Iron History

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05/07/2009 Entry: "5/8/2009: Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark, May 5, 1988, part 2."

Letter from Charles A. Smith to Joe Roark, May 5, 1988, part 2.

Re the Honest, Upright etc etc. A bloody hypocrite. He KNEW what stunts Hoffie was pulling, how Hoffie had his way with the judges and influenced the choice of Mr. America Winners and SAID SO IN LETTERS TO ME but he NEVER ONCE DID A bloody thing about it. He also knew, all along about blokes in physique shows working queers and he HAD TO as a member of the Central Committee.

There is a little poem which I am sure I am quoting incorrectly. It goes thus,

They are cowards, who will choose,
Hatred, scoffing and abuse,
Rather than be,
In the right with two or three.

I have little time for him. Maybe my judgment is a harsh one, but he had the means to combat what was going on and paid mere lip service to the abuses that were going on and naught else.

HE KNEW WHO THE CULPRITS WERE ALL ALONG. INCLUDING THAT CERTAIN MR. AMERICA whose fee was 75 per night. Did he have less knowledge of what was going on than I did? No, he didn't. He was privy to the inner councils, being one of them.

You have been asked why an intelligent bloke like you maintains an interest in the sport. Ask yourself why a 77 year old dumb arse like me maintains an interest. The mistake most people make is in thinking that all this 'immorality' is NEW. IT ISN'T. IT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR AS LONG AS LIFTING and hasn't been confined to lifting alone but to ALL sports who 'work' queers. Don't tell me. I have worked in vice and narcotics and I KNOW how the slimy little sods--juveniles--would hang around the local bus stations or public toilets and 'work' queers. It's a nasty world we live in Joe, a nasty world.

The sport isn't to blame for the inherent or seemingly inherent something that seems to attract the lazy immoral types to it. IT'S OUR CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION THAT IS TO BLAME, this 'Make a buck fast and easy' philosophy that is hurled at us day after day. 'You TOO can be President' type of crap and this overpowering drive to 'GET RICH QUICK, BE A MILLIONAIRE' stuff we are soaked in. It's all bloody false, and nonsense, and greed causing.

H&S was part of a company publishing many magazines. The most successful they ran was THE EXCHANGE AND BAZAAR MART, a publication in which people placed small ads, for which a good price was asked, saying what they had to sell or trade. Johnson, the editor, is the one I had most contact with, Can't recall what his first name was now, but I think his initials were D.J. He finally fell from grace when as a fire watcher during the Blitz, he got involved with a 16 year old girl during the war and was giving her flesh injections and got hauled over the coals for it. However, when I visited him at the H&S offices in 1951, he was still in the saddle. H&S, and you really should get some of the old issues in the early 1900's, was actually a PHYSICAL CULTURE mag rather than a pure and simple lifting mag. It catered to most sports of a physical culture nature. It would be immensely rewarding to you in an historical sense since you'd be amazed at the activity- thousands of clubs in the London area alone and catering to some form of physical activity and for WOMEN as well as men. So let not the Wanking Wunder of the Wooded and Landed Hill convince you HE started it all. To which claim I say loudly BULLSHIT.

Bert ASSIRATI. Now there was a powerful man and a good wrestler. He taught me wrestling and was none too gentle about it, teaching me the 'facts of life' as he put it, by breaking my nose--TWICE!

It was Bert who got me into lifting by sending me to Joe.

I don't know what date that H&S you have that mentioned Bert being ruined by a Hindu wrestler, but if it was PRIOR to 1940, or during the 1940's, pay it no heed. Bert was never pinned in a SHOOT match in 25 years. Let me explain fully.

In pro wrestling you WORK. That is you go through the motions of a serious bout although it is as serious as the Wanker's promises. You just WORK and make it look genuine. But there are the SHOOT matches which are indeed serious as amateur wrestling matches are. These ALWAYS take place in private. I have seen only one shoot match before the public. This was in the late 1930's in which an old wrestler, Karl Pojello, met with a young Hindu wrestler who called himself Rajah Ranji. The Hindu wouldn't go down to Pojello, that is he wouldn't lose a fall to him, so they shot and to the spectators it was murder, as dull as the proverbial dishwater. But to those who KNEW wresting, it was the best match they had seen.

Bert had a policy. He'd 'put' you over if you were wrestling him. That is, he'd make you look good. Then you paid. He always won, apart from an occasional 'draw' with some well known foreign wrestler from the States or Europe who had a rep. But otherwise Bert would shoot with anyone and win.

The first time Bert was pinned in 25 years was when he went to India in the early 1950's. He was in a gym working out with some Hindu wrestlers and they decided to shoot for the hell of it. Bert said they wrestled for around two minutes, feeling one another out, when suddenly the Hindu he was wrestling went behind him and took him down so fast he couldn't believe it had happened. Name of Hindu wrestler forgotten by me. I did know his name once.

The Hindus had a rep for not wanting to lose to ANYONE. Joe Kalcewicz, the wrestling old timer and promoter in San Francisco got me to contact the manager of a troupe of Hindu wrestlers and finally brought them over to San Fran, but Joe soon got rid of them. None of them would 'do businesses'. They wouldn't 'work' and all wanted to either win or SHOOT.