Do you remember when you met someone who had an impact in your personal and professional life? I’ll never forget meeting Cy Wyse. Cy was a mountain of a man in his early 70’s. He had been an outstanding basketball and football player in his youth and you could tell that although he was older, he had been an imposing figure. He had the biggest hands I’d ever seen and a powerful grip. He introduced himself to me after my first basketball practice at North Kitsap High School. He asked permission to watch practices, not to critique me he carefully stated, but to watch his granddaughter, who was a junior on the team, play. I agreed and that was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Over the course of the next seven years, Cy became a friend and mentor. Now don’t get me wrong, he certainly had his opinions, but he was steadfast in his belief that the coach was the coach, and his or her word was law. Cy was always courtside at our games, even after his granddaughter graduated. He was always available to offer me sage advice, mentor me, and listen when I just needed to vent. He would invite me over to his house for some lemonade that his lovely bride, Alma would fix for us. I don’t think I ever got out in less than two hours! His stories and wisdom were priceless.
Cy passed away on Wednesday (September 19) and he will be missed by a large extended family, including the community he worked so hard to build. He was a champion for the youth, spending countless hours mentoring students, coaching athletes, and lobbying to gain increased parks and facilities. Cy was a good friend and mentor to me and I’m eternally grateful. I will miss him.
So who is that someone that has had an impact on you? Maybe the better question is – whose life have YOU impacted? We’re only on this earth a short time. Being a mentor and friend to someone else is not only a nice thing to do, it’s incumbent on all of us because someone did it for us. The best thing I can do in thanks for Cy’s generosity to me is to give that back to someone else. What about you? Whose life can you impact in a positive way?