News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

May 14, 2014

Amey Takes Aim: Still-alive columnist offers thanks for recent kind words

TERRE HAUTE — I’ve often had the weird thought that it would be nice to be able to attend my own funeral — in some kind of cognitive state, of course.

Seeing what people show up to say nice things about me (or bad things, although I’ve never known that to happen and I’ve been to quite a few funerals) would be very interesting, maybe a little heart-warming (a relative term in that circumstance).

Plus the music is going to be good, assuming I ever sit down and leave instructions in case I actually do, in fact, die.

Now it’s almost like I don’t have to (attend, that is).

Reluctant as I am to rehash the fact that I received a significant honor a couple of weeks ago, I have to, because how else can I say thank you.

Praise and good wishes have been coming in, and I’ve tried to reply in kind to the ones in person and arriving via email. This, though, is going to have to be the platform for me to express my gratitude to the surprisingly large number of people who sent cards and letters.

My late mother would be upset that I’m not writing back, because that was what she taught me to do. If I inherited the sense of duty from her, however, heredity apparently doesn’t include penmanship.

I wasn’t ever real good at handwriting, and working at a keyboard doesn’t improve that skill. The people with whom I have more than a sentence of correspondence during the holidays are thrilled that, for the last three or four years, I’ve emailed so they haven’t had to decipher my script. And I’d estimate that 90 percent of my interviews with athletes, particularly the younger ones, include two-way questioning: they’ll invariably look at my paper and say, “How can you read that?”

(Gavin Woelfle, who is approximately 7, told his father Todd this winter that I was writing in Spanish, and Trent Miles’ son — who wasn’t even a year old at the time — would give me some awfully funny looks as he looked over my shoulder while I interviewed his dad.)

So let this be my humble, heart-felt thanks to all of you who have been complimentary the last few weeks. I’ve felt a little uncomfortable accepting those words, because the way I look at it, I’m just riding the coattails of some exciting stuff and getting the privilege of tagging along with the people accomplishing good things.

This job lets me write positive things, unlike covering the news beat. It allows me to deal with people who have no reason to lie to me, again unlike the news beat.

Yes, there are parts of it that are a job, but there are also parts that aren’t.

The two best things about me being honored were an excuse for my family to get together for dinner (although we didn’t bring the toddlers, thinking that seeing their grandpa or great-grandpa in a suit and tie would be too frightening for them), and hearing from all of you.

For those reasons, I’m very glad it happened.

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