Once upon a time there was A BOXER NAMED MARCUS VASQUEZ

This is a repost from several years ago that most won't have seen. In keeping with the man with the box for Sepia Saturday I give you boxer Marcus Vasquez. All I ever found about him is below.

You'd think that starting with "Once upon a time..." I'd have a fairytale to tell. No, just an old picture of a lightweight boxer named Marcus Vasquez wearing an apron. Seriously, I have no idea what is going on or how this photo eventually ended up in my hands.

"To a Swell Kid Marcus Vasquez.
From your manager Ben Marcus"

Marcus Vasquez appears to have fought his first professional bout on Dec. 21, 1948 against Cadilla Clemmons at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. He won the fight. From then on he fought around Southern California, up to San Jose on March 22, 1949, over to Arizona for several fights, even down to Chihuahua, Mexico on Feb. 8, 1950; he lost that fight to Al Lopez.

According to the online information I've found, Marcus had 17 wins, 19 losses, and 7 draws with a total of 197 rounds fought. The last fight listed was on July 7, 1952 to Maxie Docusen in San Antonio, Texas. Marcus lost and is listed as TKO.

So, was this the end of Marcus Vasquez as a fighter? I cannot find any other information about him.

As to the fellow on the left, his manager, Ben Marcus, I cannot find anything about him other than he worked in the Los Angeles area.

I don't know, but my mind spins when I look at this shot with the inscription and I'm sucked into the world of Raymond Chandler and this little scrap of paper is evidence in a murder. I can't say truthfully anything one way or the other. It is what it is and it will forever be a mystery unless some person with knowledge of the world of boxing in Los Angeles in the late '40s to early '50s steps forward to fill in the missing pieces to the story.

For now, I'm riding in my old Buick on a warm summer night along Sunset, hoping I can run a few red lights without getting caught as I try to make my way to a mysterious meeting in Los Feliz. It began with this photo stuffed inside my morning paper with a note that read, "9:40, Jerry's, Los Feliz. Come alone."

UPDATE: I found this image for sale online at a boxing memorabilia site. This shows that Marcus was in an undercard fight on September 9, 1949 at the Hollywood Legion Stadium.

I looked up "undercard" and found the following:
The undercard, or preliminary matches (sometimes preliminary card), consists of preliminary bouts that occur before the headline or "main event" of a particular boxing, professional wrestling, horse racing, auto racing, or other sports event. (In auto racing, however, the term "support race" occurs more commonly.) Typically, promoters intend the undercard to provide fans with an opportunity to see up-and-coming fighters or fighters not so well known and popular as their counterparts in the main event. The undercard also ensures that if the main event ends quickly fans will still feel that they received sufficient value for the price of their admission. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Marcus, I fear, is lost to history other than this post.


The UNKNOWN Couple

Found this a few weeks ago in a dollar bin. It's very damaged so I ran a filter to "fix" it enough to view because I want you all to decide if it's a man or a woman on the right. Both have rouge on their cheeks thanks to someone thinking that was necessary. And actually, without the fix of the shot the details aren't as easy to see.

So two guys hanging around or a guy and a gal? I'm thinking they headed west to seek their fortune and found Northern California to their liking. How they ended up in a dollar bin is a whole other story.

Click on image to see it larger.



With this week's Sepia Saturday as a prompt I'm reminded of one of my favorite photos from my book Tattered and Lost: The Quiet Art of Reading. I have no information about this woman who long ago chose to sit at the base of this tree and read, but I understand the lure.

In the summer I like to sit in the shade, hear a light breeze rustling the leaves, and enjoy reading outside. Of course I usually fall asleep.

Click on images to see them larger.




Coming or going, it's never a sure thing when a person was aboard a Matson liner wearing leis. You got them when you arrived in Hawaii and then again when you left.

Click on image to see it larger.

This family appears to have been visiting Hawaii in the 1930s which means that they were doing pretty well back on the mainland and not suffering through the Depression. Arriving in Hawaii aboard a Matson ship meant they stayed at one of two hotels: the Royal Hawaiian or the Moana. This photo was taken by Luke Photo Studio located at 1240 Nuuanu St, Honolulu. I'm guessing that this indicates it was probably taken upon arrival and sold to them during their stay. You can find another photo here from the same studio name.

From the Matson website:
The decade from the mid-20s to mid-30s marked a significant period of Matson expansion. In 1925, the company established Matson Terminals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, to perform stevedoring and terminal services for its fleet. With increasing passenger traffic to Hawaii, Matson built a world-class luxury liner, the S.S. Malolo, in 1927. At the time, the Malolo was the fastest ship in the Pacific, cruising at 22 knots. Its success led to the construction of the luxury liners Mariposa, Monterey and Lurline between 1930 and 1932. Matson’s famed “white ships” were instrumental in the development of tourism in Hawaii. In addition, beginning in 1927, with the construction of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Matson’s Waikiki hotels provided tourists with luxury accommodations both ashore and afloat. In order to generate excitement and allure for Hawaii as a world class tourist destination, Matson developed an ambitious and enduring advertising campaign that involved the creative efforts of famous photographers such as Edward Steichen and Anton Bruehl. In addition, Matson commissioned artists to design memorable keepsake menus for the voyages, as well as during their stay at the Royal Hawaiian. The Matson artwork created by Frank McIntosh, Eugene Savage, John Kelly and Louis Macouillard continues to be popular today. Reproductions of the some of the more famous and memorable ads and art can be purchased through Matson’s ArteHouse website. (Source: Matson)
Our local Costco occasionally sells orchids leis. I'm always tempted to buy one. Living in Hawaii was a world full of flowers. I miss the colors and the scents. Oh to have a white ginger plant growing outside my window with its scent drifting through the window with the trade winds.


Off to WAR

This is the weekend we in the U.S. honor those who have fallen victim to the follies of old men far from the front. I'm not one to say that war is never required, but it should be the very last option, never the first.

This photo shows a line of men about to be sent off to fight in World War I. On either side of them is full on flag waving patriotism. It's easy to wave the flag when you're not the one carrying it into battle.

Click on images to see them larger.

How many of these young men returned unscathed? How many suffered with nightmares for the rest of their lives and the label "shell shocked"? They were labeled as being weak, unmanly for not just getting on with their lives. The war was over, let it go. It took a long time for humanity as a whole to understand the mental damage done by war and be willing to openly talk about it and give it a name: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

So as we celebrate those who have passed don't forget to look around for the walking wounded amongst us. Those old men, still far from the front, continue to make life decisions for those they'll never meet.

I will be spending part of this Memorial Day with a group of World War II veterans. So few of these veterans are left and I know of many who still refuse, or cannot, talk of what they saw and did, let alone what happened to them. Their stories are dying with them and they will soon be forgotten.

Memorial Day is not just about BBQ's and good sales.

This post is my completely off topic contribution to Sepia Saturday.


BIG WHEEL Keep on Turnin'

Anyone have any idea what sort of boat he might be steering? And I'm guessing he's actually holding part of the braking system.