Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Even Iron bends under such tragedy
Growing up in Brownsville I never had much to be proud of regarding my home. It was ALWAYS one of the most violent neighborhoods in Brooklyn (which I guess you COULD be proud of). There were crack addicts everywhere during the 80s. The overall education level was low and we had very few people come from the neighborhood and "make it". That all changed when Iron Mike Tyson stepped on the scene.
Here was a young cat from my neighborhood that took the world of boxing by storm. At age 20 he won a heavyweight championship belt, setting a record for the youngest to ever do it. His left hook was the stuff of legends. To top all of this off, Mike came back to the hood. He would often come and visit old friends from his childhood and overall share his love with his old neighborhood. When I was a young lad in summer camp Mike showed up in a red Porsche (something I never saw in real life at that point) to greet the young folks. I mean this was the Heavyweight champion of the world in front of me (not that much taller than me ha!). Not too long after that his life hit a downward spiral that we are all familiar with and I feel no need to revisit today.
In the aftermath of a documentary showcasing his life as it stands today Mike is hit with another low blow (pun intended). His 4 year old daughter meets an early death from an accident on a treadmill. I'm sending my prayers out to Mike and his family. While this is not a man who was seen by many as someone to admire, I always felt sorry for him. I knew where he came from and saw the heights he was able to reach. It seems like as he now pushes past age 40 and is starting to get some clarity about his life something like this kicks him. I hope he is able to maintain and grow from this grief.
Here's a tribute to one of my childhood heroes who has long since fallen on hard times.