Joan Collins would do well to nip and tuck her comments about homosexuality as smoothly as she does her wrinkles.
New York City
Sean and Madonna
One has to find irony in the thought that a man who ostensibly cherishes his privacy as much as Sean Penn would deliberately seek a career in the public eye and marry Madonna—a woman whose navel is as recognizable as her face. To make things worse, Madonna disparagingly refers to her adoring fans as poor souls who lead “such boring lives.” Just who do these deluded infants think is financing the opulent life-style they enjoy? I, for one, will never spend another penny on any film, video or album remotely associated with Sean Penn or Madonna. I hope they are soon relegated to the obscurity they richly deserve.
Kathleen C. Martin
New York City
Sean Penn and Madonna should be treated like a bad headache. If we don’t think about them, maybe they will go away.