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The Vision Thing

July 01, 2001

Charles Champlin's piece ("Writing to Live," June 24) reminded me of the late, great Jim Murray, who also experienced vision loss that threatened his writing life.

The great ones always find a way to overcome obstacles, be they carving a way into their field or maintaining their skill through personal or health losses.

By refraining from self-pity and showing an appreciation for those with worse plights, Champlin (like Murray) reveals an inner vision that cannot be dimmed. Write on.

JEANINE D'ELIA

Granada Hills

*

Champlin's eyesight may be failing, but it is gratifying to note that his wit and charm are intact.

JAMES PRIDEAUX

Los Angeles

*

Since I am a longtime admirer of Champlin, I was deeply moved by his courageous account of coping with macular degeneration.

I always relished his love of Dixieland jazz--and had the good fortune to tell him so, both personally and by letter, on several occasions--in sharp contrast to the late and revered Leonard Feather, who scorned everything pre-Minton's and gave short shrift to us doddering devotees of traditional straight-ahead jazz.

Since I am also a retired dentist, I respectfully advise him to acquire a marvelous WaterPik model WP90 combination electric toothbrush and oral irrigator, which will enable him to do a thorough job in a jiffy and give up smearing toothpaste on with his finger!

MARVIN H. LEAF

Rancho Mirage

*

I was very sorry to read of his impaired sight. But any time a piece by Champlin appears in The Times, it is truly a better day. CRAIG MOHR

Santa Monica

I would like to have a chance to read Champlin's lapel pin--"Vision impaired. Please say your name"--which would put me close enough to tell him how much I enjoyed all his writings and that I'm thrilled that he doesn't consider himself silenced.

HILDE HAKL

Burbank

*

I first met Champlin in 1970, when I assumed responsibility for public relations for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the annual Academy Awards. His piece makes it clear that he may have lost his sight but not his vision; that his seeing may be blurred but not his sensibilities; and that he remains as much a gentleman as ever.

He admitted once that he tried to remain cognizant of the time, creative teamwork and money that went into making a film, and was careful not to be dismissive or unnecessarily cruel of the filmmaker's product.

Charles Champlin was a film critic and interviewer, but as his article proves, he is still a mensch .

MARTIN M. COOPER

Woodland Hills

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