Best and Worst Dressed

It’s incomprehensible that so many people with unlimited clothes budgets are so utterly intimidated by fashion trends that they consistently choose clothes that are a mockery of good taste. For example, Mrs. Reagan’s satin knickers were unflattering, inappropriate to the circumstances, and they made her look like a female jockey! Once again, the best and worst dressed celebs (PEOPLE, Sept. 20) have proved that wealth is not necessarily synonymous with class.

Linda McFarlane

Pavilion, N.Y.

In your cover story, designer Geoffrey Beene remarked about Sly Stallone’s new sleeker, chic-er fashion image, “Maybe he is too much improved. He lost some of his natural charisma.” Is Mr. Beene crazy? I can’t keep my eyes off Sly in his “custom-made Italian suits and shirts and pricey silk ties.” Stallone is stunning!

Leslie Botkin Ryan

Thonotosassa, Fla.

At long last, recognition. Thank you, thank you, thank you for acknowledging Bette Midler as one of fashion’s greatest wave-makers by electing her to your first annual Best Dressed Hall of Fame. The diva is always a beat or two ahead.

Al Domasin

Pico Rivera, Calif.

US Rock Concert

Your writer said about the US rock festival that “unlike Woodstock, it worked.” I would like to point out that, had Woodstock never happened, the organizers of US would never have known what problems they were going to encounter, how many portable toilets to install or how much traffic they were going to have to control. And, with all due respect to the many quality bands that performed, US didn’t approach the historic moment at which Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young came together to play in the same place at the same time.

Harriet Parinello

Santa Cruz, Calif.

It was commendable that Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computers, wanted to give back some of the millions of dollars he has made. A few years ago, I would have thought that the US rock festival was the perfect way to reimburse the people. I now see things differently. This three-day event cost an extraordinary $12 million. According to U.N. statistics, 40,000 children die from hunger-related causes every day—which means that 120,000 children died during the festival. That same money could have fed many, many children. Instead, the concert is over. The stage is gone. The people have returned to their daily lives, and all that remains is a memory that will fade after the drugs wear off and time passes.

Deborah Railey

Sunnyvale, Calif.

In your story on the US Festival, you referred to me as someone who is “known publicly for promoting peace and love but is better known to insiders for stirring up profits and intimidation” and stated that I “ultimately took over most aspects of the festival like a general overthrowing a benevolent despot.” I was not hired by UNUSON, the festival planners, to concede simple obedience in the face of their lack of experience in what they were attempting to accomplish. I was hired to do a job to the best of my and my company’s ability, and that’s what we did. The results speak for themselves. The fact is that we went above and beyond the call of duty in order to produce positive end results. The intentions should be obvious; the style of operation may be challenged.

Bill Graham

San Francisco

Mike and Kathy Flanagan

The Flanagans said in your interview that they initially kept quiet about the fact that their baby was conceived in vitro. I understand the need for privacy, but I would like to say how much stories like this one help other couples in their struggle for a child. Even though my husband and I are unable to have our own, we want nothing more in life than to share ours with a child. It’s nice to hear that we’re not alone in our frustrations and anxieties, and it’s also refreshing to hear about one couple’s victory. I wish them a very happy life with their beautiful daughter.

Colleen Wendt

Danville, Calif.

The hero of this story is the Orioles’ Mike Flanagan, a caring husband who intervened on his wife’s behalf to prevent an unnecessary hysterectomy. I rejoice with them as new parents.

Eileen Dean


Latchkey Children

I was one of those so-called latchkey children. I never felt alone, depressed, deprived or isolated. Instead, I enjoyed the time alone and felt pride in knowing that my mother had put herself through college and that she had a job as a teacher. I know that both my parents were working hard to make things better for all of my family. Being alone for a short time each day was a small sacrifice when you consider the benefits my mother’s second income allowed us.

Laurie Atlas

New York City

Your article on latchkey children was clear, concise and missed the point. I was a latchkey child in the 1950s before the term was in vogue. Contrary to your article, I never hid in or under the bed, nor did I fear for my life. I did not pile furniture against the door then, nor do I now. I spent my free time learning to cook, keep house and care for myself. I felt as if I were an important and integral part of my family. My daughter is now a latchkey child, learning the same things I did. She also takes pride in her work and in the surprises she cooks and makes for me.

Quality parenting is more important than quantity parenting. Children need responsibility, and the time they spend alone, a word which is not a synonym for lonely, can be a learning experience, the lessons of which will be put to use throughout adult life.

Jacki J. Godden


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