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The First Girl "Mysterious" Billy Smith Ever Loved

To cover discoveries not directly connected to the old waterfront I have started a new blog, Oregon Ozone. I stole the name from an Oregonian column from the 1890s.


Recent posts

Asthmatic Weakling Writes Book on Prizefighting in Portland

It is true, an asthmatic weakling, who used to regularly give up his lunch money as tribute to bullies, has written a book on prizefighting. Not only this, History Press has just published it! Oregon Prizefighters: Forgotten Bare-knuckles Champions of Portland and Astoria, will hit the shelves on Monday.

What was it that made someone like me, born without the “sports gene,” to become interested in the bare-knuckles prizefighting of yesteryear? It was the people: brash, naïve youths, wracked by passions, ruined by limelight. Then there is the model Portlander, Dave Campbell, for many years “Our Dave,” beloved chief of the Portland fire department. He was self-educated, intelligent, measured, and fearless, and gave up a sure championship career as a boxer to fight Portland’s fires. Add to the mix the original all-time champion, Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey (died 1895), and “Mysterious” Billy Smith—both legends in the world of boxing history—and you soon begin to wonder why these fellows are…

The End of Summer—and a new book in time for the Holidays

The Riversdale Incident

Bunko Kelly's Music Video

I needed to get this done so I could spend more time on my newest book (due in March). I still don't feel like publicizing the topic, since it is a little weird for me to show interest in such goings on.


So, I wanted a string band, or a jug band, or a skiffle band to help me along, but instead it did it myself. I didn't practice, I just did it, and recorded it--in spite of having shattered my wrist some time back, and severing my left rotator cuff a few months ago, and having not sung since my early forties. Now I will stop making excuses and cough up the details.
The new video: How the Flying Prince Got its Crew, has been uploaded and can now be viewed here:



 For those wishing to sing along, here are the lyrics:

The Ballad of the Flying Prince

Come gather round you Portland boys
And I will sing to you,
How that low down Bunko Kelly
Got the Flying Prince her crew.

The ship was moored at Ainsworth Dock
For six long weeks and more,
Loading sacks of golden wheat
For England's ple…

Embracing Fakelore