Hosting the Gorbachevs
In answer to your invitation in the editorial ``An invitation to Gorbachev,'' Nov. 2, to share what we would show Mr. Gorbachev on his visit to the United States: How about taking him to a school board meeting in a large city where he could see the sifting and winnowing democratic process in action? Lively exchanges between school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents, while often heated, exhibit a great sense of caring for our children. Wouldn't this be a way to show Mr. Gorbachev how healthy differences can also bind people together in finding common goals? Virginia Kuemmin Milwaukee
When Mr. Gorbachev comes to visit the US, I'd like to invite him to visit a public preschool or kindergarten. Young children who run, skip, build, create, share, sing, recite, and giggle are the same the world over. So the adults they become, such as Mr. Gorbachev and all of us, must have a lot in common.
Let Mr. Gorbachev sit for an hour with one group of children. Let him rest and refresh himself and absorb from the atmosphere a sense of the pure distilled essentials of life that exist the world over. Kathelen Williams Stockton, Calif.
Our third grade class discussed how we all felt that Mr. Gorbachev needed to travel beyond the center of our government if he was to have a true understanding of the American people. The children then brainstormed these reasons why Maple Grove Elementary School's third grade classroom would be a terrific place for Gorbachev to visit:
1.He could meet and get to know typical American kids.
2.He could see another part of the US.
3.He could compare Soviet and American schools.
4.He could hear a lot of English.
5.He could help us understand how the Soviet and American people are alike.
6.He could meet American kids who could be the leaders of our country someday.
As a classroom teacher, I think it is absolutely crucial that these young people truly believe they can make a difference in the world.
I believe it! And I think they do, too. Marlene Buechel Verona, Wis.
Please bring the Soviet leader to our small farm in Erie County, Ohio, near Berlin Heights. There is nothing extraordinary about our farm of 72 acres. It is a fairly neat and generally well-maintained home and buildings. Our barn is full of hay and grain for our 19 sheep. Our 13-room home is comfortable. We have nothing special to see but live a plain and simple American life. Since Gorbachev's visit is scheduled to begin on Pearl Harbor Day, I'd like to ask him where he was on Dec. 7, 1941. My family and I were here on the farm and had just finished Sunday evening's milking when we heard the news. David Moon Berlin Heights, Ohio
A visit to the small town of Hanover, Mass., near Boston, would enhance Mr. Gorbachev's understanding of what is important to everyday Americans. At the new Central Fire Station, Mr. Gorbachev would have the opportunity to meet representative Americans, male and female. Most of them would have freely attended the open Town Meeting, which voted to build and pay for the new building.
Some of them would be the volunteer firefighters who, with brave determination, tried to protect the property of an anonymous resident from the peril of fire.
Then, a discussion of the disposition of the charred debris would highlight a problem that disturbs the residents of Hanover. Not only is the disposal of solid wastes a primary concern, but so also is the pollution of the scenic and historic North River, which flows along the town's southern border.
Next, the telling of how the compassionate townspeople rebuilt the destroyed home would indicate a respect for the dignity of the unfortunate. The furnishings for the new house were selected from the stores at the Hanover Mall; this reflects the choices available under the American economic system.
After all this, Mr. Gorbachev would realize that Americans are peaceful people who are concerned about both their neighbors and their environment, and that they have the resolve to defend their cherished freedom.
Furthermore, this stop in Hanover might prompt Mr. Gorbachev to encourage more Russians to travel to America, and persuade him to come back himself. Roger P. Miller Hanover, Mass.