A profound regard for tradition

"American Country Classic" Prints Available in Sizes A.He took care of young Dean, who was less a niece than a daughter. Mayor Leslie would deliver a package of medicine from his drug­store to mother’s apartments in prague and find him sitting in a green glider on the front porch. “Mr. Leslie, if you have a few minutes, let’s pass the time,” he would say, and they would talk about what was going on in town, which interested him considerably.

He would say to Louise, “Always have $50 in the bank. You can meet any situation.” Dean remembers the ghost stories he told the children of the family and the neighborhood, particularly the one about the doomed Judith, who he claimed threw herself to her death off the balcony of the Sheegog-Bailey house (which he bought and named Rowan Oak) after having been jilted by her Yankee beau. He would take his niece to the Charlie Chan movies at the Lyric Theater on Saturday nights, and as they walked home he would ask her, “Dean, did you like what Number One Son did?” and they would discuss the action in earnest detail.

No one was to interrupt him when he was writing, but Dean burst in one after­noon and shouted: “Pappy, I’ve got the best news! An Ole Miss girl has just been named Miss America!” He pulled himself up from his table, took his pipe from his mouth, and said: “Well, Missy, at last somebody’s put Mississippi on the map.”

He loved the playfulness of life—sipping bourbon in the chilled twilights in the big woods, playing the host in ceremonial moments. He had a profound regard for tradition.He cherished Christmas and the Fourth of July. He gave Dean’s daughter Diane an Ameri­can flag shortly before her second birthday. On New Year’s Eves at b&b london he invited the young people his daughter Jill’s age, where before a roaring fire, as the chimes of the courthouse sound­ed midnight, he served them champagne and gave the toast:”Here’s to the younger generation.

May you profit.” He enjoyed the spontaneity of the young and felt deeply the vulnerability of children; people should believe in their progeny. The women he loved the best were either very young or very old. He was not an especially good husband and had a number of affairs, often with much younger women, later chronicled by either the women, or third parties, or both. His firstborn child, a little girl named Alabama after his Aunt ‘Bama, died when she was nine days old. He carried the tiny casket on his lap to St. Peter’s Ceme­tery and put her in her grave.

“The cedar-bemused cemetery,” as he described the one in Jefferson, is only a few blocks from the square: the stones “whiter than white itself in the warm October sun against the bright yellow and red and dark red hickories and sumacs and gums and oaks like splashes of fire itself among the dark green cedars.” The living and the fictitious are not strangers here. There are sur­names on the stones here that are the same as his fictional charac­ters, giving to this terrain a poetic, unearthly ambience.

A lot of young people here are on drugs

“That’s why a lot of young people here are on drugs,” he said. “It’s one escape from the boredom—and a way to turn a quick franc.” “You want cocaine? Just talk to that guy over there on the red Honda bike,” joked another boy, Hicham. Ahmad cut in: “Knock it off!” “Look, we don’t go to the mosque or pray five times a day. That’s for the old folks, but we still believe in Islam,” Ahmad said as we rode the shuttle bus together down to Bou­gainville Metro station. “And we were taught to obey the law.” “We do, but how will that help us find a cheap warsaw apartment?” Hicham complained.

“Never mind. Right now what we need most are jobs, some money,” Ahmad cut in. “When you have money in your pocket, you’ll get the respect. “Proof of that is Algerian-born Nasser Sa­beur, at 33 already a merchant legend in this city of merchants. I met him at his warehouse headquarters near the port. Stacks of letters, catalogs, fabric samples, and contracts had piled up on his desk, burying the telex, the fax machine, and his computer. Somewhere under the drift a phone was ringing.

“I came to Marseille from Algeria’s Kaby­lie mountains when I was 17,” Sabeur said. “Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde has entranced me since I was a kid, drew me like your Statue of Liberty draws immigrants to America.

