Ryun was my hero when I was a miler in high school. I went to high school in Lawndale. I think it was in 1968 that Ryun and Kansas came out here to run against UCLA. The day before the meet the Kansas team did their workout out at El Segundo High. The ES coach liked me and called my coach that day to tell him I was invited to come over to run with them. I had no car, so I ran to ES, worked out with them, and then ran back home. When I got home I wasn't tired at all, since I was so elated.
My son, Joe, is also a distance runner. When he was in high school about 8 years ago, I gave him Ryun's autobiography as a Christmas gift. It was out of print and a new copy cost me a lot of money. The next year he gave me the book back as a Christmas gift. I was taken aback and somewhat disappointed. He said, "Dad, he is your hero, not mine. But open the cover." Joe had talked his coach into driving him from Orange County to San Diego one Saturday in hopes he could get Ryun to sign it, as Ryun was giving a speech there. One of the best gifts I ever got. It is a pretty good book if you have not read it.
I went to many meets to watch Ryun run. Pretty amazing that in those days he could just about fill up the LA Coliseum. I got to see that great race against Kip Keino at the Compton relays. Also back in the day, it was pretty common to see Scott and other elites run in the summer AAU all comer meets in the LA area. I think Scott broke 4 minutes something like 400+ times.
Those were the days... and no carbon flame war either :)