Saturday, June 04, 2016

Muhammed Ali

Muhammed Ali - "The Greatest of All Time"


Another sad day folks, a legend has passed.

Muhammed Ali, The Greatest,  died yesterday at seventy-four years of age.  He had been in failing health for many years.  His death was not unexpected but still comes as a great feeling of loss.  

Muhammed always loudly proclaimed that he was "The Greatest!"  And you know what folks, he was.  

I "almost" met Muhammed one day. The date was sometime back in the Seventies when I worked at Girard Bank in Center City Philly.  I was going out for lunch when I encountered a crowd at the corner of 15th and Chestnut Streets.  I didn't know what was going on until I passed around the crowd  that was making low mumbling sounds but being very respectful of the person they were surrounding. 

During my many years of working in Center City Philly I often encountered celebrities during my walks on Broad Street and Chestnut Street.  Celebrities like Tony Bennett, Anthony Perkins, and Agnes Morehead. Many political figures like Bobby Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and yes, even Richard and Pat Nixon. But this crowd was different.  They weren't cheering or raucous but just wanted to see and be in the presence of this celebrity.  I asked someone in the crowd "Who is that?"  He said "That's Muhammed Ali."  I stopped and I looked, and I have to tell you folks, I was impressed.  Really, I was very impressed. I can't say the same for some of the other celebrities that I saw in person.

During my lifetime Muhammed Ali went from a revered boxer to a much hated man because he changed his name (he called "Cassius Clay his 'slave' name to the Muslim name Muhammed Ali.) and refused to be drafted go to war in to that wrong headed war against Viet Nam.  The first war this country lost, and believe me folks, regardless of government and media propaganda he did LOSE that war.  We should have never been there in the first place but I digress from the main subject of this blog posting.  

Muhammed Ali was proven right by his resistance to the Viet Nam war conscription. He has also been proven right by his stand on civil rights.  And he has also been proven right that he was indeed "The Greatest of All Time!"  

Rest in peace Muhammed.  Your memory will never die. 


2 comments:

  1. Ron - sorry to hear this news. Altho I did listen to a radio report that the family had gathered around him. He was part of that exciting hopeful happy generation when life seemed a little less cynical and more carefree. I don't think that's nostalgia or rose coloured glasses speaking - just seemed a time where there were fewer outbursts of crazy gun shootings and terrorism events. He made boxing exciting again. RIP Hope you are dancing like a butterfly and stinging like a bee somewhere.
    Pat

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  2. You've seen a lot of really interesting people in Philly, Ron. I always like to remember Ali when he was still Cassius Clay and at his zenith. I don't remember too much back then, but it seems to me he was one of the very first to oppose the Viet Nam war. It's really a shame how badly he deteriorated in his final years.

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