Billy, Robert and Rocky Stories

I was at Myrtle Place Elementary School for my 5th and 6th grades before moving to Cathedral High in the 7th grade

When I went to Myrtle Place, I met Robert Shelton who quickly became a good friend of mine. We did everything together and at times we backed each other in school fights. We both boxed in the city intermural matches and both did very well. Robert won some and lost some, but I went undefeated and won the championship every year I participated. It was thought that being in a parochial school, we would learn discipline from the Brothers of the Catholic High School. They were right since I loved Cathedral and with this came good grades, extra curricular activities and of course sports.

This was around the time I met Billy Trotter, who would also become a life long friend. We first time we met was during recess. We were both being challenged by a bully, since we were the new kids at school. He felt he had to test us and Billy and I joined forces to win the fight. Every now and then some boys would start a fight with us, until we proved that we weren’t afraid and we could whip some butt. That is when it all finally stopped.

Robert, Billy and I became very close friends and did everything together and went everywhere together.

I really took boxing very seriously by training hard, sparring a lot of rounds, studying from other boxers, both amateur and professional. I was undefeated from the time I started until my first state tournament where I was beaten by the champion on a split decision for the title. For the next three years I would lose only one bout each year, and that would mean I only lost those fights all total and two were to champions; each on a split decision and the other was to someone who had moved to a lower weight class to beat me. A split decision is when two out of three judges vote for a winner.

I also ran track, although, I wasn’t very fast. I ran on the relay team and tried the mile, but I didn’t do well. I played football as a half back in junior ball and did well; however, as I kept weight off of me it worked in reverse in football where I should have gained weight.

I did well scholastically in school; although, I had to study hard since I was involved in many school activities and helped pop at the dairy when I could. Later I would get a job working part time at a drug store. I was lucky to have great teachers, who were very interested in each student; both in school studies and on a personal level.

Billy, Robert and I befriended Pat Huval, who’s father founded the Evangeline Maid Bread company, which was extremely successful and still is today. Mr. Huval later sold the company and the bread is still as good as it was then.

Billy’s father was a rice broker who was very successful. He was the largest broker in a wide area. Robert’s father was an oil land man who secured a lot of leases and did very well himself. Pop, my father, was an extremely successful dairy farmer, based on the size of his dairy and the productivity of his cows. He was successful in what he did without making a lot of money. This is a lesson I learned from pop, even if I didn’t really understand it when I was younger. Money never meant that much then and all of guys stayed at each others houses no matter what it was like. We had true friendships and we still have the same relationship today, which I personally cherish. We have done business together, socialized with each other and continue to stay in touch with all except Pat, who died November 7, 2009. In fact Billy let Sue and I get married in his home, which we are very happy for him doing for us on our special day.

Brother Bernard was our teacher in the eighth grade and he was also teacher in our 10th grade class.  He was strict but cared about how we learned both in class and outside of class.  He spent a lot of time with the three of us since we were always into doing some things that were marginal in nature, but never illegal.  We were mischievous  and he felt he could keep us out of trouble if it seemed like we might become involved in some prank.  Like following the Brothers from their house to church and throwing firecrackers at their feet.

