The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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A grandfather's love, a Buckeye's legacy

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We welcome your letters, which we ask be limited to 250 words or less. Please send them to Letters selected for publication typically address topics raised in Ohio State Alumni Magazine, although the editor reserves the right to make exceptions. All published letters appear online, and a selection appears in our print edition. We edit letters for space, clarity, accuracy and civility. When readers’ published views prompt others to write, the latter submissions are the last published on a particular topic. All letters represent the opinions of the letter writers, not those of the magazine team, alumni association or university.

A special letter to the editor

My grandfather, Fred Miller, began attending Ohio State University football games in 1957, long before my father or I would come along. That 1957 season would be the beginning of his 60-plus year run of attending every Buckeye football home game. This was in the early days of the Woody Hayes era and the Buckeyes struggled some, but my grandfather’s loyalty was unwavering. He is a proud Ohio State alum and it has been evident his entire life.

When his two sons — my Dad, Fred II, and John — came along, his loyalty to the Buckeyes remained. From a young age, they attended the games, following my grandfather’s game rules — you arrive to the game before kick-off and you do not leave (no matter the game outcome) until the post-game band show is over. They were a Buckeye family through and through, and my father, Fred Miller II, would go on to attend Ohio State, serving the university passionately both as a student and alumnus.

Fred and Josie Miller

Fred Miller, left, attends the Oct. 28 Penn State game with his granddaughter, Josephine S. Miller.

As his grandchild, I spent the entirety of my life hearing about those football games: rain, snow, blistering sun, he was there early and left late. Growing up, I will always remember my Papaw’s passion for Ohio State football, most evident in his constant pushing for me to become a fan of his alma mater. While he was unrelenting in his passion for the team, I was unrelenting in my resistance. I went on to complete my degree at North Carolina State University — right color, but wrong school — and it was there my love of Buckeye football grew. At my ACC school, I missed the passion of the Big Ten, the energy the Horseshoe, and TBDBITL.

For years, my grandfather urged me to attend Buckeye games with him despite my resistance, but this year, I wanted to go. At random, I chose the Penn State game. On October 28, 2017, myself, my grandmother, my two Ohio State alumni brothers and my fiancé had the privilege of ending his home game streak with him. I watched in awe as the Buckeyes pulled out a last-minute victory against the Nittany Lions, prompting a rush of the field and triumphant cheering from my grandfather. As I have gotten older, I have learned that this is what being a Buckeye is all about, a special bond formed from an unparalleled collegiate experience that breeds unrelenting loyalty. I hope Ohio State continues to produce and to honor its uniquely proud alumni like my grandfather. GO BUCKS!!

Josephine S. Miller
Gastonia, North Carolina