January 13, 1997 12:00 PM

Many readers said they were delighted to get an inside peek at life on the ice (and on the road) for professional skaters Ekaterina Gordeeva, Oksana Baiul and Kristi Yamaguchi (PEOPLE, Dec. 16). Our cover story on the former olympians drew the largest number of letters, followed by our Q&A with first-time authors Nate Penn and Lawrence LaRose. Their tongue-in-cheek dating guide for marriage-wary men, The Code, seemed to leave many women readers singularly unimpressed.


Thank you, thank you for the first-rate piece on “Ice Beauties.” These skaters possess a lot of class and are just the kind of role models America needs. Your article beautifully conveys what it takes to succeed at anything—lots of hard work and perseverance.


If Ms. Baiul can afford a 5,000-square-foot house in Connecticut and a trip to Europe to purchase furniture, then why is she shown “pounding a can open” with a mallet and a screw driver? Someone get that lady a can opener!


Yorktown Heights, N. Y.

Maybe Oksana Baiul should have bought an eight-room house instead of a nine-room one. At least then she could afford to buy a can opener. TRICIA PHILLIPS, Walkersville, Mo. Ms. Baiul replies: “Thanks to all who worried about my skill in the kitchen! PEOPLE was my first guest in my new house, and I had not unpacked yet, so they got to see the real Oksana! I later found my can opener and am ready now for my first dinner party. Yes, I really do know hoio to cook!”—ED.


I couldn’t believe what I was reading. “Coclemen have the sensitivity of a poet”? How about the maturity level of the dogs they term “date magnets?” CYNTHIA CASSTEVENS, Irving, Texas

Men will always use relationships to get to sex, and women will always use sex to get to relationships. That’s nature. It will always be.



Regarding your story about John Salvi, the man who shot two abortion clinic workers to death in 1994, the only thing I find sad about him killing himself is that he didn’t do it in 1993.

WALT BROWN, Costa Mesa, Calif.

My condolences to John and Ann Marie Salvi. However, before they “blasted prison officials for not giving their son the psychiatric care he allegedly needed,” they might have asked themselves why they didn’t.


Orange Park, Fla.


I felt bad reading about Burt Reynolds and his money problems, but how can he possibly owe Edward Katz Hair Design over $100,000? I’ve seen more natural rugs in the carpet department at Macy’s. He’s better off bald. It’s cheaper. And sexier. Burt, darling, pay off that bill and never use them again.

HY ABADY, New York City


I am appalled to see a quote from Gary Dull, fire investigator, saying that Patricia Billings “stumbled into something big” [a nontoxic asbestos substitute]. Stumbled, my foot! She worked for almost 30 years to come up with this remarkable innovation in construction material. Would Mr. Dull also say that the work of Marie Curie was a fluke? Give credit where credit is due. Women, as well as men, can use their intellect to create new and useful products or ideas. Mr. Dull, welcome to the 20th century!

KIM LYNCH, Agoura, Calif.

It wasn’t long ago that PEOPLE declared Prince William a young heartthrob, and now he has shot his first stag. He’s only 14 so maybe he will change. But as a rule, any man who feels the need to kill a defenseless creature to prove his manhood isn’t a man at all and is certainly no heartthrob.

MERYL BACKER, Baldwin, N. Y.


After reading that Paul Michael Glaser had remarried, I have to admit I said, “Already?” Reading on, I see that his wife, Elizabeth, has been gone two years, and it has probably been two very lonely years. After losing a wife and daughter to a terrible disease such as AIDS, he deserves all the happiness in the world. Good luck, Michael!

KELLI WOODMAN, Adelanto, Calif.

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