August 6, 2020

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Readers Say

Re "Erotic Politicians" article

As the younger girls say........."YOU GO GIRL". Outstanding article! It is very refreshing to see the truth in print (and with such a wicked sense of humor). I have told people for at least the last ten years that "stupid gas" is being released non-stop throughout the US. It is one of the few reasons I can come up with for the American people to vote they way they do, and support our politicians. US citizens are like lemmings heading for the cliffs to splash into the sea. Voting in US elections for me is like choosing between dumb, dumber, and dumbest, and trying to choose the official that is the "least" crooked, thieving, liar. Enough of my blustering. KEEP ON TELLING IT LIKE IT IS!!!!

Linda F.

My, my, [Brando] was a great one. One of a kind. Legendary.

In Miami, where I grew up, I begged my mother to accompany me to see One-Eyed Jacks at the local theater. I was under the age requirement and had to be accompanied by an adult. She gladly went. I was about 13. After the movie I couldn't eat for days. I wrote the first and only fan letter of my life. I dreamed of going to Tahiti and marrying Marlon Brando. (Who needs reality when you're 13).

The closest I ever got to that is redecorating my teenage bedroom to resemble the islands.....recessed colored lights in the cornices, palm branches on the walls and big pillows on the floor. Friends from that era of my life still remember my room.

Thanks Maggie. Great column. Brought back a lot of memories.

Terri Godfrey

We've got protestant figurines, but there's a lot of hellfire and brimstone involved.

Tammy Grimes
Tipton, PA

Maggie, I love you.   I'm in Florida for the winter and feeling no guilt whatsoever. 
I have Catholic and Jewish girlfriends who suffer guilt a lot.   I never understand their inhibitions.  (My mother was a rare breed, wise beyond her years and she did not espouse any guilt or shame into my daily living).   My father was Episcopalian, my mother was a Christian Scientist.  I was baptized in a Methodist church.   Went to church with my catholic friends growing up.  I was married in a Lutheran Church (felt like a good idea as my family was Swedish) and I raised my sons in a Congregational Church because they had an outstanding fellowship attitude.   Today, given a choice, I probably relate closest to the Buddha.
We could heal the world if we could erase that part of people's childhoods.   Amen.
thanks for your column.  Always enjoy it, kiddo.
Terri Godfrey
Lake Worth, Florida

I love your articles in Mexico Connect. I have been to Mexico several times and love it like no other place in the world. I go to Acambaro Guanajuato as "my second home" and visit other places from there. I am, however, 82 years of age and may never be able to return, I therefore content myself to reading about my adopted country.

I am ashamed for the politicians of the U.S.A. and their desire to build a fence in an attempt to keep out the best friends we have in the world.

Around 15 years ago, I became friends with a Mexicano from Acambaro here in Tennessee and he soon became the best friend I have ever had. I filed papers for his family to come also and after four years and four months, the wife and three children were able to come. The family had been here two years when my friend suddenly died of Septic Shock. I now have this family here in Cookeville, Tennessee and love them like my very own. I am not a Catholic but I do believe the Virgin de Guadalupe sent them to me for my comfort in my old age. They needed me and I needed them.

Sorry, I only meant to say thank you for the very interesting writing.
Thank you for the very interesting articles in Mexico Connect.

Professor Emeritus Glen H. Bremer
Cookeville, TN

Katie Couric chirply anchoring the nightly news -- now we know where cheerleaders go to die...

I absolutely LOVE Diane Sawyer -- who HAS and DOES get emotional -- but more appropriately [she] knows when humor collides with foolishness and reacts much more in line with the business at hand. I remember her covering the incidents of 9-11 AS THEY HAPPENED. I'd LOVE to see her as an anchorwoman -- and enjoy her when she has guest anchored.

It's the person and not the gender -- I like the icon Barbara Walters, also.
I also dislike younger men who aren't as seasoned in the role of NETWORK anchorman. They're OK for regional or city news personnel. Maybe I was born under the sign of Cronkite...

Sharon Harris
Easton, MD


Their voices ARE getting higher and even giggly (the female TV reporters) and I can't stand their flip attitudes! I like to hear the news from someone of a pleasant mellow voice who simply talks without added unnecessary drama, and tells us what is taking place here and around the world. I don't need to hear the cookie-cutter mini-drama repeated replays of the current news horror of the day.


