Girard High School Class of 1963
Reunion June 21, 2003
4640 Palestine Road
Huntington, AR 72940
John, Roy Jones,Jr, Roy's Dad, Josh (John's fighter)
I started at Fort Scott Junior College on an athletic scholarship and later attended Pittsburg State University. I married in 1965.
I started boxing right after high school. This was my first love. My Dad was the #1 ranked lightweight in the world in the 1940's. After a year of competing, I fought in the Kansas City Tournament of Champions. These were the best fighters in the Four State area. I was beaten in the finals on a split decision. After this tournament, my Dad and I split because of my training habits. You guys remember how hard I used to train in high school, don't you? ;) After my finish in the tournament, I was invited and boxed in the 1968 Olympic try outs. Again, I lost to the eventual winner on a split decision. Dad was right, the type of competition that I was in one had to be dedicated and I wasn't. My record was 44 Wins - 2 Losses. I trained on cigarettes and beer.
I joined the Pipe Fitters union wherein I later taught the apprenticeship program for Local 664.
Divorced in 1980, moved to Hawaii living on Waikiki Beach for 11 months.
Returning to Pittsburg in 1981, I went into the vending business of video machines. I met Anna in 1986. I had just lost $7,000 on the Hagler/Leonard fight and she said that I looked like I needed a new friend. She has been my best friend since. We have had several wonderful adventures together.
Sold my business to my partner, Frank Geier and Anna and I moved to Arkansas. I took my game roosters with me.
In 1987, we bought a small farm (10 acres) and enjoyed life with the fowl. This was to become The Black Hatch Farm. We are located 15 miles South of Fort Smith, Arkansas on US Highway 71. Our tournament records just kept getting better and I started making quite a living selling my chickens. Our fowl our now known worldwide and we are proud to have customers in all fifty states and 14 countries. I have traveled all over the world with my chickens. I have been to Saipan, participating in the International Tournament of Champions. I spent 30 days in Saipan, the most beautiful Island in the South Pacific. Saipan has more Millionair$e$ than anywhere in the world per square mile. I have also competed in Guam, Philippines, and Mexico with my roosters. While in Mexico, I was shot at, they didn't want this gringo taking all their money. We export 400 to 500 roosters per year to Mexico and the Philippines.
The trophies in the picture have been won by the Black Hatch Farm. In 1998, Anna and I tied for the largest derby in the world. Our share of the prize money was $197,000 and the tall trophy. Not a bad pay day.
In the Philippines my bloodlines are bred by the son of former President Imelda Marcos' son. Also General Lim, the head of Secret Service. Boxing greats, Oscar Dela Hoya and Roy Jones, Jr. are breeding my fowl. Roy and I have become great friends. He said hello to me and my wife on HBO after one of his championship fights. I have spent time with him on his ranch in Florida and had a young fighter training with his father. A million dollar investment and the boy was hurt in a car wreck. His career was ended by rib injuries. Easy come, easy go.
Anna and I have purchased a 400 acre cattle ranch bordering the Ouachita National Forest where we raise registered Black Angus. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Arkansas. We have a mile of river front and two nice lakes. We have some of the best deer hunting and turkey hunting in the world. I am at home in the outdoors. Like Roger, hunting and fishing has been one of my great loves of life.
I have one son, Troy. He graduated from Kent State University making the Dean's Honor Roll. He is a member of the Golden Key Honor Society. Troy is 6'1" and 190 pounds. In high school, he shattered the backboard at Girard High School. He placed second at a Kent State dunking contest. He was an exceptional basketball player, but a broken bone in his wrist slowed this down. He married Lori Bennett from Arma and they have two children, my granddaughter, Shelby and my grandson, Nicolas. Troy has a radio show in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was voted #1 Variety Show in the country. He has helped raise over six million dollars for the Gillette Hospital Cancer Research Fund. He was given the Service to America Award by President Bush along with Mohammed Ali. I am very proud.
"63 Trojans, We were the best."
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