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Background photo of the beach at Whale Cove was made by Bryce Buchanan in 2004. (Via WikiMedia Commons, cc/by/SA)
BORING, CLACKAMAS COUNTY; 1905:
Citizens hired world champ to humiliate town bully
All through the summer of 1973, there was one song on the radio everywhere that you just couldn’t get away from: Jim Croce’s smash hit, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”
Come to think of it, it’s been very difficult to get away from that song ever since Croce wrote it. You probably are humming it to yourself right now: “Bad, bad Leroy Brown, baddest man in the whole damn town. Badder than old King Kong, meaner than a junkyard dog.”
The little Cascade-foothills town of Boring once had its own Bad, Bad Leroy Brown — although when the song came out, very few people then alive were old enough to remember him. His name was Free Coldwell — or at least, that was what he called himself. Like Leroy Brown, he a proud, strutting tough guy who got a humiliating comeuppance. But his downfall didn’t come from making a pass at “the wife of a jealous man” in a Boring nightclub or bar. No; Free Coldwell was taken down by the citizens of Boring, who basically played an elaborate practical joke on him — with the help of a professional prizefighter.
This article is still under its initial two-month embargo, during which participating newspapers have exclusive rights to it. Then, on June 11, 2021, the rest of this article will appear here!
In the meantime, you can probably find it published on the Website of one of our member newspapers or community radio stations.Thanks for your patience, and thanks for supporting your community newspapers and radio stations!