I fought a lot when I was kid, because I was small and wanted to assert myself. My mother had to buy a lot of frozen foods to put on black eyes since I did not win a lot.
Later on that afternoon when we did sit with Mom in the hospital, she asked me why I had bruises on my neck. I just said, “Very aggressive date last night.” She sighed and said, “You don’t date ever." I said, “And this is why.”
John O’Leary was a boxer. He set up a ring in his backyard. We fought among comparably sized guys. Tommy Darfler kicked my ass. I asked my dad to teach me how to box, because I knew he did in the army, but he refused. A couple of nights later he came to me and said, “If you want to box, Mr. Mellander will teach you.” I went and worked out with Bob. I asked him once why my father wouldn’t teach me to fight. He said, “It is because he is afraid. When he fights, he goes black.” I asked “What do you mean?” He said, “When he fights he will not stop until someone has pulled him off or someone is dead.” I thought about that same instinct in me and I never went back to O’Leary’s to box again.