Dear friends in Orangeburg: I will be watching the primary elections in South Carolina with very special interest.

In the summer of 1965, I spent one of the most significant periods in my (then) young life in Orangeburg. I was a naive young white woman from New England who came with a small group to South Carolina (under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee) to encourage African-American citizens to register to vote.

We lived with generous local black families who opened their homes to us. I lived with the Adams family in Orangeburg. I believe Mr. Adams at that time was the leader of the local NAACP. His young daughter, who had interacted very little with white folks, had to share her double bed with me.

Those were inspiring months as many black citizens found the courage to go to the courthouse to register to vote. They were also inspiring as we gathered in black churches to sing “Blessed Lord, take my hand ...” and other memorable hymns.

And they were terrifying months as we learned, among other things, that we should not drive around in integrated groups. (I hid once hid on the floor of a car under a blanket). I vividly remember attending a horrifying Klan rally as a spectator and later attempting to integrate a roller rink where we met violent resistance.

But today, more than 50 years later, when we have our first African-American President, and when large numbers of black voters will be counted in this month’s primaries, I can’t help but remember my summer in Orangeburg, where my “real” education began.

And especially in these days when we see renewed efforts to restrict voting rights, I write to congratulate my Orangeburg friends who are African-American for making your votes count!

— Margo Mulvehill Culley, Wendell, Massachusetts

Trump’s default to triumph

I wish to offend no one, but my sensibilities have been offended. After the final results of the Republican primary in South Carolina, I am not proud to say that I participated in the contest.

The top three running have taken it and dished it out – like grade-schoolers, not adults, not Christians.

Those who hear Donald Trump believe he is telling it like it is. He is selling: “Vote for me now!”

Trump will view the presidency as a dictatorship with executive order abuse.

Could he set aside his personal monetary interests for the best interest of the United States?

Supporters carry signs about “The Silent Majority,” but all I have heard is him.

He is apt to alienate — or even try to attack — our allies.

I hear the refrain he’ll want to say: “You’re fired!”

I voted for the 7 percent. No record to criticize. The underdog. A cool head. Ben Carson.

The glass is not as full as things are portrayed for Team Trump. Only a third of the voters exercised the privilege to support Trump. Two-thirds voted for someone other than Trump.

The win was not so much a win as a default to triumph.

The results in a two-person race? Sixty percent not for Trump.

— Sid Goff, Orangeburg

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