Carolyn Russell’s article (Connections, October 14) brought back memories of my own experience learning to drive at 18 in the 1960s in New York, at a time when no one would have known what the term “helicopter parents” meant. We had the run of the city, on our own, at a very early age! Before turning 18, my dad took me out every Saturday morning for three months, to a neighborhood in Queens with wide streets and little traffic. He coached me on all driving situations, sometimes to my embarrassment as he stood on the sidewalk shouting parking instructions.
Barbara Kaplan / Rockport
Attempt at Humor
We just finished reading your new humor column and we hope your next attempt is better (The Kicker, October 14). We found the column to be neither funny nor anything original. All it did was report the name of every celebrity associated with Boston and repeat all the tired cliches about Cambridge and Boston.
Greg and Tina Seiler / Mansfield
I loved this piece. Made me chuckle. Sent it to transplanted Bostonians on the West Coast. So Julia Child hung out with Whitey Bulger? Who knew?
Patricia M. Walsh / West Roxbury
I loved this Connections article (“In Tune with Brahms,” October 21) and to keep the story and the joyous painting alive, I cut the photo out and put it on my kitchen table with one of my own and other kitchen necessities. Thank you, June Cloutier!
Tally Forbes / Concord
[Cloutier’s] Brahms story was so heartwarming. I realized after reading it that my smile grew wider as I progressed through it. How wonderful to have a piece of family history that each generation cherishes.
Gwen Fournier / Boston
With respect to Jessie Scanlon’s article in the Globe Magazine on ranked [choice] voting in Maine (“American Politics Is Broken. Does Maine Have A Fix?” October 21), Cambridge has had ranked voting for city councilors and School Committee since 1941. We vote every two years, in the odd years, and are quite used to it. For many years, the vote count was done at a grammar school with a big gym, the Longfellow School on Broadway. Tables with many small bins were set up in a big square and people from each candidate could see the ballots as they were put into the proper bin. Now the whole vote count is done by computer, and the ballot numbers are announced at the senior center on Massachusetts Avenue. People still gather to see the computers do their (quick) work, but it isn’t the same as the civic gathering at the Longfellow School.
Sara Mae Berman / Cambridge
Ranked voting is a feel good solution in search of a problem. And it doesn’t even hit its mark. Unless the government doesn’t intend to release the initial results, everyone will know what the vote count was. And if you go through one, two, or more rounds of “second choices” only to switch the winner, the majority of people still won’t be happy, and the voters for the highest first round vote getter will be angry. The current system may produce winners with only a plurality of the vote. But is that worse than a manufactured majority that everyone knows isn’t real?
Art Cabral / West Bridgewater
Blue State Apathy
Steve Almond writes that, in deep-blue Massachusetts, many voters feel that they are unable to influence the course of our country, that their votes don’t matter (Perspective, October 21). Let’s bust that myth. The way we vote in Massachusetts actually matters enormously. Marriage equality, for example, is now the law of the land. It got a huge boost when the Supreme Judicial Court in 2004 ruled it the law of Massachusetts. Who were those SJC judges? Appointees of governors and the Governor’s Council — people we elected. Another example: the Affordable Care Act, which makes health care newly accessible to millions of Americans. Its origins are in the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform law.
Jeri Zeder / Lexington
Truly enjoyed Almond’s article. Succinct and to the point and will hopefully cause the electorate, including me, to follow his advice on making a difference and having our voices heard.
Jeff Temple / HanoverCONTACT US: Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or The Globe Magazine/Comments, 1 Exchange Place, Suite 201, Boston, MA 02109-2132. Comments are subject to editing.