My dream had come true, I was employed
Friday and Saturday nights to work behind the counter at the Pokerino
Palace. The manager hired me in spite of being underage, as I was
very bright. This was another way of saying that I would be paid
below the legal minimum wage.
Things went along without incident the first two weeks and then
disaster struck on the third Friday.
A heavy set woman was playing and one of her balls got stuck between
two others. The rule, as posted was that the ball was to be returned
to the player. I was told by the woman to place the ball in an Ace
hole which would give her three aces and a winning hand. I pointed
to the rule and returned the ball to her. She stood up, threatened
me with a bad beating and left.
Another worker in the Palace told me that the woman was Tony Galento's
wife and that I was in deep trouble. Tony Galento was better known
as Two Ton Tony because of his squat build with a large stomach.
Tony was a heavyweight boxing contender and was scheduled to fight
Joe Louis in a few weeks for the heavyweight title.
A few minutes later the woman returned with Tony, pointed to me
and said, "That's the one, Tony."
Two Ton came rushing at me uttering curses and saying he was going
to kill me. I took off for the back door with Tony in hot pursuit.
I was able to go right out the back door, but Tony had to get over
the counter I was behind. He made a good jump for a man his size
and shape but luckily for me his toes caught on the counter and
he went down on his face.
While running across the park I would glance back and could see
that I was easily outrunning my pursuer. I found a good hiding spot
behind a trash can next to a custard stand. Two Ton never found
About fifteen minutes later I returned to the Palace and learned
that I no longer had a job. The manager explained that if either
Mr. or Mrs. Two Ton came back and saw me there Tony would take the
A few weeks later the big fight took place and I was among the
millions of radio listeners. Needless to remark I rooted for Joe
Louis. Each punch Joe landed was for me. The fight was stopped with
Louis being the winner by a TKO. I couldn't have been happier.
In later years Two Ton became a wrestler, had an act in which
he wrestled an octopus and ended his career owning a bar in Orange,
Many times I passed his bar and often thought of stopping in.
I never did though as one thought always hit me, Suppose he's still