Iron History

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08/20/2004 Entry: "8/20/2004: Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark Oct 28, 1986"

Dear Joe,

Just a brief note to bring you up to date and thank you for the phone call the other night.

Yesterday Vic Boff flew into town- presumably to discuss the affair proposed to be held here some time next year- or proposal thereof. Since Vic is an old friend, we spent most of the afternoon and part of the morning talking about old times. I have known Vic since the late 1940's when I settled here with my family on a permanent basis, in NYC.

Last evening until the baseball game was over and the Mets won- much to the delight of Vic who is a Met fan- Terry came over after he had dropped me off- I worked yesterday at the Collection- and took me OVER TO HIS HOME where he and Jan, Vic and I ate supper- steak, salad and trimmings. Excellent steak and not too bad a bottle of burgundy- which I didn't have.

Among other things Vic, who was very close to Jowett, told me the story of the letter Ottley Coulter wrote to Jowett. In this regard let me refresh your memory.

I think I told you of seeing a letter to Jowett written by Ottley Coulter to the effect that Ottley had been at a meeting in the late forties and Hoffman had told him that Jowett's daughter Phyllis had died and how it must be true since Hoffman wouldn't say something like this unless it was so, and how he, Jowett had written back to say- without once mentioning his daughter's name, that, yes, it was a terrible loss and he didn't know how he would get over it, when all the time his daughter was alive.

Well, it seems that there was a death in the family, but it was Jowett's GIRL FRIEND, a woman named Irene, a secretary in the Milo Barbell Company, with whom Jowett had been knocking a little off and who he thought a great deal of.

Getting back to the material I related the other night over the phone, this stuff, out of the Apollo course, was dated either 1922 or 1924 when the Apollo Course started and consisted of author's proof sheets, the final typing to go to the type setters. In one section of the course, Jowett, via Ottley- the material was typed on Ottley's typewriter- tells how to do a NEW style of dead lifting- what they now call the SUMO STYLE and touted by power lifters as NEW. Legs wide apart and hands gripping the bar INSIDE the thighs.

The next bit is how to do the bench press, using either a box, a low padded stool or a backless couch. Also described were squat racks. And another exercise the Woodland Hills Wunderkind claims as having invented- the concentration curl. Ottley tells how to do it. Advises grasping the barbell with both hands in the middle of the bar, bending the body forward, stuffing the elbows into the groins and curling the bar thus.

Re George Weaver. He is presently living in St. Petersburg, Florida, and there must have been a little flap down there over him since he recently published a book, and the ST Petersburg Times had an article about him and his book, complete with shot. I am sure it would be no bother to track this edition down since his book came about a couple of months ago and the article is in the nature of a book review.

According to the article he is living in a government housing project.

All for now. Drop me a line when you can.

Best to you and yours,