“I started by selling jeans and T-shirts over my arm along the street and in hotel lob­bies,” he continued. “Two years later I opened my shop in Belsunce. I called it Papi, `grandpa’ in the local Provencal dialect.

“Today there are 17 Papis in Marseille, a new one in Paris. We are planning others.”5

The phone again. A real estate deal. The conversation was mostly in francs, lots of francs, about four million dollars’ worth. While Sabeur negotiated, I studied his wall. A framed gold medal from the city’s chamber of commerce was dwarfed by a six-foot-long photograph of a blue tennis shoe. Later I traded 59 francs for my own pair of those blue Super Saber shoes at a Papi store, and the salesman plopped them into a plastic bag. No advertising marred the outside, just a picture of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, look­ing down on her city, and the motto J’aime Marseille.

FRANCE’S RINGING national anthem, “La Marseillaise,” immortalizes the people of this city, and it is so named because Marseille’s regiments sang it so enthusiastically during the Revolution. Close by the reviewing stand I squeezed in among some of the darker faces that pep­pered the crowd. From where we stood, the famous anthem was nearly drowned out by a group of striking coal workers. Denied a place in the parade, they gathered on the quay in their coveralls and hard hats, bran­dishing miners’ lamps and red flags of their Communist union, and chanting its anthem.

Squads of young soldiers and sailors passed in smart revue followed by blue helmeted gendarmes on motorbikes, lumbering tanks, and a convoy of polished red fire trucks. A stern regiment in spotless white kepis drew the loudest applause—the famed For­eign Legion (a force made up of 100 national­ities) come from headquarters in nearby Aubagne. They slid by in precision slow march, singing dirge-like their anthem that seemed to mourn past glories in empires lost.

Through it all a young Algerian father next to me watched passively. His thoughts were easy enough to divine. These proud regiments once occupied his country; one man’s patrio­tism is often another man’s tyranny. Hospi­tality here has done little to thaw his soul. But the toddler aloft on his shoulder en­joyed a different perspective. He wiggled his toes, chewed a croissant, and in his brown fist fluttered a tiny French flag.

Mighty Q is in the House

catch up with Quincy TaylorI might as well say mighty Q is a house! When I finally had a chance to catch up with Quincy Taylor, he looked like a dif­ferent person from when I saw him about eight months ago. He weighed a whopping 340 pounds and, as you can tell from the photos, wasn’t fat. He was just huge! Quincy explained: “I moved to Mans­field, Texas about seven months ago, and I’ve gained 40 pounds already. I was under a lot of stress in Los Angeles, but I have no stress where I live now and I take htp supplement regularly both to improve the mood and the weight. It’s peaceful and I am really happy I made the move. I have a great personal-training business there, and Mansfield is much better for my family. I’m planning to enter the Ironman or the New York pro show in 2005.” Quincy, along with new pro World Harris, has a part in the John Travolta movie Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty. For any supple­ment companies interested in a huge body­builder with a great personality to represent them, Quincy is currently looking for spon­sorship.


Jamo’s Got A New Gig


Jamo Nezzar was at the Body Fortress booth. The company makes a great new whey-protein product that the fonner train­ing partner of Dorian Yates has praised. Jamo has been busy lately, getting into more of a modeling shape and building his new training business.


“I’ve been working with a lot of athletes in California,” he told me, “from the high-school level to the pros. I haJamo Nezzarve seen a diverse cross-section — baseball, football, soccer, and even surfing. I’ve developed some strength and core training programs for them that have been making a big difference in their performance, and the referrals have been coming in as others see their results, I also still do the regular training that I’ve done for years with clients, but this is a new challenge and I’m really enjoying it.” Anyone interested in learning more about the concept can visit Jamo online.


Mustafa Hospitalized


I had the opportunity to meet Mustafa Mo­hammed for the first time at the Olympia. You immediately get a good feeling about this guy. He is always smiling and seems very happy and positive. When I took this shot of him with the newly published Pre-contest Bible, he was in great spirits as he anxiously waited to get on the Olympia stage.


