December 19th, 2002

The Greatest Of All Time



"Snap out of it," Raymond's editor at Universal News Service told him. "Quit mooning over that ex of yours. Take the assignments I offer you."
"I'm not in the mood," Raymond said.
"You gotta roll with the punches," Chuck said.
James loved sports metaphors. "All right. Send me somewhere."

Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. Muhammad Ali in training for what would surely be his last fight. Raymond, as it turned out, was the only press photographer who showed up that day. Ali was in a dramatic mood, and put on a wild and ironic performance. Raymond closely followed the shouting and gesticulating champ around the gym, and fired off rapid sequences with his Nikon.

When Ali disappeared behind his dressing room door, Raymond smiled. He suddenly realized that he had one small thing in common with The Greatest Of All Time. Well, at least he did at the beginning of his marriage to Eve. He'd managed--despite the impossible odds--to convince himself that he'd win.


  Ali I


  Ali II


  Ali III


  Ali IV


  Ali V