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The Boxing Years in Eugene, OR

Learning how to fight helped me be more confident in life.  I learned from Rocky Marciano to get out of the game before you lose. With a 3–0 amateur record, I hung up the gloves and headgear and called it good.  Actually, I didn’t even know who Rocky Marciano was when I started boxing at 21 years old. I come from a time when the internet and smartphones weren’t a thing and we never had cable, so I wasn’t a depository of information like the youth today.  The Boxing Idea It was around the year 2001 when I had the idea to box and started scoping out boxing gyms in the Eugene, Oregon area. I found two gyms to choose from.  I chose the smaller gym with fewer boxers; it was located close to the downtown area yet hidden behind some commercial businesses in an old metal shed. The West Eugene Boxing Club.  Going to community college in the area right after getting out of the Air Force, I felt the need to learn how to fight better.  I was a security forces member in the AF (military police) so

The Year of the Open Mic Musician/Poet

There was a time in my early 20s when I spent about a year playing my guitar and reading poetry at open mics in the Eugene Oregon area. I say area because I ventured out to a neighboring town called Cottage Grove a couple of times too. This was a special time in my life dedicated to music and writing. I wasn’t particularly exceptional at either, especially poetry, but the experience was unique and interesting. There was a studio apartment I lived in close to the University of Oregon campus called apartment 101. Besides being actually the number of the apartment, it also correlates with learning the introduction of life as a young musician. This apartment ended up being a hub for a rag-tag bunch of creative misfits who stayed up late into the night smoking, drinking, and playing music. While the experience may seem grand and the likes of Jack Kerouac may romanticize similar instances with amazing prose, the actual time was full of questions and consternation— there was a chaotic sense o