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RIP - Chester Chet Yorton

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The Incredible Story of
By Earle Liederman
JUST like the ancient Egyptian mythological bird, the phoenix, that was consumed by fire and then arose out of its own ashes to fly away and live another long life, so Chester Yorton climbed out of his own severely shattered bones to transform himself into the marvelous physical specimen he is today.

The story of his success reads like an exaggerated tale of a fantastic creation and yet everything you shall now learn about him is bona fide and can readily be verified.

But let me go back to his 18th year of life after he had graduated from high school. During his school days he participated only in baseball and basketball upon occasions. His hands had never touched a weight. His bodyweight at that time was 160 pounds.

Today Chester Yorton is 25 years old and stands 5 ft. 11 in. and weighs 220 lbs. And he owns 19 arms, 18 neck, 51 chest, 32 waist, 26 thighs and 18 calves. He is strong, too. He can full squat with 500 lbs., bench press with 425 lbs., do strict curls with 205 lbs., and those so-called cheating curls with 230 lbs. And he can make an Olympic total of 800 pounds.

He has been using weights during the past five years only, and yet, amid these five years, he took two layoffs of six months each, therefore, his actual total of training with barbells boils down to but four years of actual weight training.

He is extremely fortunate in having a body that possesses perfect metabolism and he also has wonderful recuperative powers. The two combined may be considered great aid towards muscular improvements, and yet these organic qualities can be obtained by most everyone who lives properly and who treats his body as he would value life's greatest possession ever to be owned.

Chester Yorton was in a terrific auto smash-up. After he had somewhat recuperated from a total physical wreck of broken and also shattered bones, serious multiple lacerations, concussion, and also escaping by only one-eighth of an inch from death, he developed himself so rapidly despite such handicaps, that within two years of exercising he won the title of Mr. Wisconsin, and also in the same affair won an extra award for being the most muscular. Such seems to be somewhat of a record--to become a prize winner within two years after a start from physical profundity.

But to make everything clearer and reveal a misfortune which none of us would ever care to endure, shall now

Let Chester Yorton Tell His Own Thrilling Story

"I was not athletic in my younger days although I played a bit of baseball and basketball in high school. When I was out of high school I was involved in an auto accident that started my road to bodybuilding.

"One night as a friend was driving me home and while hitting a speed of about 40 miles per hour, he missed a curve in the road and the car struck a tree which was but two blocks from my abode. I braced myself against the floorboards but the impact drove my hips out of their sockets. I flew up hitting the dashboard, shattering my thighs. I was thrown against the windshield, smashing it, and cutting my left eye, right through the eyeball. I also ripped open my left forearm from the elbow to the wrist. But that spear of glass that penetrated my eyeball was the most serious of all. And afterwards when I became conscious in the hospital in Milwaukee, I was told that had this glass penetrated my eyeball just one-eighth of an inch further I would have been dead as it then would have pierced my brain. But the nearest I came to that morbid state was a brain concussion.

"I lay in the car for half an hour until the police arrived and pried the doors open with crowbars to release me. The ambulance rushed me to the St. Francis hospital where the doctors then debated about amputating my right leg, but not consenting, they then performed surgery on it for four and one-half hours, putting in a five-inch steel plate and eight screws around my right thigh bone. Three days later they performed surgery on my left thigh bone and at which time they inserted a stainless steel rod about an inch in diameter, inside the femur bone of my left leg from the hip to knee by cutting my hip open and drilling out the hollow where the rod was to be inserted down the center of the thigh bone.

"I was put in casts from hips to toes in traction where I lay in this position for a month. The cast was then taken off my left leg when physical therapy started for its benefit. When I was able to bend my left leg sufficiently the surgeons allowed me to walk on crutches supporting my bodyweight on my right leg that was still in cast.

"I hobbled around on crutches and finally was allowed to go home. There I continued hobbling around on crutches for some time, and one day, I accidentally lost my balance and fell down the porch steps. This fall bent my left leg ,nd also left thigh bone into a 45 degree angle! So back to the hospital I was taken for 17 more days under further surgery and then confined to a wheel chair for over four monthes. I also had to undergo further treatments for still another month and so I had to later learn to walk on crutches all over again.

"But it was the going through all this pain and suffering and hospitalization and also incapacitation that finally led me to the point in my feeble existence, to get well or bust, so to speak! It was very hard at first as I was exceptionally weak after about one whole year of physical helplessness.

"However, while in the hospital in a wheel chair I spied a pair of very small dumbells in a corner of the room, and so I asked one of the surgeons if I might ever use such things for benefit. He exclaimed heartily that some mild, but very mild at first, weight exercises would benefit me. At least this offered me some encouragement and I applied such extremely light weights as soon as I was out of my right leg cast and also felt a spark of energy within me. It was very hard at first as I was so exceptionally weak but gradually I saw a little improvement and later on, much more of it. I even surprised myself during the next two years by first gaining 55 lbs. in bodyweight in the first seven months and then making a total gain of 80 lbs., until I found myself at 240 lbs. two years later and in good muscular shape! However, I found this bodyweight a bit too heavy for physique competition so I reduced to 210 lbs."

What an ordeal Chester Yorton really had! It is almost shuddering!

However, I must add that I have in my possession the full photostat copy of the doctors' report from the St. Francis hospital to the insurance lawyer, and Chester has modestly left out many items. One of these rests in the surgeons' word when pertaining to his femur bone of his right thigh--several times the word "comminution" is used. And this word means in any dictionary "pulverization." Hence Chester's thigh bones were smashed to powder in the center part. But what makes him all the more marvelous today in the fact that he can make full squats with 500 lbs. on his shoulders despite steel plate and steel rod in each of his thighs for the rest of his life. It sort of makes you think a bit!

Yet he had not undergone all the suffering he might never have obtained his longanimity during his incapacitation and which, in turn, might be somewhat responsible for his initial interest in bodybuilding.

He Trains Six Times Weekly With Alternate System

Chester is a very hard worker, too. He performs all his leg work one day and the upperbody work the next day and such is known as the alternate system. And he believes in getting his muscles pumped-up at the very start of his routine and to then keep them pumped throughout his entire training program. He usually does four sets for 8-10 reps in most of his exercises with the exception of his calves which get 30 reps and four sets and with 550 lbs. resistance.

