The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

This Sporting Life #22

Lew Alcindor attends graduation
Original Caption:

San Francisco had the "Age of Aquarius," Westwood enjoyed the "Age of Alcindor." In his three varsity seasons at UCLA, from 1967-1969, Lewis (Lew) Alcindor* led the Bruins to an 88-2 record and three consecutive national titles. Here, the school's only 7-foot-1 history major attends graduation.

*later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

6 comments :

danlevy said...

A beautiful shot, with Royce Hall and Powell Library in the background

Bel said...

Wonderful photo!

Enjoy this site so much, keep up the amazing work :D

Fred said...

A subtle tribute to the passing of Lew's former coach?

Tempest said...

The Student Life

Use to pass John Wooden every day around lunch near Pauly Pavilion. Me lugging my books going to afternoon lecture and him in his suit and tie striding back to work in the mid-afternoon sunshine.

Walk down Westwood Blvd and saw the back of Karem (long graduated) walking out of record store.

I feel old this week.

UCLA class of '76 -BA in History.

Greg said...

Fred, growing up, college basketball seemed to have only two coaches in my mind: Bobby Knight and John Wooden. So, certainly, he was on my mind and when I went looking for "graduate" photos to fit in with the commencement time of year we're in and came across this one of Lew, well, I had to use it.

Mike S. said...

History major?! It does my American History professor's heart a lot of good to see one of our grads make something of himself. We just held Commencement today, so this is especially great.

This graduation photo is especially significant in today's college basketball, where one-and-done is the rule for those stars who even attend college at all. You'll never see John Wall, OJ Mayo et al celebrate this way any more.