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03/05/2009 Entry: "3/6/2009: A letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe dated June 14, 1988: Power Struggle at York"

Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark June 14, 1988, part 1

Dear Joe,
Thanks for your phone call--very much appreciated--thanks for the newsletter of which more later and thanks for the letter dated June 11th which was waiting for me after I got home from the doctor's office.

I had heard of the death of [Mike] Dietz and would have informed you of same. You beat me to the punch. Yes, he died of a massive heart attack at 2:30 PM in York Hospital. He had, some time before--years--had by-pass surgery. He was 71 at the time he died and was 'President' of the Company. He left three sons- Michael W. Dietz, David A. Dietz, and William H. Dietz, all of whom live in York. There were also assorted grand children and three GREAT grand children. He had never really taken care of himself physically- so I am told- and had had heart trouble for some time.

As to how this will affect the company and the Grimek litigation, this all depends on what kind of a will he left. Insofar as litigation by Grimek is concerned, I think it will make little difference since the Grimek suit is against the Hoffie will. HOWEVER*** I see a tremendous power play coming up. [John] Terpak is getting on now and might not have the stomach, or the strength, for some dirty in fighting. There is also the very interesting contretemps existing. WHO is now in the company and where the presidency of the company-- that is WHO the presidency of the company will pass to. Dietz has TWO of his sons working for York, Terpak has one son, John Jr. working for the company. I assume Terpak will take over presidency and Alda Ketterman will be the vote breaker.

But I am given to understand that she wants to take her share and hop it and have nothing to do with it any more. Wise Alda. What they need there now is an entirely NEW management- get rid of all the old undergrowth and bring in fresh new blood to set the company and the mag back on their feet again. Like what happened at the Wonderful Wun of the Land where the Hills are wooded. He was in mucho trouble until he brought in Alan Dalfon.

Re the mag [Muscular Development]- have it on good authority that they are NOT trying to shut it down but to sell it. This from Dellinger who said in a letter that they have had three nibbles- one from some East Coast company mag deal- wonder if that could be the Flushing Flash- and two parties already into lifting and weight training and I wonder who they can be.

For my part, MD is an absolute disgrace and...would do everyone a favor if it bowed out gracefully- if it remains in its present condition that is. I would be hauling ass and circling the fleet ll over the bloody place with my layout man if I was in Jan's shoes. The workers on the mag are getting away with murder and it is obvious NO ONE gives a pinch pf pandas poop about it- certainly not Terpak as general manager. Oh, how I would scream at the staff if I was the Ed. The mag is poorly laid out and a good layout is actually what attracks the customers-- and the articles arranged without rhyme or reason--least important first 2nd most important placed any bloody place. Oh how I would haul ass if there. Even Kennedy's mag makes it look bad while IM is far above its content and layout qualities. But enough.

I wrote to Weaver almost two weeks ago- no answer- so I guess I can join the club. Indeed I have been a member for some time.

I went and had a physical yesterday. My first in 6 years. Heart and lungs ok. Blood pressure 130 over 70 and nothing else amiss- apparently- but I have to have a cancerous growth removed from the back of my neck- a skin cancer known as a basal cell carcinoma- and am to have this looked at next Tuesday the 21st. It seems that surgery will be done in the office, so I am told. I wonder. The doc said I was also depressed- I said you'd bloody well be if you sat on your arse all the day with no one calling or stopping by. He said something to the effect that Icould have a home visitor. I said stuff them. I want my FAMILY