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LETTERS: Remembering a YMCA leader, Ironman visitor sends thanks to Waco

LETTERS: Remembering a YMCA leader, Ironman visitor sends thanks to Waco

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Lost leader

Hyden Hunter was a great lady known for her creative ideas and solutions.

I was honored to be Hyden’s friend and to assist her when she needed help at the Waco YMCA.

I remember when the Y burned and while it was still smoking, Hyden asked me if I could go into the fire over near the wall and find her computer. I told her that I would, and got my men to place a ladder on the wall and hand me another one so I could go down to her area once I was inside. Randle Kyle helped me get to her computer and to pull it up over the wall. We turned it on, and it appeared to still be in working condition. Once she cleaned it up, it ran perfectly. It had no backup, but all the information was still there and not ruined.

We held an auction on KXXV-TV to assist in the campaign to rebuild the Y which she hosted and I auctioneered. We raised about $150,000 and Waco donated generously.

Through the hard times and good times, Hyden was a great leader who accomplished the impossible.

Hyden was a godly woman who cared. She was a leader daily who loved doing great things.

God bless you, Hyden, you will be missed.

Bill Johnson, Waco

Thanks, Waco

We came to Waco to watch my son compete in the Ironman competition on Oct. 23. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. to take him to the start was 3:30 in the time zone we came from, but even so, we were greeted by helpful smiling volunteers, who got up way earlier than us.

As we cheered him along, we moved our car multiple times. Parking, so often a nightmare, was just the opposite in Waco. Signs posted throughout downtown assured us race traffic was welcome, and free. And a huge thanks to the police officers on every corner, keeping our son and the other athletes safe.

As he crossed the finish line, darkness was descending, but the volunteers were still smiling and giving us free water and burritos and smiles.

To get our newly minted Ironman some nourishment (and the exhausted support crew as well), we went to Cracker Barrel. Near closing, the hostess was still gracious and patient. A couple in the corner noticed my son’s shirt and took an interest, asking where he traveled from, how he did, how he felt, and even let this proud mother share a video of his sprint to the finish.

When we left, the hostess told us our bill was already paid. That kind couple had picked up the tab for our entire table of eight — their Texas way of saying congratulations to our son.

Arriving exhausted at the hotel, the night clerk brought up extra pillows and a blow dryer — so my husband could sleep and so I could go to church with presentable hair.

Sunday morning, moving a little slowly, we slipped into the back with the service already underway. A small redheaded deacon caught my eye. He caringly guided his tall, less-able friend around the chapel as they both carried the emblems of the sacrament to the congregation. The unstudied, quiet Christian kindness of this young boy epitomized our entire experience in the town of Waco, Texas that weekend.

So I wanted to say thank you, Waco, for reminding me what it feels like to be in the heart of the United States of America where caring and kindness are simply a part of who you are.

Shaun Lorraine Brown,

Liberty Lake, Wash.

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