I want to respond to the recent article about the South Carolina demolition company that recently brought down the office building at NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
I was a summer intern at the center in 1964 and 1965. The most important occupant of the building was Wernher von Braun, who was the key person in putting Americans on the moon.
I met Dr. von Braun a couple of times and spoke with him briefly. He was a very charismatic individual.
During World War II, he was a primary figure in the development of missiles and rockets for Germany at Peenemunde.
At the end of the war, his brother, Magnus, rode on a bike to find American troops. The next day, the von Brauns and their inner circle of scientists were on their way to the American camp at Reutte to be debriefed.
Dr. von Braun was a favorite of Walt Disney, who in the 1950s personally interviewed him a couple of times on “The Mickey Mouse Club” television show.
At the NASA site, his building was affectionately known as the von Braun Hilton.
One day during the summer of 1965, I was at the first full duration firing of the five Saturn V engines as the booster stage was on a test stand.
I was in our office when a coworker said they were going to do the test of the engine firing shortly.
Without any permission, the coworker and I rode out in my pickup truck onto the field near the test site and parked facing the rocket.
As the engines fired, we could feel the intense heat. The muscles in my body were vibrating so much I thought I was going to have a heart attack. And I feared my hearing would be gone.
Fortunately, there was no damage, but we were way too close as it turned out.
ROBERT STEWART EADS
Johns Island traffic
I was impressed with the Nov. 9 editorial about traffic congestion on Johns Island.
The statement about Johns Island residents having to use two congested routes on and off the island is well-meaning but not totally accurate.
Not mentioned or emphasized was the amount of traffic moving on and off Main Road and Maybank. This traffic is not just island residents, it is a metropolitan Charleston-generated problem. Vehicles are driven by people coming on the island to work, vacation and visit.
Construction for Kiawah and Seabrook islands and Maybank and Main roads, vacationers, service businesses and schools all contribute to the increase in road congestion.
The good news is our local economy is strong.
The bad news is the infrastructure cannot handle the traffic. This is an age-old South Carolina problem. When will the governmental entities responsible take responsibility?
Charleston County, the city of Charleston, the state Transportation Department, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Police Department and local fire departments must realize change is overdue and they need to communicate and resolve this issue.
We just had an election. Will any elected official keep a promise?
Protect from COVID
During the week of Nov. 6-12, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 2,944 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths.
The percentage of residents fully vaccinated has been stuck at 53.5% for months.
This virus is still making people sick and killing them.
If you are not vaccinated against COVID, please get the vaccination.