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RIP Rafer Johnson

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by MTM, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

  2. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    RIP to a great one.

    I met him a couple of times. The first was in the early '70s when I was in college and working at Pep Boys.

    He came in with his wife and kid just before closing time to buy a bicycle. We closed the store but continued helping them, checking to make sure the bike was assembled properly, tires inflated, etc. Probably spent a half hour with them. Good to go.

    His credit card was rejected. I don't remember specifically what we did, the manager (my Dad) took over helping him while me and another guy checked out the bike. It might have been that his wife's card reached its limit. They might have used another card. Or we held the bike until the next day. Or, knowing my Dad, he gave them the bike on the promise that they would come back the next day and pay for it with cash, check or a different card.

    Johnson was very gracious, didn't pull any "Do you know who I am?" stuff. Didn't try to big-time us. And I was in awe of him.
  3. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    His passing, I find, makes me get all philosophical and questioning. About how some people's lives are so eventful, and others' are...not.

    Mine would be among the latter group.:)
  4. garrow

    garrow Well-Known Member

    RIP to another legend. Friend of RFK and co-star of Elvis.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    There was a 20- year stretch there where the San Joaquin Valley produced incredible Olympians. Bob Mathias (Tulare). Johnson (Kingsburg). Tommie Smith (Lemoore). And before that, Dutch Warmerdam (Hanford), who had the misfortune of being at his peak during World War II, but had a great career coaching at Fresno State.

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    maumann likes this.
  6. maumann

    maumann Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's because of the whole Dan-Dave fiasco, but the decathlon seems to have lost some of its luster as one of the "major" Olympic track and field events. Maybe it's jingoism as well, since Thorpe, Mathias, Johnson and Jenner were all Americans. But that 1960 event, when Johnson edged Yang and Kuznetsov is particularly memorable.
    Songbird likes this.
  7. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Johnson helped subdue RFK's assassin, so there's that.
    HanSenSE likes this.
  8. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    I misread this as Rafer Alston. Had no idea there was another Rafer.
  9. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    RIP to an incredible athlete, and a great human being.
    His athletic exploits were before my time, but I was extremely impressed by a 50-year-old Johnson running up all those L.A. Coliseum steps and lighting the Olympic torch during the 1984 Opening Ceremonies.
    Rafer Johnson 1984.jpg
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Daughter also an Olympian - beach volleyball player Jenny Johnson Jordan.
    ChrisLong likes this.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

  12. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    I dunno if it's the decathlon or the entire sport of track and its inability to stay clean in the 21st century. Ashton Eaton managed to win it twice, which is more than anyone else could manage. A look at the record book indicates Americans have medaled in every Olympic decathlon since "Dan and Dave" and have won the last three.
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