Correspondents reacted to our Cheyenne Brando cover story (PEOPLE, May 1) with sympathy and anger. The sympathy, for the most part, was reserved for Cheyenne, a suicide at 25, and the anger was directed at her bereaved father, Marlon, who many readers felt deserved to be censured as an irresponsible parent.
I felt pity for Cheyenne Brando; she obviously tried her whole life to gain the attention of her emotionally absent and inattentive father. May she rest in peace. We can only hope that her son will be raised in a more caring and loving atmosphere. As for Marlon Brando, how can a man who obviously doesn’t know how to be a decent father conceive (at least) 11 children with (at least) seven different women? He should be ashamed of himself.
LIZ BABCOCK, Zephyrhills, Fla.
Eleven children who don’t even know each other! We who consider ourselves civilized neuter our pets to control the animal population. What a shame this procedure isn’t applied to the likes of Marlon Brando.
BERNICE M. GOODELL
Referring to Marlon Brando as “stunningly obese” may have been more appropriate for “The Best & Worst Bodies of 1995” than for an article that should have concentrated on the unimaginable grief he is experiencing. His son is in jail for murder. He just buried his daughter. Both of them made the choices that put them where they are now. Marlon Brando did not. When a man’s down, either help him up or leave him alone. Quit kicking.
ALLISON TUCKER, Salt Lake City
I am totally clueless as to why you thought Cheyenne Brando deserved your cover. As I look at the pictures crossing my TV screen of suffering, heroism and stoicism in the face of the bombing in Oklahoma City, Cheyenne Brando looks like a pitiable but trivial figure in history who barely deserves a footnote, much less the cover of a national magazine.
Kansas City, Mo.
I was most distressed to see the two-page spread on actress Paula Korologos with the American flag dragging in the water. I do not think it is either tasteful or appropriate to use the flag as a mere photograph prop, and it shows disrespect. This is particularly offensive in light of the bombing in Oklahoma City, at a time when the flag has become a symbol of unity and hope in a national tragedy. The flag deserves better treatment, and so do your readers.
JOHN D. GRIFFIN, Lewiston, Maine
Spencer Schlosnagle is sick. And obviously the town of Friendsville, Md., doesn’t care who represents them or governs their town. In normal towns public officers are looked up to and respected. Who would want their children looking up to someone who honks his car horn so other people can watch him masturbate? Get a life, Spencer, and get out of the public eye.
LORI L. HOUSEMAN, LeRoy, Mich.
The town of Friendsville should be renamed Looneyville. Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle is truly one sick puppy. I ask the residents of Friendsville, “Is the trade-off for some new sidewalks really worth it?”
GAIL KUCHAISKI, Grand Island, N.Y.
Your article was very touching. I also was born in Saigon and was adopted by an American family when I was an infant. I want to thank all couples who adopted Vietnamese children, including my own mother and father, who already had three sons of their own but made room for me.
MERI ELKINS, Biloxi, Miss.
I read with dismay your interview with Philip Howard, who criticized the replacement of doorknobs with handles and the necessity for accessible toilets as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. As the executive director of a disability rights agency and as a person with a disability, I am appalled at his shortsightedness. For those of us with limited manual dexterity, a doorknob is as good as a lock, and we who use wheelchairs occasionally do need to use the toilet when we are out in public. It is important to remember that the Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law. Before its enactment, we were excluded from many opportunities those without disabilities take for granted, such as doors we can open and even employment. So before Mr. Howard criticizes laws he clearly does not understand, I would encourage him to try a little harder to overcome his own disability—small-mindedness.
CINDY CROUSE-MARTIN, Raleigh, N.C.