Iron History

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12/29/2005 Entry: "12/30/05: A letter from Charles A, Smith to Joe Roark July 7, 1987."

Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark July 7, 1987

Dear Joe,

Thanks for your letter post dated July 3rd which was waiting for me on arrival home from the Concoction yesterday. Thanks too for the addresses enclosed therein.

Re that offer from the W of WW. Pardon my presumption, but I do not think you should send him any freebie until your ad appears- even for just once- in his mag. This gooney bird is right fast with promises, but as slow as a snail in sub zero weather in carrying them out.

Re the other deal-XXX. Ah, those old Spanish families. It might be well to find out who, what, when, where and how much. Remember that the Wunderful Wun has a load of material on ESPN- his men's shows, his women's shows, his doubles 'championships' and so forth. So I feel pretty sure that if it came to a question of publishing YOUR truth and the W of WW's fabcies (sic), there's no doubt as to what would be aired. Kabisch?

Now for the serious matter. That of ED's offer. Remember here you are getting two inputs. Mine and his. His comes from a much younger view of the world. Mine from the 76 year old, and men at this age get increasingly cynical and increasingly paranoid as each day passes.

From ED's point of view- and remember he is a much younger man than you are - or so I assume- it is nothing for him to up stakes and sashay off to some other patch that looks greener. He can, with his degree, and his experience, find work at any University. Especially so since he would be regarded as an 'expert' in the area of muscle building machines.

You on the other hand are in your forties now. You have no degree of any kind- not that having a degree implies intelligence for it is often nothing more than a trade union ticket. You have been in your job for 19 years. You have built up a fairly substantial pension equity- something that would have to start all over again- IF AT ALL- if you went to work for Nautilus. And there is no guarantee that this new company would be successful. But the University of Illinois WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.

Then too, there is your marriage to think of. You might settle in well in Dallas. You might not. Your wife might settle in well at Dallas. Then, again she might not. She has a circle of friends in St. Jo, plus her job, which you have told me she enjoys.

So what would I do in your position? I'd STAY WHERE I WAS and see if ED would consent to working at long distance. After all, all he seems to need is some author's input. He can attend to the layouts etc etc. He has had the experience. YOU AIN'T.

Also remember that in the two years he says HE says he might need you, you will be two years older- closer to fifty, then it is well nigh IMPOSSIBLE to get a job ANYWHERE. Don't let affirmative action kid you- THEY DO TAKE AGE INTO CONSIDERATION, as well as race, color and religion when hiring. Also in two years you will have 20 years in at the U of I.

And from this point on Joe- stash every penny away you can. Whatever you make writing. DON'T SPEND IT. BANK IT or invest it. If I had done this when I was your age, I'd have been quite well off now. But at your age I was working for the W of WW and he was as lavish with his largesse as a corpse is with its kisses. Whatever you decide, then good luck go with you.

XXX, I may have told you, when he left the W of WW tried for a job with York. No dice. Turned him down flat because, according to Grimek, his involvement with steroids.

My article on Eder is due to appear in the November issue. I have already been paid for it, but shall be vastly pissed if the mention of my friend appears or any of his 'research' appears in it. I shall drop Balik a line to this effect, methinks.

I shall drop Glossbrenner a line. Even more glaring an error than his claiming Anderson was never beaten in competition is his calling a lift the CONTINENTAL CLEAN AND JERK. Ain't no such beastie.

There is a guy in Massachusetts somewhere named Denis Reno who shoves out a newsletter on Olympic lifting. He sent me a copy, hoping I would subscribe at the rate of 14 per. I was most intrigued by an 'article' in it which proposed to 'revive' Olympic lifting in this country by awarding any man who won a gold Olympic disc, twenty five thousand bucks. He claimed the sole source of OL success was money. That's like kissing your wife twice to get her to do something she should have done without getting kissed at all. Now, go on, call me a male chauvinist pig.

I wrote back a letter, regretting my financial inability to sub to his sheet, adding that I wondered how it was that Egypt, about as poor a country as I have ever been in, managed to produce so many fine world champs and record holders, and how the Germans managed to do ditto after the 1st world war, when they were starving and inflated to the point where a daily wage wasn't enough to buy one loaf of bread. So far silence.

Wayne, I am told, took off with Mae Mollica when he returned to the Bay Rum Island. St. Lucia is famed for its toilet waters etc etc.

Joe Hood- a very nice chap. One of the best. Honest. No bullshit with him. I like Joe a lot. Good kid. He told me the other day he was hoping to get at Kuc, that he had upped his bench to 450. He has already made 730 odd, to equal Goerner's two hander. He has also narrowly missed 802. And since he is now scaling 250, he might, just might, have a chance at taking the title.

He is retiring [from lifting] because he enters chiropractic school this coming September. I shall miss Joe. Always a polite, kind word, always willing to listen and not putting you down, like some bloke I could name.

If you do see Joe, say hi for me.

Well, I've banged your ear too much. Best say so long.

Best wishes to you and yours,