Saturday, January 28, 2012

Globeville Boxer, Henry Rein

"I was the welterweight champion for awhile and then I got smart and quit." 85-year-old Henry Rein reminisced. "I worked at the Rio Grande Railroad and they had a group down there who worked out in the gymnasium all the time and that’s how I got started. We used to put on boxing shows down at the yard for the folks who worked at the Rio Grande, and they taught us how to box, which is different from street fighting. 
"Gus Pappas was the guy who used to set up the matches at the carnivals and got in touch with you. He said I was his boy because I would always fight. I used to box against the carnivals — take all comers. I’d have four or five fights a night. I’d hurry and come home from the railroad and go over to the carnivals.
"I was about 17 when I went professional and we used to drive to Durango, Manassas, and Nebraska, working for a percentage of the gate. I never did make big chunks of money - $115 dollars is the most I ever made for a single fight, but that was good money those days.  I was champ from ’29 to ’34.
"I married a Globeville girl, Lydia Engleman in 1934. We met at the Frieden’s Evangelical Lutheran Church there on 45th and Lincoln and we lived in Globeville after we got married. My wife didn't mind my fighting and used to come to see me box once in awhile.
"I retired from boxing in 1939. I had a bread route for Happy Home Bakery and also hauled trash. Then I was the business agent for the Teamsters Union, Local 13 who handled highway construction. I traveled the state, checking the sites, making sure new guys joined the union and that everyone was carrying their cards and were paid up."
Henry retired from the Teamsters Union and he and Lydia moved to the new retirement complex, Windsor Gardens in 1962. Lydia passed away in 1987 and Henry in 1997.
A conversation with Henry Rein, and his daughter Rene√© and son-in-law Ron, in his home in June, 1996


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