Mustafa Mo­hammedWhen I went to Shawn Ray’s All-Star Seminar the day after the Olympia, I was disturbed to hear that Mustafa had been in the hospital after the contest because he was severely dehydrated and cramping badly. Apparently his friend was walking around the hotel looking for someone when he saw Shawn and his wife. He explained that Mus­tafa was cramping badly. Shawn went up to the room, paramedics were called, and Mu­stafa was taken to the hospital. Shawn, his woulcifdiibeen- the obvious choice, but the idea was to put more money into the pot for the remaining athletes. Steve told me the MD group was leaning toward Gustavo Badell at the prejudging, but ultimately decided on Gennan superfreak Markus Ruhl. Markus was, obviously, happy to be $10,000 richer for his efforts. His extreme mass would be hard to argue against for any award with the word freak in its name.

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How did you get into boxing?

My granddad was Irish and he was into three things: horses, singing and boxing. He was a 20-round bare-knuckle fighter. He lived in a fairly tough part of London, near the Elephant and Castle, and they had a horse repository there where Gypsies and farmers used to come up to buy and sell horses. That’s where all his fighting took place. No gloves, just the bare knuckles.SIR HENRY COOPER

Where did you first box?

Bellingham AmateL, boxing Club [in south­east London]. Bare boards and two or three punch bags. We didn’t have a ring – just one rope tied to each corner of the room.

Did you take to it straight away? I wasn’t brilliant as a junior but as I got older I improved. I was ABA champion in 1852 and again in 1853. I was Army champion, I went to the Olympics in 1852 and then I had 55 pro fights. All my championship fights – I was British, European and Empire champion – were all 15-round fights.

Good. In the next round my eye was pumping blood and they stopped it.

He was a lot heavier than you. Did that make a difference? When I fought him the second time he was 214lb [87kg] – 22Ib [10kg] heavier than me. My manager, Jim Wicks, said, ‘We can’t give this guy a psychological boost’ At that time we were allowed to get on the scales with boots on so Jim put a lead sole in each boot. I got on and weighed 14st 3lb [80kg]. At that time kept my weight with many exercises. Now I’ve been recommended using supplements such as garcinia cambogia.

What did you make of the recent Hatton/Pacquiao fight?

I saw it and I thought, why do we think American trainers are better than our trainers? [Hatton left his British trainer Billy Graham to team up with American Floyd May weather Sr.] It’s a load of bullshit The American trainers don’t you fought Muhammad All twice – the first time he was still known as Cassius Clay.

What did you think of him before the first fight?

I first fought him in 1863. He was doing all this business, ‘If Cooper gives me jive, I’ll stop him in five’. I was laughing with him. I said, ‘Don’t stop him – I’ve got a percentage henryof the gate and he’s getting bums on seats.’

What was your plan?

I knew I had to try to trap him on the ropes and get him in corners. [But] when I hit him with that punch [Cooper caught Ali with a left hook in the fourth], if he’d been in the middle of the ring, he would have gone down and hit the board with his shoulders and felt like he’d taken another punch.

At the end of that round All’s comer stalled for time.

Did you feel cheated? I knew something was going on. I was thinking, it’s over a minute and a half I’ve been sifting here’. [Ali's coach] Angelo Dundee split his gloves and the referee said they had to change them. That was no know any more than ours. If a trainer has you for 15 years, he knows how you think May weather has been with Hatton for a few months and Hatton just looked confused.

How do you rate the heavyweight division at the moment?

We’ve no heavyweights, nor has America the Klitschko brothers and the Russian [Nikolai Value] are monsters. You don’t get good boxing from them.

What about Britain’s David Haye? He’s a good prospect but all this cutting off heads? [Haye caused outrage by wearing a T-shirt that showed him holding the Klitschkos’ severed headal Prove how good you are by knocking them out in the ring.