FEEDBACK:  On past, air conditioning and pensions

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Thoughts on air conditioning

To the editor:

My grandfather died on James Island 101 years ago leaving a widow and four children aged 2 to 8. Fortunately she had a little bit of money until that too was gone in a bank failure in 1923. That resulted in the five of them moving to Charleston and by the late 30s the children were far better off than their parents had ever been and from there it grew to unimaginable levels brought on by a growing and prospering economy that was catching up to the national level.

As Theodore White said in the Making of the President 1960, three things were the center of American discourse after World War II, civil rights, television, and the bomb. To that I would add for the South, air conditioning. [Brack: South has come a long way in 100 years]  I am one of the last people around who can remember a summer without air conditioning and back then we lived from day to day for a place to cool off. For those of us lucky enough to find a quarter, it was the movie theater, to those rich enough it was the beach or the mountains. Otherwise all we could hope for was a fan in the shade. One of the hottest jobs I ever had was stoking coal into a steam boiler on a pile driver in Charleston Harbor in July and August. It had to be 120 degrees at the lowest!

— P.C. Coker, Charleston, S.C.

Likes 401K proposal

To the editor:

I read with dismay the letter of Councilman Kinard of Bamberg published on your last report.

My grandfather, J.R. Bradley (deceased 1995), moved to Bamberg without a college education before 1950 and started his own insurance business from scratch and in the process serving his community of Bamberg as the chair of the school board, hospital board and as a deacon of First Baptist of Bamberg. He did not rely on the state but decided his secure financial life would be built by himself.

I am an airline pilot with only a 401K program. I like it! If my company makes bad decisions, the 401K belongs to me and I control how risky I want the investments to be…….not a bunch of ill-advised state contractors and legislators that have ruined the S.C. pension system. The stock market is short-term unpredictable but returns 8 percent over the long term. My 401K has made me a millionaire and I remain in control of the balance and investments.

People make less in Bamberg but it costs waaaaay less to live there as well.

I agree with the actions of Governor McMaster and advise state employees to get on board for their financial future by supporting the new 401K system.

— Will Breazeale, Las Vegas, Nevada (Note:  Breazeale is a former resident of Florence, S.C.)

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