My name is Charles Spottswood, but they call me Spots from the time when I was a fighter. This is a story about the war days of 1942 and the history of them, the cars and songs and movies. But mostly it is about Chicken Johnson and what finally happened to him that Jane (my wife) and me could not shake ourselves out of it or understand. We spent 14 years with him, from a deserted little boy 9 years old all the way up to being a fighter good enough to get the Philly mob after his contract. This story is also about how I stuck my nose into that, wanting to protect Chicken, and then what they done to my career. A long time later we run across Winonah DeQuincey the mother of Chicken's son. It was like talking to cardboard.
You will not find Chicken Johnson's boxing record in any book because they do not keep records of fighters who were not champions. If you want to find out something about a baseball player from long ago, you can look in a baseball record book and see how many times he pissed on the 2nd Sunday in July 1939, besides his batting average. But there is nothing for fighters. I think it is because boxing is the dragon in the cellar, which they will not kiss and can not kill.
I showed this story to a sports reporter from the old days, and I copied down what he said. They are words I do not understand. He said, "This is a story of brotherhood and the acts of life that betray it, and of others that enrich the temperament of events to redeem it." Now ain't that something?