‘Be like Steve’

A family portrait from Steve Myrick's brother, Andrew.

To the Editor:

Tonight I found the strength to write a few words in honor of my brother, Steve Myrick. This one is hitting hard. I am more of a speaker than a writer, but since he didn’t really like funerals, you will now have a chance to compare my writing to his. Low expectations are key here.

Steve was the best big brother one could have. He protected and watched over Cyndi and me his entire life. He bought me my first real skis, and also provided library cards for the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum every year. As a college professor and dedicated Mad River Glen ski patroller, it’s obvious those two gifts changed my life.

Steve inherited my grandmother Tennie’s skill with words and stories. He was valedictorian of his Graham Junior College class, and spoke at graduation. He rose to editor at WBZ News in Boston. Occasionally our whole family would drive to Zayre’s department store and tune all the TVs to Channel 4. His name would be the first credit to roll: “Edited by Steve Myrick,” and we would cheer. 

He was a beautiful and graceful Stein Ericson–style skier, and taught hundreds of kids from Boston how to ski through the Y.E.S. program. He later dedicated a similar level of athleticism and passion to golf and sailing.

Steve and Susan would host Cyndi and me for visits to Boston when they lived in Somerville. The only time in my life I saw Steve “worked up” was when Cyndi and I arrived at North Station before he was able to get there, and we got off the bus without anyone to meet us. He sprinted in about five minutes later. We were fine, but North Station was a different place in the ’70s. He reminded me of this story last spring.

I will never forget visiting Steve and Susan on one of their sailboats in Vineyard Haven. There was an empty mooring next to their boat, and Steve kept mentioning that something strange was going on, as the moorings were tightly packed and were never saved for anyone. A little while later, Steve pointed out that there was a boat coming between all the others, and the captain really knew how to sail in those tight quarters. It was Ted and Victoria Kennedy, and we visited with them as they tied up 10 feet away.

His love of horse racing may have come from my grandfather, who was known as a horseman. Steve wrote for numerous horseracing rags, traveling yearly to the Derby and Churchill Downs on press passes.

Steve was well-known on Martha’s Vineyard, and lived life to the fullest there. His stories of Joe and other characters struck readers of both the Gazette and the Times. His daughters spent many happy days on the water and on the Island. I was so honored to accompany Steve to Offshore Ale, where they always found space for him. I was quite impressed when he was named to the presidential press detail, but Steve thought it was funny that the main purpose of the detail was to keep the press occupied and away from the vacationing family.

On one visit early last summer, his Island friends had shared beach passes with him from all over the Island, and some of these passes were quite difficult to obtain. We drove out to Lucy Vincent Beach, and were the only people there. We sat in silence for a couple of hours. Nothing really needed to be said. Sometimes it’s important to just be. 

I am so proud of Becky, James, Rosie, and Susan. Their selfless dedication to comforting Steve at the end of his life is saint-worthy. Steve deeply missed Allison, as we all do. His loss was deep. He survived, thrived, and persisted through many trying times.

I will miss him, and I feel very alone.

Pay it forward, people; watch out for others, listen intently, love deeply, share joy, be kind. Be like Steve.

Andrew Myrick
Randolph Center, Vt.