Jani Buron
Wellington, Nevada Author of "The Spirit of Seabiscuit"

I cannot tell you how many times I have turned from a newscast when a woman is delivering a news story, for many reasons. I happen to agree wholeheartedly with your OPINION. In a round-a-bout way, the hate mail you are receiving from irrate women readers, further proves the emotional side of us women. These same women have most likely read several of your columns, got a good laugh and a new view on other situations.

Shame on all of them for accepting your right to free speech and an opinion, only when they agree.

Well, I am proud to say I also share your view (so does my mom, she calls them "news models"). I will piss them off further by saying: I do not wear make-up, I have no idea what the latest "in" designer is (nor do I care), I put on whatever is comfortable and I think for myself! Amen to those of us who have not subscribed to a cookie cutter way of thinking.
Jenn Thompson
Canoga Park, Calif.

Oh, how disappointed I am in your last essay. Courage is not the absence of fear - it's overcoming fear to get the job done. You think the fellas are so brave and the women are reedy and hysterical? What do you know of Anne Garrels - NPR correspondant in Baghdad. She made a point in Hussein's Iraq to secretly broadcast from her hotel room in the nude so when the soldies came to search for contraband communications equipment, they would grant her a minute of privacy to dress, which allowed her time to hide her work. She has returned time and time again to spend an extended period of time acclimating to the culture to report on the scene from Iraq. I call that extremely courageous and ballsy. Love her!

Katie Couric has earned that anchor desk. Let's give her every chance of success. She is a brilliant, tireless, and compassionate broadcaster. After losing her husband and sister to cancer, she personally impacted colorectal cancer screening so dramatically saving thousands of lives, it's referred to as "The Couric Effect". I have no doubt of her ability to lead a news team and I can't wait to see her prove the naysayers - the FOX News watchers, if you will, WRONG. Let's see a man maintain his composure during a live colonoscopy.

Man you blew it on this one, Maggie

Joy Cieszynski

Hi Maggie,

I am a Spanish student in England and for my exam, I am comparing different regional celebrations in Mexico. Your article, Las Posadas, was very helpful.
I'm very grateful.

Adam Lewis
London, UK

Dear Maggie:

We have truly enjoyed reading your articles, columns and writings over the years. Keep up the excellent work.

Stewart and Cory Kahn
Redondo Beach, CA

Dear Maggie,

Regarding your "mistake" of giving josefina the new steam iron: in your column, "The Biggest Mistake I Ever Made in Mexico," maybe from your perspective you "ruined" things, but for the sake of josefina's hot fingers and incredibly routine lifestyle, i'm sure she appreciated it, and isn't that why you bought her the iron in the first place? The more privileged of society should never think it is "romantic" or "beautifully traditional" when anyone has to work like an 18th century slave." .... ugh.

There are plenty of other things in Mexico to admire other than the excessively hard work many Mexican perform when modern appliances can lighten the burden.
Neil Wright
Honolulu, Hawaii

Hi, Maggie,

I just read your "Mexican Village" article. It was a delightful read.
Thanks for the opportunity to see Mexico through your eyes.
Jan Burg
Moses Lake, Washington


As a former teacher and still a believer in kids, I'm offering up a toast to your article about Mrs. Baldwin. There REALLY are good kids and good teachers out there. Thanks for letting folks know about them.

Don Adams La Christina, TX

For me, the mark of a good writer is how much enthusiasm I feel when I see the byline. Maggie's columns are so very funny because so often I can say "yes, yes, that happened to me! " She seems to be able to take the most mundane situations and they become funny when seen through the "eyes" of Maggie. From her adventures with her dog, to her adventures in Mexico to her observations of life along our country roads..... every moment is captured in such a manner that I can actually visualize it.

Dianna Nelson-Kearns
Chicago, IL

Estimada Mamacita:

As a Mexican, I must thank you for your kind article on Mexico Connect. As a reader, I must thank you for the graciousness of your article, too.

Un saludo cordial,

Luis A. Dumois
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Dear Ms. Van Ostrand,

I would like to use your article, Mexican Village, to teach my sixth grade class this semester, when we study Mexico.

Your article is beautifully written.

