By People Staff
January 29, 1996 12:00 PM

Because of the blizzard in the Northeast, this was the week much of our mail was delayed. Fortunately, faxes and e-mail were not. Baby-boomer correspondents either didn’t seem terrified by the prospect of turning 50 (PEOPLE, Jan. 8) or weren’t admitting their age. Readers young and old mourned the death of Dean Martin.


On New Year’s Eve I faced the future with dread. This would be the year of my “big five-0” birthday. How delighted I was the following day to see PEOPLE’S cover and discover what good-looking company I’m in.

MARIE L. BURGAR, Hudson, Ohio

In your story on baby boomers turning 50, you ran a picture of Naomi Judd at age 2 in Ashland, Ky., on “her horse, Jupiter.” Enclosed is a photo of me at age 2, also in Ashland, on that very same horse. You see, my dad, John Shepard, used to travel all over taking pictures of children on his horses. That little white horse was a Shetland pony named Mickey. Is there any way you could brighten a 78-year-old man’s day with a correction? When he saw his little pony and that little girl, the memories flooded back.


Maybee, Mich.


You tell us Dean Martin died holding hands with the woman he said was the only one he ever loved and that she reassured him that his loved ones were “on the other side waiting” for him. Then you describe that as a “lonely death” and a “downbeat end.” We should all go out in such style. Better change that to a “lovely death.”

LENORE MANNON, Tullahoma, Tenn.

How could you not give Dean Martin a full cover? You have Princess Di on every time she sneezes, and Dino gets a little corner photo!

JOAN ONZO, Campbell, Calif.

One of my fondest childhood memories is of sitting down to watch the Dean Martin Show with my parents. How I wished to be that self-confident and to meet a man that suave, handsome and good-humored.


Boise, Idaho

As a little girl, I adored watching Dean Martin on television. When I grew up and moved to Beverly Hills, my table was right next to his at La Famiglia restaurant, where he dined, mostly alone, every night of the week. I spent my birthdays at the restaurant, and Dean sang “Happy Birthday” to me every time. Then he always asked, “Do all Southern girls still call their fathers ‘Daddy’?” I always replied, “Yes, we do.” To have grown up watching him and later having known him, seeing his kindness and generosity to strangers will always remain a highlight of my life.

FAYR BARKLEY, Beverly Hills


I find myself disgusted by both the neurotic, childish behavior of the Princess of Wales and by the dewy-eyed sympathy given to her by those taken in by her self-serving, vindictive publicity stunts. “Poor Diana, spending Christmas alone.” Baloney! If she were such a dear and caring person and so beloved by all who really know her, why not spend Christmas with friends, or better yet, her own family? Meanwhile, someone should remind Diana of the old Chinese proverb: “Before going out to seek revenge, dig two graves.”



Regarding your article about Elvis’s former home, Lauderdale Court, being demolished later this year, count me as one Elvis fan who would hate to see another piece of Elvis history disappear. You can’t possibly understand or appreciate Elvis’s musical influences or genius by touring the Jungle Room at Graceland.

DONNA DEEN, Piano, Texas

Annette Neal, the current resident of the former Presley family apartment, has a constant prayer to get out of the projects and make a better life for herself. Since she has been on welfare from 1983,1 wonder if she has considered a job as a means to that end.


Although Elvis was seen in 1978, he died, contrary to your story, in 1977.

STEVE MELTZER, Boca Raton, Fla.


The comments by Leah Rozen on Waiting to Exhale made me furious. Obviously she is neither black nor a woman. This movie had nothing to do with “male-bashing.” The movie and the book portray different relationships between four friends and their love and support for each other—something I’m sure every woman can relate to.


Inglewood, Calif.