Marguerite Groscup, Amanda Addington and the late Rev. Stacy Groscup
A buckskin vest lays across a chair. Nearby a beaded headband, copper bracelet and an eagle bolo tie are laid out on a shelf. A few bows hang on the wall along with a leather quiver of arrows. On a desk lies a notepad with some writing on it that's hard to read, a small knife made out of a deer's hoof, and some other nick knacks. A blowgun and some darts are also spread across the desk. Outside a small trailer full of foam archery targets, a net, a block of wood used for tomahawks, and some other equipment sits idle. To most this collection of buckskins, archery equipment and other items might not mean much. On closer inspection however these items are all quiet reminders of a great man.
A great man who left this world on September 20, 2005 at age 84. He left behind a beautiful wife, a daughter & son in law, a son and daughter in law, and a grand daughter that he thought hung the moon & stars, as well as other family members, friends and fans. Rev. Stacy Groscup was one of those men that seemed bigger than life.
When you walk around the property on his beloved "Magic Mountain" you can feel Stacy's presence. Under the huge oak trees that he loved, the flocks of turkeys he often fed, and the deer that occasionally wander by. The flower gardens he tended for his wife, stacks of firewood neatly stacked, and an archery target or two. There are quiet reminders everywhere of him.
You can also sense it in his archery room. There are so many memories of a life well lived. I guess that's the point of this article, not to mourn Stacy's passing but celebrating the way the man lived his life. I don't think he'd want any of us mourning too long, after all he's in a better place now and has traded his 84 year old tired body for a new one that will match his energetic spirit. He'd simply worn the other one out.
If the archery equipment, buckskins and foam discs could talk you'd hear about the places they had been while the late Rev. Stacy Groscup wowed audiences with his fancy bow & arrow exhibitions. He'd crisscrossed the country during the last several decades, met folks from all walks of life, had a bow put on the market under his name, been featured in a national video, been inducted into the Archery Hall of Fame, named a "Distinguished West Virginian" by West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood, and been honored on the floor of the West Virginia Senate.
He was also inducted into the West Virginia Bowhunter's Hall of Fame, and had various other honors. He did exhibitions from the time he was in seminary until age 84, and the equipment had seen some miles.
Thousands of people will tell you about seeing a buckskin clad minister doing amazing things with a bow and arrow! If you met him once chances are you won't ever forget him! Aside from his archery talent, Groscup was an amazing man. Like Theodore Roosevelt, he lived a very vigorous lifestyle.
When you consider Groscup was in his sixties when he set a world record--- seven aspirin tablets shot from mid air on national TV! That record stands to this day. Even more amazing is that he was still actively doing shows into his 80's! I think it's fair to say that he's simply one of the best exhibition shooters the sport of archery has ever produced. No one else has ever come close to doing some of the things he did with a bow and arrow. But you'd never hear Stacy say that. He was much too modest.
Groscup was also similar to Roosevelt in the fact that when he entered a room, his aura and energy could be felt by everyone. His voice would boom, "Hello there! How you doin'?" His bright twinkling eyes, broad grin and firm handshake let you know there wasn't a phony bone in his body. Groscup genuinely loved people, especially kids.
I am proud to be considered his protege'. I had grown up watching the great man and when I turned 18 began to share the stage with him. All through the years I thought he was teaching me about archery and it turns out more often than not he was actually teaching me about life. What a wise man. I cannot count the times in my life when I sought his council.
I guess the best thing you could say about Stacy is that he never told anyone he was a Christian. He didn't have to. You could see it in the way he lived his life. His actions told the story. He was the real deal. He never ever talked down to anyone, never "judged" others, just lived his life his way and tried to help those around him.
He touched thousands of lives in his time. Perhaps this will be his most impressive legacy, even bigger than his archery career. Those lives that he touched and the fact that he made the world around him just a little better place.
I miss Stacy. We need more people like him. Even though the buckskins, archery equipment and other material things he left behind can't speak, all of those whom he touched are more than happy to tell his story.
I plan to spend September 20, 2006 walking along our oak ridge, admiring the deer, turkey and early autumn woods. I have an oak tree or two here that I enjoy visiting, maybe I picked this up from Stacy. I may shed a tear or two but will try really hard to celebrate this great man's life and the fact that I got to share so much of it.
Recently my wife Amanda gave birth to our first child, a son. I hope to pass along many of the lessons in life and in archery he taught me to our new son Gus. Just like Stacy taught me, the circle of life must travel on. It will be Gus' turn now. I hope that he will spend his life with the same level of energy and love of his fellow man that Stacy had. Of course I'm also hoping he'll enjoy archery the way Stacy did and the way that I have. That would make me a very proud father and let me know that I had indeed passed on the torch. It would also mean that once again Stacy was right, and the circle of life travels on. Thanks old friend, we miss you.
If you would like to read more about the late Rev. Stacy Groscup, his grand daughter Shawna has set up a great memorial site as a tribute to her grandpa. You can visit the site at: http://stacylgroscup.memory-of.com/
Thanks for reading. It was my hope that this article would shift the focus from mourning the passing of a great man to celebrating a life well lived in the hope that we would all take the lessons he taught us and pass them on. I think Stacy would be very pleased and smile to see how many of us that his life touched.