Sunday, October 5, 2008

KV Pugilists

video
two scenes that I stitched together from one of my favorite movies. "Gentlemen Jim," (1942)
Because boxing is a considered an illegal and disreputable enterprise in 1880's San Francisco, wealthy and influential members of the prestigious Olympic Club vow to make the sport a "gentlemanly" one. They sponsor a brash, extroverted young bank clerk named Jim Corbett, who quickly becomes an accomplished fighter under the new Marquis of Queensbury Rules. Despite his success, the young Irish-American's social pretensions and boastful manner soon estrange him from his benefactors, who plot to give their conceited former protege a well-deserved comeuppance. Despite this, his dazzlingly innovative footwork helps him to beat a succession of bigger and stronger men, and he finally finds himself fighting for the world's championship against his childhood idol, John L. Sullivan. The biography of famed boxer James J. "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, the colorful Irish-American fighter who became the first heavyweight champion of the world under the new Marquis of Queensberry rules.

We've talked previously about some Golden Gloves' KV fathers like Seth Babits , whose signature apparel was his boxing robe, and Jack Karney. Paul reminded us of another when he recalled this incident:
My only recollection of Cynthia Miller is we were playing in a boys & girls pitching stick ball game. Eddie was pitching and hit Cynthia who ran home crying. Her father, who was a former boxer, came storming into the park trying to figure out which kid hit his daughter.

There's also an uncle of KVer Joe Bruno who was known as Johnny Keyes
HE WAS CALLED JOHNNY KEYES. HE WAS A BOXER AS WELL AS A FAMOUS BOXING MANAGER AND EVEN WAS ELECTED MAYOR OF CHINATOWN IN 1922. JOHNNY KEYES WAS PALS WITH DAMON RUNYON AND WAS CALLED JOE SPAGHETTI BY RUNYON WHEN MY UNCLE MOVED TO SAN DIEGO IN THE 30'S. I NEVER MET HIM (HE DIED IN THE 40'S), BUT I DID MEET HIS SON JOHNNY JR IN THE 60'S AT A WEDDING. IF YOU CHECK THE ARCHIVES OF THE NY TIMES, THERE'S A STORY ABOUT JOHNNY KEYS WHEN HE WAS ELECTED MAYOR OF CHINATOWN IN 1922. NO JOKE. BACK THEN IT WAS AN ELECTED POSITION. BIG TONG WARS MADE IT NECESSARY. MOCK DUCK WAS MY UNCLE'S ARCH ENEMY.

More on Johnny Keyes to come.

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