I learned dice at COS. Career Opportunities School. The original location was on Vegas Blvd. where it splits into Main; right about there; heading downtown.
By Jesse Kaellis
I was working my second break-in joint, the Golden Gate, downtown on Fremont Street, and the school had relocated to Fremont just up from the El Cortez. There was a burger joint next to the school called the Circus Circus Burgers. They had a reputation for good hamburgers.
I was in my school on my day off, trying to get my second game going, which was Black Jack.
A kid comes running in, one of the students, “Mohammad Ali is out there!”
We all go running out. Ali is across the street. He had stopped to get a hamburger. He’s standing by an older tan Mercedes sedan. He’s wearing a grey suit and he has a small entourage. Like two men around him.
He’s a big man but not as tall as you might think; about 6’3″. But he’s kind of slumped over. He is broad beamed; really big through the shoulders.
There are people lined up and he’s got these Islam pamphlets and they are already signed and he left a space for the names. He does that every morning. There must be thousands of these things out there.
I get in line. Some black girls are ahead of me. He’s flirting and joking and they are delighted. He kisses one of them.
When I get up there in line I’m standing there looking at him. He asks my name. But he is kind of perfunctory. I’m looking at him like you might look at a specimen on a slide.
His eyes are flat brown and cloudy. He is moving and talking very slowly. You can sense the intelligence under the massive neurological damage.
I get my precious autograph and move off. This was 1988. He was still a decent looking specimen. I mean compared to what he is now. I was looking at this guy and feeling a kind of revulsion. And I mean I have been involved in boxing all my adult life; as an amateur fighter, licensed second and registered coach. I adhere to the sport.
Anyway, nothing I can say would really give new insight. No fresh takes here.
I wonder if the people that are making a living saint out of this guy, that slobber all over him, I wonder if they ever look at him and feel revulsion and then shame for the revulsion they feel. Like I did.
Seek ye me and live.