Dorothy A. Baldwin
Maryville MO

Dear Maggie:

You know how, after seeing a terrific foreign film, in recollection you forget it had subtitles? Well I feel that way about your writing. I read your essays in newspapers, but I always remember them as if told to me by a dear friend. It happened just the other day when I shared one of your stories about Mexico at a party. I wracked my brain trying to remember who told it to me, and only later recalled it was something I read. Through your writing you have become a close friend of my family, and I hope you will "visit" often.

Joy Yucaitis
Watertown, MA

Hi Maggie,

I am a college student at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, doing a research paper comparing cemeteries of the United States to those of Mexico. Your article "Accommodations To Die For," was very helpful. Thanks.

Nicole Louise Fisher
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Dear Maggie,

Your writing always brings a funny bright perspective to the world-- delightful. I look forward to every column.

Nancy Nevins, Los Angeles

Dear Maggie,
I am still laughing at the 2nd to last paragraph in your Rudolph story.
Virginia Carllile
Decatur, Georgia

Dear Ms. Van Ostrand:
I am a Sophomore at Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, NJ. Recently, my Spanish teacher asked us to do a project on a Mexican custom. I decided to report on "Las Posadas" and while researching the topic, I came across your article. The article was great and I was wondering if you would mind me reading your article before the class because it has a good, personal view on the Posadas that I feel the class will be able to envision more. Please let me know and thank you for your time.

Katie MacAllister

Hi, Maggie, just wanted to let you know I implemented your Christmas idea...we all gave each other pictures of stuff we'd buy if we had a ton of money, plus a few 'joke' ones here and there too, it was a blast!
Tammy Grimes
Bellwood PA

Thank you for sharing this story, ["Looking for Charley"]. I enjoyed reading it, especially the happy ending. My immediate family survived Katrina, too, but they are scattered all over the place. I haven't been able to locate many first cousins and some ex in-laws, so I hope they're okay. Again, thanks for sharing.
Sharon Boone
Asbury Park, NJ

Dear Maggie,

I enjoy your work every chance I get. It makes this twisted world a little more palatable. The insightfulness along with a real world perspective is refreshing and hilarious. Often when I can slow down long enough, from the pace which I have come to accept as "normal," and read one of your quips I find myself walking away with a very proud smile. Not just because of the writing style or the unique perspective or even the humor of it all, but rather because you are my mom. You make me very proud!

West Hills, California

Hi, Maggie,

I just love reading your columns, the humour brings out a good day
for me, and I am now having my boyfriend read them as well.

Your devoted fan

Nelly Urac
Ontario, Canada

"Wrinkleproof Moms?" is one of the best I've read in a long time. And of course, I couldn't agree more. When I'm mad at my husband, I want him to know.
When my kids aren't responding to my verbal abuse, I want them to
see the I-mean-it-this-time look on my face. You've given me permission to look that needle in the eye and say, "No thanks."

Alison Bonaguro
Chicago, ILL

Dear Maggie!

That's fun to read ... with your sense of humor. Be certain that your site is the best in these days on-line wonderful little screen with plenty of news, to say the least. Please go ahead with your writings. ... This last comment you did just hit me that I'm still smile while writing you this. Go fun! Keep fun!

Marco Valois (Brazil)

"Scents and Sensibility" is hilarious! I was on the floor rolling in laughter at "On some level we must be aware of what's going on in the bathroom, or are we supposed to think the person who preceded us went in there to squeeze a lemon?"

Susan Opton
Boston MA

Dear Maggie, I am in a similar position about the evening in paris perfume. My mum has only a few weeks to live. Her favourite perfume when she was young was evening in paris. I would love to have been able to smell it as it does evoke memories. Bless you for sharing this.

United Kingdom

Always love what you write...I feel I'm there with you and we are sharing the experience.

K. Walker
Studio City, California

Dear Maggie,

I never read your column without thinking back to that ardent moment when you appeared spontaneously, as if from nowhere, at the United States border in Tijuana, dressed only in a window curtain, and declaimed, "I am an American. Let me in."

Keep up the good work.

Charles L. Grotts, Grotts Farm, Hillsboro, IL

I really appreciate your piece on churros. My friend and I just
got back from a 10-day vacation in Mexico, and one the many highlights
of the trip was our discovering "Don Churro," in Cuernavaca. There's
nothing like a freshly fried churro. We liked it so much we're
planning on starting our own store in Philly. Your article captured
our thoughts exactly.

Mike R, Philadelphia

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