Iron History

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02/12/2009 Entry: "2/13/2009: Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark May 25, 1988"

Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark May 25, 1988

Dear Joe, Thanks for yours of the 22nd, reaching me yesterday the 24th.

What occasioned the move of Meg from a dorm to a 'flat'? Hope everything is well. How is she doing at school. OK?

[Roark note: Meg was doing well, and later earned a doubles Masters]

Yes, I got a copy of MD from Dellinger with a very brief note. Wrote back thanking him for same and mag. I believe I have already mentioned to you that, in my opinion, you have taken the rest pause system and the negative training principle and effected a marriage of convenience. Since both these so-called 'principles' were being used way back in the days of Joe Hise and before. I can't say that the system is new, but rather making the best of two worlds as it were. But none of the present crop of would be 25 inch biceps builders totally devoid of the history of the Game as they are, will know the difference and I won't tell--so there.

[Roark note: Charles refers to an article I wrote for MD called Variable Timed Speed Reps, and I disagree with his analysis]

Did I mention in my last letter that some big Russian bloke, a super heavy, took 661 off the rack and jerked it. And at the Championships he recently in Cardiff, Wales. Taranakov, the other Russian super cleaned and jerked 590, but started to walk forward and lost it. Just ten pounds short of the magical big 6. We might possibly see the first 600 clean and jerk at Seoul, if the Crazies don't rust up the affair and whatever else is around.

Not too much else to report, except to say that I am mildly pissed off at Kennedy and his half arsed editor Zulak would be the understatement of all time. I had written an article for Kennedy about the history and use of the Cheat Training Principle--why does every simple way of doing something get converted into a 'principle'. Anyway, Kennedy sends me a copy of his July MMI with my article in it. To my horror and a flood of four letter words, I discover the lead had been completely changed. I didn't mention Hoffman by name, but referred to him as a deceased Muscle Mogul. Zulak OR Kennedy put his name plus words I never wrote- that Hoffman called himself the father of Weightlifting, that he an article or editorial decrying the Cheat way of training and had at the same time shown shots of himself bent pressing a barbell, plus repeating the same word in a paragraph four times--something I never do. They also changed the word to effuvium to effluvism - a word that is in no dictionary I possess and other stuff making me look like an uneducated asshole. I at once shot off a letter to Terpak setting the score straight, telling him what I had said and what it had been changed to. I also wrote Kennedy chewing his ass out- as only I can chew when I am in the mood--and asking for an apology. I won't hold my breath. This sort of thing should not have been done without first submitting the alterations to me for my approval. If Kennedy wants to put the rap on someone, that's his privilege, but I don't want him putting his words into my mouth. The entire lead was totally spoiled. Why. oh why do these half assed, stuck up, jumped up, never come down again soi disant 'editors' think they can write better than authors- such as me I might add. This is like gilding the lily or the Venus de Milo. I am damn mad.

Yes, I have heard of Kay Baxter. Didn't know too much about her--'Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls. IT TOLLS FOR THEE.'

I doubt very much is Breslin will remember me. But I do remember him on one occasion, when Joe wouldn't pay him for some article on some pretext, Jimmy threatened to come back and 'Blow this fucking joint up.' Joe paid. It would be nice, and even flattering, if Breslin remembered Chas A. But I doubt it.
[Roark note: My letter to Breslin to ask of his days with Weider never received a response.]