RIPD Mohamed Ali
I encountered him twice in my life. He was sort of a big deal here in Louisville. And, the black community embraced him here. I am sadden to see that his life has ended, because he a guy that socially important with his ties to the civil rights movement. (the real civil rights) He was the guy that started the true shit-talking/troll culture. And, he made boxers household names via through pop culture and politics.
Way back in the day, he visited our middle school. I remember walking pass him in the hall and seeing about 30-40 kids hovering around him, trying to get his autograph. Because I was an outsider, I didn't bother trying to talk to him, I wasn't a boxing fan. Plus, I didn't like being around people. I just remember the huge crowd of kids following him around. I believe he knew one of the teachers in the school and it became a big event.
Our local school news decided to do a story on him and they had footage of him shadow boxing. That always stuck in my mind whenever someone mentions him.
Mohamed Ali was a big deal for us locally because he's from Louisville. It seemed every old black person knew him or was friendly with his parents. The second time I encountered him was years later over near St Matthews at a restaurant. It was post high school and I was in a different place in my life. Like before, there was a big crowd of people
Again, I decided not to meet him. I knew he was walking history, but I didn't want to bother him. Most people in Louisville have a story about him or know someone that knows him and so on. I don't generally bother famous people. That's my thing.
He will be missed.