DEAR ABBY: Please help us to make a decision. Our 81-year-old father likes women -- females of any age.
In the past, he pursued a teen-age neighbor girl to the point that her family moved away. His adopted granddaughter calls him "a dirty old man" and won't come near him. As I understand it, he pursues, looks, touches, hugs, kisses, but doesn't rape.
My mother tries to save face. Our problem is that Dad and Mother have moved to another state, away from us. They are now living next door to a wonderful young couple who have a 3-year-old girl.
So far, Dad just watches the child when they visit and he only gives the young mother elaborate hugs and makes risque remarks. Mom admits that "she watches him like a hawk" when she baby-sits the little girl.
Abby, we are worried the day will come when he is alone with the child or the parents make the mistake of asking him to baby-sit. Do we warn the parents and ruin the neighborhood camaraderie? Talking to Dad won't help, as he seems to think he has no problem. What do you think? -- HIS FOUR CHILDREN IN TEXAS
DEAR HIS FOUR CHILDREN: If the four of you and your mother think your father has a problem, then he has one. The child's safety must come first.
Tell your mother that if she doesn't tell the neighbors about your father's background, you will. If your father tried to do something inappropriate to the child -- or any other -- it could cause enormous damage. You would have moral liability for his behavior, and, of course, your father could go to jail.
DEAR ABBY: Many times over the years I have meant to write to you to express how grateful I am to live in this country and be able to express myself freely.
When I was a corporal in the U.S. Army in 1947, as an information and education specialist, I had the honor of escorting a female Jewish doctor from Schweinfurt, Germany, back to her home town in Trutnov, Czechoslovakia. She had been interned by the Nazis from 1933 until after the liberation in 1945, and then in a displaced persons camp until I escorted her back to her former home.
She made such an impression on me, telling me what she'd had to endure all those years. Then, 30 years later, in 1977 she unknowingly walked into Maas Bros. department store and bought a color TV from me. The flashback was there, as if by God's wish. It had special meaning to me being of Irish-German descent.
I am now a 73-year-old senior citizen, privileged to live with this beautiful memory. It makes me more compassionate, knowing what the Jewish people went through at the hands of those insane madmen.
Thank you, Dear Abby, for letting me express my gratitude. -- VICTOR H. COLLAR, ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.
DEAR VICTOR: Thank you for expressing it.
Everybody has a problem. What's yours? Get it off your chest by writing to Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069. For a personal reply, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
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