My Uncle Was Real Flyboy

To the Editor:

I was so glad to read Rex Reed’s good review of Flyboys [“Air-Devils,” On the Town, Sept. 26]. It was so unlike the reviews elsewhere. My husband and I loved the trailer and were looking forward to this cinematic effort, but were rather dissuaded by all the poor coverage. Suddenly, I told him I was going to find out if I can locate Rex Reed on the computer to see what he thinks. All through the years, I have felt that Mr. Reed pandered to no one, was truthful in his critiques, and that he did not indulge in bad reviews to undercut a director/producer/actor/actress who for reasons known only to the pooh-bahs in Hollywood were not in good graces.

My uncle was brigaded with the English in World War I. At an antique-plane fair many years ago, we saw the planes from that era—in his case, a Sopwith Camel. (It was nothing but a canvas-covered toothpick.) We saw the bombs that were strapped around the bombardier’s waists. They were huge heavy things, like large coconuts. Uncle Gordon would pilot the plane on one night and on the next night would switch and drop the bombs by hand as the pilot swung low over the target. Naturally, if the plane went down, it was curtains—the luxury of parachutes didn’t come until World War II. My uncle came out unscathed except for a hernia, which was repaired in France before his return. These guys literally flew by the seat of their pants.

As you said, a film like this is viewed for the action: old planes and dogfights. The little scenarios on the ground are merely a bit of a plot to hold the picture together.

Barbara Chardenet

Torrington, Conn.

George and Hilly: Intervention!

To the Editor:

I have resisted writing for many, many weeks, but I can resist no longer. Someone needs to help George and Hilly—really help them—because it is obvious that Dr. Selman is not doing his job. George is a serious control freak who is self-medicating. Hilly has obvious self-esteem issues for staying in such a horrendous living situation when she sounds like a nice enough person. (Then again, where does all her money go that she can’t pay some bills? I mean, come on, this is not the fictional Sex and the City, where a girl needs 400 pairs of shoes!) I used to read their story voraciously, out of interest, but now it is like a car wreck I can’t turn away from. Please, someone, clear the wreckage from the highway and spare us all the indignity.

Marni Winslow

Mahwah, N.J.