Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Final Flight of the Bumblebee

I know where I'm going and I know the truth,
and I don't have to be what you want me to be.
I'm free to be what I want.  
- Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali died on Friday in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He was seventy-four years old and in the presence of his children and other loved ones when he died.  On Twitter, his daughter Hana Ali shared that as his family gathered around him she whispered in his ear, "You can go now.  We will be okay."  

As someone who was a rabid boxing fan as a young man (Dad and I used to enjoy our annual pilgrimage to the Spartan Night at the Fights at Immaculata High School), among the many things that saddened me when I awakened on Saturday morning to the news that Ali had died was the realization that now both he and Joe Frazier are gone - and each man died without having made peace with the other.  This was especially so in the case of Joe Frazier.  

The great Jerry Izenberg - who I have read for as long as I can remember, wrote a piece on Saturday that (to me at least) was extraordinary regarding his decades-long friendship with Muhammad Ali.  It is a bit of a lengthy read - as if one could sum up more than a half-century in five hundred words or less.  It is also, I would submit, a worthwhile expenditure of your time.  


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