Letters to the EditorNews

Letter to the Editor

Greetings everyone. It’s about a year and one half since Pete McCommons did the interview with me titled, “Living in the Streets.” Much good and bad have happened in my life since then, but I am here to share the main gist of it with you. Not long after the article was published I was able to get up enough money to get an apartment and get off the streets. This was a good time and a emotional joy for me. I did encounter problems with finding enough work to keep and maintain this and then was evicted from the apartment last October. Life took another turn again for the worse for me.

December last year I went to seek medical consultation pertaining to my left shoulder and found out that I have a torn rotator cuff. The tear is located in the top radius of my cuff and I must have surgery; if not I’ll lose the total use of my left arm. If you do not know me, I’m left handed. I have neither the insurance or funds needed to repair the damage. The cost is high – closer to $10,000. There has been no financial factoring for the time needed to do the physical rehab. This injury has prevented me from taking any job which has physical demands that tax the use of my arms. The tear affects my ability to hyper-extend my left arm. I have been looking into medical paths through the gateway of friendship.

Early this year I got involved with a woman and in early March moved in with her in her home located in Snellville, Ga. But the relationship was going to fail no matter what and eventually it did. I’ll not bother you with any of the details. Suffice it to say that I have been back in Athens now just over six weeks and yes I’m currently homeless. Still, there have been some very good things going on with my life, too!. Last month, July 20 marked the fifth anniversary of my beloved wife’s passing: Nancy Ann. I consider my life moving forward a milestone and wish to express my thanks and gratitude to all. Through a journey in the love of friendship shared, it has helped me to overcome my grief and live with a strong belief.

Back in the spring of this year I finally got my weight to under 200 pounds and this is a sign my diabetes is in a good state of control within my body. My drinking issues have been behind me for over for and one half years. There is much in my life to be thankful for right now and hope lives strong within me. This is the first time in my life that I can say I’m doing things for the right reasons and doing them at the right times feel confident and with some good hard writing work I’ll gather up money to purchase a used lap top and a wireless ethernet card and work on-on-line for a living. I currently have three different types of work which will pay me; I cannot complain and with time I’ll work my way off of the streets.

As with every part of life, some of my current needs are vital or critical: a place where I can shower and bathe two or three times a week. I’m not a University of Georgia student or employee so anyone making suggestions as to going this way, can only lead to needless trouble for me which I do not want. Sometimes when the weather is bad I may need a couch to sleep on or some place on a floor with a pillow and blanket, and I’ll be just fine. Friends have helped me with food and money for coffee when I have been in need. I do smoke and yes I do buy cigarettes. Once in a while I need to wash my clothes, so if you give me access to a washer or dryer, this would also greatly help me with my needs. If you want to give me money, I’m open to this but will use this to try and secure the purchase of the lap top. I want to honestly work my way off the streets and get my own roof over my head.

There are so many people that I know here in Athens and so many that I do not get to see. I wrote this to let all of you know how I’m doing and that despite all I’m fine. I have a plan for my life, and if it does not work I can always reformulate this plan till I do indeed make it work right for me. Thanks for the time and the considerations. (e-mail) (mail) P.O. Box 1986 Athens, Ga. 30603-1986

E. G. (Rick) Baker