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Thursday, 01 September 2011

Learning Their Lesson

By Mickey Rogers of This, That and the Other

Thugs are among the vermin of society. Besides lacking respect for their fellow human beings, most of them are cowardly. They like to select victims whom they believe will be unable to defend themselves.

Therefore, their targets are often the elderly. Usually, our senior citizens have no choice but to submit, but every now and then the bad guys get far more than they bargained for.

One night, sometime during the 1960s, a well-dressed gentleman in his seventies emerged from a cab in front of his New York City apartment. Watching him closely were two young punks who believed he would be easy pickings. All they had to do, they figured, was rough up the old fellow and then demand his wallet, watch, and jewelry. Perhaps just the threat of violence would be enough to make this old geezer capitulate.

However, as I have said, now and then the bad guys pick the wrong victim. As the two thugs grabbed the old man, he turned and went into a semi-crouch that many old-timers would have instantly recognized.

The gentleman's fists were huge and despite his age, he fired them in piston-like waves. The two startled thieves tried to fight back but soon found themselves knocked to the sidewalk. The cabbie called the police while the hoodlums stayed on the pavement; they wanted no more of the old guy's mighty fists.

This particular gentleman had owned a restaurant in downtown New York City since 1935. He was well-liked and enjoyed sharing stories from his colorful past. In a sense, one might say that it was his past that caught up with the two thugs.

The old guy had once been known as the "Manassa Mauler." You see, before entering the restaurant business he had made his mark in another profession. From 1919 until 1926 he had been the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

Years after this attempted mugging, he was named by The Ring magazine as the seventh best puncher in boxing history. No doubt, at the age of seventy-something, his skills had eroded but he still had more than enough left in the tank to dispatch the two street-wise crooks.

This particular elderly gentleman, who was born on June 24, 1895 in Manassa, Colorado, was in 83 professional fights. He had 66 wins, 11 draws, and only 6 defeats.

There's an old song that says you shouldn't step on Superman's cape, you shouldn't spit into the wind, and you shouldn't tug on the Lone Ranger's mask. On one long ago night in New York City, two crooks learned an additional lesson the hard way: don't mess around with an ex-boxing champion, no matter what his age.

But give the two thugs some credit; at least they had enough sense to stay down on the sidewalk rather than risk a further beating from the fists of Mr. Jack Dempsey.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Well-told story! Revealing the name only at the end is such a good technique for building suspense, than an "Ah, hah!"

Another super story, Mickey. Thanks!

Great story with excellent timing. Jack Dempsey will always be remembered by anyone over the age of 70. (Or younger)

I hope if I am ever attacked by thugs I can remember to crouch down and start pounding my fists like Jack Dempsey did. Of course mine like fall like pitter-pats on the thugs, but at least I'll go down fighting. Great story.

I enjoyed your story. It just goes to show that we older folks can't always be pushed around!

I forget who first said this but it still rings true.

"DO NOT PICK A FIGHT WITH AN OLD MAN.IF HE IS TOO OLD TO FIGHT,HE WILL JUST KILL YOU."

I enjoyed reading your great story and couldn't wait to find out who he was.

Well told story.

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