November 17, 2010

More about Levittown's Irish Bobby Cassidy and two fights at Division Avenue High School; lights out for the gym teacher

By Jack Jacobsen
Class of 1962

The best Bobby Cassidy fight was in gym class, his first TKO. The loser was the gym teacher, Howie Pivnik, but it cost Bobby Cassidy his education.

It was 50 or so years ago, but as I recall we were in gym class and Bobby was not dressed (no shorts, sneakers, etc) and Mr. Pivnik reprimanded him and wanted him to do some push ups. Cassidy refused, didn't want to get his clothes dirty. Words started, Pivnik asking him to leave and started to march him to the office. I think there was a shove or two, both faced each other and with a quick left Howie (as we called Mr. Pivnik) was quickly taking the count. I don't recall how it all ended, but it was the talk of the day and Cassidy was a hero. Bobby left school shortly thereafter and as many of us know was successful in the ring.

Bobby Henn and I went to a few of Bobby's fights at Madison Square Garden. The last time I saw him, Cassidy lost to Pete Toro.

Concerning yesterday's blog post about Cassidy, the janitor was Alan Goldstein's father (Alan was class of '62, and had a brother nicknamed "Bunny."). In the fight with Tommy Koehler it helped that Bobby was a southpaw, which confused Tommy at times. To this day I do not know who made out with the financial gain, but my guess is that John Kinstrey and Bob Bonacci padded their wallets.


Jon Buller said...

When I entered the school that night I gave my $2 to one of the janitors. I would be very surprised if all of that money was turned over to Bob Bonacci and John Kinstrey. My guess is that they split it with the janitors. There is also another possibility, which is that someone in the administration or the phys. ed. department actually knew about the fight, and turned a blind eye.

Marilyn Monsrud Frese said...

Another great story that I never heard before! I am pissed that I missed so much! Where the heck was I???

Anonymous said...

I'm Bill Bruce - I was Bobby's best friend during those HS years. If you would like to know the true story, get back to me. I WAS THERE AND HELPED ORGANIZE IT!!