Reader letter about Bobby Petrino

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Tyra and White

Last Friday, I had the solemn duty to visit a funeral home to pay my last respects to two people that have direct and indirect ties to all that is glorious and dignified to the University of Louisville.

The last names of these individuals were Gitschier and Tyra.

One, a loving wife, mother and matriarch of a family devoted to sport, service and community. The other a towering man of unsurpassed athletic achievement and quiet civility.

As I walked from one viewing room to the next, I noticed a man among Tyra's sons, (Charlie Jr. Terry and Vince) who has covered Louisville High School sports for over four decades.

It was C-J high school beat writer Bob White. We renewed acquaintance and Bob told me of growing up with Charlie Tyra and attending Atherton High as it transformed from and all girls school to co-ed. He told me how Charlie was recruited by Bear Bryant for football at UK and was persuaded to stay with hoops and attend U of L.

One personal story after another spilled from Bob as he prepared to say good-bye to his dear friend. After we shook hands and I left to pay my last respects to Mrs. Gitschier (the wife of Unitas era star Frank Gitschier and mother of UL players Frank and Greg), I thought that we may never see the likes of selfless men like Bob White again.

A man who devotes his entire life to telling the stories of kids who tried as hard as they could. Some won, some lost, all came out on top for trying. Just this morning, Bob had a story reported on page C-8 about Fern Creek beating Trinity in a wrestling match no doubt in front of 100 people on a Saturday night in yet another high school gym. Talk about the bright lights.

The mega-stars that tell us that our city is home and that they will never leave us will be forgotten and become no more than an historic footnote. Men such as Bob White stand as tall as Charlie Tyra and will enrich our commonwealth for the duration.


Louisville 40206
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