Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pine-Knotted Pugilist

PPH sports scribe Steve Solloway has written a column on "Mysterious" Billy Smith, the first Mainer (Tim Sample's famous criterion for such a distinction notwithstanding) to win a world boxing championship. Solloway's piece is timed to coincide with Smith's recent induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, but he mostly focuses on Smith's filthy fighting and colorful lifestyle. To wit:
Mysterious Billy moved to Portland, Ore. He opened a bar and named it The
Champion's Rest. It wasn't the best place to drink too many beers or the wrong
beer. Men who passed out, a story goes, woke up on tramp steamers sailing to the
Far East with a new job as deck hand.

Count me among those who think that's a good, playful tradition to start in our Portland's Old Port.

- John C.L. Morgan

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