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London Lost Here




Regarding the reference (in "The Death of Redevelopment," March 29) to the "local legend" of Jack London's fight in Old Town, it was more than that -- according to the Washington Post. The same paper that brought us coverage of the Watergate scandal was apparently listening to Eureka's version of "Deep Throat" when it reported, in its Aug. 16, 1911, edition, "Jack London Trounced." The story, from Eureka, stated that London "was beaten in a fight at that place by William H. Murphy, Jr., son of millionaire lumberman." The article continued: "London and Murphy met in a saloon and drifted into a discussion which soon ended in a mutual determination to fight. Murphy was too quick for the novelist and landed a knockdown blow under London's right eye. This is the second time London has got the worst of a fist fight within a year. His other encounter was with a saloon-keeper in Oakland."

Until a few years ago you could have trod upon the floor where London landed, but a recent remodeling -- perhaps with redevelopment money -- removed it. I don't know about anyone else, but I sort of miss the well-worn tiles that Jack, in the spirit of early day Second Street, was obliged to kiss.

Jerry Rohde, Eureka

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