Wednesday, July 30, 2008

From Dad...about boxing

Here's what Dad had to say about the Golden Gloves boxing group Mike was involved with, and about Ron Carlson, the boxing organizer and local police officer. Dad was the assistant Golden Gloves boxing coach.

Ron Carlson had the concept that kids could do something productive if given a chance or just wander aimlessly into all sorts of things with few coping skills and lots of energy; and, for adolescent boys, lots of testosterone. He'd met lots of the kids (not all) that joined the boxing program from being "a cop" in the town. Instead of being a problem to them as a cop he decided to be a mentor for them as a person who happens to be a cop. He was just that sort of guy: when given lemons, make lemonade. Anyway, he saw the need and did the leg work for initiating the Golden Gloves program in the area through the association with the police department. He took the time, made all the connections and put it together largely on his own time. He had boxed in the Marine Corps. I had boxed at the Boy's Club in Dubuque. It was something we'd both done as an activity, mostly, not as Golden Gloves boxers.

I met Ron through several channels. He was, as most cops were, in the ER at the hospital frequently. He had an association with Bob Christensen [a local M.D. and Dad's friend] and we eventually got together having conversations about things in general, at all hours of the day and night. He asked me if I'd be interested in helping out. I said yes and there we were. He found a couple of other guys to help, one of which had actual Golden Gloves experience, and Ron was all set.

The Boundary Waters trip was sort of a retreat for the kids, or a treat for all their hard work. It helped build team unity. Also, it happened to be one of Ron's favorite things to do. It was an event for the kids to look forward to at the end of the year. Ron needed a helper for that as well, and I reluctantly helped because Mike became interested.

I'm not sure of the years Mike boxed. That trophy though was for that match, for that event, for that weight class, but among a number of GG Clubs participating and I think there were 5 clubs Dubuque included.

Mike did very well mostly because he kept his focus and kept his cool in adverse situations in general. It's very easy to lose both when some one is intent on punching you. I takes a bit of getting used to.


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