The death of Muhammad Ali prompted the following memory by editor DAVE FRAZIER.
Time has blurred the date, but it was about 25 years ago that I was driving south on Capitol Blvd. when I noticed a great big black man standing in front of Victor’s Restaurant talking to a little boy.
I did a double take and there was no doubt the Big Guy was none other than Muhammad Ali!
I stomped on the brakes, made a quick right turn and jumped out of the car, camera in hand. Rather than the famous loudmouth, I was met by a very kind, gentleman who was looking for friends. No one else was around, just Ali and the kid. I asked if I could snap a few photos and he offered a very shy grin and quietly asked, “Wanna see a magic trick?”
He’s the champ. Of COURSE I want to see anythingt he can offer. He pulled out a handkerchief and did a slight of hand trick.
“Wanna see it again, he asked as I burned through a roll of film (remember film?). He’s the champ, of COURSE I want to see it again! I thanked him and shook that famous right hand.
The pictures eventually made the rounds of the popular entertainment magazines throughout the world. Ali was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease by then, but most folks just said he was “punch drunk.”
Turned out was in Boise to promote a new car dealership, but with no escort or host, he was pretty much aimless and looking for company.
I drove away giddy at getting a “scoop” and shaking that famous right, but just a little sad that “the greatest” was fading.
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