November 15, 1993 12:00 PM

Whoa! According to the country and western cultural police (Texas-Oklahoma division), we stepped in a cow pie when we put Garth Brooks in the thumbs-down portion of our annual Best & Worst Dressed issue (PEOPLE, Oct. 25). Abuse was heaped on our fashion arbiters for their alleged effete ignorance in matters concerning the so-called “cowboy tux”—bow tie, tails and jeans.

BEST & WORST DRESSED

When you insult Garth Brooks and the way he dresses, you insult three fourths of the people who live in Oklahoma! Come to any good ol’ country wedding and you will find the groom decked out in what you call “half a tux.”

AMY KELLEY, Tulsa

You obviously have no taste when it comes to country music, western apparel and good-looking cowboys. I think Garth looks terrific, and so do 75,000-times-three here in Texas, who paid to see him at Texas Stadium in September.

NANCY STEEN, Mesquite, Tex.

Evidently you people are not Texans, or you would know’ that loud, brightly colored shirts are the in style for country and western apparel and that “half a tux” is the style. It is common for guys to wear bow tics, tails and jeans to proms and weddings. And if you think Garth doesn’t spend money on his wardrobe, you haven’t gone out and priced those “loud” shirts!

SHELLEY D. RUNNELS, Cleburne, Tex.

So what if Garth doesn’t wear clothes that cost $2,000 and are made by designers with names you can’t pronounce. He’s just a good ol’ country boy who is proud to wear his loud shirts and tight jeans that are made right here in the U.S.A.

VALERIE J. CAMPOS, Hayward, Calif.

I am over-the-hill, overweight and having a bad hair day that started about 1988. Your Best & Worst Dressed issue really gave me a lift. I would hate to think I was young, thin and rich and went around looking like something the cat was sorry it dragged in.

BETTY J. COLLINS, Hobbs, N.Mex.

I too enjoy getting dressed up for a night out, but why attend a benefit and spend more on the outfit than the proceeds? Maybe it would be more fashionable to wear something from the closet and donate the clothing allowance to the cause.

LORI BROWN-DUNCAN, Austin, Tex.

You got things backward in your do-and-don’t fashion column. Aretha Franklin is wearing the renewable, biodegradable, environmentally friendly resource, while Vanessa Williams is wearing the petroleum-based product that will pollute our landfills for decades. If politically correct means following the party line, I’ll think for myself, comrade.

LEIGH ANNTIERNEY, Asheville, N.C.

KAREN THOMAS STEWART

I am appalled at the heartless actions of David Shedlock and the Iowa chapter of Operation Rescue. Things have come to a pretty pass in this country if a group of domestic terrorists like them can harass and emotionally abuse a woman for visiting a gynecologist for any reason, it is ironic that Mr. Shedlock self-righteously proclaims that he cares “more about unborn babies” than Karen Thomas Stewart does. If that’s true, then shouldn’t he also be grieving for the death of her baby?

SHANON K. AXTELL, Spirit Lake, Iowa

Thanks to our report on the harassment of Karen Thomas Stewart, your readers now have a greater insight into the abusive methods of Operation Rescue and its gang of bullies. It is distressing enough that a woman’s miscarriage should be followed by a brutal and hostile letter from total strangers. But these kinds of outrageous tactics—stalking women like criminals, threatening the lives of medical workers, trespass and destruction of properly—are repeated daily in every part of the country. The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act now pending in Congress would outlaw some of the most abusive actions of Operation Rescue and other antiabortion zealots without stifling their right to free speech. The women of America, and their healthcare providers, deserve the dignity, privacy and protection that this legislation would provide.

PAMEL A.J. MARALDO, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York City

With folks like David Shedlock and Operation Rescue around, who needs President Clinton’s health plan to experience losing the right to choose our own physician. These guys are already taking that right from us.

MARY HUBER, Bellingham, Wash.

Most pro-lifers do not want to be identified with Operation Rescue or Randall Terry. Most of us prefer peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations. Violence begets violence and is as bad as abortion. We would also help any woman who needed help with her pregnancy. We do care.

ALICE M. KUHN, Erie, Pa,

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