He also works each body part thoroughly before going into the next section. And he generally uses the maximum weight that he is able to use even if he sometimes must drop to 8-9 reps as he begins to tire. But he is extremely particular in performing strict style and full movements so as to get the most stretch possible.

He Surely Is a Hearty Eater!

At the time I interviewed him for this report he was in heavy training and he informed me that during such sessions he increases his food intake as he finds himself always hungry. Hence he eats six times every day! However under ordinary conditions when he trains to just keep in condition he eats the normal count of three meals daily. But just mentally digest the following:

He usually eats six to eight eggs for breakfast and two glasses of raw milk, plus soybean powder with brewers yeast. For luncheon he has a light snack of one pound of rare ground beef, some vegetables and a gelatin salad plus his usual two glasses of raw milk, soybean powder and yeast. And for dinner he devours one pound of liver, chicken or steak, or sometimes fish, together with lots of vegetables and a salad, and as usual soybean powder, brewers yeast and two glasses of raw milk.

He obviously has remarkable metabolism. And I might also add that he eats no salt or other seasonings, no starches or dough; never tastes potatoes, bread, noodles, or cake, pie, ice cream, candy, gum or soda drinks.

Chester Yorton Is a New Bright Star That Has Ascended in Muscledom

One thing which everyone can say about Chester Yorton is that he is a gentleman. His unassuming manner reveals him as a fellow who has not lost that common touch and which is so valuable to one who walks in the spotlight of life. He has intelligence and seems very well versed upon any conversational topic. He impresses as being absolutely indifferent to his own physique and seems void of all vanity. He is always in a state of relaxation and when he speaks he has a well modulated voice and appears always calm and collected. He is a fine asset to the game and a fellow who commands attention and interest because of his own interest in all others.

I personally think he would make a splendid Mr. America. And maybe someday soon he will possess that big title, who knows? Photographs of him do not do him justice. One must behold him posing under lights to really become thoroughly impressed and join in the mighty applause after he completes his posing routine.

Every time one sees him he seems a bit different. This is due to the continuous improvements he is making here or there around his physique.

The world is before him -- how far will he go? How largely muscled can he become? Chester Yorton would enjoy knowing the answers himself.

Yorton, Wynter Win London Mr. Univ.
By Oscar Heidenstam
NABBA's eighteenth Professional and Amateur Universe contests were held in London the week-end of September 23-24, and it could be said in all honesty that this was probably the greatest international gathering of bodybuilders ever assembled for such a contest. Thirty-one countries were represented, which is a record, even for this great annual event in the PC calendar. There were seventy-one competitors in the final lineup, twelve in the Professional contest, divided into two height classes, and fifty-nine in the Amateur contest, divided into three height classes.

They were judged, as always, the day before the Universe show commencing at 10 a.m. and finishing around 5 p.m., with only an hour's break for a quick lunch.

The international panel of judges comprised eighteen with three secretaries to work out all the results. The seven overseas judges, all coming from similar associations in their own countries and all were former physique champions. The Italian judge, for instance, Umberto Devetak, being a former Mr. Italy and now owner of the only independent PC magazine in Italy. The German judge was a former Mr. Germany and Universe competitor and is now a doctor. The international panel was headed by our old friend, John Grimek, our first-ever Universe winner, returning to us after a spell of eighteen years, and looking as young as ever. A great honor for us. The British judges were all men of vast physical culture experience and included two former Universe winners and four Mr. Britain winners.

Our judging is done by comparison and no points system. Bach judge picks the best six in each height class, in his estimation, after comparing them front view, side view and back view, then letting them do individual posing and then pulling out two or three at a time to make closer comparisons in identical poses. When this is done the judges pass their papers to the judges' secretaries who work out the overall majority for the best six chosen. They enter these on the judges' papers and pass them back to be placed in order of merit after a great deal more comparison.

The Professionals--
Six in each height class from an original entry of eight in each height class. Notable absentees at the last minute were Sergio Oliva, whom we have been looking forward to having for two years, but he elected to go to another contest, Earl Maynard, a former Universe winner, and the German Reinhard Smolana, who has been third twice in his height class.

In Class 2 the struggle was between the beautifully symmetrical and well nigh faultless Paul Wynter of Antigua, a winner in 1960, and Rick Wayne, another West Indian from St. Lucia, who has been causing quite a stir as a muscular sensation. Take into account an equal measure of muscularity, proportions and symmetry, Paul came out the clear winner in this height class, with fourteen votes to three (I refrained from judging). Rick Wayne being second, and a really great South African, Abe Jordan third. Fourth place went to a very muscular Evrard Meyssain of Guadeloupe.

In Class 1, the battle was obviously going to be between the amazing George Paine, making his second visit, and Vern Weaver making his third, both of U.S.A. George was in superb condition and when one thinks of his age, this most likeable star is an example to all. Vern Weaver, with so much potential, still seemed to lack that winning determination. Whereas George Paine gave all he had in his posing, Vern seemed casual, as he has in the past. It was a clear win for George, with Vern second, and a very fine Tony Boulos from the United Arab Republic third. Tony, a former Mr. World, and now a doctor, was making his fourth appearance. Fourth was the handsome Olav Hansen of Norway, making his second bid. Fifth was Roger Francais from France.

The Professional Mr. Universe-
The judges now had to decide between the two height class winners, Paul Wynter and George Payne for the Professional Universe title for 1966.

It was Paul Wynter, for the second time in six years, with eleven firsts to George Paine's six. One judge found it impossible to separate them and did not vote.

Two very fine people, both as men and as physique stars.

The Amateurs-
This contest really presented us with some headaches, and was packed with top material. There were several new countries competing and the European entry was the best ever, notably from Germany and Austria.

Class 3- The short class we call this, up to and including 5 ft. 6 in. Over twenty competitors from fifteen countries, and always a very tough one to start the ball rolling.

Britain had some very formidable entries in this class including our shortest ever Britain winner, John Citrone, 5 ft. 5 in. and third in this class last year, and former Mr. Britain, Terry Parkinson, an inch taller and second in this class last year. There was a great deal of opposition though, including Louis Lifman of South Africa, winner of Reg Park's Mr. Republic of South Africa contest, and a place winner last year. Kamal Bozan, a former Mr. Syria, and a very high place winner in the FIHC contests. Wilfred Sylvester, a former Jr. Britain finalist from St. Lucia, with something of the Paul Wynter about him; an excellent Moroccan, Said Abderrhmane, two Germans and many others.

