Fathers Singled Out
As a single father of an almost eight-year-old boy, it did my heart good to read Shira Boss's "Let's Honor Fathers - Single Fathers, Too" (June 13). Raising my son single-handedly since the time he was 30 months old, I can vouch for the difficulties single fathers often have to contend with. True, we're often looked upon with praise, considering our relative minority numbers. Unfortunately, that's where the buck often seems to stop. Community or government agencies geared more toward assisting mothers are often in short supply of either advice or actual help when it comes to the single dad. Regardless, for all the hurdles that had were overcome these past five years or so, the experience is one I'd not trade for anything else. Neither career, nor relationship, nor the many other things a large number of people seem to busy themselves with today. For in one child's smile, there's something that can't be found anywhere else: love, warmth, and caring, perhaps but a small reflection of one's true self.
Jan F. Cohen
Deer Park, N.Y.
Not a philanderer
It grieved me to see an unsubstantiated implication on your front page in the article "Public Leaders, Personal Lives?" (May 30). To mention President Eisenhower in the same breath with President Kennedy concerning marital infidelity is a disservice. Members of the Eisenhower family have expressed disbelief that an affair with Kay Summersby actually took place. In her memoir she practically admits that it was wishful thinking on her part. Why not mention President Franklin Roosevelt, who wan unfaithful before and after his disability? Intimates of Ike were lavish in praiseing his moral character. If the article purported to discuss personal character, what about the integrity of journalists who repeate substanceless rumors?
Menlo Park, Calif.
Military record set straight
In an otherwise informative article, the author's piece on "Redrawing a Line On Military Affairs" (June 11) muddies the waters of debate by implying some direct connection between the Gen. Ralston affair and the military's adjustment to more women in their ranks.
General Ralston's sin occurred over 14 years ago. I'll admit this covers a period in our history when more women were being recruited for military duty, but Ralston did not find his partner within the military ranks. Certainly, this does not excuse his behavior or mitigate the seriousness of his offense; the military's continuing challenge to integrate women is an entirely separate issue and should have been treated as such.
Out of necessity
Your article "Caffeine's Cool Image Appeals to Kids, Perks Adult Concern" (June 13) seemed more like speculation than fact. Yes, teenagers are increasingly becoming addicted to caffeine. I am seventeen and I admit caffeine is definitely my drug of choice. However, your article implies that image, and a desire to feel older, is the cause of the increase in caffeine use by teenagers. This is completely false. Teenagers use caffeine not to get a buzz, but to replace sleep. Teenagers fully understand how important sleep is and would love to get eight or nine hours a night, but when there are only 24 hours in the day you have to make sacrifices and a few hours of sleep are first to go. Most adults have one boss to deal with. Teenagers have six or seven teachers, hopefully two parents, multiple extracurricular activities, and possibly a job. I was unaware that alcohol was becoming harder to get, but I can assure you sleep and not a buzz is the reason teenagers drink so much caffeine.
Your letters are welcome. Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published in the Monitor and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed (200 words maximum) to OPED@CSPS.COM.