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LETTERS: Remembering Fred Gehlbach, helping the homeless
LETTERSLETTERS

LETTERS: Remembering Fred Gehlbach, helping the homeless

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Thanks, Fred

In the summer of 1967, I was terrified. I had signed up for a comparative anatomy class with Dr. Fred Gehlbach, who had quite a reputation for difficulty in Baylor’s biology department.

The class was officially a lecture from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and a corresponding lab from around 1-3 p.m. However, for six weeks these hours never held true. I was in lab immediately after lecture until at least 9 or 10 p.m. five days per week. Thanks to Dr Gehlbach, this experience molded many of my thoughts and appreciation of nature and its wonders.

As was fitting, the final exam was a two-hour, one question nightmare! To this day, that was my favorite class of all.

Throughout the rest of my education and my career, I often thought of the quiet, knowledgeable, inquisitive, powerful presence of my professor. After moving back to Waco, I would read his articles in the paper and quietly keep up with his life. Occasionally I would run in to him at some venue or restaurant and we would always speak. He claimed to remember me from Baylor. This was high flattery for me.

I am sure I am but one of thousands of people and students that were touched by Fred’s life — a life of a simple man that used his knowledge and quest thereof to show his love for the world and everything in it. Thanks, Fred.

Dr. Steven Little, Lorena

Step up yourself

Mr. Andy Sheehy, your letter about the homeless [Nov. 14] gave me pause. You developed a simplistic three-point action plan to rid Waco of its homeless population.

Your first point is to “stop all panhandling.” The city of Waco does have a panhandling ordinance. The city is enforcing the ordinance but reports that the threat of a citation is no deterrence to the issue. There are myriad reasons people become homeless. Often teenagers and women run away from home because of abuse. They fear for their safety and join the homeless because they have no place else to go.

Your second point was to “remove all public camp sites and throw away all their stuff.” Mr. Sheehy, your lack of tolerance is disturbing. Maybe if you actually talk to some of the homeless you would understand them as human beings with issues you and I have never faced. How cruel to think throwing away someone’s personal belongings would help solve any problem.

Your third point was to “create a mentor program with volunteers to assist the homeless to become a part of society.” Waco has numerous agencies dedicated to helping the homeless, but funds and staff are limited especially during this pandemic.

Hey, I have a good idea: Maybe you could create such a mentor program, organize the funding and, of course, the volunteers rather than condemn them. If not that, then volunteer at one of Waco’s agencies to do what you can to help the homeless.

Since you have never walked in these folks’ shoes, you need to reserve criticism. The homeless issue has been ongoing for years and many within our community seek solutions. Become a part of the solution rather than just spouting ideas that offer only words and no substance.

Jim Myers, Waco

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