Laughter is best


A recent column by Carol Randel ("Losing Your Cool," July 9) revealed her chagrin over being annoyed by a co-worker and suffering from the experience. She felt stymied in not retaliating. Unfortunately, most people endure a similar punishment by retaining their anger.

I have discovered many ways to respond with humor when being harassed, embarrassing the culprit sufficiently to end any further confrontation. And my book, Don't Get Mad ... Get Even, first published by W. W. Norton in 1983, has been a textbook for a satisfying survival by many thousands over the years.

For example, when an obnoxious friend or co-worker sends you gifts you don't want or need, send him or her only one stocking or sock. Follow this up with two tickets to a Broadway show that has closed. Your message will be loud and clear.

Another annoyance is the person who calls you just to talk endlessly with mostly gossip. A doorbell installed near your home phone will allow you to ring it and tell the caller you must terminate the conversation to greet your accountant or lawyer. After a few of these interruptions the annoying caller will decide not to bother you again.

I find the telemarketers are calling again, especially at dinner time. For subscriptions, storm windows, chimney cleaning and termite exams. We are always moving to California next month.

Only last week I was offered two free dancing lessons at Arthur Murray's dance school. That is until I claimed I only had one leg.

Laughter is the best tranquilizer without side effects. And it releases endorphins that protect our immune system. Also, it's healthier to give ulcers rather than get them.

Alan Abel


Baron's project is

worthwhile endeavor

Gordon Joseloff and his colleagues have spent substantial time in putting together a plan to provide affordable senior housing on the land known as Baron's South. This 22-acre site, currently the home of the Senior Center has several attributes that make this site ideal for this purpose.

It has town power, water and sewage adjacent, and was declared as ideal for affordable senior housing by a recent engineering study whose purpose was to determine how the town-owned land should best be deployed.

My family and I moved to Westport in 1960, my three daughters began their education at the Hillspoint School, and I have been active in the community ever since. We joined the Unitarian Church when it still met in the Saugatuck School, and I joined the Y's Men when it first began. I, along with Joyce Thompson, was one of the founders of the Westport Arts Center when we met at the Greens Farms School, and I joined Ruth Steinkrauss as a member of her Board of Friends of Music.

I, as a documentary filmmaker, along with many of our fellow Westporters, was a member of the Theater Artists Workshop.

When I retired from my day job as director of New York University's Department of Film, Video and Broadcasting, I began a monthly series of screening outstanding works by independent filmmakers for the National Academy of Television Arts & Science in New York, a pro bono activity that I felt was useful to the film community. The Westport Arts Center has recently asked me to recreate this activity at the WAC, and we are planning to begin this new and exciting event in September.

As a documentary filmmaker, I have volunteered, pro bono, in a letter to our first selectman to create a documentary on the creation of senior affordable housing on the Baron's South property just as soon as the first shovel hits the ground. I believe that such a film, shown all over New York, and nationally on television will create a vast groundswell of admiration for Westport as a caring community which understands the need to keep its longtime residents here when they retire and must live on fixed and moderate incomes.

As we all know, in order for Westport to create this initiative on Baron's South, the Planning & Zoning Commission must pass legislation allowing greater housing density on this property. I urge all Westporters to do whatever they can to persuade the P&Z that this effort is one of the most worthwhile endeavors the town can do.

Sumner Jules Glimcher


"Farewell" Frances

Frances Moore, editor of the Westport News, made a difference. That difference was evident in the quality and content of the Westport News, in the fine additions to the reporting staff under her watch and in her written editorials. Her most recent editorial, again, was thoughtful, well-written and erudite. Yet, it was sad. Frances Moore informed the Westport community that she is leaving as editor. Frances is relocating to Rhode Island to work with an environmental education facility. I predict great things.

Frances Moore titled her departing editorial "Into the Woods." She was cautious enough to remind her readers that her title is a Stephen Sondheim song from the Broadway show of the same name. Taking a page from Frances, here are a few more Sondheim titles. These too could be titles to an editorial announcing the departure from Westport of Frances Moore..

"What Would We Do Without You" (Company); "I Guess This is Goodbye" (Into the Woods); "Thank You So Much" (Do I Hear a Waltz?); "The Road You Didn't Take" (Follies); and from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, "Farewell."

Don Bergmann