The Protector of the Underdog

Leroy was thrilled to learn that Cassius Clay was going to stop at his school en route to Rome for the 1960 Olympics. Leroy was a social science major at San Jose State University. He had a passion for boxing.

Leroy couldn’t believe his eyes when he walked into the gym. The PE coach was pulling his classmates out of class to be “battered ferociously” by Cassius Clay! The coach was taking advantage of the SJSU athletes without any experience in boxing.

Something came over Leroy, his eyes became red and glazed over, he entered the ring without invitation, and preceded to pummel Cassius Clay with a mad frenzy they still talk about at SJSU. The PE coach had to pull Leroy off of the world famous boxer. The coach  didn’t want Cassius Clay to get hurt. Leroy’s wife Sue said this was the day that eighteen-year old Leroy became the protector of the underdog.

Leroy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. He continued his support for the underdog even with advanced dementia. They really had to watch Leroy at the dementia facility because he would swing at anybody he would perceive as threatening to the female caregivers and other residents.

Dementia has a way of erasing social filters and political correctness. People with Dementia tend to tell it like it is, without care. What if we spoke our minds without fear of outcome?

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