OJ Simpson and the Olympic Torch, 1984

Because I’m a very old man, I was there. I had just moved to LA earlier that summer.

As you can see OJ ran up the California Incline to incredible fanfare. Everyone around him was cheering. OJ looked athletic and strong and people were clapping everywhere because, first of all, it’s a thrill to see the torch.

And also, at this point in his career, OJ was beloved by all.

This was pre Rodney King, pre A glove that didn’t fit, pre cops bungling crime scenes, pre slow Bronco chases that mysteriously didn’t make it into the Trial of the Century.

This was a moment where a former superstar who still looked like a pro, ran up a hill and everyone just watched. This was before cell phones.

Before the Interwebs.

It was during a time when you just soaked in the moment in front of you and felt it.

And when OJ reached Ocean Ave he slowed down and bent down and passed the torch to a disabled child

who then hobbled his way down the road.

The contrast in torch bearers was unreal. And beautiful.

And everyone began crying – for all the reasons.

Right there in 1980s Santa Monica.

It was probably the most beautiful moment of that Olympics for all 150 or so of us who witnessed it.

And I will never forget it.

sometimes i feel like im a phony, a loser, a lout

a faker, a fraud, an embarrassment to the hood i came up from.

a tool, a mark, a bum

a disgrace.

but then i turn on the tv and i see all of these very wealthy men and women

in expensive suits and shoes.

who all went to the fanciest schools who hobnobbed with the richest and famous in the land.

and the mic is turned on and the cameras start rolling

and they open their mouths



i feel like im not so bad after all.

in fact i feel good.

i mean i feel bad that they are the ones with so much power

and also, theyre full of crud.

but i feel good because i was raised right. i dont believe i have to lie to be loved.

i dont have to twist the facts or threaten people or sell out our country for personal gain.

i feel like i have a thin shot at Heaven, especially compared to


and this is why i watch tv every day.

and read the paper.

and get my hair cut correct like Anthony Mason.

because i am better than these sad sad sacks

flapping their gums

all for a few more worthless bucks.

which disappear