Saturday, November 10, 2007
Our Man Elli remembers Mailer (and his man Ali)
Elli Wohlgelernter writes:
"I only met Norman Mailer once, at the Ali-Norton fight at Yankee Stadium, September 28, 1976. It was a controversial fight then, and the result-- an Ali win by decision-- remains in question to this day. I thought Norton had won, as did he and many others. after the fight-- I had jumped over the railing and was sitting in the eighth row ringside-- Mailer stood and discussed with everyone who was milling around why he thought Ali won, showing his notes round by round, and why Ali's use of his rope-a-dope trick had saved him, as it had against Foreman two years earlier (the subject of his book, The Fight).
"Standing nearby was his latest and last wife, the lovely model Norris Church. A bunch of fellas from the 'hood, watching Mailer's pontification over the fight, asked, 'Who's he?'
"Informed he was one of the preeminent writers of our time, they were uninterested. 'Yeah? Who's da broad?'"
(And from all the Tabloid Baby staff: Condolences to the Mailers... and Happy birthday, Elli!)