During July in this space I posted how I learned about John Boutilier, aka "Bout", one of Norvel's contemporaries on the amateur boxing scene in the early 1950's. In 1951, when Norvel was the AAU's national heavyweight champion, Boutilier was the national light heavyweight champion. Chapter 18 of the book is about the European Duals Tour for the 1951 AAU boxing champions.
The July post explained how I connected with Bout's daughter, Lisa Telles. A native of Boston, her father eventually settled in El Cajon in San Diego County California, where Lisa grew up. She lives in Southern California with her husband Mark. I am a California native and get out there at least once a year. Well, "once a year" when a pandemic isn't in play. On our 2019 trip Lisa invited Barbara and I to visit her and Mark at their home. The image above was taken during that visit.
When Lisa and I first contacted each other she indicated that her mother had stored a couple of suitcases full of memorabilia and newspapers about Bout's boxing days. After she knew I was writing the book Lisa and her brother Peter went through the archived material that eventually served as treasured source material for the book. When we arrived at Lisa's home it was very heartening to see the nostalgic collection laid out on the table.
In early February I was asked by our local historical society to talk about the book at our library in Fincastle. Lisa came out from California to participate in that first book talk, pre-pandemic. It was there that she met Norvel's granddaughter Danielle and nephew Ken. I'll have plenty more to say about that unforgettable meeting in a future post here.