September 22, 1980 12:00 PM

Willie Nelson

I’ve always been an avid fan of Willie Nelson, and your story was like getting to know a good friend even better (PEOPLE, September 1). It’s comforting to know that after working so hard and long, Willie’s got a sweet and loving family to share his success and happiness with. He deserves it all.

Carol Watters

Birmingham

It’s bad enough to be going to college where drunkenness and fornication seem to be the rule rather than the exception, but why laud an example such as Mr. Nelson who considers divorce, drinking and drugs as normal behavior? And if a “change for the better” means that cocaine is out, but $3,500-a-pound grass is okay, that shows what a sorry state our culture has sunk to.

John S. Moir

San Diego

Michelle Smith

Regarding the story of the Canadian woman who has childhood memories of Satan: Two words come to mind. One is “bull.”

Beth Michel

Eldorado, Ohio

My criticism is not of Michelle Smith but of her psychiatrist, Dr. Larry Pazder, who has set the practice of psychiatry back to the Middle Ages. Surely any person of logic, especially a psychiatrist, whose science is based on reason, can see the source of her torment, that being the real experiences she suffered at the hands of a demented group of people. One does not have to conjure up supernatural devils.

Morton P. Israel, M.D.

Corona, Calif.

Laraine Newman

Concerning your article on SNL’s Laraine Newman: You say only that Laraine “once suffered from scoliosis.” To my knowledge, scoliosis [abnormal curvature of the spine] does not just correct itself, and someone missed a very good opportunity to encourage young people with scoliosis to undergo corrective treatment. Too many teenagers reject treatment for various reasons, and I am sure they regret it. My curvature was reduced from 85° to 40° through spinal fusion, a Harrington rod and three years in a brace. I will let you figure out just how much encouragement a 13-year-old needs to go through that!

Vicki Marsh

Fremont, Calif.

Replies Laraine Newman: “I wore a six-pound neck-to-hip body brace at the worst possible age, from 13 to 15. It was off for only one hour a day and, yes, I even wore it to bed. I already had braces on my teeth and really awful acne, and now walking traction. But to me there was just no choice. My curvature was not severe, but without that cumbersome brace, it would have become progressively worse. I absolutely encourage young people to seek corrective treatment. The alternative is being deformed with a hunchback for the rest of your life.”—ED.

Edward Jenkinson

Speechless? Shocked? Not strong enough. If the books Professor Jenkinson is holding are a fair representation of titles commonly censored in the majority of U.S. schools, I have a deep sense of fear for American education. I am no expert, but how can the people who would ban books of this caliber honestly expect the nation’s young to react maturely and competently to the world and society when they come of age?

Steven O. Helton

Florence, Ariz.

I have to agree totally with anyone who is trying his best to keep our schools free of smut and violence. I have read most of the material on the ban list, and don’t think our nation’s youth should be subjected to such vulgarities.

I also propose that the following be added to the blacklist:

1. Anything by Shakespeare. The man was a degenerate.

2. Anything by Melville. Anyone who would title a book Moby Dick can’t be trusted.

3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A proper young lady living with seven men in the woods? Unthinkable.

4. Anything by the Brothers Grimm. Proliferation of sex and violence, and you can’t even say “fairy tales” in a high school without getting giggles.

5. PEOPLE magazine. Sorry.

6. The Encyclopaedia Britannica. Just to be sure.

7. The Holy Bible. It’s full of sex, scandal, murder, sodomy, conspiracy, harlots and all manner of vermin.

Power to the people protecting our youth and our future. Heaven forbid that they learn to think for themselves.

L. Lynn Hart

Anaheim, Calif.

McDowell & Steenburgen

At first I thought I had so thoroughly enjoyed Time after Time for its fast-moving and intriguing plot. After seeing it again, however, I realized most of my enjoyment came from watching the loving relationship develop between the two main characters, played by Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen. A superbly talented couple.

Donna Purcell Mayes

Petersburg, Va.

Willard Scott

It was only a matter of time before PEOPLE discovered the appeal of Willard Scott. There is something special about this great bear of a man that makes me rush to see Today every morning. He’s a breath of fresh air to a show that long suffered from an acute case of lethargy.

Jan Williams

Topeka, Kans.

Jackson Browne

How anyone could label the closing track on Jackson Browne’s new album “disappointing” is beyond me, but to say it “contains an embarrassing soul-talk sequence” is downright insane. I was deeply moved. It’s not often that an artist opens up and displays such honesty and emotion.

Kathy Shirer

Manchester, Conn.

Warren Hirsh

As a mother of a teenager, I would like to tell off both Mr. Hirsh and Mr. Murjani. I am tired of this Seventh Avenue rip-off. All these designer jeans just add to the peer pressure kids are already under these days. I hope the “jeans war” continues and they slaughter each other.

Mrs. Mitzi Yezek

Fort Lauderdale

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