Wednesday, January 18, 2017

With fame comes duty

I miss my good friend Tommy Kono, American’s greatest ever Olympic weightlifter.  He passed away about 8 months ago, last April.  

I received a Christmas card from his wife and a small gift.  It was a DVD documentary about his wonderful life, Arnold Knows Me: The Tommy Kono Story.  If you haven’t had a chance to view this one-hour documentary, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, viewing the DVD brought back many memories of his life and I recall him sharing all these memories in in many private conversations I had with him.

Most of the time, he was the instructor and I was his student as I listened to his great wisdom, but I do recall one time when our roles were reversed.  He was staying as a guest in my home during one of his visits to Sacramento.  While at the annual Tommy Kono Weightlifting Contest held at his alma mater high school, he was approached by a group of people, who knew very well, wanting to take him to dinner after the competition.

Well Mr. Kono politely declined.  I believe he felt obligated to spend that evening with me since he was a guest in my home.  Sensing this obligation, I encouraged him to join his friends who had invited him but, again, he declined.  He said there would be other opportunities to enjoy their company.

I accepted what he said but felt an opportunity to share my relatively-younger wisdom with him, and I did.

What did I say?  Something I remind myself constantly, particularly when observing the doings of well-known and respected public figures, and my, known-to-me-only, small fame character.  

I told him, “With fame comes duty.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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