A Boxing Tradition-Thanks, Daddy

So recently, my one-year-old granddaughter came to watch me box (see picture below). As many of you know, I love boxing. Not competitively, of course. I do it for fitness. We hit pads and bags, practice defensive, etc. We kick, too, but being a good kicker is not in my DNA. Let me explain.

My paternal grandfather was a carnival boxer in the early 1930’s. That meant he would seek out the carnivals and would box the “main” contender. If he won, which he usually did, he earned 5 buckeroos.

In the later 1940’s, my Dad boxed for the Army as Kid Dennis. I still have his boxing bag, gloves, and trunks that read “Kid.” (The story of Dad’s boxing retaliation against my grandfather is a major plot thread in my novel, No Hill for a Stepper.)

Dad quit boxing when he married my mother but continued the sport by becoming a referee. When my sister was born, he gave her little blue boxing glove rattles. After my parents died, and when my sister and I had to sort through the house, I found them! I told my sister, “I’m keeping these!” (she didn’t fight me for them).  Now, I keep the little rattles in my boxing bag for inspiration.

Here’s my granddaughter holding one of the little rattles.


Baby and Me

Do I think my granddaughter should continue the tradition? It matters not. What does matter is that she learns to defend and stand up for herself. And, as Dad often reminded me, “pay attention to your surroundings at all times.” Sound advice.

Thanks, Daddy.

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