Being rich and famous certainly hasn’t destroyed the values that the Jackson boys (PEOPLE, May 7) were raised to believe in. When I hear them say that they don’t do drugs and will not tolerate them from anyone who works with their group, it’s music to my ears. Behind those six beautiful faces there are six beautiful human beings.
As a die-hard Jackson fan of 15 years, I am disappointed that the so-called Victory tour has taken so much time and ballyhoo to get off the ground. Few fans will even see the Jacksons, since their schedule of dates is shrinking faster than a person can blink an eye. Why don’t they have a heart and give the people what they’re waiting for?
There are two sides to every story, and the debate between divorced parents will continue as long as the unfairness in the courtroom continues. My former husband and I sat down in my attorney’s office and worked out a fair sum of support without the court’s intervention, and we have not had any problems because I knew that it was an amount he could handle and still have a good life—something we all deserve. Despite what Judge McClure thinks, a man has a right to happiness with a second family. Instead of taking all the cash a man has in his pockets so that he faints from worry, why doesn’t McClure suggest to these mothers that they seek some kind of employment too? As a law student and a member of Fathers for Equal Rights, I was appalled at the one-sidedness of your articles and the steps you took to get the sympathy of your readers with the pictures of children carrying placards proclaiming dollar amounts of unpaid child support. We could provide you with sorrowful pictures—of fathers whose cars are being taken away and whose jobs are lost when they’re sent to jail for nonsupport. How can putting a man in jail, where employment is impossible and income is therefore nonexistent, solve the problem?
Judith A. Sepulveda
After reading your article on deadbeat dads, I thanked God for my father, who lived in an unfurnished apartment in a rough neighborhood to keep up with his child-support payments, never missing a week. I respect him more than anyone in the world for his sacrifices. Whom will these children respect?
Donna Wildfeuer Alvarez
Miami Beach, Fla.
As noted in your interview with Ted Conover, hoboes are indeed a staple of our folk music and literature. However, what was only hinted at is far more fundamental: Hopping freight trains is extremely dangerous. In 1982 501 people, many of whom were hoboes, were killed while trespassing on railroad property. Another 671 were injured. These injuries, more often than not, were life-threatening, involving severe frostbite, amputations and bone-crushing disabilities. One final note: Not only is this practice dangerous, it is illegal. Trespassing on private property, i.e., railroad rights-of-way and freight trains, by any other name, is still breaking the law.
Daniel L. Lang
Association of American Railroads
The fact that Arab-Americans are outraged by Goldie Hawn’s new film, Protocol, did not surprise me a bit. I was appalled at the way that Frenchmen were portrayed in Private Benjamin, which she also produced. As a self-respecting Spanish-American, I tremble at the possibility she may focus on us.
Gustavo C. Lama
Your photographs of Miss McCullough’s wedding make it plain for any reader to see that she is a woman of large stature. Why was it necessary to term her a “hefty bride”? You also ran a story praising TV shows that are projecting a new image of women, one that downplays physical appearance and emphasizes intelligence and independence. This certainly comes off as hypocritical.
Annaya Sloan Britt
As a professional archaeologist I was appalled to read about Chris Robinson’s “side business to complement his fluctuating income.” The contexts in which archaeological remains are found are absolutely essential for reconstructing unwritten histories, and this information is lost when sites are excavated by people who don’t know what they are doing. Artifacts recovered in this manner make interesting curios, but they contribute next to nothing to our understanding of the past. Robinson should do prehistory a favor and stick to General Hospital.
Women on TV
The National Commission on Working Women monitors TV programs to determine how women are portrayed. We also have found that, with rare exceptions, the picture is not great. For example: Minority women are almost invisible. Ninety-three percent of all female characters on last fall’s new shows were white. Women were also unrealistically young. Almost 80 percent were under 40; only 6 percent were over 60, a sharp contrast to real life. About 60 percent of all female characters were unmarried and ripe for romance. In addition, about one-quarter were upper-middle-class or wealthy. Shows like Kate & Allie and Cagney & Lacey are, as you pointed out, strong steps in the right direction. I would, however, like to correct a misperception in your article with regard to the show Alice. When the commission conducted a national survey of working women to find out which character on TV most represented their lives, the overwhelming response was “the waitress Alice.” Linda Lavin’s character, a down-to-earth single parent who struggles to make ends meet with a low-paying job, displays remarkable determination and optimism.
Exec. Dir., NCWW