Meeting Cisco and Pancho in person
by Mike Newton
In 1952, my father took me to the Boston Gardens to see the Cisco Kid and Pancho who were appearing there along with a rodeo. In those days, the B&M railroad ran under or next to the Gardens, so all you did was get off the train and walk up the stairs. The week before, I had gotten a black eye when I collided with another kid running out of the lunchroom at school. It had started as a "goose egg" and when the swelling went down, there was some discoloration under my eye as if I had been in a fight. After watching Cisco and Pancho perform in a stagecoach holdup act in the arena, Dad and I went down to their dressing room. On the way, we met Pancho. He was dressed in costume, but did not smile at me when I asked for his autograph, though he did give it to me. He took out his sixgun and started to give me a spent cartridge when some other kid came over and began bugging him to get one too, but he kept swinging the barrel away from the kid. I thought he was going to get mad and not give us one, but he did, & I still have it in an envelope. Then we went to Cisco's dressing room. They were talking about the stagecoach driver who had accidently gotten hit in the eye by one of the bandits. When Cisco saw my eye, he asked "what happened?." I replied, "I ran into some kid." They of course got a big laugh out that. Cisco gave me one of his photos and wrote "Happy Birthday to Mike" on it. His autograph was already printed. Years later, I wrote to him and reminded him of the story. He sent me back a glossy photo with Diablo and his dog, & he put a notation on the bottom that said, "So you're the boy with the black eye. I remember you well." He was probably stretching a point after so many years, but it was a nice thing to say.