June 03, 1985 12:00 PM

Enough about Madonna (PEOPLE, May 13). We all know by now that she’s nothing like a virgin. Someone should tell her that she has some talent and needs to clean up her act. In the meantime, why doesn’t the media stop pumping it into our adolescents’ heads that slutty and cheap is chic? Looking trashy like Madonna is the rage now. Girls walk into my place of work wearing leather and lace like a bunch of 42nd Street hookers. Madonna‘s message, that you can be what you want to be by doing what you want when you want with whom you want, is a farce. Her ideas will only cause rebellion in our impressionable teenagers. The road to success and personal worth is through hard work, study, a clear head and a good plan for the future.

Lynn Pluchino

Commack, N.Y.

Why is it that someone like Prince can project a sexy, lustful image and not get bad press, but, when someone who’s truly talented like Madonna comes along with the same image, people badmouth her? Madonna‘s image is fine by me, and her music is even better. Who cares what feminists like or don’t like? Madonna is not afraid to have her own style, and if some people don’t like it, tough.

Tracey Wells

Louisville, Ky.

Granted, Madonna is a talented performer. But comparing her to Marilyn Monroe is like comparing chopped meat to filet mignon.

Lori Dobson

Whippany, N.J.

Hedda Hopper

I cannot understand your reference to “horsey Hedda.” Hedda Hopper was a regal, elegant, well-groomed and handsome woman who was a bigger celebrity than many of the people she wrote about. Not all of them rated a TIME cover [July 28, 1947], as she did, nor did they have her tremendous presence and charisma. Working as a publicist in Hollywood over the years, I found that both Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons were, in the main, easy to work with and most professional. Although I was closer to Hopper, it was possible to get along with both women. One didn’t always have to make a choice.

Frank Liberman

Los Angeles

Karen Carpenter

Among the truly desperate self-starvers, syrup of ipecac was once a well-guarded secret. I wonder how many more anorectics and bulimics will now be running to the drugstore to buy it in the wake of revelations about Karen Carpenter? I used to gag down the syrup until my head pounded. Taking ipecac was a beating in itself that caused violent vomiting and severe heart palpitations, which took several lonely hours to dissipate. It was not worth it. Ipecac’s availability to combat accidental poisoning was once fine, but its availability to bring on accidental death is unthinkable.

Name withheld

Baton Rouge, La.

Trying to overcome anorexia, I became bulimic. I am 24, and for the past two and a half years I have been buying ipecac a dozen bottles at a time to help me throw up daily in order to maintain my “normal” weight of 90 pounds. Until I read your article, I had been wondering what other effects ipecac was having on me, but who could I ask? They would have suspected what I was doing. I don’t want to die or to be fat. Maybe I’ll be able to stop this living hell of food obsession, eating and throwing up. Why is everyone pushing to be one of the beautiful and thin people? Thanks for the information. I hope other women will be able to stop their binge-purge cycle even if I can’t. I know four other women at my ballet studio who also keep ipecac stocked.

Name withheld

Beverly Hills

Bobby Ewing

You appeared considerate of your readers when you began the article on Bobby Ewing by warning that it would reveal facts about the season’s finale of Dallas that we might not want to know in advance. In that case why did you plaster across the cover the words, “Killing Off Bobby Ewing”?

Denise DiGiovanni

Marlboro, Mass.


Why tamper with success? I’ve been drinking Coke and enjoying it for 10 years. So when I heard that it was being reformulated I hoped for the best. But I didn’t get it. The new drink tastes like a Tab that you left in your car in the sun and then accidentally took a sip of. If Coke doesn’t restore the old recipe, we’re all going to belong to the Pepsi generation.

Abby Leab

New York City


The letter from Diane Butler about her brother’s suicide after his return from Vietnam prompted me to write to you. My husband killed himself last October. He returned from Vietnam in 1969. I watched and agonized with him for many years as he struggled to overcome the experience. It was a battle he could not win in spite of all the help, personal and professional, that he sought. When my children and I visit the Vietnam memorial, I wonder how many people know it has been estimated that more men have committed suicide since their return from Vietnam than died there. It is with a sense of horror that I look at the memorial and know that it might well be more than twice the size if all the victims’ names were inscribed on its cold, black walls. This horrible waste must be stopped somehow.

Linda Ates Hill

Winston-Salem, N.C.

As a Navy corpsman attached to the First Marine Division at Hue in Vietnam, I bandaged the shirtless man lying on the tank pictured in your April 29 issue. His name was James Blaine. He was critically wounded, and I was later told that he died.

Octaive Glass

Corpus Christi, Texas

We are sorry to confirm that PFC James Blaine from Spokane, Wash, died on Feb. 15, 1968, the day the photograph was taken.—ED.

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