John Citrone, our current Mr. Britain had it all the way and received sixteen out of a possible eighteen first places. Two judges preferred Wilfred Sylvester, who finished second and Louis Lifman who finished fifth. 3rd place went to Terry Parkinson after a close fight with Wilfred Sylvester; fourth place went to the very pleasing Syrian, Kamat Bozan; sixth place went to Brian House of England, who impressed John Grimek a great deal because of his terrific legs.

Class 2- This was probably the most open class of the amateurs and, taking into consideration it is for those up to 5 ft. 9 in. and over 5 ft. 6 in., it takes the "average" height man.

I would have liked to see an American in this height class to balance things up. Chief contenders were Roy Perrott of England, who was second in this class last year, William Betsalel of Israel, who took fourth place two years ago, Francois Van Den Berg, a South African, second in the Mr. South Africa contest, Clovis Nidaud of France, second in the Mr. Europe contest, Janko Rudman, the best Swede we have ever had at our Universe, Albert Beckles of Barbados, who has been featured in Iron Man.

William Betsalel of Israel had improved enormously since his last appearance, and took first place, followed very closely by Roy Perrott, who has a wonderful upper body, but is stilt a bit light in the legs; third was Janko Rudman of Sweden, a very rugged competitor indeed. Fourth was Clovis Nidaud of France, fifth, Francois Van Den Berg of South Africa, sixth, Albert Beckles, Barbados.

Class 1-This is the tall men's class and really was "the battle of the giants;" twenty-three in all, and the best overall we have ever had in this class.

We had hoped for an entry from York, Pennsylvania in this class, but Vern Weaver went into the professionals to replace Sergio Oliva. However, we had two very formidable and unexpected last minute entries: Chester Yorton, USA, fresh from winning a Mr. America title (IFBB), and Vic Downes, fresh from winning the Mr. Canada title. This was not all; there was an incredible 19 year old Austrian, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who all but stole the show. When I received his entry I wondered if it could be accurate because at 19 he was 6 ft. 1 in. tall, weighed 230 lbs, and had a 19 in. upper arm. There was certainly no doubt about these measurements; the lad has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time. Our own Paul Nash, who won this height class last year and has since added a Mr. Europe title to his many wins, certainly had some formidable opposition. He was tipped to win the overall title. It did not end at this because this class had the muscular might of many other countries including Les Spendlove, current Mr. Australia, Bruce Wills, runner-up Mr. New Zealand, Gordon Van Sertima of Guyana, a place winner for two years, the current Mr. Luxembourg, Pierre Thielen, a former Mr. Germany, Helmut Reidmier, two former Mr. Europes and many more.

It was a close battle between the mature and superb Chester Yorton in the hardest possible shape and Schwarzenegger. As a friend of mine said when he posed after the extraordinary and very formidable Austrian, Schwarzenegger, Chester "wrung the last drop out of himself." The Austrian, a bit more mature, and better legs, will be unbeatable. He seemed unaware of has potential and just how good he was, and indeed a modest giant. We were very impressed with Chester and his posing was superb. When one considers the serious accident he had, it speaks highly for his tenacity and of PC. He was indeed a fine winner, with the Austrian second, Vic Downes, Canada third and Most Muscular winner. Vic is a former Londoner and commenced training at 30 and is now 37. Paul Nash, England, had to be content with a fourth, Gordon Van Sertima fifth and Les Spendlove of Australia who is only twenty years old, sixth, Nicolas Klebber, Guadeloupe, seventh.

Picking the Amateur Universe Winner
All that was left was to select the overall Universe winner. But of course, as the Universe show was not until the day after, we had to assemble all the amateur competitors, though we were only looking at the three height class winners.

It was between John Citrone, England, William Betsalel, Israel and Chester Yorton, USA.

It was Chester all the way for 100 per cent first place, so our Amateur Universe title went to the USA for the tenth time.

behind the scenes 1966 MR. UNIVERSE CONTEST
EVERY YEAR since we started publishing MD magazine we try to select a worthy physique champion and send him to the Mr. Universe contest in London. This year we wanted to send two, and did, but only one competed in the contest. Last June during the Mr. America contest a few men were sounded out about competing in London, one of whom was Sergio Oliva. He was interested and raising his arms up in a pose, said: "Me go. Me win!"

We kept him in mind and did everything to arrange his passage. With the help of Bob Gajda, who wanted to lay off a year before trying, Gajda did everything he could to get things straightened out for Sergio. We agreed to pay his back taxes, even then the State Department refused to issue a passport until a thorough search into his background could be made. Such a search would take weeks, and the Mr. Universe contest was scheduled for the 24th of September. It would be over before Sergio could be cleared. . . we looked elsewhere.

About this time we heard that John Decola was planning to compete in the Mr. North America contest held in York. This would give us the opportunity to look him over and maybe send him. He failed to show up. Others were asked about it. All were eager but they were more anxious to win Mr. America first before surrendering their amateur status by competing in London.

Meanwhile, Vern Weaver, the 1963 Mr. America, was training hard and whipped himself into fantastic shape. When I saw him in Los Angeles last March he expressed a strong desire to try again. He disclosed elaborate plans of barnstorming Europe with his wife to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. It sounded great, so much so that it gave my wife, Angela, the same idea to celebrate our 25th anniversary coming up. While we agreed to send Weaver we would do so from York. We felt if he was really interested he would find a way to York. . . and he did. When we had just about given up hope of sending anyone, up pops Weaver. He took a few workouts and he looked like a sure winner. His passage was arranged, and because another man was not found, it was decided that I accompany him, watch the proceeding and bring back an eye-witness account.

Meanwhile because my personal funds were low I began talking my wife out of the trip. Our two working daughters, who were secretly planning a party for our anniversary, decided they would throw in the money for my wife's expenses instead of the party. After that no amount of talking could change Angela's mind. The next few days kept us busy getting our passports and other documents in order. Weaver's wife didn't make the trip.

