Sunday, October 29, 2006

Red Auerbach
I was saddened to read about Red Auerbach's death. Imagine how great his life was, though. A couple of years ago I read Let Me Tell You a Story: A Lifetime in the Game, by John Feinstein and Auerbach. I'm not big on Feinstein's work, but I thought this was an interesting book, and learned a lot about Auerbach, someone who I thought I was pretty familiar with.

Alas, I have a Red Auerbach story. Maybe five years ago, I was walking around downtown at lunchtime, as usual. As I was walking down L St., from Connecticut Ave. towards 18th St., I noticed an illegally parked sporty old Mercedes, with DC tags that said something like CELTIC 1. I was thinking, well, I doubt it belongs to Paul Pierce, then looked up as Red himself walked out of the cigar store that his car was parked in front of -- package in hand, stogie in mouth. I triple-taked, and resisted the inclination to blurt out, Hey, you're Red Auerbach. As I was looking around to see if anyone else recognized him, I noticed two other guys walking in my direction who were both finishing their triple-taking, and also trying to restrain themselves from saying something stupid. We all let Mr. Auerbach hop back in his car and drive away peacefully, which is how I hope he is rests today.

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