Readers were outraged by the story of 19-year-old Kevin Deschene of Lowell, Mass., who was convicted of beating his dog, Champ (PEOPLE, April 30). We received more than 400 letters, many from correspondents offering to adopt the mistreated animal. All had strong words for the Deschene family, which at the last minute abandoned plans to seek Champ’s return through the courts (see story on page 76).
Greta Garbo’s arresting screen presence and halogenlike beauty transformed even the most mediocre of her films into works of art. What I find disturbing is Raymond Daum’s willingness to capitalize on the friendship and trust that Miss Garbo extended to him. If he had truly been a friend to the late actress, he would have kept the details of their friendship private. In light of her personality, I’m sure this is what Miss Garbo would have wished.
David A. DiDarrio
How pathetic that Miss Garbo’s walking companion, Raymond Daum, intends to expose her to the public scrutiny she tried to avoid for so many years. Had she known, perhaps she could have detoured and taken him on a long walk off a short pier into the East River.
New York City
In 1970, I was at B. Altman’s going up the escalator when I noticed opposite me, on the down escalator, a woman dressed in a long black mink, with sunglasses and a long pageboy hairdo. Yes, it was Greta Garbo, and yes, I was determined to speak to her. I raced around and ended up standing beside her. I casually asked, “Excuse me, could you tell me the time, please.” She turned, looked me up and down and said, “You look like the sort of young man who would have a watch. If you don’t, I suggest you buy one.” With that, she was gone. Twenty years later, I can say that I am never going to have that 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol promised us little people, but what the heck—Greta Garbo spoke to me.
Hooray to the neighbor, Jim Molloy, who caught that Kevin Deschene in the act of beating his dog, Champ. I think it’s obvious from Deschene’s conviction record that he’s not your average boy next door. How can anyone dispute 30 snapshots of him committing the act? I think the Deschenes should shut up and pay their dues. After all, it could be worse. I could have lived next door to them. I don’t think I would have stopped at taking pictures of Kevin beating the dog. God forgive me, I just might have given him a taste of his own “discipline.”
What a pity that an animal had to endure an hour-long beating in order to muster enough evidence to warrant the conviction of Kevin Deschene. Jim Molloy’s efforts in photographing that monster Deschene in action are to be applauded.
Mary Ellen Coghlan
I pray that the Lowell, Mass., Humane Society refuses to return Champ to the Deschene family. I also pray that Kevin Deschene never has children.
Perhaps we should hit Kevin Deschene on the head with a board and see how long it takes him to put his head down. Animal abuse can only be equated with low human mentality.
I simply cannot believe that the lead singer of Whitesnake, David Coverdale, openly referred to his wife as “a sex goddess and my whore.” To his wife, I say, “Wake up and smell the coffee!” I know that love is sometimes blind, deaf and dumb, but I had absolutely no idea that it was also incredibly tacky.
This letter is in response to Al Shaw, who so eloquently stated that if the abortion pill is put on the market then “bed-hoppin’ would become the pastime of the American female.” I would like to point out to Mr. Shaw that any bed a woman “hops” into will have a man in it too. Promiscuity is not sexually biased, although it sounds as if Mr. Shaw is.
Kimberly Gardner Hughes
The letter in which Mark Roghmans asks, “Why do gifted, intelligent men knowingly engage in a sexual practice that so frequently ends in death?” betrays the writer’s ignorance. He apparently assumes that the men described in the article on AIDS in the fashion industry were heedlessly practicing unsafe sex right up until they developed full-blown AIDS in the late 1980s. The fact is that the AIDS virus can have an incubation period of 10 years, maybe longer. Therefore it’s likely that many of the men mentioned contracted the virus in the late ’70s and early ’80s—well before the dangers of unprotected sex were widely known.