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Director's Chair

November 10, 1996

As a social worker who sees patients that are spinal injured, and who has two friends who are quadriplegics, I take issue with the slant in John Clark's article about Christopher Reeve's directorial debut ("Ready When You Are, C.R.," Nov. 3). The "take" seems to be that it is due to some special quality Reeve has that makes people forget he is in a wheelchair.

Although I also admire Reeve for his drive and abilities, my guess is he was always this kind of person. Anyone who really gets to someone with a spinal injury has this "unique experience" of realizing that the "person" does not get lost inside of the disability. In other words, one quickly forgets about the disability, not because of any special quality the person with a disability has, but because you have finally gotten past the strangeness of the wheelchair and equipment to "realize" the person is still there.

It is not unusual for people with disabilities to be active and have careers. Many people who have spinal injuries are out in the world. The men I see who have been spinal-injured make use of themselves as positively as possible, even without all the special therapies, help and equipment that Christopher Reeve can afford.

KATHRYN EDWARDS

Irvine

*

What a refreshing change to read something positive about a disabled person. Christopher Reeve's perseverance to become a director despite this handicap only proves that his mind is still the same--it's his body that has changed. It's important we keep that perspective when dealing with spinal cord-injured people.

MICHELLE FOWLER

Claremont

*

In an otherwise excellent article on Reeve's directorial debut, I was surprised to see The Times perpetuate a stereotype and use an ethnic and religious epithet: Writer John Clark stated that the interior of the house being used as a set was decorated "to reflect the reserved taste of moneyed WASPs."

To presume that all people, or even most, who are white, are of an Anglican or Saxon ancestry, practice a Protestant faith and have financial security would have reserved tastes or even the same tastes is bigoted and prejudicial. If Clark had said the house was decorated in reserved tastes and left it at that, he would have served his story as well and been considerably less offensive.

TONY MATERNA

Santa Monica

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