O.T. “Lucky” Lane, Boxer and Navy Seaman

by Jeff Martin


You might think someone with a nickname like “Lucky” had won the lottery or survived a plane crash. Or perhaps it was a name given out of sheer irony. Like “Old Lucky here has been hit by lightning 17 times”. But for O.T. “Lucky” Lane, it was neither. He was a boxer. Boxers have nicknames. It’s simple.

Having fought at Iwo Jima and survived a gunshot (from a sniper) to the leg, his life doesn’t sound that lucky. But according to our interviewee, Stan Young, a lifelong friend of Mr. Lane’s son, the luck in Lucky Lane’s life came from an accumulation of small gifts over the course of a lifetime. The little things we take for granted.

There is a toughness and spirit of self-reliance that is beginning to fade away with the passing of our WWII vets. As our guest notes in the piece, before we know it, they’ll all be gone. The men of what Tom Brokaw calls “The Greatest Generation”, would probably hate the idea of a radio show about memories and feelings and things of this nature. And the best part about that is, unlike most people, they wouldn’t mind telling us that very thing.