The First Lady
Editor: Barbara Bush has brought back dignity and warmth to the White House from whence they have been too long absent.
Arthur W. Kralick.
Editor: With reference to the samples quoted of the new state report card tests accompanying the story in The Sun of Nov. 17 on changes in Maryland school testing, it was interesting to note under the reading test that students would be asked to "check carefully for correct grammar, spelling, punctualization and capitalization."
My dictionaries do not show such a word as "punctualization," but since they are several years old, maybe this is a neologism for the old word "punctuation," or maybe it refers to being on time.
Let's hope it's a typographical error, otherwise it's a dire warning of what we really have to overcome to improve our schools.
I. L. Garfinkle.
Editor: I am writing in defense of Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
For many years he was known as the best mayor in the country. I was in a position to meet officials from cities all over who came to meet the then-Mayor Schaefer.
He was mostly responsible for the progress of the Inner Harbor and he more than anyone else is responsible for the Orioles remaining in Baltimore. If it weren't for Governor Schaefer, Edward Bennett Williams would have moved the franchise to Denver.
Mr. Schaefer pushed the new stadium to please Williams and achieved it, thereby keeping the Orioles here.
He worked relentlessly to make Baltimore a huge success. Governor Schaefer also deserves praise for the light rail, which will be a great boon for the area and the Orioles. Let's not blame him wholly for the deficit, as Maryland is not in the difficulty most states are in.
We have been blessed by having him first as mayor and then as governor. When he retires, the citizens of Maryland will miss him and they will be ashamed of their criticism of him.
% Daniel David Dickman.
Gamma-Rays and Goose Bumps
Editor: ''Broadcast Space Travel,'' a Nov. 26 Opinion * Commentary article by Robert Burruss, gave me the goose bumps. Imagine what might be thrust upon aliens in strange galaxies -- the human genome. Carried on the wings of gamma-rays, Mr. Burruss says, the human genome could cross death-defying distances and be reconstituted in receiving civilizations.
The arrogance of science is baffling. Human genes can map out a Martin Luther King or a David Duke, a Mahatma Gandhi or a Hitler.
Disconnected from philosophical questions, spurred on only by curiosity, scientists race through a maze of findings in laboratories.
How far have we come as human beings?
We haven't yet discovered that we are linked to one another, no matter what color, creed or race. We haven't learned respect for nature, whose children we are. We still have an irresistible urge to wage wars. Why should we propagate ourselves into space?
Unless we develop our higher selves at the speed of light, we have no right to foist ourselves on intergalactic civilizations at the speed of light.
The purpose of science is not only to do, but to consider the impact of what is done and to exercise restraint when it is due.
Where He Was
Editor: The 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor will be observed on Dec. 7, as America celebrates this momentous occasion. On the day of infamy, I was leaving the Stanley Theatre, after watching my celluloid hero, Errol Flynn, starring in "They Died With Their Boots On," when confronted by a crowd of excited people discussing the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. I headed for the exit with flagging spirits.
America's Tin Pan Alley, in flag-waving response, cranked out such gems as, "Goodbye Mama, I'm Off To Yokohama," ad nauseam.
One year later, I was having lunch with Dame Judith Anderson on the Galapagos Islands, seated opposite the great Lady Macbeth courtesy of the USO.
I met MGM's reigning king, Clark Gable, in the Post Exchange at Pueblo, Colo., where a young female employee, recognizing the matinee idol, fluttered her eyes and melted to the floor in a dead faint.
On Aug. 6, 1945 at 9:15 a.m., the Superfortress Enola Gay, piloted by Col. Paul W. Tibbetts, leveled Hiroshima with a kiss of death, dropping an atomic bomb of unprecedented destruction and victory was near.
I returned to the United States on Dec. 8, 1945 and as a keepsake, purloined a Mae West life preserver, since voluptuous Mae and I were now inseparable.
& Kelton Carl Ostrander.
Editor: Many Baltimoreans probably don't realize that a vessel which survived unscathed that pivotal attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, lies just beyond the southeastern corner of the Inner Harbor promenade. I refer to the Coast Guard cutter Taney.