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If our mail is any indication, Custer is still on a losing streak. With a few exceptions, our correspondents think Native American Barbara Booher is the perfect choice to be superintendent of the national battlefield bearing Custer’s name. They also feel that the role of Native Americans in U.S. history has been distorted too long and that the record should now be set straight.


As a lifetime admirer of sultry Ava Gardner, I want to thank you for your article on her. We will never see her likes again. The cover was exquisite.

Robert Zukas

Mountain View, Calif.

I appreciated your Ava Gardner cover but take exception to the headline THE LAST GODDESS. While Miss Gardner certainly belonged in the pantheon of goddesses, she was not the last. Garbo still lives; so do Dietrich, Lamarr and Lana Turner. Then we have Bardot, Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren. And Liz Taylor. We still have goddesses on earth.

John Harry Lee

Williamstown, W.Va.


Thank you for the article on ovarian cancer. In 1976, when our daughter Linda was 21, she was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer. She and her husband were attending college and had one little boy, 14 months old. Linda had three surgeries and 18 months of chemotherapy. Today she teaches third grade and is doing fine. We thank God every day for the wonderful doctors and the treatment that was available to save her life.

Nellie Lynch

Hooker, Okla.

If ovarian cancer were contagious through intercourse, you can bet your life there would have been a test to detect it years ago. When are the American people going to demand an accounting of all the money given to cancer research, including plush facilities, as well as what has been accomplished over the last 20 years? The victims of AIDS are doing what cancer victims should have done years ago—demand results fast.

Jo Everly

Scottsdale, Ariz.

I was thirtysomething and diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer eight years ago. I was three years into a new marriage and had two young children to raise. I had much to live for, and to think I could die was devastating. John Lurain became my doctor, and we won. Thank you, John, you’re the best.

Camille Tasson

Elk Grove, Ill.


When profiling actors with roles in currently running movies, you sometimes give away too much. Shortly after Top Gun was released, your story on Anthony Edwards revealed that his character dies. Now you’ve told the world of Esther Rolle’s fate in Driving Miss Daisy. Why don’t you wait until the film is on video?

Bill Bouwman

Owosso, Mich.


Hooray for Barbara Booher! I don’t like Custer either. Errol Flynn memorialized him in the movie They Died with Their Boots On, but in reality Custer was egotistical, impulsive and really stupid; he graduated at the bottom of his West Point class. He wasn’t a real general either and was only named a brevet general during the Civil War. By 1876 he was beginning to fade from the public eye and saw Little Big Horn as his chance to have people talk about the “boy general” again. Shed not a tear for Custer, but for those who died under his inept command.

Dorothy Ludwig

St. Louis

Our country should be thankful that a Native American has been appointed superintendent of the Custer Battlefield. Yes, Custer was a Civil War hero and brave in battle; however, the Indians who fought against him were equally brave and did win the battle. God bless Barbara Booher for her determination. The Little Big Horn Associates should realize that all history should be noted and remembered—not only the white man’s version.

Veronica Elmendorf

Los Angeles

Kudos to Barbara Booher. It’s about time we begin teaching our children real history.

Carolyn J. Custer

Las Vegas

Custer was a pompous barbarian who personally wanted to annihilate the Native American race. I cannot imagine anyone considering him a hero.

Ann C. Barnett

Staunton, Va.

The best thing that could have been done was putting Barbara Booher in charge of the Custer Battlefield. For a country that expounds freedom and democracy, we’re certainly a lousy example after what we did to the original landowners. The government is going to pay reparations to Japanese-Americans who were put in detention camps at the start of World War II. It can never repay the American Indian for what it did to them.

Frank J. Anderson

Ellenwood, Ga.