Iron History

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01/22/2009 Entry: "1/23/2009: Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark, May 4, 1988, part 2."

Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark, May 4, 1988, part 2.

True, the 'wages' paid by the Hoffie crowd were pitiful. Bob Hasse, who was their ed for some time, begged and pleaded with Hoffie to give him a raise, which was refused. He finally had to leave because he just couldn't keep his family on what he was paid. Joe Lauriano, so I am told, got 35 bucks a week as a packer and loader, ditto Stanko and a hell of a lot more. That was why there was so much till tapping going on. They fired two they caught. One of them was downright foolish since he purchased a flashy Cadillac and thus gave the game away to his bosses who knew he couldn't afford such a car. There were others who were caught, but warned to cease and desist and because a couple of them were well known.

Apart from Terpak and Dietz, Grimek was, perhaps the best paid on the staff and rightly so. Where would they have been without him. No where. He WAS YORK.

I think the only one who got a good deal was the Reverend who had a contract with Hoffie, or so I am told. Nothing they paid Grimek would have been too much. He was worth every penny and Hoffie knew it. Hoffie was a tight wad like the Wanking Wunder of the Hills.

Homo hustling is not recent phenomenon. It has ALWAYS been part of the weight training scene. It increased because the number of weight trainers increased. One VERY VERY FAMOUS MR. AMERICA had a price of 75 bucks a night and on his wedding night turned to his bride of a few hours and said, 'Be seeing ya honey. Got to make the rent money.' And they idolized this slimy bastard as one of the 'Greats' today. Naturally the young lady didn't stay married to him long.

From what little I know, at least three of these photogs have done jail time for selling porno shots. Two were straight and one was gay. The 'industry' is such it can be called, was dominated by gays.

There were many straight photogs in it for the money and there WAS a lot of money to be made. Yes, of course, the photogs took 'legitimate' pictures, especially when Joe or Hoffie wanted a certain well known bodybuilder or lifter shot. But mainly those who shot physiques shot for the gay trade. If ever you come to the Collection again, you should look through some of their catalogues- ALL illustrating young- very young- men with appealing bodies and such, with descriptions that the normal or straight shot collector wasn't interested in. In other words these catalogues not only sold to the gay trade, but took pains to make it known what 'model' was 'available'.

Thus all photogs, straight or Gay, catering to the legit or the gay purchaser did legitimate work for magazines. Lon, for example, took shots of Horvath and I to illustrate a wrestling course that Joe insisting on publishing. I gradually eased out of the mag since it really had no place and there were so many good books on wrestling instruction- including Ed Lewis's book and Liedermann's book- the latter one of the best I have seen.

Lots of those selling photos took entire nudes, and this is what got some of them into trouble since they showed blokes in a state of tumescence. This of course the authorities objected to- in those times. Just as in those times you were not allowed to show a woman's pubic hair but had to air brush it out, which was ridiculous, as if denying the hair existed in those there parts, or else by the ban, tacitly admitting that it was erotic or arousing- which of course it was.

Yes, I believe that shots were sold in which fig leaves and other covering were used that could be erased. Fig leaves quickly went out of style since 'trunks' were easier and faster to paint on. QED.

Yes, I knew Seymour of Sy as he eventually called himself. I first met him at the Bronx Union YMCA, where, by the way I started the first lifting class and enlarged it so much that we took two handball courts away from players who had balls. Great uproar too. Seymour, with his buddy, Herbie Schiff, Herbie Clark and John Ogle were all taught by me at the club and all turned out very well. In fact Schiff landed upo as a pretty darn good lifter and was c&j-ing in the locale of 380 pounds. And in those days that was akin to making 500 at the present. Seymour competed in many BB ocntests and, so far as I recall- it was forty years ago- did well. I eventually got him into pro wrestling wher he 'exhibited' as Sy Koenig. I shoved him in contact with Jim Barnett, who at the time was working for Fred Koehler, the Chicago promoter. Seymour eventually left pro wrestling and went out to the Coast where, I am told -- I AM TOLD- he made lot of money on the stock exchange.

Now YOU tell me why you are interested in Seymour.

DuBois I know little bout apart from the fact that he was a York Pet and all set to win the 1953 Mr. A until I, pointedly might I add, pointed out to the head judge that he had totaled up the scores in Dickie boy's favor and to Bill Pearl's loss- 'an unfortunate error' the head judge said and set it right at once. I understand DuBois subsequently became a preacher. Dr. Samuel Johnson, in his dictionary of the English language, gave his definition of 'Patriotism' as 'The last refuge of a scoundrel.' What with the present spate of sexual revelations among God's anointed, I think Johnson might have easily applied his patriotism to a preacher. Just being my cynical self once more.

Waste not your time sorrowing over those who fail to return answers to your letters and reflect that if you were three times as well known you'd get more mail than you desire. If people think they can use you, or if you can be useful to them, they'll write fast enough. Witness the Smoked Salmon Bloke. Whenever I see a letter from him, I know, before I open it, he's asking for something.

Ta Ta and write soon,