2 March 2018

Published February 27, 2018 by rochellewisoff

 

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

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NOTE: Oops! Tuesday is NOT the new Wednesday. As some of you already know, I write and schedule my stories ahead. (Keeps my sanity…well…somewhat.) At any rate, I scheduled the wrong start date. At least the prompt is here…some might remember the week my page went live but the prompt didn’t show up with it. Thanks for understanding. 

Please be considerate of your fellow fictioneers and keep your word-count at 100 words or less–title not included. Thank you. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT

“What’s your name, kid?”

            Winded from his match, the coal miner’s son took a deep breath. “Volodymyr Palahniuk.”

            His prospective manager punched Volodymyr’s stomach. “Tight as a drum. And you’re lightning in the ring, but that moniker’s gotta go. Whatcha think of……say… Jack Brazzo?”

            “I like it.”

            “Atta boy.”

            Over the next year, Jack scored 15 victories and 12 KO’s. A force to be reckoned with until Joe Baksi, another coal miner’s son, outpointed him.

            Years later Jack, who changed Brazzo to Palance and turned to theater, said, “You must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200.”

*

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149 comments on “2 March 2018

  • I had no idea he had been a boxer, though of course you could tell he was fit and tough – that broken nose should have given it away. I wonder how many kids were ‘saved’ from a life down the mines by boxing or acting for that matter – I think that was the case for Richard Burton. Lovely, crisp dialogue and a fascinating insight into his early life.
    I shall scoot off and scribble mine now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lynn,

      Acck!!! Oops! What a dingaling! You may have noticed it’s Tuesday and not Wednesday. And still we call it FRIDAY Fictioneers. As you may know I schedule my posts ahead. Apparently, I got the date wrong and it went live this morning. So no rush on yours. I guess I’ve no choice but to open the inLinkz. 😉

      Now that having been said. Jack Palance was a favorite of mine. He broke out with Requiem for a Heavyweight which can be found on You Tube in its entirety. I’ll have to look up Richard Burton (Oh those eyes!) Thank you for commenting with such nice words. 😀 (And for pointing out my faux pas.)

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haha! I guessed that was what had happened, but you’ll find no complaints from me – I usually can’t take part on a Wednesady until late in the day, so feel like I’m playing catch up on reading and commenting. Not today, though – first in!
        He certainly had a presence, Jack Palance. Perhaps because he’d lived a life before turning to acting, he brought that life experience with him and it added something to the roles he played, a certain edge of danger.
        Richard Burton’s eyes – yes, I know what you mean. And his voice too – wonderful. Could listen to him all day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Can’t say much for some of Burton’s life choices, though. 😉 I did update the inLinkz but I don’t think I’ll publicize on Facebook just yet. I thought about trying to take it down but there’s really no easy way to do that. It’s better than the time the photo prompt didn’t post with the page. Although there were some very creative stories from a few.
          I think you’re right about Jack Palance. He did have a presence. He wasn’t a pretty boy, but, yet, he was attractive and sexy. Liam Neeson and Daniel Craig are like that, too

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, just roll with it! You’ve been hosting FF for a good long while now , so I think two tiny blips in that time is pretty good going! I remember that lack of pic – stirred some inventiveness in the community as I recall 🙂
            I know what you mean about Neeson and Craig too. None of them are pretty boys, all look like they’ve ‘been around the block’ once or twice, but all have charisma in spades and that’s what you need as an actor.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Linda,

      Every so often an oops happens. Since there’s no way to take this down, we’ll just go with the flow. 😉
      I loved Palance. No one delivered the line, “Believe it or not,” quite the way he did. Glad you came by even if it is a day early. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • The language works with the subject matter which works with the story to bring history to life. You got some kinda magic there, Rochelle.

    As a side note, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who schedules posts for the wrong date! I swear, for fifteen minutes I was convinced it must be Wednesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Karen,

