July 29, 1985 12:00 PM

Jack Nicholson

I am not easily impressed with the personal lives of celebrities and I don’t buy PEOPLE magazine, but Jack Nicholson (PEOPLE, July 8) has more than fascinated me for years. Today I bought my first issue of PEOPLE. I am impressed.

Barbara A. Gustafson

Berwyn, Pa.

Child Abuse

I have come to the conclusion that John Walsh is right in saying, “In America we don’t really love our children. They are not a priority.” Can America continue to claim its superiority as a civilized country when we allow defense lawyers to destroy children who have already gone through hell? The experience may require as much help in overcoming as the molestation. The culprit is apathy. How many people read stories like this one and shake their heads saying, “What a shame!” and then turn the page and forget it? The victim doesn’t have that luxury. Parents, just because it wasn’t your child in this article, don’t assume it can’t happen to you.

Donna Page

Paducah, Ky.

I am so outraged after reading the article about the sexually abused girl. I’d like to personally punch Mike Adel-son’s lights out (among other things). What kind of human being calls children “insidious, practiced liars” and leads seminars on how to intimidate children on the witness stand? The court system just doesn’t give a damn about children who have been victimized. And yet it is children who recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which states that there is “liberty and justice for all.” Hogwash!

Ann L. Jessen


Justine Merritt

I applaud PEOPLE for the warm article on Justine Merritt and the Peace Ribbon. Eighteen years ago I was privileged to be her colleague as I began my teaching career. Justine was a highly gifted, sensitive and rare human being. Because many of her friends were shocked that she left her teaching job in the midst of a class of very bright white students, she was generous enough to explain herself. She told us that during a discussion of oppression and poverty she had so despaired of changing her students’ racist attitudes that she refused to enhance their ability to join the ranks of the oppressors. So she could no longer be their teacher. Having seen portions of the ribbon at the Peace Museum in Chicago, I found it awe inspiring. Let Justine now teach the Pentagon. We all have much to learn from her.

Iris Cleveland

Park Forest, Ill.

Phil Collins

Why is it every time I see an article on Phil Collins, the first things I read are the words short, pudgy and bald. Give the guy a break! I enjoyed reading the story but why not put more emphasis on his talent and accomplishments? Phil Collins is easily today’s best musician, singer, songwriter, producer and showman. The guy is obviously loaded with talent, so why not spend more time on that and for once bypass comments on his looks. The only thing I missed seeing was Phil Collins on the cover.

Becky Wilson

Fort Worth


As a fan of the movie Rambo, I totally disagree with all its recent criticism. In fact the $100 million gross is proof that many people agree with me. Granted, Rambo may be unrealistic in that one man could have won the war or that the other side could have been that clumsy, but if you think that’s the point of the movie, you’re sadly mistaken! Rambo does not attempt to compensate for losing the war but for the way the ex-vets were practically spit on when they returned. Although we lost in Vietnam, the veterans are still heroes because they fought for us; they represented us. I wholeheartedly applaud Rambo for its patriotism.

Maria Cox

Asheville, N.C.

I would like to tell Mr. Stallone how much my 12-year-old son and his friends love and idolize Rambo. It reminds me so much of my brother at that age, who hero-worshipped John Wayne in those World War II movies. As little boys do, though, my brother grew up and, not forgetting his idol, dropped out of college and couldn’t wait to join the First Air Cavalry Division, fighting in Vietnam. However, unlike the movies and John Wayne, who usually sailed home in a battleship with streamers dancing in the sunlight, Joe came home in quite a different mode of conveyance. A gun-metal gray coffin.

Barbara A. Ridgeway

Lynnwood, Wash.

Why are you and so many others taking jabs at Rambo? It’s a film. Sylvester Stallone is an actor. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t understand why you are making a political issue out of this film. It’s a touchy subject, but the film was made as entertainment. It’s about fighting for and loving your country. No one, not military officials, veterans and especially critics, should knock something like Rambo that makes us feel good about ourselves and our country, despite its violence.

Gina Stephens

San Jose, Calif.

Rambo never fought in a real war. Sylvester Stallone wreaks his mayhem on the silver screen, where winning is easy and safe and very profitable. Whenever such Hollywood hucksters talk patriotism, it’s a sure bet they intend to get well paid for it.

Philip Schacca

West Hempstead, N.Y.


As we sit here in our residence hall at USC, we wonder how in the world Brooke Shields, the A student with 600-plus quantitative SAT scores, could get into Princeton University yet not be able to figure out her own finances? Our incomes are a lot smaller, so it’s easier with a combined income of one ’79 Toyota and a ’65 Ford Falcon. Ah well, it’s good to know that a Princeton education is available to all underprivileged Mercedes owners.

Sheilah Sulliger

Carin Goldberg

Los Angeles

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