In June 1967, a boxer from Eugene stepped into the ring at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles for the biggest fight of his career.
Len Kesey was 23 and champion of the Pacific Northwest, dashing and handsome with a nasty left hook. His opponent was Mando Ramos, a teenage sensation on his way to No. 1 in the world.
Ramos, trying for the knockout punch, caught Kesey with a hard right in the second round. Kesey stumbled but kept fighting, blood oozing from his nose and staining his white trunks.
In the weeks after her daughter’s death, Laura Givens sat at her computer and typed a letter to someone she’d never met.
Givens sent seven copies — one for her daughter’s heart, one for her liver, one for her lungs and one for each of her kidneys and eyes. She sent them anonymously, seeded with clues leading back to the girl with raven-black hair and four sacred Navajo mountains tattooed on her shoulder.
“Our daughter was 23 years old when she passed away so unexpectedly. We miss her greatly but await the day we will be reunified with her.”
No Stranger to the Hate
If anyone knows the worst of America, it’s the young man sitting in the dugout at PK Park.
He doesn’t need to be told that evil exists in the world, that darkness and hatred walk the streets in everyday clothes. He knows.
His mom was in the church.