The Legend of Mike McCoy
My friend and singing partner of more than 50 years, Mike McCoy, turns 70 years old today. We have shared a lifetime of moments and moments of a lifetime.
In 1995 McCoy was honored in his hometown of Sumner as one of their “Athletes of the Decade.” Thirty years earlier McCoy had set a number of Sumner High School passing records that had not been broken. When McCoy and the other athletes were being introduced at the half time of a game the young son of one of his old teammates came up to McCoy, and as only a six year old can, looked up and said, “Mr. McCoy, I’m going to break all of your records.”
A few days after that event, McCoy described that delightfully human moment. And then he became suddenly serious. He told the story of how when he was growing up in Sumner the athlete in the group was a boy named Dick Standley. Dick was the quarterback. Among the boys he was the MAN. And then Dick got sick. When you listen to the audio recording here you can hear McCoy get emotional as he talks about that moment all those years later. After Dick died the gang of boys didn’t know what to do besides go out and toss a football around. For some reason they chose McCoy to be the new quarterback. Somehow McCoy threw the ball that day better than he had ever thrown it in his life. In their boyhood logic Dick’s prowess had been transferred to McCoy. They had found a way of to make sense of their friend’s death. And McCoy’s life had been changed forever.
I was inspired to write "The Ballad of Dick Standley." The audio recording is from a concert McCoy and I did in 1995 celebrating thirty years of friendship. We called that concert "Among Friends."
Here's to all the special moments and friends who have shared and continue to share this amazing journey.
Happy birthday, old friend.