Iron History

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03/04/2004 Entry: "Iron History, March 6, 2004"

Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark July 15, 1986

I am still going through that stack of Jowett-Coulter letters and it has been fascinating. It is also very obvious that Jowett didn�t write those little booklets- Moulding a Mighty this and that but that Ottley did- by Jowett�s own admission. Jowett also sent out a mailing for the IRON SHOE- that horseshoe type of exercise apparatus- and had received a load of orders for it when he didn�t have a single show made or a course to go with it. Ah, the perfidy of the human race.

It is also obvious that Ottley did all he could to help Jowett get going but that he was all aware that Jowett was a flim flam artist of the finest and didn�t want to get mixed up in any of Georgie boy�s little schemes. The Jowett Institute was in the first place OWNED by the International Correspondence Schools.

Have also learned that XXX got the hots for XXX and had a child by him- a boy. That XXX was cut up about it more than somewhat- as indeed who wouldn�t be seeing the climate of those times ethnic. The boy�s name is XXX- last name unknown- he is now in his early thirties�

Nice to learn you enjoyed the Nautilus trip. Hope they greeted you better than my brief contact with them. But then, who am I that they should bother with me?

Glad to hear you are in contact with Pete George. He is one of my favorite people in the Game and I have always thought a lot of him. He was the Sulimanov of his day, cleaning and jerking 300 when he was a mere fifteen years of age- I think you know about this. Anyway, when next you write him, give him my best regards and let him know how I am and what I am doing and tell him I still have all my own teeth in my 75th year and would love to have a line or two from him.
[Roark note: Pete George is a dentist, hence the teeth reference]

Schemansky is another of those I thought a lot of. Ski, a somewhat gritty character at times, always got along well with me and I with him. He was, without doubt, the most graceful and stylish lifter I have ever seen. He made everything seem so easy. I recall on one occasion in the warm up room he took an empty bar and did several snatches with it, then loaded the bar up to 300 and did several snatches with it- and honestly, I could see no difference. The 300 was just as easy as the empty bar. Terry Todd spoke to him on the phone not too long ago- a couple of days.

My article on the Old Timers� Bash was a load of gooey mush. In fact when I read it I sobbed into my beer. Why they �IM- published no shots of me in it I don�t know since several were taken by Ken Rosa, Fred Howell and Charlie Moss. In fact I enclose for you a shot taken by Moss for your collection, De nada.

About your submission to IM re their 50th. I know nothing of what happened. All I know is that the entire affair was in the hands of TT. He either wrote or phoned- and I believe it was all phoning- to get the hosannas for PR and IM. I was quite surprised to see Wayne�s name there and when I asked, he told me he had PHONED WAYNE and ask him to submit a few lines- as he did with me. He never once mentioned that he had asked you, not that you had submitted anything. In fact, to tell you the truth, the thought that he would, or may have asked you never crossed my mind. I sort of took it for granted.

[Roark note: I had submitted an appraisal of Ironman for their 50th and my words were not as praise inspired as some of the comments that were published. I have always suspected this to be the reason my comments were excluded.]

The mag that had its coffers robbed for their transplants was FLEX. I entirely agree with you re Sports Fitness. Fitness it may be full of as well as other waste commodity, but sports it ain�t. I told him months and months ago that he was on the wrong track, that if he was going to run a sports fitness mag it should be just that and NOT another version of Muscle and Fitness or whatever the bloody publication is called. He brushed off my objections with a disguised, �You don�t know what you�re talking about�. I replied telling him he was allergic to food since it appeared that everything he ate turned to feces. Or whatever. I guess that ended a promising friendship. I have an article coming out about him in the next issue of Kennedy�s mag. I have said nothing in it that isn�t true. I could have said plenty more but why risk a law suit for telling the truth. As they say in Law, the greater the truth, the greater the libel.

Getting back to Schemansky I can recall writing a short article about him and his lifting style in which I said something to the effect that �After watching the unstudied grace of his movements, a certain famous world champion tossed away the implements of his sport and started life anew with something simple like teaching rutting bull elephants lace making.

Anyway, when you write to either Pete or Ski, give them my warmest regards and say I have never forgotten them and would be tickled all the colors of the rainbow to hear from them.

Well, illegitimus non carborundum,