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Letters: America needs plumbers too

Re "College isn't for everyone," Opinion, Dec. 3

Tamar Jacoby isn't the first to recognize the importance of skills acquired outside college. John Gardner, President Lyndon B. Johnson's secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, said it best:

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy; neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."

We should reward excellence, not titles.

George Saade


In 1970, when my little brother boarded the afternoon bus at my local high school headed to vocational training for automobile mechanics, I worried about what would become of him.

He is now 55 years old, owns his own body and auto repair shop in New York — which has a reputation as one of the premier body shops for car collectors — and spends all of his vacations at car shows and auctions. When asked when he's going to retire, he says, "What for?"

More importantly, besides his financial success and pride in what he does, he's one of the happiest people I know. And it all began with an afternoon school bus trip to vocational training.

Patricia Parziale Papanek

Los Angeles


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