Anderson Family History

Fight Nights

Because of the 32-volt electric system we had electric conveniences long before the Rural Electrification Agency brought power to the rural community of Center, South Dakota. In addition to lights, a refrigerator, an ice cream cabinet, and pop cooler, the folks had purchased a radio. It occupied its place of honor atop the refrigerator that was located in the store and near the door that led to our living quarters.

One of the major attractions on radio in this time-frame were the boxing matches of Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber from Cleveland. He was a great Champion who fought often in defending his title, sometimes three and four times a year. Some of his opponents were Tommy Farr, Tony Galento, Max Baer, Max Schmelling, etc.

On fight nights, the store would get crowded with neighboring farmers that stood around the radio and listen to the blow-by-blow broadcast of the fight. It didn’t hurt that the listeners usually bought a bottle of pop or an ice-cream cone, and so fight-night was considered good for business.

There were other special occasions when an important radio broadcast was scheduled ahead of time, such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats that brought customers in to mainly listen to the radio, but nothing seemed to draw as well as the Joe Louis fights.

By Allan Anderson, 2005.

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