Continental Quarterly – Winner’s Circle: Interview with Duane Bailey and “Downtown” Louis Brown

IAH technician wrestles engines

Before IAH Lead Technician Duane Bailey made a name at CO, he built a career as a professional wrestler. Duane said becoming a wrestler seemed at first to be a dream that was outside his reach. “I’ve been a fan of wrestling all my life,” Duane said. “I got to looking at the guys on TV and I thought those guys looked so big and bad and mean. I thought I would never be able to fit in.”

continental quarterly don anderson A trip to a live match changed Duane’s mind. He wrestled professionally from 1971 through 1977, holding 7 different championship belts in singles and tag team matches. While wrestling, he traveled all over the United States and Canada working in numerous organizations including the National Wrestling Alliance(NWA), American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) and the World Wide Wrestling Alliance (WWWA). He spent seven years on the professional wrestling circuit in Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and the Pacific Northwest before getting injured and deciding to look for a new career. He worked as a cleaner at Frontier Airlines while getting his A&P license. When Frontier Airlines folded in 1986, Duane cam to CO, first in Denver and then in Houston. Duane has been with CO 23 years.

For more information on his wrestling career, log on to

Air Force leads co-worker down winning paths

It has been a couple of years since IAH Technician Louis Brown stepped into a boxing ring for a match, but he keeps up his roadwork and training just in case. Even though he has been with CO for the past two and a half years, he said he is not ready to rule out the possibility of returning to the ring.

continental quarterly louis brownLouis said his father inspired him to be a boxer. “He would gather all the boys in the neighborhood, and he would match us up by size. We would box in the backyard,” Louis said. “That sparked my interest.”

Going into the Air Force at age 18 led him to an introduction to Ron Sims, who was ranked third in the world as an amateur boxer. Ronald soon was training Louis for matches of his own. After he won an amateur bout by knock-out, Louis got an invitation to the Air Force boxing camp. He was the Air Force lightweight champion from 1994 to 1998, when he left the service and continued his boxing career. After winning the South Carolina and Indianapolis Golden Gloves, he turned professional in 2000. He won 15 bouts, 10 by knock-out, snaring the Indiana Boxing Association Junior Welterweight Title in 2005. His last match was in 2007.

While the Air Force helped Louis get established as a boxer, it also paved the way for his career as an aircraft mechanic. He trained for aircraft maintenance in the service and got his A&P license when he got out.


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