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READERS LET LOOSE WITH VITRIOL

Mail call time again. Share the fun, fury and information . . .

On more than one occasion I have said, "Two pieces of mail make my day: one that contains a workable backward joke and one that contains a printable hate letter."

Well, a few weeks ago I had a number from Jamey Quiram of Buffalo that read: "Just a quick glance at your column on March 30, 1994, reminded me that talentless people can hang on at The Buffalo News. I thought all the dinosaurs died. You should stay at home and let a qualified journalist write a worthy and interesting column. I am a pharmacist, but I could produce a terrific column that would put you to shame.

"Specifically, Whoopi Goldberg was an excellent host of the Oscars. She was funny, clever and very current. Perhaps your hearing aid was off that evening.

"I am thankful that a newspaper can be recycled. There is a chance that something positive can happen the second time around."

The item that offended Mr. Quiram read, "Tell me if you agree with columnist Michael Medved's take on Whoopi Goldberg's job as host of the Oscars: "At least she deserves great credit for one major accomplishment -- creating nostalgia for Billy Crystal."

But if Mr. Q. will send along his address, I will remit an autographed picture.

Theodore Shank of Lockport wrote, "I would like to tell you how much I appreciated your article 'Vets need action, not love-ins.' As a 10-year veteran of the Air Force and a Vietnam vet, I am currently a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America and know how it has been for me personally living with the stigma of being a Vietnam veteran."

Well, Theodore, most of my friends don't believe there is a stigma attached to being a Vietnam veteran.

Helen D'Arcy of West Seneca said she is a great-grandmother of "soon to be 34 great-grandchildren." She started her letter with the words, "Never thought I'd be writing you like this. Always thought highly of you, but after reading your column of Tuesday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 30, I am changing thoughts. I hope you are not growing into a bitter old man."

Mrs. D. was upset at my remarks about Nancy Kerrigan. Then she said: "As for Whoopi Goldberg, give credit where credit is due. No one else wanted the job. She was the only one of four people who agreed to do it. Doesn't that mean anything to you? It must be quite a job. Shame on you."

Janusz Niedusak of Buffalo said, "Western historians, media, television omit or completely minimize the Polish contribution to the victory of the Allies in World War II."

He attached a well-written report on how the Polish Second Army Corps were in the fore of the battle of Monte Cassino, 50 years ago. "At one point," he said, "the Allied forces from seven nations heroically fought against an enemy ingeniously entrenched in the mountaintop Benedictine monastery."

I believe that was the place where our Army Air Force said that only Roman Catholic pilots would be asked to bomb the monastery.

Several people sent a copy of a South Bend, Ind., newspaper that contained a picture of a billboard with the words "South Bend: Dyngus Capital of the World."

Some readers have said they want to find out what happened to the men whose names were on the MIA/POW bracelets they wore during the Vietnam War.

Write to the person c/o National League of Families of MIA/POW, Suite 219, 10001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. The letters will be forwarded to the families, who may or may not answer them.

Of course, some of us still wear the bracelets.

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