Blood-bank history


February is African-American History Month. Gainesville owes a debt of gratitude to a well-known African-American doctor, Dr. Charles Drew. He did studies on how to preserve blood and set up some of the first blood banks in the nation.


Desegregating blood was a civil rights issue in 1942. During World War II, donated African-American blood was separated from white American blood. In 1950 the American Red Cross stopped this practice. However, some southern states continued until the 1970s.


In 1974 the three local hospitals had a need for a steady supply of blood. The idea was presented to local community service organizations. The Civitan Club was the only one interested and took up the challenge.


After years of determination and hard work, the Lifesouth Community Blood Center was set up. It is a nonprofit organization. With local success it expanded its influence statewide. It presently has over 800 employees and a budget of $78 million.


Gainesville also can be proud of its locally formed Lifesouth Community Blood Centers.


Larry Schwandes, Gainesville


Love advice


The advice of a love expert to a young girl: “I had two girlfriends. On Valentine’s Day, one gave me an expensive cashmere sweater and the other presented me with a plate of cookies that she made. I married the latter because she tried harder.”


It seems that their marriage was hinged on the poor girl trying hard, which is one of the many conditions of life she will be serving the rest of her married life.


The missing ingredient in the advice is the question of if he loved her. Love is an internal factor sprung from the center of who we are. It does not need to be justified or explained. Another word, it has no condition, hence, it is unconditional.


Next time your sweetheart asks you why you love her, you might want to say: “Sweetie, my love for you is so sacred that no amount of explanations will ever be adequate.”


Genia Himes, Gainesville


Data-mining operation


Donald Trump knows how many times you flush your toilets. He knows you are annoyed at spotted glasses in the dishwasher and put off by hearing a foreign language spoken at mini-marts.


Trump’s big data team tracks these annoyances and puts together lists to rail and tweet about. It’s a marketing tool to sell the idea that Trump understands you, but does he?


Think about Trump’s affluent background and how many times he’s had to juggle gas money with the cost of medicine. Now recall how Trump treated former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the first U.S. senator to endorse his candidacy for president. Trump fired Sessions as attorney general once he showed a bit of integrity — but not before reportedly calling the man “this dumb Southerner.”


Do you really think, American heartlanders, that Donald Trump will feel differently about you once you’ve given him what he wants?


David Young, Gainesville


Typical politician


Thank you, Max Boot, for sharing your first-hand experiences with both Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, and pointing out their differences (column, Feb. 8). So sad to hear that it is our own senator, Rubio, who has become a “mealy-mouthed ... typical politician,” unwilling to stand up and do what we all know would have been the courageous and the right thing to do.


Ginny Brinkley, Hawthorne


Move beyond race


Our world will be immensely better when "race" refers only to a speed contest or the elements on which bearings ride — and each different skin pigmentation is but another example of natural beauty.


Jim Horvath, Newberry


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