Thursday, July 8, 2010

Melvin Turpin, 1960-2010

The Lexington Herald-Leader is reporting that Melvin Turpin was found dead this afternoon at his home in Lexington. Apparently, he took his own life. He was 49 years old.

This really, really hurts. One of the hardest parts about being a fan is that you simply can never repay all the joy that your team gives to you. I watched almost every game Kentucky played during the 1983-84 season, and I have thought about that team over and over again for the last 26 years -- almost always with happiness. I will probably do so for the rest of my life. And all of that joy was made possible by Melvin Turpin, who was one of the greatest centers Kentucky ever had.

I know that there are huge numbers of Kentucky fans who feel the same way -- who would have been happy to do anything they could to repay Turpin for all he did for us. But what can we do, really? There is -- there must always be -- a tremendous gap between those who do and those who watch. And many fans -- not just sports fans, but music fans, fans of certain authors, and so forth -- have had to recognize that all our support is not enough to help our heroes overcome the demons that they face.

All we can do -- all we fans can ever do -- is keep the memories alive. Tell the stories, watch the old game films, read the books, listen to the music. Tell our kids and grandkids. Pass it all along. And that is what I will do.

Thank you, Melvin Turpin.

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