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Reflections on the Death of a Friend

March 19, 1995

Although it has been several weeks since you published Joe Morgenstern's "A Death in the Desert" (Jan. 15), I feel compelled to write because of the emotions I was left with after reading the article. I went to school with Aaron Bacon in Arizona, and it was strange to see his picture on the cover of a magazine in another state. Of course, I knew that Aaron had died, but I couldn't attend his funeral with the rest of my friends because I was out of town.

I was affected considerably by Aaron's death. It was unfair; he was so young. I wasn't close to him, but I would talk to him, and he'd tease me about my young boyfriend. I remember the first day of eighth grade, when Aaron was new to our school. He was sitting outdoors, on top of a table, smiling and talking to everyone. His hair was longer than that of the other boys at the school, and he wore a tie-dyed shirt, which was unusual there. But he was cool; everyone liked him. In our school yearbook, he was voted to have the best sense of humor.

I remember the last time I saw him, walking down a bridle path. It had been a while since I'd seen him, since he went to the public high school while I was going to a private school. He looked a bit different, but I could tell it was him. I didn't know about his drug life, because I wasn't involved.

It just breaks my heart to hear about how he suffered. Nobody deserves to be in that kind of pain. I feel for his parents; for his girlfriend, Carrie, a good friend of mine, and for his brother, whom I knew as no more than a loud car that picked Aaron up from time to time.

I really don't know why I'm writing this, except to say that Aaron was special, and it hurts to think that he died the way he did. Like I said before, it's not fair.

Allyn K. Dyer

Manhattan Beach

*

It brought tears to my eyes when I read how that poor kid got treated at that wilderness camp. I went through hell myself last year at an inpatient counseling center. I had problems relating to abuse I had suffered as a child, and I had made suicide attempts. The nurses at this facility, especially the males, subjected me to physical, mental and verbal abuse and ignored me when I tried to tell them that a male patient, a gang member, was exposing himself to the young women present and trying to fondle me.

I hope that parents take better care where they place kids with emotional problems, to prevent their children from being scarred for life--or worse.

Amber Wade

Buena Park

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