Still a Stan fan

Growing up in Boston, I was deemed to be a traitor because I primarily idolized “The Man” from the St. Louis Cardinals, the late “Donora Greyhound,” Stan Musial, not the late “Splendid Splinter,” Ted “The Kid” Williams of the Red Sox.

When Mr. Musial would exit Braves Field through the clubhouse door after the games with the Boston Braves, his taxi would be waiting at the curb. The Cardinals played 11 games each year in Boston.

As a member of the “knothole gang,” I attended most of these games for 50 cents and sat in the right-field bleachers, known as the “Jury Box.” I was one of the pestiferous but deferential autograph-seeking kids who surrounded him. I assume that the cab’s meter was running.

Dressed-to-the-nines, he would sign most of our tattered score cards and autograph books for a few minutes and then tell us: “I have to go now, fellas, but I’ll get you next time.”

My late sister, Jane, contacted him many years ago, and I received an autographed photo inscribed “To Buzz — A Great Fan — Stan Musial.”

The only World Series game I have ever attended was at Fenway Park in 1946 between the Cardinals and the Red Sox. Williams was in left field. Musial hit a line drive into the right-center field gap. He was caught trying for a triple between second and third base and was tagged out. I was crestfallen.

Also in 1946, I secured Ted Williams’ autograph on a batting-practice ball that I perilously scrambled for in the hallowed, center-field bleachers at Fenway. However, that is another story of an inveterate hero worshipper and autograph seeker. The autographed photo and ball are the most treasured reminders of my youth idled away on the bleachers at Fenway and Braves Field watching “The Man” and “The Kid.” Surely the best of times.

D. Reid “Buzz” Wiseman

Waterway Boulevard

Isle of Palms

What is success?

In the mind of most Americans there is no clear definition of what constitutes a successful presidency. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are thought of as successful because unemployment was low, the country was prosperous and America was held in high esteem by the world. There was no endgame to define but most felt good.

It is hard to define a prospective endgame with this president.

Prosperity is low, unemployment is high, debt is beyond measure, food stamp participation is at an all-time high, poverty is very high, discord is everywhere, world image is very low, education standards are reaching new lows.

The economy is barely positive and yet the major media continue to extol the idea of success for this president.

What is the endgame for current policies?

If current trends continue, America could be the laughingstock of the world. If the attempt to raise taxes even more on producers succeeds, it is entirely possible some will stop producing or even leave the country as some already have. The impact of that happening is compound.

Again, although there is no absolute definition of success, what is the endgame for President Obama? It has never been expressed other than in platitudes such as ”paying your fair share.” If 47 percent pay nothing are they paying their fair share? They use the services provided by government as much as those who pay all of the burden. So what is fair?

Aren’t we entitled to a little more clarity from the man who made claim to “transform America”?

Richard Cignarelli

Crown Court

Mount Pleasant

Pay up

The French used our C-17s to transport their solders and supplies to Mali and might need our refueling aircraft. Curious — can’t they buy their own?

Maybe this is our repayment for their help in Iraq. Or are we going to continue to be the watchdog of the world?

Today, we have 47,000 troops in Germany, 28,000 in South Korea, 50,000 in Japan, 9,000 in the United Kingdom and smaller numbers sprinkled around the globe.

Also, we have a $16.4 plus trillion debt and none of the above military presence is required to defend this country.

It is about time that our allies either pay us for military protection or provide their own.

Pat Kilroy

Milton Drive

Goose Creek

In the line of fire

A Jan. 23 letter advocating arming school staff misses several key points. It ignores the fact that people who commit mass shootings generally expect to be shot down themselves. They simply don’t care about life, their own included.

The possibility of being shot by a teacher or other staffer will not dissuade them.

Also, many parents don’t want their kids to attend “armed” schools. How would it be decided which schools would be armed and which would not? And what of families who live in an “armed” school neighborhood, but don’t want their kids to attend such a school? What would be their alternatives?

Opponents of reasonable gun laws have blown a lot of steam about the “knee-jerk reactions” of gun control advocates in the wake of the Connecticut tragedy.

But isn’t it just as much of a knee-jerk reaction to advocate arming teachers?

