JCCC Archives presents the Sleuthing Series, where every Tuesday, we bring you an image from our past and ask you to help us find out more!
What We Know
- Fred Krebs was the oldest son of Virginia Krebs. Early on, as he was finishing his bachelor’s degree at KU, he did not share his mother’s enthusiasm for the community college. His interest and experience, however, with interdisiplinary courses lead him to be hired first as a consultant to help with JCCC’s humanities and social science curriculum. According to his oral history from the 25th anniversary publication Visionary Voices (c1994), he was among the first teaching faculty hired. By 1999, he was one of five of that first group still remaining at the college.
- Fred was also one of the first drivers for the basketball team, as well as scorekeeper and statistician.
- Fred enjoyed a wide variety of experiences from Scouting, Scout Leader, working as a lifeguard, and later public speaking. He was sought after by a wide variety of groups to speak on a wide variety of subjects. He was a member of the JCCC Speakers Bureau, with nearly 20 engagements per year. He was a voracious reader, and there were many stories about the piles of books in his office.
- He was a member of both the Kansas and Nebraska Humanities Councils, and was an active member of KHC’s Chautauqua and History Alive! programs, beginning in 1985.
- He researched (for some as much as 18 months) and did “informances” of twelve or more historical figures. Some were famous, some notorious, and some a little of both. He became that person in that person’s own time, in the person’s own society and frame of reference. Some “informances” were 30-45 minutes. At the end, Fred answered questions as the character. When he was done, he removed the hat or wig to queue the audience that they were back to the present and Fred Krebs was ready to answer questions.
- From various sources, here is an accounting of Fred’s characters: Benjamin Franklin, William Allen White, Christopher Columbus, Kit Carson, “Christy Mathewson, Rutherford B. Hayes, William Mulholland, Joseph Smith Jr., Pierre De Smet (Jesuit missionary), Huey Long, Thomas Edison, Galileo Galilei. He researched and created the costumes for all.
- Fred was still part of the faculty at JCCC upon his death, December 28, 2012.
What We Don’t Know
- Do you know any other of Fred’s personas?
- Look for clues and name the characters in photos 11-19 below. Reply with number and name. Most importantly, note any clues that you saw.
- Do you have any specific memories of Fred and his work at JCCC?
If You Know More…
Contact librarians: Anita Gordon Gilmore (email@example.com, ext. 4369) or John Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org, ext. 3284). You may also comment below!
For More Information…
I have consulted:
Charles Bishop: The Community’s College, JCCC, c2002.
Visionary Voices: An Oral History of Johnson County Community College, JCCC, c1994.
Kansas City Star article by Brian Burnes, “Columbus Chautauqua,” Oct. 10, 1992, pp. E1 and E7.