By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The Greater Alabama Council of Boy Scouts of America Lookout Mountain District hosted an American Values Luncheon April 10, honoring three local civic leaders, recognizing all attending Eagle Scouts and bringing former University of Alabama football great Siran Stacy to Gadsden.
The district honored H.M. Freeman, Jane Newman and Charles Pullen with the “Heart of an Eagle Award” in recognition of their contributions to the community as a whole and to the scouting community in particular.
In speaking to the those gathered for the fundraising luncheon, Stacy said he had looked at the Boy Scouts mission statement, and some words describing what a Boy Scout is jumped out at him. One of those was “obedient.”
Stacy recalled having a dream of playing football for Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama from the age of 8 years old. Bryant was gone by the time Stacy became one of the top running backs in the nation, having gone to a Kansas junior college before receiving a scholarship to play at Alabama, and seeing that dream come true.
“It took discipline,” Stacy said, to achieve it. “It took time. It took obedience not to quit,” he said, even when he was going off alone to Kansas, not able to come home for holidays.
Before that, it took obedience to continue despite hearing people laugh at him and tell him he would not make it.
“You’ve got to make up your mind to be obedient,” Stacy said. He talked about playing in the NFL, then the World Football League, which took him to Scotland. Stacy recalled climbing a mountain in Scotland with a friend, to the point that they could look out over five interlocking “lochs.”
“I felt the breathe of God on that mountain,” Stacy said. “If you put Him first, all other things will follow.”
Stacy talked also about a life-changing night, when a drunk driver plowed into his family’s van, killing his wife and four of his five children.
“It took away a 14-year relationship with my wife,” Stacy said, and his 18-year-old daughter – an honorable girl. He said anyone can say they want to live honorably. “Her actions showed it. She honored me,” he said.
Lost also was his 10-year-old son, who told Stacy he was going to go to Alabama “and break all you records,” a 9-year-old daughter who loved ballet and his two-year old, “my baby. I dedicated her to the Lord when she was one year old,” Stacy said. “They were murdered that night.
“Five people were taken from me,” Stacy said. He said he didn’t have time to negotiate, to tell God “I’ll be a better man …. a better husband.”
He said he became like David, in Psalms 142: 1-3: “I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.
“I poured out my complaint before Him; I showed before Him my trouble.”
“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path.”
When your spirit is overwhelmed, Stacy said, that is when you become fervent, you become brave.
“I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to give up,” Stacy said.
Stacy urged the young people, and all present, to “do a good turn daily.”
“Somebody in here prayed for me,” Stacy said, when he lost five members of his family. “You didn’t even know me, and you did a good turn.”
Everyone must decide, Stacy said, if they are going to be someone who makes a difference.