By Binnie Klein
A provocative story of an not going contender and her midlife transformation via boxing.
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Additional info for Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind
When I didn’t go along to the track, I sat on the front porch swatting flies and drinking bottled Cokes out of a giant cooler, like a kid in a Truman Capote short story. In this photograph, I am younger than in the Wild West picture, maybe six years old. Like many kids, I had a doctor’s kit. I’m wearing a stethoscope around my neck, and, head cocked, I’m looking intently at my mother, who is obligingly allowing me to take her temperature. I’m sure she’d have wanted to stay home, too, pretty much all the time, with that slight fever that enabled avoidance but didn’t summon the authorities.
My father’s “acquaintances” in Murder, Inc. probably included Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. Italian American gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Johnny Torrio, the former boss of the Chicago Outfit and mentor of New York native Al Capone, allied themselves, and Murder, Inc. was a group of men who would be on call 24/7 to handle any “problems” that afflicted la Cosa Nostra. Murder, Inc. originally was a group of mostly Jewish-American hit men from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Its headquarters was next door to a “Socony” gas station on Stone and Sutter avenues, where the members proved highly effective in keeping everyone in line.
K’nack, patch, tzettle, zet, diokh, hak, to name a few. Throughout history, Jews have been threatened, chased, bullied, derided, and of course one cannot think about Jewish toughness without picturing its complete opposite: those haunting images of emaciated bodies in concentration camps, horrific helplessness, when we were systematically starved and killed in an attempt to eliminate us altogether. ” The mistaken notion, he says, is “the assumption . . ” I grew up hearing the oft-repeated question: “Why didn’t they rise up and fight back?
Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind by Binnie Klein