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Letters to the editor of Globe Magazine

Stories about the Babe Ruth trade, Alzheimer’s, losing a friend, and more have readers sharing their thoughts.

Baseball History

Great story by David K. Thomson about Harry Frazee and Babe Ruth in the Globe Magazine (“Broadway Ball,” October 18). As a longtime Boston sports fan, I was always led to believe that Frazee was a villain for trading Babe Ruth. Although it may have been a bad move from a baseball perspective, it didn’t appear to hamper Frazee’s success as a businessman. Nice to see his reputation fully explained and saved in Thomson’s article.

Mike Halloran / Plymouth

Having grown up believing that the trade of Babe Ruth to the Yankees was simply the worst trade ever by the Red Sox, it was enlightening to get some context about Frazee’s motivation in the deal, which turned out quite well for him in the long run. Now if [only] Thomson could give us some insight into the trade of Mookie [Betts].

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Jim Ascoli / North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Wow, what a writer! I am not a huge sports fan and usually skip over sports articles, but am intrigued by history written in a bright new way, and that was a good one on Harry Frazee, Ban Johnson, and Babe Ruth! I love a story with a great introduction, and that’s what caught me. Thanks to Thomson for a well-written story, and always to the Globe Magazine for its stellar content.

Lisa Johnson / Tyngsborough

Frazee deserves to be judged harshly for making one of the worst—if not the worst—trades in the history of Major League Baseball and no amount of revisionist history can fix that.

VoxPoppa / posted on bostonglobe.com


Cold Case

[As someone who has been touched by homicide] who never had to wait to find the killer, I wish nothing but peace to [Boyd Britton, the brother of the victim] (“Searching for Jane Britton’s Killer,” October 25). And I thank all involved who didn’t let this case rest. It is never too late!

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vigilantgirl / posted on bostonglobe.com

Great job by the author of the article, Becky Cooper, to seek answers when so many failed Jane over the years. I hope Cooper’s book [chronicling the decades-long quest to solve the case] does well.

NH-Repub / posted on bostonglobe.com


Clothing Memories

Julie Suratt’s Connections story really resonated with me (“Cassie’s Colorful Closet,” October 25). My closest friend died of metastatic breast cancer several years ago at age 56. She also had a wicked sense of humor that I loved. After she passed away, her husband asked me to come over and pick out a few things of hers for myself. I cried through the whole process, but was grateful. I still think of her every time I wear her favorite earrings or her very warm woolen mittens. Even after losing her so long ago I feel she’s still with me.

Nancy Robertson / Scituate

What a selfless person Cassie must have been to think of others [and invite them to pick pieces from her closet] during her illness. I’m glad that her friends will have reminders of their great friendship. What a wonderful gift.

Nancy MacLeod / Franklin

My younger brother, Michael, died of glioblastoma 16 years ago. My sister-in-law gave me his winter parka. On cold winter nights I often put it on, take a walk outside, and have a chat with him. Wearing that coat keeps our connection. I would like to thank Suratt for the love and warmth she celebrates in her writing.

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Mark Smith / Berlin


Wedding Advice

Miss Conduct’s reply about a partner’s wedding invitation omission (November 1), like all of her opinions, is just fine. A possible addition: It’s reasonable to regard one’s partner, even if not endorsed by clergy or officialdom, as one’s spouse. One might make a reservation for lunch or dinner for the time of the wedding. Then reply: My spouse and I already have plans for that date. If our plans change, we’d be glad to come. Just possibly, the happy couple will take the hint. If not, so be it.

Ken McElheny / Brookline

If this wedding is not in your city or town, then I have a gray path for [the letter writer] to explore. Travel with your significant other to the wedding destination but don’t attend. Maybe go a day early and make it a mini vacation. You might also have your partner tell the bride and groom your plan. Maybe they will be guilted into inviting you, maybe not.

