Oregon Veterans Boxers Association Annual Picnic
By Austin Killeen
When I accepted an invitation to the Oregon Veterans Boxers picnic the last Saturday in July at Clackamette Park in Portland, it was with much anticipation. I was looking forward to meeting up with old friends and making new ones. Did I mention the good food? The event was everything I expected and a lot more. It was an event to honor and preserve the memory of boxing in the Pacific Northwest.
The event was the brainchild of former pro boxers Eddie Kahut and Harold Kottre who staged the first picnic in 1994. The goal was to gather as many old fighters (no pun intended) together as possible for a good time. Fred Ryan, sponsor of the Oregon Golden Gloves, offered the use of his gym on Grand Avenue in Portland. Realizing the gym probably wasn’t big enough to hold the anticipated crowd; Bob Jarvis offered to host the gathering at his estate on the Willamette River in Lake Oswego.
Bob was a successful businessman and millionaire who fought Rocky Marciano in a National AAU amateur bout in 1946 and the two of them were close friends until Marciano’s death in a plane crash. Among the buildings on his estate, Bob had a six car garage with a boxing ring in one of them. He brought Archie Moore up from his home in San Diego, CA, paying all of his expenses. The photo taken in the boxing ring shows many old fighters from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Utah, as well as Archie Moore. The gathering was so successful and a good time had by all that they decided to form the Association. Participants combined with Ryan’s Oregon Golden Gloves to grant awards to former boxers and mangers over the next few years. Among those who attended and received recognition were Denny and Phil Moyer, Ray Lampkin, Joey Maxim, Gene Fullmer, Carmen Basilio, and a great manager, Jack Bracke.
The Veterans Association have meetings the first Monday of each month (2nd Monday in September, to avoid Labor Day), and a picnic in July or August of each year. Picnics have been held at Jarvis’s former estate, at a tree farm above Estacada, OR, owned by Jimmy Gooding, a former boxer who died 2 years ago, and at Clackamette Park, a city park in Oregon City, OR. Any IBRO members in the area would surely be welcome at either the monthly meetings or the annual picnic. I’d like to thank Marlin Hutten for all his help in providing historical information.
Harold Kottre and Eddie Kahut started this event in 1994, hoping only to have a party with as many old boxers as possible. It was so popular that the Association was formed later. (Marlin Hutton)