Mike Laskavy

Hainsworth Drive

Charleston

Missing the opera

Listening to the Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City has been a longstanding tradition (dating from the 1930s) in thousands of households all over the world. It still is. But not in South Carolina.

These airings, still available almost everywhere in the USA on PBS outlets, are no longer being brought to our state by SCETV after years of providing this very enriching experience.

In addition to giving us live performance by today’s outstanding singers, the show features expert commentary, insightful interviews, historical perspective, and even entertaining quizzes.

The station administration cites scheduling problems with their other shows due to some operas being very long. True enough, but, they have adjusted to this for years up to now.

SCETV-radio is still providing opera exposure on Saturday afternoons with “The World of Opera,” a well-done program from various opera venues around the world. But these are not live broadcasts.

Although interesting, it’s just not the same. (They used to be presented when the Met season was over).

SCETV also occasionally airs videos of the Metropolitan Opera High Definition performances. These are truly wonderful and greatly appreciated. In fact, anyone who might enjoy seeing what opera is all about should give it a try. The talent in both singing and acting is outstanding.

I share my opera enthusiasm with many friends here on Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. But I’m sure this is a very small segment of the opera lovers in our state.

I am a contributing member of SCETV and love what they do provide.

However, I earnestly wish they would bring back the beloved “Saturday Afternoon at the Met” on the radio.

For fans who agree, SCETV can be contacted at 1-800-922-5437 and csr@scetv.org. Maybe we can prompt reconsideration.

John E. Benzel, M.D.

Governors Drive

Kiawah Island

Cannon off target

As a former Army veteran, retired police lieutenant from a large Southwest city, a huge supporter of law enforcement, and admirer of Sheriff Al Cannon, I was, to put it mildly, shocked to hear his recent comments about refusing to uphold gun laws if passed.

Law enforcement is the bedrock of our society, and to hear a top law enforcement official make comments as Cannon did is disheartening and alarming.

If I were to have made such comments in the city I served, I suspect at the very least I would have been suspended.

I’m not sure what it says about our society to hear law enforcement leaders say that if they don’t agree with a law they won’t enforce it.

I encourage Sheriff Cannon to think again about his comments. Whoever he reports to, whether his boss or the people who voted him into office, also need to take a stand.

But it probably is all a moot point as I doubt Congress will pass any meaningful gun laws.

Jim Hughes

Country Club Boulevard

Summerville

The Hillary Show

Hillary Clinton played the “Teflon Donna” to perfection in her testimony on the Benghazi attack. Anyone who thought any significant answers would come out of her testimony is naive enough to buy beachfront property in Iowa. The answers were as forthcoming as the ones we got at the “Fast and Furious” investigation debacle.

She says “What difference does it make?” who attacked the U.S. Consulate.

Are you kidding me?

She says she takes full responsibility. For what? Something she claims to know nothing about? Maybe a few more desks will slide to another office to pay for this one.

She says doing Sunday talk shows isn’t her thing. Now there’s a ridiculous excuse if I ever heard one. We will see how many Sunday talk shows she does in 2015.

You gotta give her one thing, however, she made the men on Capitol Hill look like schoolboys. The Democrats who spoke spent their five minutes praising her, while the Republicans spent their five asking inane questions that never did get sufficient answers.

All in all, it was most assuredly what I expected.

Earl Thacker

Greymarsh Road

Mount Pleasant

King celebration

The CSO Gospel Choir and the Spiritual Ensemble treated our community to two separate concerts in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day.

Those in attendance left the concerts thrilled by the beauty of the ages old gospel and spiritual music. Lee Pringle, the founder and producer of both events, has given our community quite a gift through his vision.

Dr. Karen Chandler provided a narrative that was informative on the history of slavery and Dr. King’s life.

David A. Richardson, in his debut year as director of the Spiritual Ensemble led the choirs. Each choir member brings his or her vocal talent and all give selflessly of their time for the public to enjoy this annual event. The S.C. General Assembly has proclaimed the spiritual as the official music of our state. I encourage all citizens to attend upcoming concerts. It is a blessing to have this music genre performed in our community.

Patricia Lucas

Chair, Charleston Friends

of the Spiritual

Folly Creek Way

Charleston