      I live for comments like this. 😀 Thank you and thank you for the side note. I think this is the first time in six years I’ve scheduled a day early. I actually had the inLinkz right…for tomorrow. Ah well. Pobody’s Nerfect and feces occurreth. Thanks for understanding. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS It’s still Tuesday as I write.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I thought I’d a wire burning in my brain pan when I saw your challenge a day early. I only skimmed your story but it did remind me that Sean Connery (the first James Bond) was once a bodybuilder. Some very famous people have had interesting jobs in their youth.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jack Palance’s brought a fighter’s physicality to his roles that steeped them in menace. The gunfighter in Shane is a classic villain (in my opinion) never equaled in cinema. There were a few other actors who were genuine tough guys, Paul Muni and James Cagney among them. I love how you bring these characters to life. Thanks for using my photo this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      I was really trying to come up with something about Paul Newman whose breakout role was in Somebody Up There Likes Me. However, while he was one of my favorites, he lived a good life and had a delightfully (and uneventful, for the most part) normal childhood. Then it occurred to me that Jack Palance, one of my all time favorites, was a boxer. A little digging and, voila, a story is born. ) Thanks for the comments, compliments and photo.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS Thanks for sidestepping the obvious. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s nice to see the pre.show.biz lives of the famous. Has anyone ever noticed that there were an inordinate number of boxers named Rocky, who were officially named Rocco, in days of yore? Is there something about the name Rocco that gives a guy lots of muscle or what?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Fascinating story. I had read once that he was a boxer but had never really gone in deep into it. I do find it interesting that the boxing database seems to only have a record of his fight with Jo Baksi. so his earlier rights were probably against club fighters. Baksi himself was a serious contender for Joe Louis’ title but suffered a shock loss to Swedish champ Olle Tandberg and lost the chance. See what you got me doing? I kept on reading after your story ended 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great story, Rochelle and I always appreciate it when others make mistakes because it makes it easier for me to live with my own mistakes. We can be so hard on ourselves when each of us make them and they’re usually not as monumental as we fear.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle

    I got up this morning, had my breakfast and clicked on the Friday Fictioneers link. There you were! It was a normal Wednesday morning with a photo prompt and your story. Perfect!

    I loved the information about Jack Palance and enjoyed thinking about him and the opportunity he had to change his life. Not so very different from the opportunities you give to us to enhance our lives by writing our stories.

    Sincere thanks for the regular Wednesday opportunities to get started on Friday Fiction!

    Best wishes

    Edith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Edith,

      What a wonderful comment!

      I’m not sure why some caught my faux pas on Tuesday and some did not. At any rate I’m glad you got it. And, of course, I’m glad you enjoyed my story. Jack Palance was a great favorite in our house growing up. My dad told me about his past as a boxer. What a presence.

      Thank you so much for your kind words re Friday Fictioneers. I didn’t create it but when the creator stepped down I begged to take it on…nearly 6 years ago. Not only have I made friendships around the world, but the exercise has done wonders for my writing as well.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      In this day and age he might keep his name. However, when you say Jack Palance, a presence comes to mind. I remember watching Ripley’s Believe it or Not, just to see that slow, crooked smile of his when he looked into the camera and said, “Believe it…or not.”
      Thanks re my story, m’luv.

      Your wife.

      Like

  • Thanks for yet another educative response. I’d no idea Jack Palance had been a boxer, though I should have guessed, with that nose. This week in the UK a young boxer died following a fight, after sustaining brain damage, I guess. I can only concur with Jack Palance’s verdict on the sport. Well done, as ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      Always fun to mine for those historical nuggets. Probably more boxers than we hear about have died from brain damage. They say that Muhammad Ali’s condition came from years of sustaining blows to the head. Very sad. Glad Mr. Palance got out of it and found his brilliant niche as an actor.

      Thank you for your kind words re my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    How could one not love Jack? He was the ultimate REAL man, not a pretty part to him at all 😉

    It’s fascinating to see what various actors did before acting. Everyone, ok, most people know Harrison Ford was a carpenter first. But Jack? Like was said above, with that nose, it had to have been smashed more than a few times… 😉

    Thanks, always, for “learnin’ us new stuff ever week”.

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I don’t think I knew about Harrison Ford. Interesting. My dad told me years ago that Jack Palance had been a boxer. Yeah…I think his nose took a few hits. I loved him in City Slickers. Happy to share nuggets as I finds ’em.

      Shalom and hugs,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,

        Gasp! What? You didn’t know that about Harrison? Well then… guess you just might have a new story one day 😉
        Yeah, he was a great good-bad man 😉

        Lotsa love,

        Dale

        Liked by 1 person

  • I grew up watching Jack Palance! And had no idea about his history. I think getting hit for a living is a super bad idea. Thanks for opening my eyes, once again. (I think it’s wonderful you did a Tuesday-Friday thing. Proves we’re all human, right?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lish,

