by George Chevalier

If you are old enough you will recall as kids going to the Balboa Stadium on a dry season night to excitedly watch the Military Boxing Finals held every year. The ring was set up about 5ft. off the ground behind home plate up near the first box seats. This was a biggy in those prewar days and we kids loved it. It was just before the start of the war and if I recall my pals and I were in our Sophomore Year. The military crowd packed into the stadium with all the Officers in their white dress uniforms and their Ladies in evening gowns having the box seats and lower center stadium section reserved. Ordinary Dogfaces packed the left and right hand wings with us civilian types seated way up in back of the center section. When the matches were to begin and the announcer stepped into the ring the stadium lights went out and only the ring lights were on. Stadium lights were only to come back on at intermission time and at the end for departure. The left wing of the stadium had a large body of Infantrymen from Puerto Rico sitting massed together. During the final moments of the last bout in the first half of the boxing card we detected a lot of movement among the the PR troops but could not discern what they were up to. With the dry season breeze blowing from the left towards the Brass Section the bout ended ,winner declared,the band broke into a lively tune and the house lights came on. There before our startled eyes were hundreds of inflated condoms floating down on the resplendent Brass and their Ladies who were mortified to say the least. We were hysterical with laughter as the troops had pulled it off with no one individual caught in the act with their synchronized release. We never heard but it is possible the unit was punished as a whole but it sure gave us conversation and laughs for years after as we enlisted men of a latter-day toasted those gallant men from Puerto Rico.

George C.