The Thread: The 12.31.2017 Issue


During my one-on-one with him, Dr. Sarno looked at my X-rays and told me there were many people with similar X-rays who had no pain. He also definitely recommended surgery or another process whenever he thought X-rays or other tests called for it.

I was very surprised, but over time I opened up to the possibility that I could help myself. And I did: no pain for years and years.

It’s disheartening to read that he couldn’t take his own advice and find peace with his substantial contribution to physical medicine. Perhaps he saw the handwriting on the wall. Mary Buchbinder, Suffern, N.Y.


I worked at the Fish Bowl, the store in Irvington, N.J., that was mentioned in the Herbert Axelrod article. Fish would be flown in from all over the world before there were distributors. A lot of important people passed through the Fish Bowl — ichthyologists, underwater photographers — and there was a lot of experimentation: They got discus fish and angelfish to breed! It was all touch and go. Many shipments from tropical countries were received frozen after sitting at the airport.

I remember meeting Axelrod at the time he was developing a strain of the fantail guppy. I didn’t realize he was so notable: At the time, keeping tropical fish was so rare. Loved the article — it brought back memories. I’m glad this history I lived wasn’t lost. Richard Rudnickas, Boston

I assume there was some editorial debate about including Derek Walcott in this issue. Certainly, his life and literary accomplishments deserved consideration for inclusion.

However, in this era of #MeToo, It Stops Now and other important campaigns to stop violence against women, I would have expected from The Times a decision not to include Walcott in this group of honorable lives. It serves to further silence the voices and minimize the experiences of those women who were victims of unwanted sexual advances and harassment. Regardless of fame, position or achievement, zero tolerance means just that: zero tolerance. Robert Cornett, Cape Elizabeth, Me.


Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards gave hope each week to many of us young women who were working at new careers in those days. She gave us a model for being single and career-oriented at a time when most families were disappointed in our unwillingness to marry right away, and when most men were disappointed in our unwillingness to abandon our ambitions.

To us, whether she intended it or not, Mary Tyler Moore will always be Mary Richards, our ray of hope in those difficult times. Amy Bland, Hudson Valley, New York, on

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