In memory of Mark Andrews, Jack Repasy and Bob Harris.
Mark was my brother, and he was best friends with Jack and Bob. They played football together at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, and then went to Marshall together. They seemed to have it all. I was a freshman at Ohio State when they died, and on the radio James Taylor's song "Fire and Rain" played often. It always made me think of Mark, who died in fire and rain. A few weeks after the crash, we studied this poem in my English class (a strange coincidence). It was by A. E. Housman:
TO AN ATHLETE DYING YOUNG
THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.
- Becky Andrews Reed