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careless dress and shiftless ways, but
with my other "self.
There were two Willie Ritchies in
the ring that time. One wanted to
be the tough, basking in the toler
ance of the "rough-necks." The oth
er wanted to cut adrift from hood
lumism that was offended at white
collars and neat clothes. It was this
Ritchie that won after a long, hard
grown into shiftless nien failures
for the most part.
There were other battles of that
kind. And sometimes I think they
were more gruelling than my big ring
fights with Matty Baldwin, Freddie
Welsh, Ad Wolgast and Joe Rivers.
They fortified me for the terrible
pace inside the ropes. ,
These preliminary fights were
with cigarets and booze and other
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Dogs and horses are Ritchie's chief
delight. Resting after a workout and
off for a horseback jaunt into the
In an environment such as I grew
up in there any many battles of that
sort before a boy rises into the king
The fear of ridicule not only keeps
many a boy from going ahead, but
sends a lot of them to the reforma
tory and later to the penitentiary. It
keeps him in the ranks of those who
are proud of their vulgarity.
That is "one of the first tests as to
whether or not a boy can take the
gaff without flinching.
They called me sissy because I
wanted to be clean inside and out.
But I have the satisfaction of know
ing that I forged ahead and the boys
who scoffed at the wliite collar have
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