[FoRK] Illuminating Lipsyte anecdote about Ali...

Rohit Khare rkhare at gmail.com
Tue Jun 7 11:24:07 PDT 2016


http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2016/06/robert_lipsyte_on_muhammad_ali_s_opposition_to_vietnam_the_boxer_s_sense.html
we were rushing to a plane in an airport. I really wanted to make the
flight and get home. As we’re rushing, a small older woman stood in front
of us with one of those throwaway cameras, and he stopped and he posed. She
took the picture. I grabbed his arm—come on, come on, let’s go. “Wait,” he
said. “She had the lens cap on.”

He reached over and very delicately took off the lens cap and posed again,
took the picture. He said, “She would have felt bad the rest of her life
that she didn’t get that picture.” I said, “Yeah but we’re going to miss
the plane.” He said, “We’re not going to miss the plane. They’ve got to
wait for me.” And they did. Then we got to the plane and he said, “Sit by
me, Bob.” And I said, “Well, I can’t. I have an economy-class ticket. You
have a first-class ticket.” He said, “Sit by me. I’m the champ. They’ll let
you sit there.” And they did.

In some strange sort of way, I keep thinking about that. This enormous
kindness, this incredible narcissism, and also this sense of who he was and
what other people thought of him. It’s a very small moment but it meant a
lot to me.


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