Letters

The Wolf at the Door
Steve Jackson's pseudo-expose of excruciating ennui on the Milstein-Wolf debacle ("Mommy Dearest," May 22) was a tragic waste of forests. I was acquainted with Judi and Marvin Wolf during my tenure as a social chronicler for the Rocky Mountain News; I found them to be generous, colorful, compassionate and smart. They often entertained individuals at their home because they were simply creative, intellectual, spiritual or amusing--which cannot be said for many of Denver's rich denizens. The complete works of Balzac lined the top of Judi's boudoir armoire and--trust me--as a graduate of a French university, I know she had read them all. Her public persona as a divinely theatrical diva was a colorful fresco contrasted against the dour conformity of the era's catty social-climbing harridans and posturing trophy wives lacking in wit, education and true culture--the self-appointed arbiters of Denver's social-civic scene, who snickered at her joie de vivre. She uttered ne'er a malicious word about anyone and was gracious to all.

As for John Milstein, when I knew him, he had no visible occupation, had free rein of the Wolf residence and dressed a la Secret Service only in dark suits, white shirts, black ties, steel-toed shoes and dark Ray Bans--bragging that he spent his time "casing" the residences of the former Mrs. Wolf and family. At a birthday fete for Marvin at the former Fairmont Hotel, Milstein, in the company of the Wolfs' driver, and I were ambling down the hallway when he abruptly opened his jacket, displaying a pistol he allegedly always packed. Is this a credulous, stable individual?

When I no longer was empowered with a byline, abruptly ending the air kisses and invites of the usual pursue-the-press sycophants, Judi and Marvin invited me to walk with them among the giant cottonwoods bordering their property and expressed genuine concern for my future plans and even suggested a business venture.

Yo, Jackson! Don't judge the cover if you haven't thoroughly read the book!
Thomas Hardy
Denver

My compliments to Steve Jackson for his incredibly detailed and well-written article. It was extremely disturbing--as it was meant to be.

How the law can be openly cruel and unfair to a strong and coherent woman like Letty Milstein is beyond me. She certainly seems to be able to make rational decisions, and her daughter, Judi Wolf, seems like a thankless, money-grubbing, bubble-headed twit. Why can't Letty be allowed to see her son and friends and be able to go anywhere she damn well pleases? Shame on the judge! Shame on the law!

Judi's argument that Letty's case of dementia requires her mother to be in a 24-hour-care facility is pathetic. Her "dementia" seems to be a mild case at best. Just because someone loses her house key or misplaces something from time to time does not mean she does not know what is in her best interest! I'm 27 and lost my pager the other day. I found it after looking and ransacking my room for an hour. Do I now require 24-hour care? We need laws to protect the elderly in situations like these!

On a final note, my 80-plus-year-old grandmother still drives. Maybe we should be more worried about that than hopelessly watching Letty made a prisoner in her own home.

Keep on truckin', Letty!
Lonni Michelson
Denver

Steve Jackson must have had little or no experience with the extraordinary complexities involved when a family member suffers from dementia. Having personally been involved twice, I know it is not simple and totally unrealistic to explain it all away by saying the demented person's wishes are not being adhered to. It also underscores the writer's lack of understanding to think that people with dementia (which does not remain static but degenerates) can have their needs met with the assistance of neighbors and aides. Those needs are 24-hour, seven-day-a-week needs, and it is a full-time job just to coordinate aides, friends, family, etc.

I have nothing more than a nodding relationship with the Wolfs, yet I am very aware of their extraordinary generosity to the community. When you facetiously make remarks about their fundraising endeavors, it makes me wonder if you have any idea how difficult it is to raise money for worthwhile causes and how without the assistance of generous people, there would be many people of lesser fortune who would be in even worse shape. The way Jackson twists the motives of people who have money is nothing short of astounding to me, as if all wealthy people are evil and poorer people noble.

As I completed reading the article, my thought was, "What for?" Is this your purpose as the "alternative" paper in Denver--to print a story about the dynamics of one family in such a manner that all it does is cater to the sensationalistic instincts of people? With so many complex issues within our community, with so many worthwhile stories that should be vying for the lead article in a paper that purports to make a difference in the community, is this it? Is this what you went to journalism school for?

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