The best of the bad asses

Years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and training with Ann Wolfe, known as possibly the greatest female boxer of all times. She was tough, no-nonsense. Three of us had the chance to get inside the ring with her. Of course, she wasn’t going to punch us. It was all about our own offense. Needless to say, in that small ring, she was so fast, I couldn’t get even close to her.

After I was commissioned to paint her portrait, she told me that it reminded her of her mother — a wonderful compliment since she loved her deceased mother with total abandon. She told me she hung the original above her mantel.

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Here is a great, short documentary on Ann Wolfe and her struggles to become a boxer. If rough language offends you, don’t watch. But if you like seeing how a woman survived the murder of her father, the death of a beloved mother and rose to the top, then watch.

Brother Ray, the Genius

Before Ray Charles lost his sight at the age of seven, he was mesmerized each time he went to Wylie Pitman’s Red Wing Cafe. While Pitman played boogie woogie on an old upright, he began teaching Charles how to play.

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My chalk painting of little Ray watching Pitman

 

Although without sight, he did not play Blindly. He had both direction and purpose and we are all better for having had him in our lives.