      I don’t know if I’d call my Tuesday on Wednesday boo-boo wonderful but it did add another dimension to my week. 😉 Pobody’s nerfect.
      Loved me some Jack Palance all through childhood and beyond…he was ‘pretty’ in a grizzled kind of way, wasn’t he? Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Ha! I remember Jack Palance. He was always a great bad guy. His Dracula was positively epic. I had no idea he was a boxer before that. Seems he made an excellent career change. Thanks for bringing this bit of history to light. Great one, Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

  • A good historical piece on Jack Palance, Rochelle.The first time my dad saw him in a western Jack had a very thin, gaunt face and played a vicious hired killer. Dad said he looked like a picture of death. My dad boxed in the Navy and would have been interested in the fact he was a former boxer. Good writing as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali,

      I don’t really think I know that much, I’ve just gotten adept at following research trails. 😉 Hence giving me just a little more knowledge than I had before. However, this bit I did know. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Take me back to memory lane … YUP … I remember Jack Palance.He was like my dad … a really gritty macho man. I didn’t know about the mere pittance they made for getting their heads knocked about. My dad was a big fight fan.
    Great photographs you added too. I thought about writing about a story my hubby told me about Mike Tyson. But … nah … it’s not me. 😁
    Espero le guste mi cuento … hasta la próxima
    Abrazos y Shalom
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      I have fond memories of Jack Palance. He did have a unique presence. Not a pretty boy for sure but something irresistible. ¿De véres?
      My dad was a big fight fan, too. I just never got it. I liked movies like Somebody Up There Likes Me and Rocky, but to watch a fight for fun…fuhget about it.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane.

      Abrazos y shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I am not going anywhere Rochelle, indeed why should I when I get to read interesting nuggets like this one. It is all to easy to forget that most individuals have a humble start in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  • What a wonderful tribute to one of my favorite actors. And it’s a story I’d never heard before! Thank you for sharing his history and the great photos. And thank you for giving me a reason (besides it being “Hump Day,”) to look forward to Wednesdays! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Matilda Brady W(T)F,

    This guy’s real name was almost as long as some of yours! I think I’ll just go with Shelly in the mime story as I don’t want the readers to get tongue-tied in the brain and stumble over the name every time it comes up.

    I always loved Jack Palance. He had a very unique delivery with his lines that caught and held your attention. Great choice to go with this week’s photo.

    Cassius Clayfoot

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cassius Clayfoot,

      Aw, I was hoping for something catchy, like Marcella Marceau.

      I used to watch Ripley’s just to hear him say, “Believe it or not.” It never ceased to send chills down my spine. Thanks for floating by like a butterfly.

      Shalom,

      Matilda Brady W(T)F

      Like

    • Dear Fatima,

      Back in those days, people changed their names a lot. I don’t see that nearly as much in the entertainment world. Although I have to admit Jack Palance has more of a ring to it than Vlodomir Palahniuk (easier to spell, too. 😉 )

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Hello Rochelle, I haven’t been around for a while and I had forgotten just how short 100 words is to try and tell a story, but I hadn’t forgotten how entertaining and informative your little bites of history can be. I always liked Jack Palance, he was was one of my favourite baddies as a kid, but I never realised he had Eastern European origins!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dan,

      Usually the part that’s fiction in my stories is the conversation or scene. I find the facts and then imagine what that might have been like. Those little things that don’t appear in the history books. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Your story has energy and vividness – just right for a boxer. ‘Jack Brazzo’ is new to me – not surprising I guess as I don’t follow boxing. Admire their guts and determination.
    Think you’re right about Daniel Craig – he smoulders !
    No worries about thinking Tuesday is a Wednesday- these things happen Rochelle, its ok by me.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Despite the early posting, I still managed to be late! I have a read a few of this week’s offerings and left some comments but only just getting round to reading more of the posts –
    hopefully, I’ll eventually get round to writing my own!
    This was, as others have said, just right for a boxer in terms of wording and description – fits like a glove, in fact (pardon the awful pun!)
    Nicely done, Rochelle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’m embarrassed to admit I hadn’t heard of any of this three names, nor did i recognise hs picture! But I enjoyed the tale – history is full of artists and others in the public eye changing their name to something more palatable (and pronouncable!) for the masses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear TRG,

      It’s not likely that anyone, outside of Mr. Palance’s family and a few who watched What’s My Line in the 50’s have heard his given name. He wasn’t Brazzo long either. The fact that he was an American actor could have something to do with your disconnect. 😉 So many back int the Golden days of Hollywood changed their names to sound more glamorous. I don’t think they do it quite so much anymore. At any rate, I’m glad you enjoyed my story and took the time to say so. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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