Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:
Marvin Solomon, Baltimore: Concerning your comment on William Donald Schaefer's nickname. I am a same-year graduate of City College as The Guv and just a page or two away in the yearbook.
Here is the verbatim write-up under Schaefer's photo:
To study Law.
Lacrosse 4 . . . Soccer 4 . . . "Don" . . . Jayvee Soccer 3 . . . Wild Man . . . Jayvee Lacrosse 3 . . . Neat . . . Student Advisory Council 2 . . . Honor Society 4 . . . Glee Club 3 . . . Committee, "Journey's End."
COMMENT: I can certainly understand "Don." I can even understand "Neat." But "Wild Man?" What did he do? Put aspirin in the punch bowl at the Junior Prom?
Ellen Wells, Towson: When my brother returned to this country in 1967 after serving two years in the U.S. Army, he was spit on, verbally assaulted and generally treated as an outcast. What had he done to deserve this? He had risked his life for the very people who were turning their backs on him.
When I hear your anti-war rhetoric cranking up I have the painful feeling that in 1967 you might have been one of the ones who spit in his face.
COMMENT: Not me. I think it is wrong to abuse the people who fight our wars. It is not wrong, however, to question the politicians who send them to fight those wars.
I spent last Wednesday watching Jesse Jackson tape his TV show, and a member of the audience asked Jackson how he could be an outspoken critic of the war and yet claim to be a supporter of the troops.
"I remember when I was with Dr. [Martin Luther] King once going through O'Hare Airport in Chicago," Jackson said. "The Vietnam War was on, and three servicemen stopped Dr. King and asked for his autograph. While he was signing it, one of the servicemen said: 'We really respect you, Dr. King, but how come you are against us?'
"Dr. King didn't get on his plane. He let it leave without him. Instead, he sat down with those three servicemen and explained how he opposed the war but supported them. 'I want you to come home wearing shoes,' Dr. King told them. 'Not a body bag.' "
And that is the same hope that everyone, whether they support or oppose this war, has today.
I realize that a lot of people are angry right now and are looking for someone to lash out at. But in trying to put Kuwait back together, I think we should take care we don't tear America apart.
Debra Williams-Garner, American Heart Association, Washington: Lawyers have heart! Just when you thought it was safe to categorize all lawyers as "heartless," they are organizing themselves for a worthy cause. Government and private lawyers, members of Congress and the judiciary, legal secretaries, paralegals, law firm administrators and all those who would like to join them, will be running a 10-kilometer race or participating in a one-mile Heart Walk on May 19.
COMMENT: So this guy is about to have a heart transplant and the surgeon says to him: "You got three hearts to choose from. One is from a 15-year-old Olympic swimmer. One is from a 25-year-old pro basketball player. And one is from a 55-year-old lawyer. Which do you want?"
And the guy says: "Gimme the lawyer's heart."
And the surgeon says: "OK, but may I ask why?"
And the guy says: "Simple. It's never been used!"
P. M. Anderson, Columbia: Oh, come on, Rodge! You say you don't think you've ever been angrier than you were when you saw Giant players praying for a field goal while there's a war in the Mideast?
That was pretty lame even for you. Well, anyway, could you please print a list for us of what it's OK to pray for now?
COMMENT: Well, at least one person I can think of could pray to get a life. But let me address the issue this way:
When a grown man kneels on the ground on national television to pray for a field goal, I think he should consider that 20 years from now he might be in a doctor's waiting room praying that the test results come back negative.
And while he is praying, a lightning bolt may split the sky, and he may hear a deep, booming voice say: "Sorry, fella, but I gave you that field goal instead."
David C. Haile, Baltimore: Figuring out how much twenty five 29-cent stamps cost isn't that hard:
1. The number 30 is one more than 29. Multiply 30 times 25 and get $7.50 and subtract 25 to get $7.25.
2. The number 25 is one fourth of 100. Multiply .29 times 100 and get $29. One half of $29 is $14.50 and one half of $14.50 is $7.25.
The really hard part is figuring out how much postage to use if you have a letter weighing more than one ounce, since the first ounce is 29 cents and the next ounces are 23 cents.
So how much does a 4-ounce letter cost?
COMMENT: A 4-ounce letter would cost $15. Because that's how much it would cost to send it Federal Express if you really want to be sure it gets there.