Longtime ring announcer heading for greener pastures in Las Vegas
Bet you don’t know where the World Darts Hall of Fame is located.
Bet you didn’t even know there was a World Darts Hall of Fame.
Not only does Houston Hartwell Reed II know it’s in Wheeling, West Virginia, he is a member (Inducted in 1992) of it.
Howie Reed – Everyone calls him Howie – has “played and competed” in dart tournaments all over the world in his 61 years of life.
“I played all over the world and was ranked in the top 20 in the world at one time,” said Howie as we began our visit. “I was twice the captain of the America World Cup Team and I was a team member. I’m retired from darts now.”
Howie said he was just “worn-out and tired” from all the travel and competition involved with dart tournaments.
“I quit in 1994 after a long time being into darts,” he added. “It was my fun for a lot of years.”
Howie has done a lot more than that in his life, which began in Mercy Hospital in San Diego, Calif.
“I only lived there six months,” he said. “I was raised in Oakland. My dad was the business agent for the Building Trade Council there and he was the vice-president for the AF of L State Federation of Labor. He was 71 when he died from a heart attack in 1971. Mom (Irene) passed away in 1982 from old age. She was 92. I’m an only child.”
Howie graduated from San Jose State College with a degree in radio and television and with a master’s in education. He also has a degree from University of Southern California graduate school in communications.
Howie played football and baseball in school and he says he “wasn’t very good” but did letter in both sports. He was also married for a short time.
“I didn’t do it well,” said Howie about marriage. “It only lasted a year …. I wasn’t very good at marriage.”
Howie worked in San Francisco for 15 years doing advertising and he was an accountant with CBS-TV. Later he did a weekly radio show and he’s done “on air” work for ABC, ESPN, KCBS, SKY TV in England, been on STAR Asia and TSN Canadian Sports Channel among others. Howie was a rodeo “merchandise promoter” too and he produced rodeos and he even wrestled steers in them. Howie is a “professional” rodeo cowboy and has a “gold card” from the PRCA.
“I was average as a steer wrestler,” he laughed as we continued. “I staged rodeos in Northern California for five years and I was the official rodeo announcer too. I loved it! It was a great time in my life.”
COMING TO THE SILVER STATE
Howie came to Nevada in 1989. He lived in South Lake Tahoe. That’s when Howie and I first met. He was writing for a boxing publication called “Ring Sports Magazine” which is a monthly publication.
“I write a monthly column for them and I cover fights for various publications,” said Howie happily. “I am also a certified ring announcer for amateur fight cards (He’s very good, believe me!) and I’m a fan of boxing too. I’ve traveled the world covering boxing and had stories published in the Bankok Post and other Asian publications.”
Many of you saw Howie last Saturday at the Ormsby House fight card. He was the ring announcer and he also was ring announcer for the amateur card at Mills Park earlier this year.
Howie is leaving Northern Nevada on Nov. 4 and heading south, to Las Vegas.
“I’m going to pursue boxing and non-boxing employment,” he informed. “I will ring announce, do some writing and drink a lot of Miller Genuine beer,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a change of lifestyle and something I need to do. This is my first time going to Vegas to live. I’ve traveled the world and been to places like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Canada, Denmark and many other countries for darts and boxing and, at my age, this is likely my last move.”
A MICKEY MOUSE WEIRDO
That’s how Howie describes himself and his hobby. He collects Mickey Mouse stuff and once he even brought me a Mickey Mouse tie he got in Thailand.
“I’ve been collecting for 15 years,” said Howie as he showed me his Mickey Mouse tie he was wearing as well as the watch and socks he had on. “I’ve got two Mickey Mouse phones, 25 ties, 13 Mickey Mouse watches, Mickey Mouse socks and a lot more. I will collect until I die!”
Our visit was coming to an end and I asked Howie if he had anything else to say.
“Just Hasta La Bye Bye to Lake Tahoe,” he laughed. “And Viva Las Vegas! Oh yeah, I clean up really good too.”
That’s something I’ll never know but I’ll take his word for it ….
SEE HOWIE TONIGHT
Howie is also known for the loud and flamboyant jackets he wears and you can see Howie and one of those jackets, along with his Mickey Mouse tie, socks and wrist watch as he is the first guest on our Street Talk TV Show tonight on CAT-10. Then we’ll visit with Mexico’s living legend Julio Cesar Chavez, show you some boxing stuff, including Chavez fight against Oscar De La Hoya and we’ll tour Planet Hollywood at Caesars Tahoe on the show. It airs at 6 p.m. Repeats Monday at 8 a.m.
ALAN ROGERS is a Nevada Appeal columnist. His message phone is 887-2430, ext. 402.