Plank Story: Boxing Ezzard Charles

Robert "Red" Hale on the left. Robert “Red” Hale on the left.

Both my grandfathers fought in the South Pacific during WWII.  Of all the stories my grandfather’s shared with me, this is one of my favorites:

Red Hale in the South Pacific 

Sometimes during the liberty the sailors would start a pick-up ballgame or set up a boxing ring.  While serving in the South Pacific, my grandfather at 5’9″ had just entered a make-shift boxing ring.  He had the gloves on when a monster of a man stepped in at six-feet, 200-pounds.  My grandfather and his twenty-nine inch waist turned to the ref, eyes wide and hollered, “Take the gloves off!  Take the gloves off!”

But the larger man said, “Don’t worry, kid.  I’ll go easy on you.”