*This was originally written/ published in 2011; one of the first blogs I ever wrote and before I found my niche. It was a profound snippet in my life then, and now, upon his death, a nostalgic and touching reminder of how lucky I was to have had that snippet.
The following is a true story:
Muhammad Ali and I shared a moment. It’s true. It was the year 19__, and I was in my senior year at SUNY Brockport, in upstate New York. For some reason no one could figure out, our college was chosen as the first official location of the Special Olympics. It was to be an impressive affair and I don’t think anyone at our school was prepared for the spectacle or the outpouring of celebrities, sports figures, TV stations and huge throngs of special needs kids carted in from all over north western New York to participate. Everyone from Eunice Shriver, Teddy Kennedy, Sally Fields, Christopher Reeves, Susan St. James, and more were there, and it was filmed by WABC Wide World of Sports, featuring The Gif! (Frank Gifford) as the official announcer of the games. About 2 weeks prior to the games start, a huge sculpture was delivered to our campus and erected in front of the library- a gift from the U.S.S.R. See below. Woah. This was our first hint of just how serious an affair this was going to be.
Because I was a communications major, I had been interning for BTV, our humble campus TV station, and we in turn had the honor of interning for WABC Wide World of Sports as they set up and filmed events taking place all over the campus. For the most part, this entailed standing around and gawking at all the celebrities as they showed up for the shoots, the games and the awards, as the network TV unions would not allow any college kids to touch any of their equipment or cables. Union rules. It was exciting though, and we’d scored a cool gig. [Read more...]