I admire Roger Daltrey (PEOPLE, Dec. 15) for what he was, not for what he is. He is a fine example of the artist who goes from the great to the mediocre, simply to cash in on today’s market.
Mary Jane Shoemaker
Your article made me feel like a teeny-bopper again. As a vocalist, Daltrey isn’t much on style—but none (save, perhaps, Kate Smith) can match him in terms of sheer power. The same seems true of his offstage personality. Your interview revealed that Daltrey possesses only a vestigial brain beneath those buttery ringlets, but what a gorgeous hunk of meat!
I am a witness under protective custody. My funding is $640 a month, but funding stops when testimony stops. For two years I had no place to turn. I lost all my furnishings and everything personal—I sold everything to survive. When they pick you up and place you in another location, it is not easy to find a job, although I now have one.
I don’t expect the taxpayers to take care of me all my life, but my husband paid $70,000 a year in taxes when he was alive, and I am responsible for convictions in 40 cases [on charges of drug abuse and conspiracy]. Witnesses are not “wise guys,” as John Partington calls them. I was working for the New York Joint Task Force on Drug Abuse when I turned state’s witness. For one reason or another witnesses got involved with these characters, but we are not just pieces of dirt. And John Partington is not the man who lays his life on the line. He sits at a desk. The marshals who take us back and forth to court—they risk their lives, and they get no reward or recognition.
John Partington knows the witness and replies: “She is right in that it takes everybody we have in the organization to make the Witness Security Program go—the U.S. Attorney General, the Department of Justice and every one of the 2,100 marshals and deputy marshals in the country. The men out there in the field are indeed the ones on the firing line. But I have lived out of a suitcase for seven years and I was not behind a desk when I met the witness in a motel one morning at 2 a.m. By the time she came to us she was broke, and within 90 days we got her established in another community with another identity and got her a job. We’re the Department of Justice; we’re not God. We cannot make witnesses happy, only safe and reasonably content.”—ED.
Anne Ford Uzielli
If you were the 32-year-old Anne Uzielli, how would you like the 28-year-old Chris Carey to refer to you as “the girl” Dad brought home?
Margery E. Ames
You’ve done it again! You say that “the Anicks drive their mobile home South.” If they drove it, they have a motor home. Please inform your writers that a mobile home has no motor and is generally moved only when pulled from the factory to the foundations on which it is placed.
Gordon S. Huffman
What I disliked most about Rona Barrett’s recent televised interview program was the funereal air of her questioning. She seems to totally lack a sense of humor, and without that, how can she enjoy what she has achieved?
Kansas City, Mo.
Rona is the Barrett of Whimper Street, scratching instead of digging for stories. Her pseudo-bio, Miss Rona, was aggravated assault against the English language and human sensibility. Its success tells as much about the public as it doesn’t tell about her. She has already reached Mt. Somewhere. Perhaps she should try for Mt. Nowhere.
Thomas B. Stryce
Culver City, Calif.
When I interviewed “Miss Rona” on my morning television talk show in Las Vegas in 1970, I found her to be neither a climber nor a “clawer,” but rather a gracious lady with an almost disturbingly shy demeanor. Fair is fair, and all bad she ain’t.
Barry N. ZeVan
Historian Linda de Pauw
Re Dr. de Pauw’s book on Founding Mothers: If Betsy Ross did not sew our first flag, then who did?
History does not say, according to Dr. de Pauw, who points out that Revolutionary War soldiers made their own uniforms and “ran up flags on the spur of the moment.” Consequently, the seamstress of the first Stars and Stripes actually could have been a seamster.—ED.
Gary Dahl’s Pet Rocks
Your article on Gary Dahl has increased my appreciation of our free enterprise system. I am now contemplating opening a kennel for pet rocks.
Las Cruces, N.Mex.
Columnist Russell Baker recently stated that many people say we live in a sick society, but that they never point out the specific ills. Perhaps the purchasing of pet rocks should be at the top of the list. No wonder people in other countries think we’re nuts.
Although you call Gary Dahl’s pet rock promotion a passing craze, your article on the great artist Georgia O’Keeffe says that she has been known on occasion to sit for hours, feeling the shape and texture of a particularly cherished riverbed rock.
Florence E. Schott
I hope next year Gary Dahl will come out with rocks that drink and wet and say “Mommy.”
Rocky River, Ohio
It was good to read that Marjorie Margolies was a single adoptive parent before her marriage to Rep. Mezvinsky. Publicity of this sort might open up more homes to hard-to-place children. As to her being one of the U.S.’s first single adoptive parents, I must register a tiny bit of skepticism. For example, my mother-in-law, Rose Waggoner, adopted my husband shortly after his birth in 1937 and in 1940 adopted a second boy. She did a wonderful job raising these two boys and she never married. I can’t help but feel that there are a number of other people who did the same thing.
Mrs. E.C. Waggoner
Regarding your interview with John Diebold in the Oct. 6 issue, I would like to raise a point of fact with regard to your question to Mr. Diebold: “If the private sector is so efficient, why the need for subsidies to bail out Lockheed?” The fact is that the federal government has yet to put up its first dime by way of subsidy. The federal government did, four years or so ago, guarantee a bank loan to Lockheed in the amount of $250 million. That guarantee assured the restructuring of the Lockheed debt by a consortium of some 30 banks, but no actual government cash was advanced and as of July last the guarantee had been reduced to about $195 million. It works on a sliding scale. Far from advancing cash the federal government had, as of last July, recorded a net income of almost $18 million as a result of guarantee and commitment fees under the agreement. You can look it up. But this myth of the cash advance, federal subsidy, bailout fund, call it what you will, is accepted automatically as fact. If you think that I am splitting hairs and that a guarantee is in fact an advance, I suggest you try to pay your next paper bill, your next payroll, your next tax installment with guarantees rather than advances.
Lewis A. Lapham
Lapham is a former director of Bankers Trust Co., one of the 30 banks financing Lockheed.—ED.