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Boxing Match…Starring Otis Vaughn and Pete Hester

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 09-03-2019


Pickens County High School, Reform, Al circa 1953

Today Otis Vaughn is boxing for his health…and he says it is helping his Parkinson’s. I am so glad that it is. He puts in a lot of time making it so and there are dedicated people aiding him in making it happen. I think it is a wonderful story about how his PD has gotten much better. (see the postings below about that). I hope it will continue improving. His only boxing experience has been with his older brother….oh, and me. I told you that he is my best friend, and he is, but he wasn’t always my best friend. So, let me tell you our story.

I attended the Pickens County Alabama school system for all of my 12 years of elementary, middle school and high school years. Otis moved into our school system about his sophomore year of school as I recall. I knew him a little our sophomore year, but really it was our junior year when the fireworks started.

Now, Otis does not really remember all of this because most of it was taking place in my mind. I thought he was making a play for my girlfriend and I also thought he was trying to get the right half back position on the football team….my position. So, I started objecting to every thing Otis did. But Otis did push back so the bickering started.

I did not think our coach noticed such going on between players, but he certainly did notice.

One day during PE Coach had had enough. He pulled a set of boxing gloves out of the gym that I did not even know existed and told the guys in PE that day to gather round and make a circle. And he told Otis and me to fight and to keep fighting until we could not fight any more. They were big heavy gloves. Thinking back on it I’m pretty sure they were 10 ounce gloves….10 ounces when we started….by the time we finished they must have weighted a ton. I cannot say today just how long we fought, but it seemed like forever. I had fought my cousin Cecil several times and we both boxed, jabbed and threw upper cuts, etc…Otis on the other hand threw haymakers, lots of haymakers…..I could see them coming and jab Otis two or three times with my puny jabs and try to block those haymakers…blocking did not help as they would jar me down to my eye teeth and not all of them were blocked, the ones not block took it’s toll on my body. If we strayed away from the center of the ring, some of our good buddies would push us back to the center of the circle. The fight seemed to go on forever. I thought the boy would never get tired. Finally, when both our arms were hanging down by our sides and we literally could not lift our arms, coach stepped in….”Boys, lets take these gloves off and you two shake hands.” I was ready, believe me.

Now, I can’t really speak for Otis, but as for me, I came away from that day with a new respect for Otis Vaughn. I don’t think either of us was a victor in that battle on that day but I really know that we both won….FRIENDS FOR LIFE….Thank you Coach H. C. Elmore for a very valuable lesson. And thank you Otis Vaughn for being my friend.  Pete Hester


Comments (5)

Thank you for enlightening me of some of the history of PCHS, especially during the H.C. Elmore years. I remember Otis Vaughn in name recognition only, as he was older than me. I was in the eighth grade when you and Otis were Seniors. Coach Elmore taught the future Class of ’59 American History that year, so I was aware of the exploits of Pete Hester and Otis Vaughn on the Crimson Tornado football field; but a casual awareness is about as far as it went. I was aware of Otis Vaughn’s skill on the football field, but I did not know that he was ever interested in boxing. Not having heard of Otis since you all graduated, I was shocked that he now has Parkinson’s and was happy to learn that he was using the disease to arrest its progress and to successfully live with it. I only remember Otis as a friend of Pete Hester, who was one of my favorite cousins at the time. Thank you, Otis, for popularizing boxing as, if not a cure, at least as a means to arrest the progress of the disease and to teach people how to live with it. If I ever contract Parkinson’s, I will remember that boxing helped Otis, and I will use it too, especially as long as time passes without a real cure for it. I do wish that Otis Vaughn would use Hesterbooks. com as a means to bring the younger kids more up-to-date on the life and career of Otis Vaughn since he left PCHS. I know that many pundits would say that his Parkinson’s was more than likely caused by the many licks on the head that he received on the Crimson Tornado football field and the “cure” is the result of the concentration that the sport of boxing forces on “scatterbrain” brain cells to re-assemble and come back into a healthy, functioning mode. Although that is undoubtedly part of it, it is definitely true that the discipline of boxing itself aids the scattered, disoriented brain cells to do just that. It is the most inexpensive “cure” imaginable and certainly well worth a try by all who is unfortunate to contract the disease.

Thanks for the comments. Otis and Mrs. Rhodes did an outstanding job on these articles. And sorry
I have been demoted to “was one of my favorite cousins”. Maybe I can improve over the next few years.

I want to give my thanks to Pete for writing our boxing story from long ago. I was a little surprised to see that it was written this coming September 3, 2019. But that is alright with me because this futuristic story will age slower than if it had been written today. Many thanks to my best friend Pete for remembering the story and publishing it on hesterbooks.com. And thank to Errol for his nice comments. Errol, I have actually been living close to Pickens County – in the Huntsville area – until I retired I worked on rockets and such. Thanks Pete & Errol.

No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch. No rematch.

I agree….with all the practice you get you would kill me….So, I agree, I agree, I agree….

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