Two fighters from Eastwood

Do any Walkable Eastwood readers remember Cliff Hart? The “Blond Bomber Boxer”? Golden Gloves champ? Maybe this bit about the Eastern Golden Gloves Finals from a New York Times article (March 7, 1946) will stir your memory, or at least your soul:

Cliff Hart, a student at Cornell, who recently took off his Navy blues, won the acclaim of the throng with his work in the welterweight class. Representing Washington, Hart was close to defeat in the final but gained the award over Rudolph Cervantes, Army private from Charlotte.

In the semi-final Hart had put Incencio Romero of Puerto Rico down and out in 1:45 of the third. Romero was hit so hard by the ex-sailor that he was out for half a minute and a liberal application of smelling salts was required before he became aware of what had happened.

And how about this, from this site:

…(In 1949) Carmen (Basilio) was considered for a fight in Miami vs. Tony Pellone or a fight against local “Golden Boy” Cliff Hart for the “welterweight championship of the district”, but both bouts fell through, Hart’s because he’d decided to retire. Bill Reddy commented that this was a probably a break for Carmen for, although “Carmen is a comer, Cliff’s experience might have been too much for the Canastota clouter”.

Cliff Hart

You can see that same man in this wonderful portrait:

This picture was created based on a photo found on the front page of the Syracuse Post-Standard, March 10, 1949. The caption read: “CAN’T SEE ANYBODY BUT DADDY – Little Janice Hart, 18-month-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Hart of 2114 Teall Ave., is the youngest boxing fan in Central New York and she knows there isn’t any fighter as good as her daddy. Cliff is a former national AAU champion and is now fighting professionally to finance his way thru Syracuse University where he is studying to be a coach and physical director.”

The person who created this piece is the other fighter from Eastwood: Cliff’s other daughter, Ann. Life hasn’t been a bed of roses for Ann, but she has hung in there through all the fights she’s been faced with. Struggling through a tumultuous marriage and finally widowed in 2000, Ann nevertheless raised her children to adulthood and, in the process, became an artist. In a recent conversation with her, she said:

I don’t have work showing anywhere as my portrait service is just that. I create it to give it away, but I keep photographic records of all my work. So what I tell the public is a bit simple but true, that I’m a self-taught artist that can capture the soul of her subject. Its not so much about the sales as it is about bringing delight or tears to the buyer’s face when they see their loved ones in a beautiful portrait transformed from a tiny old black-and-white picture. I’ve always had the gift to really capture faces and mood… how just the slightest curve of the lip or a tiny line can make all the difference. I’ve been told I’m exact. I believe it’s the lessons in life that will teach us more than another artist’s way in a classroom or how many of your pictures are hanging in public.

I have many portraits hanging in homes all around Syracuse and abroad. I also do murals, logos, and illustrations. I’m an artist for hire. It is what it is, Hart~Felt Portraits, a service to the community.

Ann is looking to grow her business and envisions exactly the sort of business we’d like to see in our Eastwood business district: a studio for affordable portraits. Take a look at her website or email her at and consider giving Mom something really personal for Mother’s Day.

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