My father was a man who did not brag either about himself nor his brothers.
This stroy came to me one late night as I sat beneath our dinning room
table as my father and his 4 brothers sat talking and drinking. They
started talking about a young boxer who went by the name Johnnie Sawyer.
Named after Tom Sawyer from Hunckleberry Finn. He was Irish and as tough a
lad as there ever was. His older brothers decided to enter him in a boxing
tournament under the name of Johnnie Sawyer. They did this so that Pop
would not know. It turned out that Johnnie started winning all of his
fights. His reputation grew and so did Irish pride so much so that Pop
came home with tickets for his sons and him for next week's matches which
included Johnnie Sawyer. Well, Johnnie Sawyer had just knocked a guy out
the week before in 13 seconds of the first round setting the record in
Pennsylvania for the fastest knockout (later verified by a clipping that my
Mom had taken from the newspaper). You can image the look on Pop's face
when he saw that Johnnie Sawyer was none other than his son Johnnie Sweeney
and his other 2 sons were his handlers. But after round one the only
handler was Pop who was telling Johnnie to hit him with his left hook.
Johnnie Sawyer lost only one fight but writers from New York and Philly
and Baltimore came to many of the boxing matches held in Eddystone, PA.
Years later, Johnnie Sweeney was inducted into the Delaware County Hall of
Fame not for his boxing legend but for his golfing merits. That's another
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