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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: This is a belated thank-you letter for something you printed in your column several years ago.

I lost my father suddenly last year. As difficult as his death was, I had peace of mind knowing that I had left nothing unsaid. Because of a Father's Day column you wrote, I sent my father a three-page letter instead of a necktie. It was a difficult letter to write because I had never verbalized my feelings about him, but once I started to tell him how important he had been in my life, and how much I owed him for raising me to be a caring, responsible, productive person, it was easy.

I will never forget the expression on his face as he read my letter. When he finished, he told me that he had never before received such a precious gift.

My father died knowing how much I loved and appreciated him. Abby, please make that suggestion to your readers every year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. -- JUDY THRASHER, DEFIANCE, OHIO

DEAR JUDY: Here's your letter, dedicated to the memory of your beloved father. And thank you, Judy, for giving me permission to use your name when I telephoned you.

DEAR ABBY: Unfortunately, your advice to "Anonymous in the USA," the working couple who had never filed income tax returns, fell short of the best advice they should have received.

Contacting the IRS in this situation without first seeking the professional advice of a qualified, experienced CPA or tax attorney is asking for more, not less, trouble. While it's possible that they might emerge unharmed, the risk of far harsher treatment is too high.

Much better for them to consult with an experienced tax accountant or attorney so they can learn their rights as well as their obligations. So much of this couple's financial and emotional future is at stake; they need expert outside advice on this kind of problem, Abby.

In the past, you have advised people who have legal problems to seek legal advice; this situation is no different. Please correct your advice to this couple before too many people follow it. -- DONALD B. WALTER, CPA, SEATTLE

DEAR MR. WALTER: I just did, thanks to you.

DEAR ABBY: Was it you who wrote:

"Women in slacks

"Should not turn their backs"?


DEAR HARRY: No, but thanks for the compliment. The author was Ogden Nash, who must have been fixated on ladies' derrieres because he also wrote:

"Deck your lower limbs in pants, my sweet.

"You have seen yourself advance,

"But have you seen yourself retreat?"

Everything you'll need to know about planning a wedding can be found in Abby's booklet, "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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