In a recent on-line message the Sun Journal published some criticism of the celebrity Nicholas Sparks (“Per our story about Nicholas Sparks, etc.”).

I don’t think it’s news to anyone that success is a hard thing to deal with. Andy Griffith, for instance, when in retirement and living in Manteo was notoriously rude to people  who had the misfortune to recognize him in a local store.

I’ve never met one, but  professional athletes as a group are, I’m told by people who have, a bit proud of themselves — to the point of being “rude and hellish” (to paraphrase the remarks made online about Sparks).

Speaking of athletes, and on a personal note, my brother, a prep school football standout, became a devoted Sparks reader. After my brother’s death, and wherever he is in the here-after, I believe he went straight to the library where he could read and sob over the latest Sparks’ romance.

As for myself I’ve read an essay in Southern Living which Sparks wrote about New Bern and I commend it to others. He’s a marvelous prose stylist. But, unlike my brother, I’ve never read one of his novels, but have watched films made from them, sometimes to my regret.

What I regret more is the Sun Journal’s practice of publishing letters without the name of the author.  Signatures are required on conventional letters to the editor — why not the same standard for online entries?

For all we know online anonymous entries could be written with someone having an agenda for or against those written about, especially when a lawsuit involves the subject of the letter.

John Phaup, New Bern

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