You all know the name Mohamed Ali. But you don’t all remember the name Joe Frazier. Only the best heavyweight fighter Aii ever faced, but who never caught a piece of Ali’s fame. In fact, Ali and the sports media taunted Joe in their title bouts because he was all guts and no glitz. So Smokin’ Joe went to his death as one of history’s legions of forgotten also-ran’s.
But now, ladies and gents, gather round the City of Brotherly Love, for it’s planning to honor Joe. Belatedly…! That nasty little word, meaning, gee we didn’t notice you when you were here, but now we’re going to belatedly pay you the tribute we denied you when we had the chance.
History is crowded with those who have found — more accurately have been given — life after death. An enduring life in words, music and especially recurring retelling around the tribal campfires.
Let us count the ways: Moses…Socrates…Jesus…Francis of Assisi…Joan of Arc…Ann Boleyn…Galileo… Paul Revere…Robert E Lee…John T. Scopes…Wendell Wilkie…Adlai Stevenson. There will be other losers too granted a glorious life-after-death. It’s just kinda the way people are about people.
Next time a huddle of theologians launch the eternal question “Is there any eternity?”
just remember this. If you and I don’t find it after our deaths, some family or friends may just decide to create one for us. Before their deaths. It’s a nice way to say I’m sorry….
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