Iron History

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07/31/2008 Entry: "8/1/2008: A letter to Joe from Charles A. Smith dated August 22, 1987"

Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark dated Aug 22, 1987

[Roark note: please keep in mind that the following is from Chas� perspective and that the other people involved have their, perhaps differing, perspectives]

Dear Joe,
Thank you for yours post dated August 15th and received by me three days later.

Did I tell you I had a call from Bill Hinbern. We spoke for at least 45 minutes. I was so busy wagging my chin that I forgot he was calling from so far away.

That date would be about right for my first article re Weider. At the time I was living at 3 West 103rd Street right by Central Park and he had somehow or other contacted me, after meeting me in company with Leo Gaudreau at Columbus circle. I recall there were loads of shots with the article�or at least there should have been since he handed me a whole batch of snaps to shove captions on. But, I think there was an earlier article�one he had lifted in toto from an Iron Man without my consent or even asking Rader. I hopped on him for this and received a check for ten bucks and a note asking me if I wouldn�t contribute on a regular basis. I remember mentioning this to some of the York crowd and receiving a stern warning about Joseph and to make sure I got paid promptly since he was, according to Messers Terpak et al, in the habit of forgetting to send a check.

As for what the Reverend told you in Chicago, he told the truth but only part of it. He failed to mention that when I called him saying I had been sleeping poorly and was in a bad temper as a result, and felt I couldn�t do my best at work, he snarled �As you like it,� then hung up on me as I was trying to explain further. This coupled with his connivings re the Eder article, plus the fact that I had discovered he had made what my informant said was a �very generous offer� to come over and work at the Collection, pissed me off more than somewhat, since I had been working there for years without pay. And he knew my financial circumstances and also that a few bucks more a month would have helped me.

So, NO, I won�t go back. Put your finger in the fire and burn it, is experience. Do it a second time and that�s stupidity. And I always felt I was being patronized, that I really wasn�t one of the team, but just a go-fer. His actions in the Eder article wre chicken shit. He deliberately LIED to me and more than once. He went behind my back, without my permission and consent. I have since found out thathe told Eder I was writing the article and he was trying to help me. Yet he contacts Balik�to demand that info he had obtained from Eder when he took him to lunch- and none of this told to me- be included in my article. The Reverend said nothing to me of this, nothing of having interviewed Eder, nothing of having phoned Balik re inclusion of more material in MY article. So I felt he was not to be trusted- he had always said he was my friend�and to quote some unknown, with a friend like this, who needs an enemy.

I was somewhat surprised at Joe Hood�s losing. He was so confident of winning. He came over to see me four or five days before he left for Chicago and seemed in good spirits. I had heard his suit blew during his squat. But what surprised me was the polygraph test and it being border line insofar as Joe was concerned. To the best of my knowledge and belief, Joe has never used steroids but I did think it most remarkable that he had put on so much weight and since he never had gone over 415 before I said �Hmm� to myself and wondered.

I have always liked Joe. He has seemed to me a forthright and simple guy meaning �uncomplicated,� and I would find it most difficult to believe he had resorted to steroids.

Why they use the polygraph I don�t know since it isn�t reliable and the results obtained from it are, in most courts in the U.S., inadmissible as evidence. It CAN be beaten and it Can give false readings- a hard night out on the town the day before you take the test, a poor night�s sleep, a rough argument with the wife or mother-in-law can do the trick.

I am also wondering how long it is gonna take the Drug Free Power people to get around to banning such things as suits- guaranteed �to put thirty to fifty pounds on one�s squat, tops�- guaranteed to put twenty to thirty pounds on your bench. It would seem to me that use of these devices is just as unfair as using steroids. After all, the purpose of conducting a lifting contest is to find out who is the strongest, and if devices such as tops, suits, wrappings etc etc are allowed to be used, then we don�t determine who is the strongest in any contest, but who uses the best drugs and the best equipment as auxiliarys. It makes one think that if these devices are allowable, then why not blocks and tackles or helping hands from loaders when the bench becomes slow at the so called sticking point.

I KNOW Weider never had a middle initial. One can only think that someone thought he had and used it and either Joe never noticed it or never cared.

There are many sides to the Hoffic-Wunderboy feud and not all of them have been told. But at the bottom of it all is Hoffie�s monumental vanity and the Wunderboy�s flair for snake oil salesmanship, PLUS the fact that he was treading most heavily on Hoffie�s turf, or what Hoffie thought was his exclusive turf. Hoffie would tolerate no opposition. He HAD to be top bull in the pasture, and what a lush pasture it has turned out to be.

No, I am not waiting for the Reverend to call me. I know where the phone is and know how to use the phone, and I feel not the slightest desire to whirl the dial.

Write soon and the best to you and yours,