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Do You Believe in Magic?

Magic Johnson remains my favorite NBA player (Life After Death,
Aug. 20). His love of life is evident in all he does. Most of us
Kentuckians appreciate good basketball, but my appreciation of
Magic goes beyond that to include the uplifting and determined
way he has dealt with his life since Nov. 7, 1991. Good luck,
Magic, and God bless you, Cookie and your children.
VICKIE RAGAN DUFF, Versailles, Ky.

As a common businessman in a common business world, I have read
and listened to the magic words of Lou Holtz, Tony Robbins and
Zig Ziglar. None of the I-can-do-it tapes and books these guys
have produced have inspired me as much as the article about Magic.
MATT MCGRAW, Wilmington, N.C.

As a female, I couldn't help but wonder about the quality of
life for Mr. Johnson's past partners who may have been exposed
to or infected with HIV. I'm sure things continue to be horrible
for those women who, because of their indiscretions with him,
must live with the fear that they too may die. Unlike Magic,
many of them may not be able to afford state-of-the-art medical
treatment. Yes, they were consenting adults, but they are human
beings first. For Magic to make no mention of being remorseful
for his behavior or give no indication that he has tried to
compensate his past partners is selfish and sad.
ANNE LINTON, Pennsauken, N.J.

Your depiction of Johnson as some sort of hero is disturbing. In
reality, he is a man dealing with the consequences of unwise and
selfish decisions. He also happens to be blessed with the
resources to mitigate the results of such behavior. Sympathy and
admiration are hardly feelings that should be directed at him.

While Magic and his wife may find some solace in the belief that
God chose him to get the disease, the fact is that he made the
decision to live a promiscuous lifestyle. The A in AIDS stands
for Acquired, not Appointed.
TALMADGE RUCKER JR. Bridgeport, Conn.

Here's a guy who has a $500 million empire and could make a
significant contribution to fighting what is arguably the
deadliest disease that has ever hit our planet, but all he seems
concerned with is how much popcorn he sells at his movie
theaters. It seems that Magic has taken his selfish ways to a
new level.
LLOYD BURBIDGE, Pleasant Hill, Calif.

Drive Time

Steve Rushin's article on driving for pleasure had me laughing
and grimacing the whole time (AIR AND SPACE, Aug. 20). In the
same vein, I'd like to inform my fellow drivers of a mechanical
innovation that is available in foreign and domestic vehicles.
Many drivers rarely use it, and fewer still use it correctly:
the turn signal.
PHILIP M. WHITE, Hillcrest, N.Y.

A month ago I quit a job for which I had to drive an hour into
New York City each day and deal with lots of traffic and bad
driving. Now I go a half hour in the other direction with no
traffic. Thank you, Mr. Rushin, for reminding me why I switched.
NASH BIRNHOLZ, West Babylon, N.Y.

What was under the hood of Rushin's Grand Am? I've driven the
same route between Philadelphia and the Lincoln Tunnel. Can you
tell me how to do it in 54 minutes in late afternoon? It's
approximately 90 miles, so he had to average nearly 100 mph.
LEONARD LINCH, Warrington, Pa.

Back to the Wall

I was overwhelmed by the response (LETTERS, Aug. 27) to your
article about Bob Kalsu. My family and I have just returned from
a visit to Washington, D.C., and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Before we left, I asked my two children, ages 19 and 16, to read
the article. I wanted them to have an idea what type of person
was behind the name etched into the granite. The first thing my
kids did upon getting to the wall was find Kalsu's name. Someone
had left the cover of SI with him at a nearby panel, and my son
moved it to the panel that contains Kalsu's name. As I looked at
my kids--with tears in my eyes--I realized how lucky I was to
have had others serve our great country and regretted I never
got the chance to say thank you.
BILL GEYER, Antioch, Ill.

As the brigade commander during the Ripcord siege, I was at the
firebase when Bob Kalsu and David Johnson were killed. Kalsu and
Johnson served their country with honor, dignity and dedication
in an unpopular war. I hope your readers will be interested to
learn the many stories of selfless service, sacrifice and
suffering of the more than 350 individuals detailed in Ripcord:
Screaming Eagles under Siege, Vietnam 1970 by Keith Nolan.
Major General, U.S. Army (ret.)
Belton, Texas


Under a Magic Spell

Magic Johnson is to be commended for his desire to succeed
outside of basketball. He should be emulated more often by
today's pro athletes.
MARK FAVASULI, Harrisburg, Pa.