It was decided to leave a day before the actual judging. Paradoxical as it may seem, York was without rain for months, yet the day we were leaving we experienced a near-deluge. To add to our frustrations the airline office called just before we started for the airport to tell us our flight has been cancelled. Was this a bad sign, an omen? I left the decision to Vern, should we go or wait until tomorrow. He felt we should go and we accepted one of the alternate flights they offered.

We drove in heavy rain to the airport and from there were taken by special bus to Dulles where we got on another liner. To add to the confusion I had called London earlier and told them when we would arrive. There would be a car waiting to pick us up. This change of schedules only added to the confusion. I pondered the eventual outcome.

Once airborne Vern and I discussed various plans. Lightning flashed nearby as we winged our way into the night. Flying east made the night shorter and before we knew it sunlight streamed through the windows. Beneath us a heavy layer of clouds obliterated everything. Impatiently we waited to land. In about two hours we were informed that "we were holding" and waiting for the fog to lift. Now, however, we were forced to go to Scotland to refuel.

In Prestwick, Scotland we got breakfast and killed another couple hours before reboarding the plane for London. The fog had lifted sufficiently and a safe landing was made. Once we cleared customs we exchanged our good old American dollars for some pounds and shillings to have some working cash, then we looked around for our ride. Since our plane was behind schedule we didn't think anyone would be waiting. We found a bus that was headed for Victoria Station and boarded it. At Victoria we desperately tried to remember the name of the hotel where we had reservations, but neither Vern nor I thought to bring along this vital information. While Vern checked with the taxi drivers, I tried my luck with the telephone, succeeding only after Vern found a taxi driver who knew where we wanted to go. Fifteen minutes later we found ourselves in front of the Royal Hotel. The place was swarming with contestants and officials. We renewed many old friendships.

We expected to be in London around 7 A.M. and here it was well into the afternoon. Vern had planned taking a workout but felt rather beat after this ordeal, ate a little and then "hit the sack." My wife and I inquired about eating places and learned of very few. We decided upon the Karachi Inn located only a short distance away. We were not up to trying their native dishes, so settled for soup, steak and salad. Meanwhile, Oscar Heidenstam, who sponsors the show, heard of our arrival and dropped in for a spot of tea. We had a nice chat and he briefed me about the events of the morrow. Finishing our meal we returned to the hotel and "gabbed some more." The ordeal made us feel that we should retire early for the big event next day. We did, only to awaken at midnight and not knowing whether we should remain put or get up and go out. We decided to remain and eventually fell asleep again.

By 7: 30 the next morning we were up. I attempted to call Vern to tell him it was time for breakfast and, perhaps, a light workout. In minutes he was pounding on our door. We left for breakfast. The dining room at the Royal was jammed with officials, contestants and their friends. I recognized many from their pictures, though my head and eyeballs still felt as if I wore a tourniquet around my head. The "bags under my eyes" looked like they themselves might be going on a trip, and might have indicated. "I was out doing the town" the night before, which I wasn't, of course.

We all ordered scrambled eggs but Vern, all pepped up, decided to try sausage. One mouthful of the eggs convinced me that toast and tea would be enough. Angela and Vern ate their eggs but he couldn't go the sausage. (They were hard, defying little rascals. I bit into one then understood why Vern left them.) By the time we finished the dining area cleared out and assembled in the lobby that was overcrowded. We lingered awhile and then headed for the ballroom where the prejudging was scheduled. When we arrived the place was nearly filled. Besides the 19 judges, cameramen and other officials, a huge crowd of spectators were also on hand to cheer their favorites. The crowd, however, was considerate and friendly. Oscar introduced the judges and others, they responded with enthusiasm. While I sat on the judging panel, Angela sat and chatted with Brenda Sell, a former Miss Britain winner and many others behind us.

By now Class # 3, the short men, were upon the scene. A number of fine entries competed in this category. The men stood in a group facing us. They were told to turn to the side, then back, opposite side and front again. We studied them. They retired and came back individually to pose without the benefit of special lighting and without any time limit or poses. We had the task of selecting six from this group. Then our score sheets were picked up, and tallied up by three of the hardest working members of this contest. Later they were returned to us to place our choice in numerical order; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. John Citrone, Mr. Britain, won this height class.

Class #2 was next, the medium height division. The judging procedure was repeated. Again we selected six men from this group, then later placed them in numerical order. William Bethsalel, a former Mr. Israel, won this height division.

By now it was past the noon hour and since both divisions of the professional competitors stood ready, we selected six men from each group. It was obvious that competition would be between Wynter and Wayne, Weaver and Paine. . . all formidable contestants. We took time out for lunch before placing the contestants in numerical order.

Our entry Vern Weaver looked good but seemed to have "lost something" on the trip. The day before we left he posed for us in the gym and everyone remarked that "he just couldn't lose." Yet he failed to show this impressiveness at the judging. True, the trip was overdrawn, boring and frustrating and he failed to get any workout outside of some push-ups and flexing, a real tough break due to weather and other conditions beyond his control.

Judging was resumed after lunch. It was hard for us to pick a winner. Paine was granite-rock looking, Wayne was massive and muscular, Wynter was symmetrically proportioned, and Vern was impressive and shapely. Who to pick? I abstained from casting a vote because of our entry, but would vote in case of a tie. It was a clear victory for the winner.

Class # 1, the tall men stood ready. There were many fine entries in this category. One glance convinced me this would be another tough class. It was. The men were compared, recompared until finally six of them were chosen. These were brought back again and again. Several judges got up and stood behind us (we had seats in the center). I heard the clincher that gave Yorton the lead over the young Austrian Schwarzenegger. "The 'Amerrrrican' has the edge over the Austrian. He has better 'cawves' I think." The comparing went on until finally each judge made his decision. I again held up my vote, promising to cast it in case of a tie. But it wasn't needed.

The Jr. Miss and Mr. Britain and the Miss Bikini contests came next. We were excused. This was a job for British officials. We looked on. By five the contests were completed. The ballroom cleared rapidly, Vern went with some of the other contestants for something to eat. Angela and I scouted around to find another eating place. We wound up again at the Karachi Inn, eating the same menu we did the day before.

