By People Staff
August 11, 2003 12:00 PM

The Way They Were

Thank you for your cover story. I had to buy this magazine since I truly miss JFK Jr.’s presence in the media. I think he had a real future whether as a politician, businessman, publisher or attorney. What a classy and good-looking man he was. So full of life, with so much potential, to die so young.

Joan Tompkins, GLENDALE, ARIZ

I understand why Edward Klein wrote the book The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America’s First Family for 150 Years. I understand why PEOPLE published excerpts from it. I understand why I turned to that section first. But now I understand something deeper. By simply being born, John E. Kennedy Jr. faced a very public life. He dealt with this with ease and a remarkable concern for the people who continually bothered him. Finally, I understand that his private life is nobody’s business but his. Let it go.


I don’t understand journalist Edward Klein’s need to reveal intimate details of John and Carolyn’s marriage, whether embellished or true. After all, if Klein had been such good friends with Jacqueline Onassis, as he claims, he would have respected her wishes to shield her children, and their lives, from the public. Elaboration is not only an intrusion; it’s an assault on the memories of their loved ones.

Geraldine Lanier, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF

“Kennedy Shocker: John’s Secret Heartache” was really way beneath PEOPLE’s standards of journalism. These people are dead and have no way of defending themselves against Klein. I call it slanderous, insensitive and a sick attempt to make money off deceased people. Please stick to the excellent stories that have kept me a loyal subscriber for years.

Bryan Smith, CHICAGO, ILL.

We should remember John and Carolyn for the people they were in life and stop talking about what happened, didn’t happen or might have happened.


  • Getting a Read
  • Three cheers for Tom Cruise. I appreciate the honesty with which he deals with his dyslexia, and I salute your magazine for showing us how he came up from the depths. Is it not the usual for celebrities to go from sky-high to crash? How refreshing to hear the reverse—how Tom took off and flew. Thanks for presenting the story straight—right from the horse’s mouth.
  • Alice Pero, SANTA MONICA, CALIF.

I am 25 years old and have struggled all my life with dyslexia. In high school I was terrified and cried when asked to read out loud, and no one understood when I tried to explain why. Like Tom, I figured out how to get through it. It was not until I was a senior in college that I found an amazing reading specialist who helped me cope. Now I actually enjoy reading and sometimes even surprise myself when I read out loud. Thank you, Tom, for bringing this learning disorder to the public’s attention with your touching and personal story.

Catherine Kermode, STAMFORD, CONN.

It Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Until I read your article about Paris and Nicky Hilton, I thought it would be really cool to be friends with the sisters-the parties, the glamor, the lifestyle! But the fact that Paris never knew that “people work for their money” is truly a sad display of how spoiled she is. Maybe she needs to take a moment from her busy party schedule to remember the people who work not only for their own money but for hers too. She is living proof that money definitely cannot buy class.

Erica Jenkins, ENGLEWOOD, COLO.

  • An American in Paris
  • Isn’t it ironic that Johnny Depp says the United States is a “nice place to visit, but I don’t think you want to live there.” I guess we’re okay to watch his movies that pay for his luxurious lifestyle in Paris, but Depp wouldn’t go for us as neighbors. This is a time to be patriotic toward America, not France!
  • Barry D. Friedman, LOS ANGELES, CALIF.