To the editor:
In regard to your article "Police investigating deaths of two men found near Amtrak station," I am compelled to let y'all know that, having recently met these "homeless" kids and having visited their campsite, I can attest to their strength of character.
These kids were amazing! I am absolutely appalled by the online banter in response to these deaths. Calling these kids "homeless campers" is a complete misnomer. They lived free, by choice.
I arrived in Lawrence (via Greyhound) just a few weeks ago, penniless and wearing pajamas. I had been on a bicycle tour that had started in New York with San Francisco as my destination. Lawrence had been highly recommended as a place to stop en route. So, I decided to shoot through St. Louis (bad idea) to pick up the Katy Trail. I ended up receiving the beating of my life that left me without my tour bike, money, clothing, I.D., etc.
That 18-year-old kid was the first person I ran into in Lawrence. Lucky me. He offered me his assistance, friendship and a place to "hole-up" for the night. I accepted.
The community of folks livin' down there by the river is a beautiful thing. Good people. Kind souls.
Whoever you anonymous online people are, you should be ashamed of yourselves for bad-mouthin' these folks. I have yet to meet an 18-year-old as smart and principled as Dali. He was a beautiful being, and may he rest in peace.