From Running From Grace
Summer of 1928 came and Victor got the job at Mr. Marconi’s drugstore on Grand Avenue, working nights as a curb hop, taking soda fountain drinks and ice cream to customers parked along the sidewalk.
One evening some bullies followed Victor into the store taunting him. Mr. Marconi pulled him aside.
“Vic, if you take garbage like that - from guys like that - you won’t be able to hold your head up anywhere.”
“But I thought I might get fired if I fought on the job.”
“Not when your honor is at stake.” Marconi turned to the other boys, “Looking for a fight? All right, you can have it. Out on the sidewalk all of you.”The kerbside customers got more than they paid for. Victor faced the first boy and slapped him on his right cheek, open-handed.
The boy went down, bouncing off a car fender.
“Hey, what's this?” yelled a second boy.
“If Vic had hit him with his fist,” Marconi retorted, “his face would have been hamburger.” He tossed Victor a pair of soft-leather driving gloves. “Right. If the big guy here wants fists, let him have them.”
The second guy came forward waving his fists back and forth before Victor’s face while he put on the gloves. Once on, he looked up and calmly hooked with a right to the boy’s exposed side, followed by his Sunday punch, a whistling left hook. The boy fell to the sidewalk.
“Go get some smelling salts!” Marconi yelled.
The third boy, with long wet black hair, decided to retreat. But he didn’t get far. Victor caught him by the hair, swung him around and delivered a sharp one-two combination and the final contestant was in a heap against a car.
Marconi lifted Victor’s hand high, turning him about to face his cheering supporters.
The next night even more customers came to the kerb. By the end of the week, business had doubled.