Letters to the Editor

July 18, 2014

A walk down memory lane

Congratulations to the Belleville News-Democrat for the story July 10, "Butterfly kisses from Ali." This brought back memories.

On Oct. 9, 1983, there were rumors that Muhammad Ali was coming. The next morning my mother, Ruth Krause, my brother Russell Krause, 20 R.J. Krause All-Stars and I went to downtown East St. Louis.

Barricades were in front of the Currency Exchange on Collinsville Avenue. A short time later a car parked and Muhammad Ali got out and went to the table.

Ali was in East St. Louis promoting a book, "Prayer and Al-Islam." Ali's advisor told people that if they wanted Ali's autograph, they would have to buy the book. I looked at my All-Stars and they looked disappointed.

I gave money for my autographed book and asked Ali's advisor about free autographs for the All-Stars. Ali looked at me and the All-Stars and nodded yes. All received autographs.

I then asked Ali's advisor if I could have my photo taken with Ali. Ali looked at me and the All-Stars and again nodded yes.

Later Ali left. He didn't speak the whole time. A year later Muhammad Ali found out that he had Parkinson's disease.

Thank you, BND, for reminding me of Ali's visit.

Richard "R.J." Krause

Fairview Heights

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