After eating we went back to the hotel, and rested a while. Later took the subway and stopped off at Picadilly to see some of London, but saw very little of it. We walked around for a couple hours, stopped to get some dessert and gradually wended our way back to the hotel. It was past midnight by then.

The next day at 10 o'clock Oscar had arranged some buses to take the contestants to the Victoria Palace where a rehearsal took place. I didn't have to appear until show time. Therefore, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and later went down to the theatre. The taxi driver made the mistake of letting us off in front of the Victoria where the crowd stood 15 to 20 deep. With head down I struggled through the mob, scribbling (not signing) autographs. Out of nowhere came one of the secretaries, Bill Ball, to the rescue. I asked where the back entrance was. He motioned to follow. It was like pushing through a cattle stampede. Finally we made the stage door. Just as I was about to enter I heard someone call my name. I turned to look. "I'm Reg Park, Sr." came the reply. By golly, so it was. I remember seeing him briefly in '49. He is a young looking man to have a strapping Hercules like Reg. We talked until the crowd began to gather. The door guard urged us in.

Once backstage Angela went to her seat. I elected to remain backstage and talk with some of the fellows. The show got underway. The judges were called out to make a curtain call. Some were introduced . . . the MC missed me. I was glad. I started getting nervous standing up there. Oscar and others began apologizing for the error, I laughed, saying I didn't want to go out there in the first, place but complied only because all the others accepted. They felt it unexcusable. I asked them to forget it. Then I hurried downstairs to see how Vern was doing. He was with George Paine, Roger Servin, Sergio Nubret and others (the amateurs were on stage). Everyone appeared somewhat apprehensive. Who could blame them? In a matter of an hour the whole thing would be over, and all the sweating and sacrificing would have either paid off or gone for nought! I was glad I didn't have to undergo that tension.

Down under the stage we could hear things moving along. I joked to ease the tension. It didn't help but everyone was friendly. I grew thirsty. I'd been thirsty ever since we left the states. I found "my bodyguard" and asked him where I might get something to drink; juice, coke, anything. He called his friend Bill Norris. They took me to a small pub -- for beer. I'm not a beer drinker, actually dislike it, but under the circumstances any liquid would suffice. They ordered me a pint. I swear it was a half gallon. They relished theirs. I poured mine down in a vain attempt to quench my insatiable thirst. They asked how I liked it? My answer is unprintable here, but we all laughed. They insisted I try another, a more potent brand. In my dehydrated state nothing mattered. However, I enjoyed our little "bull session" with these two marvelous gents. It was time to return to the theatre.

I watched the show from the wings, that is, as much as I could between talking with people. Bill Pullum Jr. was there and we had a pleasant chat. I haven't seen him since '49. Later I spoke with Clint Walker of Cheyenne fame. He was on hand to award the trophies. He made quite a hit with the audience, and was in fine muscular shape. I had plans to visit him on movie location but a change of plan cancelled that out. We are still trying to get his story . . . it's very interesting. Clint has always been health minded and exercise conscious. By now most of the show was over except for the finale. . . the winners. Then came the announcement that everyone was waiting for. Chet Yorton won the amateur title, and Paul Wynter took professional honors. I saw lugubrious looks on many faces. Cameras flashed as Clint presented the trophies.

Earlier that afternoon Oscar said he would call me and Angela on stage to give her a bouquet in honor of our anniversary. I agreed. But when he called only me, I hesitated to go out, thinking he had in mind to present me flowers. Me, flowers? Nothing doing. Several men tried to push me out front. I refused to budge. Finally one of them said he had a gift for me. I went out. After reintroducing me Oscar presented me a trophy. Then called Angela up to give her the bouquet. I said a few words over the mike and what I said I meant. . . that I've always enjoyed my visits to England. These people have always been cordial and friendly to me . . . I like them.

It took time before the theatre cleared out, but outside the stage door the mob jammed the street. Getting through would be a problem. Dr. MacQueen, one of the judges, came to the rescue, hailed a cab and hundreds of autographs later, we were on our way back to the hotel. I waved a s'long to the crowd and said we'd see them later at the dance. In the cab Vern, Roger, Angela and I settled said. . . "Yeah, but you all love it!" We exchanged glances and grinned.

Mr. Universe Contest Part #2
By John C. Grimek
It Happened Abroad
In London the weather was perfect and quite unusual for that time of the year. Many remarked about it. Maybe this was the reason for the large, overflowing crowd that jammed the Victoria Palace and the Mr. Universe Dance. The dance is held to give spectators a chance to become better acquainted with the contestants, and is always a success.

After leaving the Victoria Palace we stopped by the hotel for something to drink. Many of the contestants were already there. I greeted several, inquiring about their training. The young Austrian, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the fellow who made such a hit with the crowd told me, through an interpreter, that he trains several hours a day and about five days a week. Other contestants indicated they train almost as much. When all this data is compiled it should make a fine training feature for some future issue of MD magazine. Kurt Saldo, a powerful looking specimen and son of the famous Monte Saldo of muscle control fame, presented me with two rare photos of his father, which I really appreciated and hope to use in MD.
Class 1.
1. Chester Yorton, U.S.A.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austria
3. Vic Downs, Canada
4. Paul Nash, England
5. Gordon Van Sertima, Guyana
6. Les Spendlove, Australia
Class 2.
1. William Betsale, Israel
2. Roy Perrott, England
3. Janko Rudman, Sweden
4. Clovis Nidaud, France
5. Francois van den Berg, S. Africa
6. Albert Beckles, Barbados
Class 3.
1. John Citrone, England
2. Wilfred Sylvester, St. Lucia
3. Terry Parkinson, England
4. Kamal Bozan, Syria
5. Louis Lifman, South Africa
6. Brian House, England
Winner - Chester Yorton, U.S.A.

Class 1.
1. Geo. Paine, U.S.A.
2. Vern Weaver, U.S.A.
3. Antoine Boulos, U.A.R.
4. Olav Hansen, Norway
5. Roger Francois, France
6. Roger Servin, U.S.A.
Class 2.
1. Paul Wynter, Antigua
2. Rick Wayne, St. Lucia
3. Abe Jordan, South Africa
4. Everard Meyssain, Guadeloupe
5. Jean Demanes, France
6. Antonio Fernandes, Portugal
Winner - Paul Wynter, Antigua

Only Six Men in each class are listed

The Universe dance was nearly half over by the time Angela and I arrived. We got there before 9 P.M. but this dance starts early and ends before midnight because a lot of these fellows have to catch trains. Many couples were dancing but more appeared to be sitting and standing around just discussing the events of the day. We exchanged greetings with many, then when the band struck up a lively tune, we broke away and joined the dancing couples.

