Way back in the '70s, I was a troubled loner from a broken home, an only child whose mother remarried when I was 15-to a guy I despised. I hardly knew my real father, wore black, didn't fit in with the high school crowd, and got low grades. But I loved baseball, country-western music, and writing songs, all of which led me to Nashville when I was 19.
I landed in Nashville! There I met country-western music stars and became friends with Johnny Cash. Naively, I gave some of my unpublished songs on which I .had no copyright to one of Johnny Cash's songwriter friends to review. One was stolen, and Way Ion Jennings had a number five hit with it in 1970. (No, Waylon was not the person who took my song.) I never got a penny, and no credit as the songwriter, either. Disillusioned, I retreated back to Florida and South Beach. True to a song I recorded, I was a "Fugitive on the Run."
I became friends with a couple of boxers I met on the beach, Dennis "Bulldog" Byrne and Keith "K.O. Killer" Laufenberg, who worked out of the famous Fifth Street Gym and came to the beach to run after sparring. Before long, I would join them. I felt better. I became toned and strong and developed endurance, but best of all, running took the edge off my anger. God and the angels be thanked! I had what I needed. Little did I know that my urgent, solitary, daily pursuit would evolve into the well-publicized South Beach tradition: the Raven Run!