The Philadelphia man1

Then, at the airport in Athens, a tall, fat gentleman came up to me and caught me by the shoulder.

He said, "Friend, are you going to run the marathon?" I smiled at him.

Then he said, "I am going to run. I come from Philadelphia."

I said, "Philadelphia gave me a very sad experience. I went to Philadelphia to run the marathon."

He said he was also there and gave up after thirteen miles. I said, "At twenty-one miles I gave up."

So in the same marathon where I gave up after twenty-one miles, he gave up after thirteen miles.

He had run one other marathon somewhere else, he told me; his timing was five and a half hours. So my ego came forward. I said, "I am not so bad." O God, in two more days what would happen!

Then we talked for a long time. Since my timing is a little better than his, I felt quite at ease talking to him.

Then the Cleveland man came up and joined our conversation. He was very sincere; he was not bragging, only advising us what to do.


  1. RB 92. 7 October 1979