Sunday, June 15, 2008

Matt Remillard at Bart's Drive-In, Windsor, CT, June 7, 2008

A hot Saturday afternoon found me at a wholesome spot in Windsor, CT – “Bart’s Drive-In,” for an outdoor boxing exhibition to publicize CES Promotions’ “Connecticut Conquest,” upcoming on June 13, 2008. Bart’s is like a trip back to the 1950s – milkshakes, hamburgers, fries, staffed by teenage girls, set on the Farmington River, and owned by the volunteer Mayor of Windsor Donald Trinks, a jolly fellow who adores his town. They do a “cruise night” for antique cars, charity benefits, and because the Mayor loves boxing, this event may be one of many more to come.

My coach John Spehar transformed the small turn-out into a memorable event by enlisting the Cub Scout troop to “glove up” and get a chance to hit lightweight champion, 22 year Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard. “I hit good,” said one 4 year old proudly, after Matt pretended to be felled by the tot’s mighty blow. Then the Scouts returned to their car wash.

Matt told me of his troubled youth, and how boxing saved his life. He’s sweet and unpretentious, and gave me a tour of his tattoos.

John took me on a tour of his old stomping grounds in Windsor, where he picked shade-grown tobacco as a boy, and began his own boxing career. We stopped at the Windsor Historical Museum. Windsor is the oldest town in Connecticut, and will be celebrating its 375th birthday in September.

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