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Old 09-20-2012, 10:37 AM   #133
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Default Re: California Boxing

Not really a boxing story, but...

“El Sobaco”

Circa 1964 my friend Joe (not real name), who used to run a boxing gym in downtown L.A., and I were coming back from the Chino State Prison after attending some fights, as I was driving back to L.A. Joe asked me: “you want to go dancing?”, “I don’t know Joe, what do you have in mind?”, “I have a lady waiting for me at the International Ballroom” Joe replied .

The International Ballroom which was on First Street west of Soto was known as “El Sobaco” (The Armpit) because it stank, I don’t think the people that used to go dancing there believed in deodorant.

”I don’t know Joe, that place is for old people and I am told it stinks in there”

At the time I was 27 years old, Joe was in his mid-60s. It was a place that drew people over 50 years old; so I was not comfortable going there, but Joe wanted to go and since we were in my car I said okay.

We got there and walked up the stair where the ballroom was at, first thing I did was get a close look at the band that was playing, the guys on the band looked so old that they must have started playing back in ’09, I then got a good look at the people, the youngest looked like they were in their mid-50’s. Joe spotted his friend sitting at a table with other people: “c’mon let go to their table”, Joe introduced me to his friend Rosie (not real name) and the rest of the people.

As Joe was taking Rosie out to dance he said to me: “find somebody to dance with”, I looked around at the old people and said: “I’ll be at the bar”.

I sat at the bar and after drinking a couple of beers I felt like dancing. I looked for the youngest looking lady to ask to dance, I spotted one, she looked to be in her mid-50’s, asked her to dance: “would you like to dance?”, she looked me up and down: “No, I don’t dance with just anybody, beside you’re too young” “Oh!”, first time I was turned down for been too young!, went back to the bar and nurse a beer until closing time. Back in the car Joe asked me: “how come you didn’t dance?”, “I am too young”, “what?”, “oh never mind!”
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