We were considered very popular at school, having girl friends and going on dates at an early age .  Billy and Robert had cars, and sometimes I used my dad’s dairy truck to pile in a bunch of friends to the outdoor drive-in theater.  I also had an old Ford convertible which we had a lot of fun with.  It didn’t have a first gear, but that didn’t bother us at all, since we used it to drive and pick up our dates with girl friends.  Billy had a Pontiac coupe in our junior  and senior years  and we had a lot of fun in it since it was nice for dates.  In those days no one was impressed with cars, money and status  in the community.  It was always nice to be exactly who you were and not pretend to be someone other than who you were.  It sure was nice for me, since I was the poor boy who had a wealth of love from my parents, family and friends.  Billy and Robert were rich, but they also acted to everyone’s equal and nothing more.  There are too many stories to tell about the three of us, but maybe someday each can add their stories to this one.  Like the time we burnt Robert’s sisters convertible top on her car, or the time I flew out of Robert’s daddy’s limo and fell into a ditch where they left me and not missing me until later when they came back to get me.  Another time we stole Robert’s daddy’s car and reported it missing  until we came home.  We wrecked Robert’s Oldsmobile his father had already traded it in for a Cadillac in New Orleans and he like to have whipped us to death when we drove into the car lot.  Billy and I had dates one night, and when we brought our dates home, my dates boyfriend was waiting to fight me at his girlfriends house.  I also learned to hit first and then finish the job.  I did so that night and cut his eye so bad that the boyfriend had to go to the hospital for stitches.  He nearly lost his eye but surely lost his girl, since she became my girlfriend in the end.  Once we all went to my parents farm with dates.  We ended up in the hay loft at the barn and were really heating up a good time.  That is until my mom saw Billy’s car parked by the barn and came in to surprise us.  We all got in trouble, and we had to drive the girls home and were grounded for a long time by all of our parents.

The ninth grade was a serious year for me, as I played football on the junior squad and practiced for boxing all year.  I really did well in football and even scored a few touch downs, but boxing was my sport.  I lived and breathed it and wanted to win every fight I had, and in fact I did that year.  I also liked my new boyfriends and new girlfriends that a winning boxer attracted.  Billy and Robert made all my fights, and even those on the road away from school.  I also had permission to ride back home with them after each fight.  We were always picking up girls.  We would always end up in fist fights in the other town we boxed, since the boys there did not like us taking their girls.  We usually won, even though some were tough we prevailed.

I believe the tenth grade was the most fun for me, since I was in so many organizations at school.  I participated in many activities and of course boxing as well.  I had stopped football to concentrate on my boxing skills.  As I mentioned, Brother Bernard was our teacher again, and he had loosened up a lot since the eighth grade.

The eleventh grade was a quiet one, since our teacher was good but a bit laid back.  I continued to excel in sports and all of the different tasks I became involved in, which were all very time consuming.

Brother Adrian was our teacher in the twelfth grade.  He was very stern, but fair and knew how to teach a class and get the students to give their best efforts.  Some of the clubs I was involved with are in the my high school section of this web site.

It was the time I was in the tenth grade that I knew I wanted to study medicine when I entered college.  I then tried to get all the courses I could get that would help me in this curriculum of study.

I graduated May 25, 1954 and went to summer school at SLI (now UL) then went to to New Orleans and registered at Tulane University.  I will never forget the time that mom drove me to New Orleans.  It was in a car that she had won from a $1.00 raffle.  With exception to pop’s milk truck, it was the only car we had.

After I was there, I was rushed by Kappa Sigma by way of Dr. J J. Burdin.  I later pledged Kappa Sigma and became an active member.

I studied at Tulane in premed for four years and after realizing that I could not afford medical school, I decided to transfer to Northeast State college in Monroe, LA for pharmacy school.  I was accepted and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1963.  During that time, I went to school full time and worked at three different drug stores, managed a few businesses and found time start a family.  All at the same time.

During my time at Tulane, I met J.C. Liner, better known as Dinky.  Dinky was from Monroe and we rekindled our friendship while I was in school and are still good friends to this day.  He was Godfather to my son Derek V. Robin, and a lot can be said of our special affection for each other. Dinky has many stories to tell about our fiascoes through the years.  He would tell you about the time we bought a limousine together and the many good time we had with that car.

One of those time was when we took the limo to New Orleans to meet with Joe Canazaro, then played as mutes when we bought drinks and fooled the cashier at a convenience store.  Or about the time we, along with Dane McCormick, ordered drinks at a lounge  and when the waitress asked us for the money, I pulled out a blank pistol and aimed it at her, saying we don’t pay.  She left running and never came back to the lounge.  it was her first day and we were her first customers.  She even left her purse in the lounge and never reclaimed it.  Another time was when we bought a hearse and picked up friends and drove them around with a chauffeur and played pranks on others (never illegal – just fun stuff).  How we measured time in “about 4 months”.