It’s not every day you get to witness history unfold before your eyes.
On Saturday during my shift at The Miami Herald, I did.
With The Herald moving from Biscayne Bay to Doral in the end of the month, heralded Herald sports editor and columnist Edwin Pope made a rare appearance.
He emptied his office.
Pope, who worked at The Herald since 1956, was quite the collector of sports literature as you could imagine. Before reaching my desk at work, there was nothing but piles of books, memoirs, and media guides galore. Some scribbled in, some ink marked with a “Edwin Pope Miami Herald” ownership stamp, some never even opened, and some yearning for Pope to endorse with a book review.
I was lucky enough to snatch a book my coworker overlooked while he was grabbing all he could of the same likeness — A Miami Dolphins media guide from 1983 with Pope’s hand-written name on the front.
Pope covered the team and Miami sports like none other. He’s still one of a handful of writers to attend every Super Bowl.
I asked him what it was like covering the Dolphins back in the day.
“It was a fun time,” he said.
I asked about him and his relationship with Don Shula.
“We had our dog and cat fights,” he said before saying they’re good ol’ pals now.
I’m not one to be nervous to the point where I ramble words together out of fear of being just speechless. Those were the only two questions I thought of asking. I’m surprised I even walked into the office in the first place to meet him. That speechless.
Pope, his wife, Eileen, and son, David, emptied his office from the early afternoon until after 9.
The Herald had no idea he was coming in. No one to interview him one last time, take some final pictures of him in his domain. No video of him and his spouse going through desk drawers and file cabinets, or a time-lapse of his son lugging stacks of books out of the office.
It was unexpected. Nothing to concretely plan for because the ol’ man has the liberty to walk in whenever he wants.
But I think at the end of the day, that’s how Pope wanted to leave. On his own terms. With his wife and son by his side. Without the deserved honor and attention so he could peacefully take it all in.
“Such an anticlimactic feeling,” Eileen said with Eddie following right behind her, ready to exit The Miami Herald building one last time.
Let’s leave here before I cry, he said.