You really did it up right this time with your cover of “The Great One” (PEOPLE, July 13). I’m sure this is how Jackie Gleason would like to be remembered. For the first time ever, your cover made me cry. I can hear him now.
Sad is the fact that Hollywood as we know it is slowly dying. Losing Jackie Gleason makes you aware that there are no other stars in his league, no one else like him. His death is a heartbreak.
New York City
Brad Darrach did a great job writing the article on everybody’s “pal,” Jackie Gleason. However I got completely confused with Mr. Darrach’s use of the word “absquatulated” in reference to Gleason’s father. I, for the life of me, can’t find its meaning—even Webster can’t define it.
You’ll find it in Webster’s Third New International. It means to decamp or abscond.—ED.
Now I have heard it all. When is the “Me Generation” going to grow up and face their responsibilities? Maybe if the mother you quoted as saying, “If he hadn’t gone to Sick Bay, we might never have known [he had pneumonia] in time” had stayed home and paid attention to her son’s symptoms instead of fulfilling her own selfish desires in the working world, she might have known that his ailment was serious even sooner. It’s time we give our kids what they really want: our time.
San Marcos, Calif.
Lt. Col. Oliver North
From all advance notices, including your article, I’m certain that when the colonel appeared on Capitol Hill the American people expected some sort of Captain Queeg, complete with loose marbles. Instead the Senate Committee, choosing John Nields to speak for them, opened a real Pandora’s box. What emerged was not a Machiavellian figure, but an earnest, articulate man who had an impassioned message for all America. The colonel made good sense, and that the people understand, not the justice of a kangaroo court. History will doubtless vindicate Colonel North. The honorable men of the committee will remain in their rightful places, footnotes.
Louise C. Redner
Ormond Beach, Fla.
Come on, America. Sneaky, underhanded, double-dealing politics go on all the time. President Reagan and his fumbling of foreign policy should be blamed, not Oliver North. He was only doing his job. Now he’s taking the heat for the decisions of his superiors.
He shredded evidence, he lied to Congress, he covered up for his superiors, but if I were ever trapped behind enemy lines it’s Ollie North that I would want coming after me.
Chris Manna, D.C.
In response to the letter from Janice P. Robinson, I think it takes a lot of gall for a person to trash the ’60s when she obviously knows very little about that time. Of course there were tragedies, but there were also the lives of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., not just their deaths. There was the civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, the Peace Corps and VISTA. John Glenn circled the earth and Neil Armstrong stepped out on the moon’s surface. There were good reasons for the riots and campus unrest. Most of those involved were 18 to 20 year olds who were being told they had to go to some obscure country and possibly give up their precious lives so that a few people could make a buck. I feel fortunate that I lived through those years. If Ms. Robinson really thinks things are better today, then she should try reading the newspaper.