We walked Ali up the stairs to a center stage accompanied by the Mayor where Ali made some remarks to the crowd. As the audience gathered around, I spontaneously asked some of them if they would like to take part in an award ceremony for Ali. Each was eager to participate. A construction worker with a yellow hard hat stepped forward, followed by a young Black boy, a Hartford policeman and a young man who appeared to be from India. All held on to a portion of a large American flag that we had folded up to present to the Champ. Ali was very pleased with this gesture on the part of the people of Hartford and this was perhaps one of the most revered and special gifts Ali had ever received in his travels, he later confided. There was a smile of appreciation on his face and a glimmer in his eye. Later, a woman who had been standing in the crowd in the rotunda remarked to me that there was something special in the Champ’s eyes that revealed a kindhearted and godly spirit. “After all, the eyes are the windows of the soul,” she said.

an excerpt from, Saved by the Bell