The handsome devil above is Don Chastain, and the mere mention of his name sent Brian Leno off into a web of connections — no doubt prompted by all his ongoing work on the boxing scene known to Texas writer Robert E. Howard, covering pugilists such as Kid Dula, a.k.a. Cowboy Dula. The news is that Brian almost has slugged his way through a complete first draft.
Brian’s a pretty clean writer. A first draft isn’t that far away from a final draft.
Don was the son of Clyde Chastain, a tough boxer who took on Cowboy Dula at least twice.
Chastain, in a bloody fight in November of 1930 took a decision from Dula. The Cowboy beat Chastain, also by decision, in May 1932.
Chastain was a pretty good fighter. Fought some big names in South Africa and for a time was managed by “Pa” Stribling, father of Young Stribling, who was a heck of a fighter and was tragically killed in an motorcycle accident.
I cover this stuff in my book, which will be finished (first draft) as soon as my current computer troubles are fixed.
Robert E. Howard saw Chastain fight, and he mentions in a letter to Lovecraft that he traveled to Fort Worth and saw Chastain take on Jack Doss — Doss shows up in REH’s autobiographical Post Oaks and Sand Roughs as the boxer Jack Goss. (Glenn Lord says it’s so and of course he’s right.)
Back to Clyde’s son. Don was nominated for an Emmy for a Gunsmoke episode — superior entry in the series too. He was in Fathom, which starred Raquel Welch. What a lucky guy!