The night was warm and this little exercise caused my pores to "ooze." When the music stopped we headed for the refreshment stand. Apparently others had the same desire because the place was crowded. I wanted something to drink, anything except warm beer which they usually serve. The concoction I got was nameless. All I could say for it . . . it was different! I asked for ice. The bar-maid obliged by putting in a small cube. "Fill it up," I suggested. She gave me one of those "you-must-be-nuts-looks" as she added a couple more cubes to our glasses.

With the drinks we headed outdoors to cool off. The ever-helpful Bill Ball, his wife and others asked Angela to join them. She stopped to chat while I went outside trying to cool off. In minutes a group gathered. Like anywhere else this was a bunch of nice guys and as enthusiastic as one can find anywhere. The discussed topic was, naturally, about training. Now and then, however, someone would push his way through, shake my hand and tell me he saw me on my last visit. Often would feel my arm and remark, "You still got it."

In the ballroom Oscar Heidenstam, who sponsors the show and dance, started things going by getting some of the fellows to take off their shirts and do a few poses. Then someone started a chant for me to pose. The fellows around me told me I was being paged. "They must be great optomists," I replied. "Heck, I came to London to see the show and you fellows, not pose." A few felt my biceps and then I flexed a calf. A surprised few ran into the ballroom and returned with their friends for another look. Jokingly, I insisted, "Only one showing a day," but the pleas continued. By then the music started but our little clique remained intact. . . no one left. My wife came out a couple times to get me back in, I was told later, but she couldn't even get near me because of the crowd. We had almost as many fellows outside as was in the ballroom at times.

After eleven the music stopped and the dance began breaking up but our group got larger. Many had to leave to catch their train. By midnight most of the crowd dispersed, with only Len and Brenda Sell, a former Miss Britain winner, Wag Bennett and his charming wife (mother of six), Gordon Van Sertima plus a few others remained. We wanted something to eat but no one knew of a restaurant that was open at this hour in the area. As we started back towards the hotel, we met Weaver, Roger Servin, and the American doctor from Oregon (whose name escapes me) who is now living in Belfast and came to London with Buster McShane. He suggested our hotel. We wondered why we didn't think of this. We sat there for a couple hours eating sandwiches and drinking tea, breaking up our meeting around 2:30 A.M.

The next morning we got up quite early, had breakfast, then strolled over to the Royal and waited for Oscar Heidenstam. We watched the exodus of the Mr. Universe competitors. By afternoon only a few remained. The big show was over for another year. We talked with many. Everyone appeared satisfied. Vern Weaver, Chet Yorton and several others were flying to Belfast later that day for McShane's show. Vern and the doctor, to kill time, went to the nearby British Museum. I wanted to go but was still waiting for Oscar. Meanwhile, Arax, NABBA's official photographer joined us. He was on his way to visit D. G. Johnson, former H&S editor and one of the men responsible for NABBA.

I'd been entertaining the idea of driving to Paris with Arax and was discussing it with Angela. While thus engaged, Arax left and two very attractive girls stopped nearby, searched through their purses, then came over for me to autograph their Mr. Universe passes. The name of Elizabeth Jackson on the card was familiar but I couldn't place her title. When the other girl presented her card, the name of Norman Walker rang a bell. . . then I remembered them both. Miss Jackson was the current Miss Britain title holder, and Miss Walker won the year before. I apologized and congratulated them both. They both were deserving of the title they'd won. I introduced them to Angela and Buster McShane. The girls, too, were packed and ready to leave. After this we said s'long and returned to our room to phone a few people I had promised to contact.

Earlier I made tentative plans to visit Dr. MacQueen and his family. His phone remained busy. Meanwhile, after some difficulty I managed to contact John Barrs, former publisher and editor of Vigour magazine. We made arrangements to meet later that afternoon and go out for the evening. Eventually I got through to Dr. MacQueen. He explained later that his teen-agers tied up the phone. I knew the score. Our household went through the same seige. Under the circumstances we failed to meet the MacQueen family, and we were sorry.

After completing most of our calls we went back to the Royal lobby, still looking for Oscar. We ordered tea and sandwiches. The Italian contingent of musclemen were still around, plus a few others. Buster McShane was trying to round up the fellows who were flying with him to Belfast. Meanwhile, George Paine, another American entry, saw us and came over. We offered him a sandwich. He had just returned from eating, so wasn't hungry. I discussed getting some articles from this muscular marvel for MD. He agreed. Like some of the others who didn't win, George also was disappointed but was in great spirits. By then Weaver and the doctor returned. They located Chet Yorton, the Mr. Universe winner, and when the group was assembled, Buster got a taxi and headed for the airport. After they'd gone I left Arax a note saying that we would accept the ride to Paris with him. Later he called to tell us he planned to leave early and asked us to be ready. We agreed.

We awaited the arrival of the Barrs. When they arrived we sat and talked for over an hour in our room. We had seen John Barrs a couple years before when he was on his way home from Tokyo, he stopped in York for a visit. . . but the women had not met until this meeting, so there was much to talk about. Later we drove to the restaurant where John Barrs made our reservations. It was still early, so we had cocktails before dinner. Barrs selected this place because of the fine entertainment, which was very good. We saw Joe Louis, the former heavyweight boxing champ there. We didn't get to see his part of the show because he came on rather late, and because we had to get up before six the next morning, we left before he came on. Yet it was close to 2 A.M. when the Barrs left us off at the hotel and we said good-night.

The alarm woke us up with a start. It seemed like only minutes since we retired. We finished our packing and went to meet Arax. He was almost ready. We tried to get a light breakfast, but at this hour nothing was available. Arax called D. G. Johnson for me to say hello. We had quite a chat. I was sorry I missed seeing him during my visit.

