jesse kaellis en Lifestyle, beBee in English, Movies Bally's. Trop, Dunes, Caesars, Sahara. Landmark, Barbary, State Line, on and on. • 21 joints. I counted them again. 4/11/2016 · 4 min de lectura · +400

It was ordained

                                             Jamie would be fifty-five now. If he had lived. 

It was ordained

I didn't have a photo but I have this video. Jamie with the southpaw stance. 

In 1981 I got hired on at a Cemetery in Burnaby. It was a cemetery for Freemasons and their families. 

I wore a suit, and I was a landscaper with a horticultural certificate. I was a good candidate, and the guy offered me the job. But first, he asked if I believed in a supreme being. I would have told him I believe in Bozo the Clown to get the job, but actually, I do believe in a supreme -- something. 

I told this guy that I was a Jew. He said Jews are no problem. Freemasons don't like Catholics on account of the three deities.

He's telling me that the two guys working there are no good and don't work and they steal and I had to make them work and keep an eye on them. I replied that I would take the job but get rid of them two and I will start fresh with new guys. Phone Manpower and get me, two guys.

So he agreed, and I was hired. He took me around and showed me his plot, "This is where I'm going." And I ended up burying him about three months later. The old guy fell off a ladder.
This turned out to be a very good job. It was Union, the Laborer’s Union and when we got a new contract five months later the pay doubled. It was the largest contract increase in the local’s history. The Masons were tired of having an unreliable workforce. They wanted stability and money and security locks guys in. It took cancer for me to pull myself away from this fucking job.

I had various guys working for me. One kid was chronically late, and I got rid of him.

In January of 1982 the secretary-treasurer, he comes out where I'm digging, and he tells me, "I got a guy, he's a prizefighter, but he's all right." He tells me his name is Jamie Ollenberger. I get excited because I had seen him fight on channel 10; the public channel. He was fighting Johnny Herbert at 147 lbs for the BC Golden Gloves. Jamie had lost to Herbert the year before.
I noticed Ollenberger. I liked his stand up southpaw style. I followed boxing, and I regularly sparred at a gym in Victoria, but I had never fought. 

I was 26 at that time, timeworn for the lighter weights. But I felt as though some unseen, unknowable power had sent this guy to help me have my dream of being a fighter

This guy shows up at the bone yard, and I'm ready to worship him. He's like 23 years old, and he has just had his second pro fight; a win. Jamie had an outstanding amateur career; seven golden gloves, twice running national champ and he fought Donald Curry in the alternate Olympics. And get this; he lost his first eight fights in a row until he found his game.

So right away we're talking boxing. I told him that I had boxed a little. He had a rope, and he asked me to skip. He said it was pretty good.

We are up by the Woodward Mausoleum. I tell him that I think I hit hard. I had gotten hints about that. He holds up his right hand, tells me to hit with my left: "You do hit hard."

Jamie liked to smoke pot. On the third day, we're in a grave digging, and he says "Do you smoke drugs?” and of course I had. So very shortly I was smoking eight joints a day. Four if it was good. We were the same. Why come down? First thing in the morning, last thing at night.

I join his gym. He's training at Olajide's gym; the Kingsway Gym. Micheal Olajide is a charismatic, scary looking guy from Nigeria. His son, Michael Junior ended up going twelve losing rounds with Tommy Hearns.

I'm living the life of a fighter. We work together and train together. We spend a lot of time together. This was a once in a lifetime friendship for me.

When Jamie came to the cemetery, he was working part-time at Woodward’s. He was living with a woman who worked in the office; the Woodward’s administration. Her name was Roxanne. There was a whole subculture around Woodward’s. It was a career type thing. They called them Woodwardites. Woodward’s is long gone now.

I didn't have a steady girl at the time, but I was living with a woman in 1983.

I put off writing this story. Now I know why. I'm crying. 

Jamie became disaffected with Kingsway because Senior was playing favorites with his son; which -- naturally he was. But Jamie wasn't being moved right and was being used as a sparring partner for Junior and the usual politics which is endemic to boxing. 

So we went to the Shamrock Gym on Hastings at Main. Dowling started to move Jamie. 

I was training pretty seriously. I had a coach named Bob Decker who later disappeared, and someone said they saw him on America's most wanted. That was the word anyway.

Decker sucked as a trainer. He'd never had one fight himself. But he did try to get me fights I could win. I was 27, and we had a club show at the gym. He got me a guy from the Carnegie Centre, across the street.

I did the est training in May of 1980. I invited a bunch of people from the Est center and the seminars. Est was where I met the lady I lived with.

I fight, but I lose. I lose a one point split decision. A point is three punches, so, yeah, it was close. After it was over, I was standing in the ring, and I feel stripped clean. Everything is now; immediate. It was like when I was five years old, and I perceive without the filter of judgments and opinions, just seeing direct experience.

I got stories on here about my next three fights. It's all out of sequence. I might not even fix it later. This is how it's coming back to me. 

I mostly put away the pain of my loss; that my friend died. That Jamie died. Life goes on. I got tired of crying after a while. I mourned long and hard. I lost a friend, a huge piece of my past and a piece of myself. I'm surprised the pain is still fresh, 25 years later.

I wouldn't even be a man if this guy hadn't shown up in my life. Not the person I am. It's inconceivable; it was ordained; this guy in my life. 

The second year Porter, one of the cemetery board members, was prodding us to become Freemasons. Which -- okay? Why not?

It could be useful for our jobs. They wanted their own to be burying their own. So we are going to the Temple and meetings and being prepared for the induction. 

The big night comes. We are wearing suits. We always wore our suits to the temple. Before we go in we, sit in Jamie's car and smoke a hash spliff. Got a nice buzz and then he handed me some aftershave and I soaked myself in that shit to kill the smell. The ritual I can't remember a whole lot. Candles, and a casket and Oogie Boogie, and they make you swear not to give away the secrets. 

I still got my apron around somewhere. Afterward, we could go to gatherings and eat Haggis, which is tasty stuff. Oatmeal and organ meat stuffed in intestines and boiled.
We were in the Scottish Rite. But I just let it go when I quit the cemetery. 

I need to write a book on this, just this, this period, about Jamie; his life. I guess maybe a bit at a time. This hurts more than I thought it would.


jesse kaellis 4/11/2016 · #3

This was Jamie's twelve fight. He is fighting smart and has some polish, and he was always tough. Later on, he started training in Stockton and also with Eddie Futch and Hedman Lewis. They gave him a less upright posture. They taught him to roll underneath punches more. Today? He might have won a world title. Boxing was talent rich in those days, especially at the lighter weights. Jamie was also very fast, and he had that body shot. I took that punch once, and I swear I wished I was dead.
Jamie was also a nice kid and a sweet soul.

+1 +1
Praveen Raj Gullepalli 4/11/2016 · #2

Jamie finally! Will watch it and respond dear Jesse!

+1 +1
jesse kaellis 4/11/2016 · #1

Thank you, John.