It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth tribute column I’ve done for the late Rev. Stacy Groscup since his passing September 20, 2005. Time has flown by and his death now seems more real at times than it used to. However, I occasionally will still pick up the phone late at night and begin to dial his phone number so we could chat then it hits me that he’s gone and I hang up the phone. I am saddened when I can’t share news with him or get his wise counsel.
We were both birds of feather and rarely sleep. We typically would not call each other until 11PM or later. If you called his home any earlier chances are he wouldn’t be there anyway. He was a man on the go. When you did reach him, that “booming” voice would say, “Well, how you doin’…” You could tell he was genuinely glad to talk with you. You could see him smiling over the phone, I swear.
In my original tribute to Stacy on his passing I compared him to Teddy Roosevelt, one for his energy, two for his knowledge because like TR he knew at least a little about everything, and he was also a man of action. In his 70’s Stacy had the energy and enthusiasm for life of a 20 year old. He never, ever lost that wonder for life and mankind and he truly loved the earth and those on it. I have shared the story before that at age 82 Stacy appeared on stage with me and hit an aspirin the 7th shot from mid air with his bow. Let me repeat that— he was 82 years old. Oh, and I missed the pill he hit and I was in my 30’s.
I continue to wear the old tab he made for me in 1990. It’s been through more than 500 exhibitions since that time and I will keep using it until it falls completely apart. It is a quiet reminder of my old friend. When they are announcing me to come on stage, the last thing I do before taking the stage is take my wallet out, get the tab and put it on and say a quick prayer as I walk to the mic. Luckily Stacy made me several of these tabs so that when this one is worn down completely I will have a back up. This one has lasted 19 years so I should have enough in my drawer for the rest of my shooting career and then I will pass the left over tabs on to my son Gus.
Our home is filled with reminders of Stacy. On my desk I have a Groscup bow and a copy of the photo used for his Archery Hall of Fame induction is signed and framed. Sometimes I will be digging in a drawer at my desk here or at my desk at my parent’s retail store and I will come across a treasure—something Stacy had carved or gave me over the years. I have the 7th arrow he used for his world record shot— the time he hit seven aspirin tablets in a row without a miss. Just the thought of Stacy brings a smile to my face and a flood of memories.
I have went on record as saying I thought Stacy was the most accurate exhibition shooter to ever draw a string. He did things with a bow and arrow that have never been done, before or after his passing. Having shared practice ranges, hunting camps and the stage with the man I will attest to his consistency and his accuracy. Trust me, he was tough to beat. Stacy on a bad day was a better shot than most on their best day.
I mention his name at just about every single exhibition I do and in most media interviews. He was important to me and like a second father. He also helped get me started in shooting on stage and I am proud to be considered his protege’. I am always happy when someone comes up to me at a show or event that knew Stacy or seen his show. The response is almost always the same— they say what a great man he was and how they will never forget him.
I don’t want archers to forget this man. He was a good man and a true hero. Like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and the other figures that often seem bigger than life, Stacy was a legend during his lifetime. He was famous and known from coast to coast. People from all walks of life called him friend, and meant it.
Stacy Groscup didn’t get rich in archery and didn’t own an archery company, didn’t produce hunting videos, and didn’t really try to do anything other than promote the sport and instinctive shooting. He was honored as the 49th Inductee into the National Archery Hall of Fame, the West Virginia Bowhunter’s Hall of Fame, a Distinguished West Virginian by Governor Cecil Underwood, and honored on the floor of the West Virginia Senate, plus many, many more accolades.
Stacy was selfless, humble and a man that truly loved archery, instinctive shooting and his fellow man. In a day of few role models or true heroes, he fit the bill. The circle of life rolls on and although his body is gone, his spirit, the lessons he taught, and the love he had for God, life and his fellow man, is seen daily in those of us lucky enough to have been around this great, great man. As long as air fills my lungs and my heart beats, I will continue to pass along lessons learned from this great man, my friend, Rev. Stacy Groscup. “Sti-Ute” old friend, we miss you.
That’s the latest. For more info on Stacy, visit a memorial tribute site his grand daughter Shawna has at:
http://stacylgroscup.memory-of.com/About.aspx You can also see photos and my original tribute to him at my site, www.frankaddingtonjr.com <http://www.frankaddingtonjr.com/> . If you have photos or memories of Stacy to share, I am sure his family would enjoy you sharing them. Just drop me an email at Aspirinbuster@aol.com and I will pass along their contact information.
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster