The Boeing buzz in South Carolina

As if Wednesday’s news wasn’t bad enough, I had to go pouring proverbial salt — a ton of it — on a very fresh wound.

Sting? Did it ever.

With today’s lickety-split dispersal of information, breaking news is followed by near-instant reaction. It took no time at all for onlin

e comments to pour in after “Everett loses out on second Boeing 787 assembly line” popped up on The Herald’s Web site.

Thinking I couldn’t take much more of “turn out the lights, the party’s over” and “Unions are a thing of the past,” I quit reading disheartening news and reaction on www.heraldnet.com late Wednesday.

Instead, I switched to what might as well be some parallel universe straight out of “The Twilight Zone.” Sadly, this isn’t science fiction or a bad dream from which we’ll soon awaken. It’s a real place, far from here. It’s now a happy place, a grinning doppelganger to our newly dour countenance.

It’s a place with its own newspaper Web site, www. postandcourier.com, and online comments that come just as rapidly as they do here.

As The Post and Courier newspaper reported the flip side of what was happening here Wednesday — that the Boeing Co. had chosen North Charleston, S.C., for its second assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner — I took note of how that news was playing with readers of the Charleston paper. Get ready to wince.

“Woo-Hoo! Let me be the first to post — congratulations to Charleston! Best news we’ve had in a LONG time!!” The elation of that first online comment posted after the Charleston paper reported Boeing’s big news was repeated over and over again.

Charleston’s good news keeps coming. The top story in Friday’s Post and Courier told of high hopes for jobs and an influx of money.

“This is uncharted territory, with the aviation titan opening an entirely new dimension in the region’s economy. But hopes are high, with terms like ‘monumental’ and ‘game-changing’ being tossed around like confetti,” Post and Courier writer Glenn Smith’s article said Friday.

Told you, it’s salt on a wound. And now, for some masochistic reason, I can’t stop reading it.

I’ve recently learned that Trident Technical College — Trident Tech. they call it — is teaching students to drill fasteners into thin composite plates. And Gov. Mark Sanford, that wacky guy who in June was off visiting an Argentine woman instead of hiking the Appalachian Trail, may well get a political boost from Boeing, The Post and Courier reported Friday.

Now that I’m reading regularly, I’ve gone beyond Boeing-related news in The Post and Courier, mostly to make myself feel better when the paper’s optimism gets me down.

We can’t even placate ourselves with a smug, “Well at least we’ve got the Silvertips.” Those South Carolinians have ice hockey, too. You can read about the South Carolina Stingrays at www. postandcourier.com, and also about the Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball team — a New York Yankees affiliate.

On Friday, it was 81 degrees in Charleston, with a five-day forecast of temperatures in the 70s. Plenty of homes in North Charleston sell for under $200,000. Let’s not even talk about employment ads in The Post and Courier. Whatever those listings say today, jobs — lots of them — are coming to Charleston.

Take some advice: Don’t read The Post and Courier. If you’re like me, you’ll get a sick and palpable feeling of opportunities lost.

Eighty years ago last week, on Oct. 29, 1929, the historic stock market crash pitched the country into the Great Depression. All of us here — labor, management, private industry, government, everybody — better find ways to work together to assure that our region isn’t doomed by what happened on Oct. 28, 2009.

For now, the Lowcountry is riding high. All that, and The Herald’s weather forecast said Friday to expect a week of rain.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460, muhlstein@heraldnet.com.

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