By now Arax had all his baggage and camera equipment at the door and went for his car. I wondered where we'd put all this stuff. The late model Puegeot looked even smaller to me compared with the baggage. But Arax packed and repacked until everything fit perfectly. I noticed his tires. They looked low. I suggested getting air. Arax assured me they had ample. We got in and started on our way. Just then Arax confessed that he still wasn't sure of the way and had to "feel his way around London." Now I understood the reason for the early start. The hit-and-miss way always takes longer.

In England the cars drive on the left side, but France and other European countries use the right side of the road as we do. The Peugeot's steering wheel was on the left making driving in England tricky when you're behind a bus or truck and want to pass. We had a "few close ones" and then I volunteered to advise him when to pass. Even this co-pilot system was not safe around turns and unforeseen curves. To top that Arax doesn't believe in slowing up but gunned the motor right up to, the stop light. More than once we missed the road signs. He asked me to watch for them. I tried. But the English seem to have a knack of "hiding their signs" or putting them in the most inconspicuous places. Guess it's to keep the motorist on the alert--or something like that. Anyway, after several misses and some back-tracking we arrived at Brighton-by-the-sea. It had a familiar look. Similar to our resort towns along the Eastern coast.

Arax already had his return ticket for the channel crossing. I purchased tickets for Angela and myself. The trip across the English Channel would take over three hours. The channel looked rough to me but Arax assured me it was calm compared to his other trips. During this boat trip he phoned his wife, via wireless, about reserving a room for us. The coming Auto Show made rooms difficult to get.

We disembarked at Dieppe, France, passed customs and began our last lap on to Paris. The countryside from Dieppe to Paris was interesting, much nicer than I remembered a train trip through other parts of France years before. The two-lane road was perfect and Arax pushed that little Peugeot, with its low tires, for all it was worth. There were times when it seemed as if we were in the great Le Mans race, especially when he managed to "straighten out" many of the curves in the road. I glanced at the speedometer. It fluctuated between 145 and 160-kilometers, of course. Along the road were big trees planted 20 to 30 feet apart. I wondered what would happen if our "Sterling Moss" at the wheel lost control and whether we would manage to squeeze between those trees. The trees were formidable and our little Peugeot would hardly ruffle the leaves if we made contact. Suddenly I thought of "hamburger." Was I hungry or was it a passing thought? I looked back at Angela. She looked pale. Either the speed at which we were going drove the blood from her face or she was scared. She admitted nothing and I wondered if she could talk--something unusual for her. Thus we covered the French countryside in another three hours and ran smack into the Paris traffic, which is comparable to California's rush hour.

We arrived at Arax's studio, unloaded our bags, then walked to the Lutetia Hotel nearby. We washed up and the Araxs took us to the cafe Aux Lilas. The place wasn't large but the food was tasty. Mrs. Arax ordered. She said she wanted something exotic for us. It must have been, because the only item I can recall the name of was the shishkebab. I enjoyed the meal. I guess the others did too.

It was around 11 P.M. We decided to retire. We got little sleep the night before. After breakfast next morning, which we almost missed because of the late hour, we returned to our room. A hotel clerk came up and asked whether we were leaving. I said no. He turned and rushed downstairs. Later another man came up, and this time I emphatically repeated NO. "We shall see," he grumbled, and left. I wasn't sure what he meant. We walked over to the Arax Studio, and he explained that our room was only for one night. No wonder those fellows were getting hot under the collar.

Arax went with us to the hotel and asked what else was available. Nothing, and nothing would be available for two weeks. We packed our bags and took them to the studio. Mrs. Arax phoned a number of hotels, and eventually located one at Palacio de Republic. We piled our luggage into a taxi, and Arax came along just to see that we were comfortable. It wasn't any Hilton hotel but for what it was it was alright, complete with bath. Taking a bath was quite a chore. All my life I've been used to a shower, so this was a different approach. However, we both managed.

Paris, too, had beautiful weather. Actually, I was waiting for the pictures of the Mr. Universe contest, intending to leave as soon as I got them. Arax had taken many, many pictures, and between his studio appointments, developed and printed them. Meanwhile, Angela and I roamed around Paris on our own. I tried calling Jean Dame, who is on the lifting committee and whom I've known for years, but couldn't reach him. Also, our next door neighbors were in Paris and were supposed to be staying at the Grand hotel. I consulted the phone book to learn of the location. I was flabbergasted. Literally hundreds of "Grand Hotels" were listed. I wouldn't have enough francs to call all those hotels. I abandoned the idea, thinking we may run into them along one of the boulevards. . . but never did.

On Wednesday we made reservations to fly back on the coming Saturday. We hopped a bus to the Opera Square, and from there walked to other places or back to the hotel. Since this was Angela's first trip, we went to the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, Victory Monument, etc. One day we visited a large department store during a sale. Whatta madhouse! Macy's in New York was nothing compared to this bargain-seeking crowd. We got out and headed for Paul Ang's Chinese restaurant. Ang is a former Mr. Universe competitor. I wanted to see him. But search as we did, we were unable to find it. The night before, however, Arax had driven by it and told us where it was located. We never found it. We settled for a sidewalk cafe and a ham sandwich on French bread. French waiters always expressed surprise when they offered us the wine list but we would order tea, coffee or a soft drink. I didn't know the brands and because we got stuck once, I didn't want to get stuck again.

Whenever we lost our way, which was quite often, we would ask directions and ask them to point out, on our map of Paris, where we were. They would always suggest a cab. We insisted on walking. They would shake their heads painfully trying to impress upon us the distance. We thanked them and walked on. We wanted to see Paris and taxi cabs weren't the way. Earlier Angela had bought herself a pair of flats and did remarkably well. . . in fact my feet gave out before hers. But we continued to walk.

Thursday evening the Araxs took us to a cafe where they had entertainment. They featured a man and woman balancing act that was unique. He also brought along a number of pictures of the Mr. U. contest. I selected some. After this he drove us around various places. The Moulin Rouge was no longer a fabulous night spot but only a movie theater. Pigalle strip was the same. It started to drizzle as we walked, the first rain we had since leaving the states. We went back to the car and they dropped us off at the hotel. It was around midnight.

