Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers share their thoughts about a city landmark, notes from loved ones, doctors' struggles amid COVID-19, and more.

Preserving the Past

Thank you, Lisa Fliegel, for this beautiful tribute to your father and the Harriet Tubman House (Connections, June 21). Only Mayor Walsh has the power now to save the Tubman House from the wrecking ball. In December, the Boston Planning and Development Agency lifted the restriction on the property, allowing it to be demolished and turned into luxury condos. The building’s owner, the nonprofit United South End Settlements, will likely receive at least $16 million from the developer. While it’s understandable that USES needs funds, why not sell to a coalition of nonprofits who can keep the Tubman House in the community’s hands (the morally right thing to do since it was built with community funds)? Around the country, Harriet Tubman is celebrated with monuments, art, and more ... How can the city celebrate Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a sculpture, then destroy the Harriet Tubman House in the historically Black South End? At this time in history, is this what we want for our legacy?


user_1196543, posted on bostonglobe.com

Fliegel’s storytelling about fathers, memory, and preservation was artfully woven into a single, thought-provoking piece. My father was putting out fires at the city dump next to Columbia Point about the same time the writer’s [father] was doing so figuratively at the health center. Anything built on the soggy soil that filled the South End over a hundred years ago is a monument to our city’s commitment to innovation, so it’s a shame to see that even a recent arrival like the Harriet Tubman House is endangered. To the writer: Keep remembering, writing, and marching.

jbluthardt, posted on bostonglobe.com

Thank you for your beautiful tribute to your dad. Simply inspiring and I am very grateful to you for sharing. My mom lived in the shadow of Harriet Tubman House for 24 years before her death. In her own modest way, she was a beloved resident and frequent advocate for affordable housing protection in South End in a period of rapid gentrification; a losing battle of course, but a good fight.


MyLucy, posted on bostonglobe.com

Treasured Words

I so much enjoyed Susan Moeller’s Connections story of her dad (“Postcard Gold,” June 28). My father was also a very special letter writer! I’ve saved mostly all of them. I can no longer count the dozens of copies I have made of one 1981 letter my dear, sweet, gentle dad sent me when he found out I got a speeding ticket. He simply numbered several physics speed and driving principles for me in hopes of getting me to slow down. 1. Impact is directly proportional to the square of the speed. This means that if the speed is multiplied by 2, the impact is multiplied by 4. If you are going 40 mph instead of 20 mph, your head gets crushed 4 times as flat, not twice as flat. He went on and on — and it worked. I find it cumbersome making copies of the two big pages of old yellow legal paper but every time I hear of a friend or relative having a new junior driver, I send off a hard copy of the 39-year-old letter of wisdom in hopes of saving another young life.


Viki Woodworth, Carlisle

About two years ago, my nephew Greg, who lives in Pennsylvania, started sending me postcards at least one time a week. He is a writer and is part of a group that sends a postcard with a message that relates to the picture. I’m an Emily Dickinson fan so many had pictures tied to one of her poems. Others are of authors, artists, scientists with their sayings, which caused me to become acquainted with so many interesting people. I’m sending him Moeller’s article.

Marie Rawlings, Chelmsford

I always loved to write letters to communicate with family and friends, and saved many over the years. I sent numerous postcards during travels until they more inexpensively got replaced with e-mails, sent with my personally-taken photos attached. Lately I send e-mails with photos of interest to my 4-year-old grandson via my daughter, as they live internationally. But this essay has inspired me to start sending hard copy postcards to my grandson, something tangible for him to hold and associate with his Nana.

Beryl Jupiter, Weston

Bringing Work Home

This is NOT what health professionals ever signed up for (“‘I Cried in Private': The Stress of Being a Parent-MD Working in a COVID Unit,” June 28). At no time in the history of medicine and nursing were health professionals expected as part of their commitment to place their families in danger [by possibly passing coronavirus on to them after being infected at work]. Not even a soldier, going into battle, is expected to tote their family with them. I worked as a physician in two war zones and that was my choice and my risk only. Now I would not work in a COVID unit without good protection. I could not face my family if I sacrificed one of them to our society’s failed response to this pandemic. I worry for those health workers who are making that choice.


user_2034461, posted on bostonglobe.com

These health care professionals have gone to extraordinary lengths to serve their fellow mankind. Thank you to all of them and for the sacrifices their families have experienced because of their service. Many lives were saved because of them.

CambridgeNel, posted on bostonglobe.com

My husband is the cardiologist cited in this piece. He is humble and would never want anyone to call him a hero. What I hope people take away from this article is that it’s been incredibly challenging for children like mine to try to understand and process what their parents are doing. The kids hear about COVID and their whole world has been turned upside down from it because everyone’s trying to keep safe — but their mom or dad purposely exposes themselves to it because they are treating COVID patients (and, in early days, without the best PPE). Kids need to feel safe and nothing makes a child feel more fear than worrying that their mom or dad will die. My daughter gave away her tooth fairy money for the hospital to buy PPE so her daddy would be safe. That isn’t something anyone “signs up for” when becoming a health care professional. Please wear a mask.


keholt, posted on bostonglobe.com

We all need affection. Especially kids. They crave parental hugs and affection; and parents need that affection in return. I can’t imagine how it must be for a parent not to be able to embrace their children. All those medical personnel, who sacrifice to serve us, have my deepest respect.

Potlemac, posted on bostonglobe.com

Too Close for Comfort

Just say no [to getting together with a friend who is less cautious about social distancing] (Miss Conduct: “Space Invader,” June 28). If they don’t like it, they’re not a friend. If you make it harder than that, it gets harder.

1Superbike, posted on bostonglobe.com

Be very clear that this is not personal. I have friends with health issues that will not see me because I have a daughter who works with the public. No point in being uncomfortable in making plans — it negates the whole purpose of getting together.

eastsight, posted on bostonglobe.com

In my circle of friends, everyone has their own comfort levels as well as different health conditions. Everyone has been willing to respect the various boundaries. My hope is that we get to that same place with other far less important issues as well.

BeeJayDee, posted on bostonglobe.com


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