RePosted in memory of Muhammad Ali ***
At age 3, I was a girlie girl. At least I looked the part on Sundays. Always one to wear fancy little dresses, (no doubt a result of being the first child, the first girl, the first granddaughter, the first niece in the family…you get the picture), I was always fully accessorized. The dresses were always frilly, poofy, and had some measure of particularly itchy lace. I often wore white gloves and carried a shiny, patent leather purse. The ensemble would not have been complete without lace-edged socks and matching patent leather Mary Jane’s as the staple shoe of choice.
For a girlie girl, it makes little sense that I miss the drama of early 1960’s boxing. The drama of Cassius Clay, known best to me as heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali, impressed me as far back as I recall. Too young then to understand the rules of sports, I loved that this larger-than-life man poetically hyped his upcoming fights. I remember hearing his inspired phrase; the often repeated, “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” which he coined to intimidate Sonny Liston.
A controversial man for his anti-Vietnam war stance and his choice of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam as his companions, he was the first person I can recall who was anything other than a Christian or Jew. At the tender age of three, in my little corner of the world, I was surprised to learn that there was…Gasp!…a third, world religion. Oh, I had so much to learn.