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BEFORE THEY WERE STARS

“It was fun to see early pictures of our favorite stars, like a special ‘treat’ mixed in with the regular articles.”

Cindy Schultz

Franklin, Wis.

I just returned home from vacation and was so excited to see a PEOPLE magazine with all my mail. I took a quick glance and thought, “Why is Princess Stephanie of Monaco on the cover?” I was wondering what she could have done. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was Brad Pitt. Thanks for the laugh. I needed some levity as I opened all of my bills.

Brenda Witwer

Austin, Texas

Are you sure that was a photo of Brad Pitt on the cover? It sure looked like actress Brooke Burns to me.

Christie Berryhill

Rock Island, Ill.

After looking at the pictures in the “Before They Were Stars” article, please tell me that at least one of the ladies has the nose with which she was born. I guess what is on the outside wins out over what is on the inside.

Deb Figley

Marysville, Penn.

ABRAHAM CHERRIX

I am deeply disturbed by the story of 16-year-old Abraham Cherrix, who suffers from Hodgkin’s disease, and how the Accomack County Department of Social Services in Virginia believes that they have any say in the medical choices made by him and his parents. The fact that a judge awarded the county temporary joint custody is ludicrous. The type of medical treatment used to treat cancer, or any serious illness for that matter, should be the sole decision of the patient and, in this case, in joint agreement with his parents. The government should have no jurisdiction over these very personal, individual decisions. Shame on Accomack County and the judge for putting this well-researched and intelligent family through more trauma.

Stephanie Burton

Barrie, Ont.

It is unfortunate to see the story of a young man so determined to defy the odds and the recommendations of wiser individuals that he ignores the advice of his doctors. What’s worse is that his parents support him. He may be 16, but in the eyes of the law, he is a child and therefore incapable of making these decisions. Although it is true that conventional cancer treatments are usually painful and unpleasant, they actually work. They worked for him once already. I work in the medical field and see people go through this every day. The sad fact is, if this child refuses this treatment, he will likely die. And for what?

Angela Foster

East Amherst, N.Y.

MARY-LOUISE PARKER

Mary-Louise Parker, you sound like a loving and responsible mom. Your little William seems like a happy little 2-year-old. You say, “He’s just not one of those children that throw themselves on the ground and scream.” I had to laugh out loud when reading this. I’m the mom of three young boys, and they were angelic, too. Then they turned 3. There is no such thing as the “terrible twos.” It’s all about the terrible threes. Like my mother says, “Be careful what you say or you’ll end up eating word sandwiches.”

Camille Miller

Hilliard, Ohio

DOGGONE DILEMMA

We received nearly 600 letters about our article on Katrina evacuees who left their dogs behind when the storm hit land and are now suing to get back their dogs from the new owners. “To the brave people who adopted pets left behind during Katrina, bravo. But now it’s time to reunite those pets with their rightful owners,” writes Joan Scholl of Algodones, N.Mex. “Haven’t those people lost enough?” Close to 90 percent of the letters were supportive of the original owners, but some readers saw the situation differently. “Whoa. The owners left their pets to fend for themselves, and now that loving people adopted them they want them back? I don’t think so,” writes Rachel Kristol of Aberdeen, N.J. “If you abandon your pets, regardless of circumstance, you also abandon your right to them.”