Friday was “Myron Cope Day” in Pittsburgh. For those who don’t know, Myron Cope was the legendary sportscaster and voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers for over three decades. The one-year anniversary of his death was Friday, February 27.
Myron had a voice like sandpaper, but he was incredible to listen to.
My high school students are always touched by the story of the yellow rose he tells in his book, Double Yoi! Myron dedicates the chapter Mildred, the Bad -Luck Girl to his departed wife, writing directly to her. As Myron tells it:
You left us, to be exact, on September 20, 1994. No more than several days later, I glanced out the window of my study, which looked out onto the front lawn. You had told me early on, about 20 years before, “You’re the gardener.” I was a lazy gardener, so our three rose bushes dwindled to two, and those two became scraggly. Only in spring and early summer would they pop up a few yellow roses. Yellow was your favorite color, so I yelled for you whenever I saw a rose coming into full bloom. now, I noticed through my office window in lat September that a single rose had begun to bloom on the tallest branch of an otherwise bare bush. That rose fairly bust into fullness, huge and glorious. I beckoned Elizabeth, Mom, and you surely must know that as close as the two of you had been, she had reacted to your death horrendously, unbelieving. “Look,” I said. “Do you suppose Mom is speaking to us through that rose?
“Do you think she’s telling us to hang tough?”
Through the rest of September and into October — a brisk, sometimes downright cold, October — our yellow rose stood robust atop that branch. On the final day of October, the rose wilted and died.
So ended my agnosticism.
As you know, Mom, if you’ve been able to look in on us after our rose died, I have not felt called to alter my life any more than I had after I nearly died in Dr. Laughin’ office. But I know you’re there.
Thanks, Myron. Thank you so, so much.