Myron Cope, Joan Lunden, Daffodil Days

Again, I start with the same ole lament about procrastination. This blogging is like a term paper. Five minutes before the class begins, and I’m still typing. In grad school,I was wicked. One semester, I took three incompletes because I was having too much fun. Our wonderful managing editor of is more than patient — especially, considering he gave me Fantasy Football tips.

Some random thoughts, since I have been remiss with this. Football. If we couldn’t have been in Miami, wasn’t it Super that a former Steeler, and such a good man as Tony Dungy, won. And talk about inclement weather! Everyone was complaining about Detroit and the snow and cold. How ’bout a monsoon!? What a mess!!!! Without the rain, Peyton would have probably annihilated Chicago. I do feel so sorry for Rex Grossman.

From Super Bowls to Penguins — and Myron Cope’s editorial. I had talked to him several times in the last few months, and I knew he had some more bouts with bad health. But he looked great. He kept apologizing about his voice, and had to eat some hot soup before the interview started, but it was mainly because he had gone out the day before in this insanely cold weather, and it took a toll on those famous vocal cords. He is sharp as a tack, and you could see in the op-ed piece in the PG that he can still write. It really is his first love. He was emphatic that I make sure the interview included his affection for Mario, and his sentiment that his good opinion of Lemieux would not change, not matter what decision was made about the team. I can not believe Myron is 78 years old. Walking into his study is always a treat—it is like a museum. Pictures of him with Franco, Lambert, Terry, articles he wrote for Sport Illustrated about Pitt and Tony Dorsett. What a life—if you are a sports fan—even if you are not.

BTW, here is a video link to watch the entire interview with Myron on thepittsburghchannel.

From Myron to Joan Lunden. She was in town Thursday to help open the new Center for Cardiovascular Medicine at Excela Health in Greensburg. The American Heart Association had brought her in, and the event was packed. Over 700 people . The Center is going to be a great asset to the region, and she was a delight. Her late father, who was a surgeon, would be so proud of her. And she told us that she always had thought she would be a doctor. He was flying his private plane to a conference when Joan was 13, when his plane crashed. Even now, when she talked about that day, the last time she saw him, her voice cracked—and I started to cry. When I interviewed her earlier in the day, we talked about how both of our fathers had died suddenly when we were about the same age.

She is still beautiful … and living a remarkable life. Much of her time is dedicated to her seven children … three daughters from her first marriage, and four children — two sets of twins under the age of four (by a surrogate), with her husband now — who happens to be ten years younger. She has always been willing to take risks — rappelling in Alaska, bungee-jumping in New Zealand, landing on a carrier in an FA-18 Hornet — now that is dangerous … and she was an accomplished equestrian. Competed at a very high level. She told me she no longer jumps (at one time, she owned 10 horses — for her own competition and her daughters), because it is too dangerous when you have so many small children.

And talk about six degrees of separation. Her husband owns several summer camps in Maine—-about 15 miles from my sister’s bison ranch. It was a delight meeting her..And she is truly committed to helping improve the health of our children in this country.

Finally, a “thank you” to the American Cancer Society, Fed Ex Ground (which is headquartered here), and the two survivors, Lori and Debbie, who spoke so eloquently at our Daffodil Days event the end of January. If you get a chance, buy some. All the money raised stays right here in Western Pa, and, not surprisingly, Allegheny County has been the biggest fundraiser during the campaign in the nation–four years straight. Pittsburgh people are the greatest!!!!!!


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