Readers comment on movie, and a star

By David Stevens

The newspaper receives a lot of anonymous letters. Usually, I read them and throw them away.
We almost never publish unsigned letters. We even have a rule against publishing them.
So what happens when an anonymous writer provides information that’s essential to our readers?
I break the rule, of course.
This letter, neatly typed and addressed to “Movie Reviewing Person,” was received last week:
“I just got back from viewing the new movie ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ I have never written anyone about my opinion regarding a movie before. But this time I have just got to speak up.
“To sum up the movie, IT STINKS BIG TIME. What has the public done to deserve this? … I should have known, when early in the movie the usher came through the theater spraying room freshener.
“I did know very early in the movie that I had made another bad choice; one that I could add to the “Dumb and Dumberer” collection.
“I kept praying, ‘Lord please help me through this one and I promise I will never go against my better judgment again.’ But what could I do? I had a big bag of popcorn and a big drink and I couldn’t just leave with them. What would people think?
“So I endured about three quarters of the movie, just to get through my popcorn and big drink, and then I did it. I pulled my shirt over my head and snuck out. I didn’t want anyone to recognize me.
“I felt like I had escaped from jail (again) or something. PLEASE do what you can to try and stop any other unsuspecting soul from venturing into this horrible experience. … PLEASE! SAVE THE CHILDREN!”
• • •
Ever ask a question just to see if the answer will surprise you? I do that all the time, and I’m often surprised.
Through Project: Reader Reaction, I ask readers to respond to a series of question about once a week. Last week, I asked for memories of Katharine Hepburn, who died June 29 at age 96.
Most responses focused on scenes from her movies. Two were more interesting:
• “My dad, my sister Pat and I saw Katharine Hepburn on Broadway in an obscure musical called Coco, which was about the life of French fashion designer Coco Channel. 
“Ms. Hepburn was already in retirement. Midway through the piece she forgot her dialogue and said the hell with it, and just spoke to the audience until somebody fed her the correct line. 
“I thought, wow, now there’s a woman who knows how to make the most out of a mistake. She never apologized, just went right on. She owned that stage, and everyone of us sitting in that theater. 
“To this day, I can’t remember (much about) that play, but I’ll never forget her.” — Christy Mendoza, Clovis

• “(My) favorite Katharine Hepburn memory: Watching Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart pushing the African Queen past all obstacles to the open sea, but giving up and then waking to find they had succeeded after all! I was so impressed that we named our first-born child after her. (Katharine Fly)” — Carolyn Spence, Clovis

From the Editor’s Desk is a weekly memo to CNJ readers. David Stevens can be reached at 763-6991, extension 310, or by e-mail:
david_stevens@link.freedom.com