Happy 69th Birthday, Muhammad Ali

Muhammad_Ali_NYWTSA man born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., was born on  this date in 1942. So I suggest if you are a boxing fan, you go out to a bakery, buy a cupcake, one candle if you don't want to light up 69 of them, light it up, and salute the man we now know as Muhammad Ali.

Because the creator broke the mold when he made this marvel of a man. We will never again see the likes of him, that special concoction of athleticism, and charisma, and charm, and will, and grace, and stubbornness and specialness. He was a product of the times, which were tumultuous and charged, far more so than today even if that is sometimes hard to fathom. The issues of the day helped to forge him, propel him to take stands that were detrimental to his popularity and earning power. He stood up for his race, and aligned with a sect which scared the hell out of the people who stood to buy tickets to see him at work. He stood up for peace, and risked the very real possibility of being assassinated for his cause. He pushed the discussion for equality for blacks, and contributed to civil rights advances. He attracted attention and added some legitimacy to the choice to refuse induction into our war machine, the most high profile celebrity by far to do so. Can you picture a person of such status taking similar stands today?

Tomorrow, check back on TSS; we'll have a report from an Ali insider, one of his posse, who is visiting the Lousville Lip and wishing him well in person today.

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