BY PENNY DICKERSON
Taelor and Sydni Scott remember their father and ESPN anchor Stuart Scott with a delicate humor reserved for daughters only. Scott died of cancer in January at the age of 40. Earlier this month at the Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, the siblings shared with the Florida Courier intimate memories of a man who was much more than his signature catch-phrase: “Boo-ya!”
His girls loved him because he was daddy.
“We were away from our dad a lot due to his job so we really treasured the limited time we had because he was so busy and it was difficult for him to make time,” said Taelor, a New York-based collegiate majoring in anthropology with a concentration in film.
“I really liked when he came home and took his many shirts, jackets, and ties and threw them down the steps,” said Taelor, who simultaneously was joined in laughter by younger sister Sydni.
Lots of silly moments
They both recognize this seasoned memory well.
“We used to jump in his clothes and see how many shirt and ties we could put on before he took his clothes to the dry cleaners. We loved playing dress up because those were small elements of his job we could be a part of,’’ Taelor added.
Sydni bears a remarkable resemblance to her father and attends high school at a Connecticut-based institution that excels in academics and athletics.
“Categorically, the greatest memories I have of my dad are the times when he was just completely focused and able to be our dad without the additional piece of Stuart Scott,” said Sydni. “Like when he was funny, and silly, hanging out with my friends and making jokes. I think that was the best.”
Legacy of authenticity
Scott’s silly side included amusing his girls by slinking around corners of hotels like a stealth spy. He was a jokester so prone to physical antics he once did a somersault into a doorway and suffered a head injury. All at the cost of fatherly fun.
Their desires to sustain Scott’s legacy are simple.
“I want his individuality to be remembered. Whether that was good or bad, it was consistent and he was authentic,” said Taelor whose insights are shared by her sister.
“I think his authenticity is an important part of his character because when he wasn’t successful and people had a problem him, he never thought to change. He maintained that authenticity,’’ added Sydni, who shared another memory dear to her heart.
Made music together
“In the fifth grade, I volunteered in school to play the saxophone,” related Sydni. “When we went to the music store, he recalled that he used to play the sax in sixth grade so he bought himself a saxophone that day and played with me.
“People love that story because it sounds sweet, but I love that it shows how similar and impulsive we both are about things we’re passionate about,” she added.
They closed by emphasizing the importance of health care advocacy. Take care of yourself and those in your family with unbridled passion.