Couple days before Andre Drapp, a former Mr. France, and the man I competed against in the '48 Mr. Universe, called me and asked if I was interested in wrestling. If so he would pick us up at 8 P.M. Friday. We agreed. Friday afternoon on our usual hike around the Boulevard of the Italians I decided to look up James Mathe, another former Mr. France and Mr. Europe title holder. Twice before we tried to find his place, but these Paris streets are tricky and it's hard to find the address you're seeking, even after asking many Parisians. This time I was determined to locate it. Eventually we found the building and went up to the gym, several floors up. We entered. A young man approached and said something. I asked for Mathe. He didn't understand, left and returned with another fellow who understood some English. "I'd like to see Mathe," I told him. Mathe was a short distance away busily engaged with a book or something. Then I added, "I'm John Grimek from York and dropped in to say hello." With that Mathe looked up and came over, exchanging greetings like old friends. We were shown around. The place wasn't large but had lots of training equipment for its size. He had several employees. He gripped my arm. I flexed. His eyebrows raised. "How old are you?" he asked through his interpreter. "Old enough," I replied, "in my mid-fifties." He raised his "Ben Casey" jacket and showed me his hard, muscular midsection. I complimented him on his fine abdomen. Then drew up my trouser leg and flexed the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. One of the fellows had to take a closer look. He didn't believe it. With that all laughed. I wished them luck and we started back for the hotel.

By eight we were ready and waiting for Drapp. He was on time and mentioned that Arax and his wife would also come along. Meanwhile we talked. Andre speaks good English compared to the time I met him in London at the Mr. U. contest. Now 18 years later he looked heavier but more impressive; really a fine personality. It was great talking to him after all these years. Then the Araxs arrived, and we all got into his car and drove to the Cirque d'Hiver (Winter Circus). That afternoon a circus performed in this place. We were warned about the smell. As we got in we knew what he meant. There was no mistaking the odor. I wondered how they would wrestle breathing in this atmosphere. They didn't seem to mind it at all . . . I did!

Several matches preceded Drapp. What I didn't know was that Drapp's opponent was another Mr. France title holder, Robert Duranton, also a former S&H coverman. Like the late Gorgeous George, Duranton also has a valet who "gets into the act." The match was hilarious. Once or twice when Duranton was taking a beating he raised his arms overhead shouting Stop, Stop with a French accent. Drapp would pause and then Duranton and his valet would clobber him. It proved to be a very entertaining bout, and Duranton is quite the comedian.

Their match finished, Arax and I went to the dressing room. I hadn't seen Duranton since he visited York a few years ago with Red Berry, so we renewed our friendship. We went to a nearby cafe and waited for Andre. He was detained by autograph seekers. It was now past midnight. Andre couldn't stay longer as he had a long trip the next day for another wrestling bout. The arena being a short ways from our hotel, we walked, stopping at a cafe for a bite. It was well after 1 A.M. when we retired with plans to leave the next day.

When we awoke after nine the next morning the sun shone brightly. Within an hour it was cloudy and before noon it poured! We packed and took our baggage to the airport bus terminal, then started walking to Raspail boulevard where Arax was located. We finally made it. Mrs. Arax insisted that we have lunch. We weren't interested but we went upon her insistence. After lunch we returned to the studio. Arax suggested taking some identification pictures. I refused, although the "bags under my eyes" were less noticeable now. He took some of Angela and did an excellent job. I was sorry I didn't try a few physique poses earlier. But time was now short and we got into his car and drove to the airport bus terminal. We got on a bus, waving goodbye to Arax as we pulled away.

We checked in at the airport. The young lady at the counter somewhat hesitatingly said, "Sir, there's a boarding tax charge." I nodded and produced 25 francs. "For each," came the reply. Each? I blew my top. Why wasn't I told of this when I made our reservations instead of now? I had assumed it was 25 francs for both of us. The young lady apologized saying, "Sir, the airlines have nothing to do with the tax. It's the airport." I grumbled. Five dollars to board a plane out of France. I should have returned to London. I barely had enough francs to cover the cost. We had intended to have a soft drink and, with whatever was left over, buy something. Now I had one franc and 10 centimes left. . . or close to nothing! I still had 20 American dollars and was going to exchange this into francs to get a couple small gifts and a drink. But the line at the exchange counter was long and the call to report at a gate made me change my mind. We reached the area only to be herded into a room and confined for another hour. I continued to growl. I heard others grumbling over this tax. An American from Alabama, who had bought a special ticket, overstayed a day and had to kick-in another hundred dollars plus. He didn't have it so had to wire back home for it. Another couple from Washington, D. C. was loaded down with parcels. They were returning from a visit to Russia. The man kept mumbling about never leaving the states again. His wife poo-poofed the idea. Everyone seemed impatient to get going. When we got on, the plane was packed. . . not a single seat left. Parents held small children on their knees. The plane was stuffy and warm, very warm. I removed my coat.

We got airborne, scheduled to land in New York around seven that evening. Shortly after, the captain informed us we would be flying north because of strong winds, with a stop in Montreal for refueling . . . hours behind schedule. The flight at times was rough. The emergency bags were being "used" by a number of passengers. It took an hour to refuel in Montreal and then we were again bound for Kennedy Airport.

On this flight I noticed a very capable, athletic hostess. Later I asked where she was from. "New Jersey," she replied. "I'm originally from Perth Amboy," I said. "That's right near where I come from," she said. She guessed me to be a "strongman," then added, she knew a lot of fellows from there, including Stanko and Grimek. "I'm Grimek," I said. She looked surprised, then added, "no wonder I thought I knew you when you boarded the plane." During the flight we talked about the "old stomping grounds." It made the trip less monotonous. I promised to look her up on my next trip to Perth Amboy.

It took over an hour to land the plane while in the New York area due to the heavy air traffic. Once on the ground we checked through customs and headed for our plane to Baltimore. But no one knew which plane or where it was. Being hours behind schedule another plane had to be called into service. We boarded one plane only to be ushered out again. This "fooling around" killed another hour or two. Everyone was griping by now. Finally, well past 1 A.M. we left New York and landed in Baltimore around 2:30 A.M. I wondered whether our daughter would be there to meet us. She was. I had called her from New York some hours before. I was surprised she waited.

The drive to York was refreshing and the night air crisp. Somehow all the frustrations of the trip now seemed resolved. Now to get in a little training, I mused, to stir up my sluggish circulation from this long flight. I needed it after this layoff.



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