BABY BEN TRAVOLTA
“No child can take another’s place, but with new baby Ben, perhaps the Travoltas can find some peace”
My eyes filled with tears of joy when I saw the cover with John, Kelly and baby Ben. Finally these two loving, deserving parents have a reason to smile again. Not to mention that Ella Bleu will surely be the best big sister a little brother could ever ask for!
The Travoltas’ journey has moved me deeply because I too held my son in my arms and watched him pass. I was heartsick when I heard of Jett’s death and have looked forward to the happiness that Ben’s arrival would bring the Travoltas. To John, Kelly and Ella, may every happiness be yours.
What needs to be brought to the forefront is mental-health care in America. Perhaps if the alleged shooter’s behavior had been vigorously reported and taken more seriously, this terrible tragedy could have been avoided. My thoughts continue to be with those who were wounded, like Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and especially with those families who lost their loved ones.
The mug shot of the alleged Tucson gunman was frighteningly large, but thank you for the beautiful photos of those who lost their lives. God save the innocents wounded in this terrible event.
Mental illness and guns are as bad a combination as alcohol and driving. Evidently we have the money to fight two wars overseas but not the political will to treat those mentally ill who are not only a danger to themselves but to everyone else as well.
CENSORING HUCK FINN
As a former English teacher I was saddened to read about the “sanitized” version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In my classes we discussed how Mark Twain used the vernacular of his day, including the N-word. In Huck Finn, every thief, murderer, con man, hypocrite and scoundrel is white, while the novel’s most virtuous character is a black man—Jim. This book, perhaps more than any other, teaches that humanity and decency have nothing to do with race, no matter what debasing moniker a person is given.
The public should be able to mourn the late Elizabeth Edwards without being continually bombarded with details about the life of her ex-husband. Although I once admired John Edwards and even voted for him, I no longer want to hear or read anything about him. Please allow me to simply remember Elizabeth as the exceptional woman she was.
Kansas City, Mo.
I very much appreciated the article on Black Eyed Peas singer Apl.de.ap and his triumphant lifelong battle with the rare eye condition known as nystagmus. We despaired when our infant son was diagnosed with nystagmus. Your story about this determined Grammy-winning artist helped renew our faith that as our son grows older he can do anything he sets his mind to and that vision impairment will no longer limit his dreams.
Thank you so much for the moving article about my close friends Dana Klein and Mark Feuerstein and their baby Addie’s successful surgery to cure ALCAPA, a rare heart defect. But I do wish you had given Dana more of the credit for Addie’s recovery. You wrote that Dana “visited daily,” but in fact she often spent upward of 20 hours a day at the hospital, breast-feeding her daughter whenever she could and pumping every three hours when Addie was not able to nurse.
Alex Gilbert Gaines
New York, N.Y.
In our Jan. 24 issue we gave an incorrect date for the casting of actress Carrie Fisher in the film Star Wars. Fisher was originally cast as Princess Leia in the late ’70s. Also, in our Jan. 31 issue, a photo of astronaut Mark Kelly holding the hand of his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as she recovers in a Tucson hospital should have been dated January 2011. PEOPLE regrets the errors.