Mark Goldberg / Cambridge


The Alzheimer’s Issue

The concept of systemic racism affecting Alzheimer’s was news to me, though of course it makes sense (“5 Alzheimer’s Advances to Watch,” November 1). My own interest is in childhood obesity and health. The one thing we have strong evidence for regarding Alzheimer’s is exercise. The one thing we have strong evidence for regarding children’s academic achievement is exercise. In this case, the treatment works in all age groups. In my talks I make the point that “there is no STEM without fitness.” With health indices in people of color putting them at risk for COVID-19 and multiple other maladies, why would I have expected Alzheimer’s to be different?

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Dr. Daniel Fulham O’Neill / Holderness, New Hampshire

Tom Keane’s article was moving and only too true (“Coping with a Heartbreaking Disease,” November 1). I worked for the Alzheimer’s Association as a medical social worker for several years. My late father and late husband had this dreadful disease. Tom and his family did everything they could do, given the limited resources and the emotional/physical/financial toll. People have to go to work, compassionate caretakers are difficult to find, and insurance doesn’t cover them even if they could be found. You are neither a spouse nor a widow(er). Friends feel awkward, and you feel awkward if you enjoy an evening out. Keane’s courage in writing honestly of his heartbreak will be helpful to thousands.

Margaret Munson / Penn Valley, California

Keane’s articles on this subject (see also “How Could My Wife Have Alzheimer’s? She Was Only 56,” January 12) are incredibly informative and moving. His work is a public service.

Paul Critchlow / Sag Harbor, New York

As heartbreaking as it as to read Keane’s current article, as well as the previous one, it was comforting to read about his experience. It was also helpful to see the comments from other readers. My 83-year-old dad is in the beginning stages of dementia. Although the future is terrifying, I somehow felt more at peace reading about the different ways that the disease could progress and affect a family. I know I face difficult times ahead, but somehow Keane’s story and the reader comments put me at ease in a different way than any of my dementia/Alzheimer’s books. Would Keane consider writing a book beginning with his story and a compilation of short stories from others? A book that you can pick up from time to time to read the experiences of others—it would be like having friends around when you need them.

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Stephanie Tortora / Westford

A very moving and insightful read of this horrible disease. And, I am glad Keane found love again.

Paul Shuster / Wake Forest, North Carolina

Having worked in a residential care facility for Alzheimer’s patients, I wanted to send my thoughts and prayers to Keane, and thanks for the honest and touching article. This is a dreadful, dreadful disease.

Michael Ellis / Westwood

My dad had early symptoms of Alzheimer’s when he was 50. I watched my mother assume all of the burdens that a caretaker assumes. When my dad became aggressive and incontinent, she was there. When I graduated from college, he was 52 and had some idea of who I was and why he was at my graduation. Five years later, when I graduated from law school, he hadn’t a clue. My mother ultimately put him in a nursing home at age 59. I would cry after every visit. He died at age 64, not having known any of his family for about a decade. There was grief when he died, but also a sense of relief, as he was a mere shell of the dad I grew up with. My sympathies to Keane. It is an extraordinarily rough road.

Bill Newman / McLean, Virginia

I have a dear friend who was diagnosed at age 63 two years ago. Watching the disease slowly chip away at her very identity is so heartbreaking, and the social isolation imposed by the pandemic seems to have accelerated her decline. This is such an awful disease and is so painful to everyone touched by it.

LindaMc1995 / posted on bostonglobe.com

As I watch my mother slip away from this cruel disease, [Keane] did bring a smile to my face. I’m so happy [he] found love again. I think both Laurie and now [his fiance] Carla were lucky to find such a caring partner. And I’m sure [he] feels the same about them.

84eagle / posted on bostonglobe.com.

I first started down the road of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and teaching families in 1984. My focus has been on the here and now, helping families prepare and learn. To see your dad or spouse who was a CEO now not be able to know what utensil to use at a meal is just a simple example of the losses. I help families know it is the disease, not the person, that is causing this broken brain. It is devastating. I am hopeful that treatment to delay its progression will take place soon with an eventual cure, but now we need more help to work with families and individuals affected. They can’t wait.

Marilyn Stasonis / North Andover

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