Louie was big into sports, especially football. Somewhere along the line he took a short detour into boxing. This letter takes a two sentence trip into the Golden Gloves experience, and there is one photo in his collection that shows him boxing. It’s not clear just where the match took place, but there were almost fifty people watching in just the corner we can see. There must have been hundreds cheering from ringside.
Later in life Louie would still watch boxing on television. He also enjoyed football, which was his true passion in high school and earned him a scholarship to Jamestown College. I knew very well that football was his game. I knew his coach, too. Ernie Gates. Mr Gates coached my dad and taught PE in the forties, and he did the same in the sixties when I came through high school. Though he never actually said the words, I could feel his disappointment when this budding football star couldn’t even do a push-up. Let’s just say that there’s not enough money or glory in the world to put me in a place like Louie’s in the picture to the right.
I think that I have mentioned the Kist family before, but the one that sticks in my mind is the boy named Leon.
In grade school, at the Franklin school, Leon and I were in the same grade. He loved to catch me on the way home after school and as the old saying goes “beat the living be-Jesus out of me.”
I would go home crying and tell Mom that Leon did it again. Guess that Mom thought this was part of growing up, but she did mention it to my brother Bob, what was going on.
Bob cornered me one day and told me that if I let him beat me up one more time, he (Bob) would personally whup me.
I had no choice. The next time Leon cornered me, I was ready. I was more worried about getting big brother Bob on my tail than Leon getting any more skin off my nose. To make a long story short, I whupped Leon that day and never had another bit of trouble with him.
When I got older, I tried Golden Gloves, thinking that if I felt that Bob would whup me if I lost, I could do pretty good.
I started out fairly good but when I got to the semi-finals in Minneapolis, I really tasted canvas, so gave that sport up.