December 2011, Vol. 238 No. 12

Editor's Notebook

Paying The Dues

The other day I was reading one of the many beautifully written obituaries about Smokin’ Joe Frazier, the heavyweight champion from Philadelphia who died Nov. 14 of liver cancer at the all-too-young age of 67. The article recalled how he showed up at the office of Philadelphia Gas Works to pay off a $5,000 bill run up at his gym on North Broad Street. He opened up a bag full of traveler’s checks and told the clerk to count ‘em up till the bill was paid. That sounded a lot like the Joe Frazier I met some 40 years ago when he was training for a fight in the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania. The article helped lift my sagging spirits because Joe was

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