This post is a collaborative effort. It was inspired by Marie’s recent post on the origins of the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and the recent attention given to boxing in Lowell by the success of “The Fighter.” It features a photo by Tony Sampas, a grainy archival news clip, and a poem by Paul Marion.
A stone message board rings the building:
Concord, Quebec, Valley Forge, Yorktown, Tripoli, Shiloh, Antietam,
Buena Vista, San Juan Hill, Manila, Marne, Chateau-Thierry.
Hall of memory. Tribute of a grateful city.
Tonight it’s the fights, “the Gloves.” Lowell’s hosted since the ’40s.
The real Rocky, Marciano, lit up a card.
A local scribe put the “Marvelous” on Marvin in ‘ 73.
The Hall of Fame recalls Demogenes, Bridges, and Beau Jaynes.
This year, Gonzales, Joyal, and Guiducci knock heads.
I like the fair play, short bouts, the way boxers shake when done.
Bright robes like the pros. Red-and-white satin trunks. Nervous kids. Hyper cops.
A cameraman gets stopped and questioned.
Even the beer stand guy has a broken nose.
With taped hands, lean fighters warm up, hungry for a chance.
Trainers make sure the headgear fits.
—Paul Marion (c) 2006, from “What Is the City?”