Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun
June 23, 2011
Theirs was a love story begging to be told: The grizzled old football player and his soulmate of 49 years, a spirited woman with a crippling disease whom he cares for, day and night, despite ailments of his own.
On three occasions, at their farmhouse in Upperco, I met with Fred Miller, onetime co-captain of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Colts, and his wife, Charlene. And though football had taken me there, the sport itself was only a conduit for the Millers' tale one of constancy, old-time values and devotion.
It was, perhaps, the most heartfelt interview I have done in 40 years of reporting. Those six hours of tapes seemed to capture every nuance of their relationship, from their first date as students at Louisiana State he, the beefy son of a sharecropper, and she, a debutante and daughter of a state politico.
Remembering the vignettes of having spent a half-century together, the Millers laughed and cried and even poked fun at each other in a good-natured way that only a couple in a sturdy marriage can do. As I left, a jar of Freds homemade pickles in hand, I knew I had a special story. But more than that, Id captured their moral compass to share with readers.
-- Mike Klingaman