I have fond memories of Joe Brown (Rally ’Round the Cannon, published online Feb. 28). Freshman phys. ed. offered boxing, which struck me as an attractive alternative to the standard offering. On the class’ first day, Joe’s introduction was, “If you’re here to learn the manly art of self-defense, you’re in the wrong place. Boxing isn’t manly, it’s not an art, and it’s a lousy way to defend yourself.”
Looking back on Joe’s teaching of boxing technique, I’d dispute his opinion of the art part, but given his propensity to match me up with sparring partners whose reach always exceeded mine, I would agree fully on the self-defense part. Nonetheless, what I learned from Joe’s boxing class left me with lifelong appreciation and envy of Sugar Ray Robinson. I also recall that one of my roommates blessed with a more Adonis-like physique than I modeled for Joe’s sculpture class.