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Author Topic: Stories - Your favorite stories re pros / legends  (Read 223377 times)
Jay Em
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« Reply #1050 on: January 16, 2006, 09:43:47 PM »

After reading Get Big's history, stories, and memories for the past several weeks--and then seeing myself (in upper right hand corner of Cleve Dean photo on page thirty-three)--I had to join the crowd, and add my two cents of fabric to the thread.

There's so much and so many people I can relate to topic-wise, I decided to sign up and contribute some of my own memories. First, Semper Fi Stuntmovie,
619Rules, Knn187 and onlyme. I absolutely loved all the Marine & Vietnam stuff, bringing back my stint in the Corps from 1965-69 (Vietnam, 1966-67, Chu Lai).

I also can relate to numerous bodybuilding figures and especially wristwrestling, or arm-wrestling if you prefer. I covered the Petaluma world event for Grimek and MD magazine from 1972-1979, as well as the Nationals in Las Vegas (for Billie Jean King's Womensports magazine) in 1974. All of these
events were televised by ABC's Wide World of Sports and had some of the highest ratings ever. I also did other features for Grimek/MD before taking the
helm at MUSCLE DIGEST in 1980, serving as editor. And so-on and so-on.

So, I enjoyed this thread so much I convinced myself to jump in. Here I am
floating on the waters of wonderment...willing to share if there is an audience.
Since I already claimed my landing as another Marine, I could share some
memories about that 18-minute run expected of us Jarheads.

And then some...
ratings 
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knny187
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« Reply #1051 on: January 16, 2006, 10:04:56 PM »

Semper Fidelis

&

welcome aboard
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Jay Em
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« Reply #1052 on: January 17, 2006, 03:29:40 AM »

I hate to take this thread back a little, but I will. This little military tidbit goes
back about 7 pages or so to the discussion about Marine Corps training and
the 3-mile run. Prior to going to Vietnam I took special amphibious training
at Camp Del Mar, right across the freeway (5) and Camp Pendelton in San
Diego. It was fall, 1965 and I had just turned 19. Our physical training and
requirements weren't much different from Boot Camp, except we weren't
boots any longer and things were laxed and we were treated half-ass human
(no complaints mind you, I was a fairly gung-ho ground pounder...).

If my memory serves me right, the requirement for the 3-mile run with FULL
field marching pack and rifle was 18 minutes. During my stint at Del Mar over
three months I had to do it once. The PT test, as it was called, took place on
a Monday, first thing. The prior weekend I pulled my liberty in TJ and ate and
drank my young guts out. A demanding PT test was the last thing this just-
out-of-boot-camp greenhorn needed, especially first thing in the week.

After completing the rest of the PT course, the 3-mile run was slated. We
saddled up with our heavy gear. When I put that pack on, with cartridge belt,
canteen, and helmet my stomach started telling me things I didn't want to
hear. I felt a major bowel movement moving from my upper intestine. God, not
now...PLEASE! I did anus squeezes so to discourage further movement. It
seemed to work...for awhile. Anyway, I started out fast so I wouldn't have to
challenge nature more than necessary. I was in the front third of the group
when I felt my functions of eliminating screaming for relief. I felt a genuine
panic, still tatooed by boot camp rigors, so I put the gas (literally) down and
took off, passing everyone and running faster than anyone else in the pack
of apx. 50 Marines. I left them literally in my dust and gas and finished in
record time for the event at the time of around 13 minutes. No one could be-
lieve it, much less me. But I knew in my twisted, painful guts that I had to
run the race of a lifetime...and did.

Believe it or not, when I crossed that finish line looking for that head I had
envisioned in my mind, I suddently realized I didn't have to go. The dump
that drove me was no more. Out of sheer disbelief I kinda looked back and
wondered if I left my remants on the pavement. No, I didn't.

But I did run like one crazy sob. And got an early pass for the next weekend
...so I could go back to TJ. Ahhh, what a 19-year-old can do...and get away with.
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« Reply #1053 on: January 17, 2006, 11:12:45 AM »

I hate to take this thread back a little, but I will. This little military tidbit goes
back about 7 pages or so to the discussion about Marine Corps training and
the 3-mile run. Prior to going to Vietnam I took special amphibious training
at Camp Del Mar, right across the freeway (5) and Camp Pendelton in San
Diego. It was fall, 1965 and I had just turned 19. Our physical training and
requirements weren't much different from Boot Camp, except we weren't
boots any longer and things were laxed and we were treated half-ass human
(no complaints mind you, I was a fairly gung-ho ground pounder...).

If my memory serves me right, the requirement for the 3-mile run with FULL
field marching pack and rifle was 18 minutes. During my stint at Del Mar over
three months I had to do it once. The PT test, as it was called, took place on
a Monday, first thing. The prior weekend I pulled my liberty in TJ and ate and
drank my young guts out. A demanding PT test was the last thing this just-
out-of-boot-camp greenhorn needed, especially first thing in the week.

After completing the rest of the PT course, the 3-mile run was slated. We
saddled up with our heavy gear. When I put that pack on, with cartridge belt,
canteen, and helmet my stomach started telling me things I didn't want to
hear. I felt a major bowel movement moving from my upper intestine. God, not
now...PLEASE! I did anus squeezes so to discourage further movement. It
seemed to work...for awhile. Anyway, I started out fast so I wouldn't have to
challenge nature more than necessary. I was in the front third of the group
when I felt my functions of eliminating screaming for relief. I felt a genuine
panic, still tatooed by boot camp rigors, so I put the gas (literally) down and
took off, passing everyone and running faster than anyone else in the pack
of apx. 50 Marines. I left them literally in my dust and gas and finished in
record time for the event at the time of around 13 minutes. No one could be-
lieve it, much less me. But I knew in my twisted, painful guts that I had to
run the race of a lifetime...and did.

Believe it or not, when I crossed that finish line looking for that head I had
envisioned in my mind, I suddently realized I didn't have to go. The dump
that drove me was no more. Out of sheer disbelief I kinda looked back and
wondered if I left my remants on the pavement. No, I didn't.

But I did run like one crazy sob. And got an early pass for the next weekend
...so I could go back to TJ. Ahhh, what a 19-year-old can do...and get away with.

The timed 3 mile for PFT is scored between 18 - 30 minutes.  If you ran 30 mins in 3 miles you had to max your pull-ups & sit-ups to have a passing score.
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« Reply #1054 on: January 17, 2006, 01:04:27 PM »

 Awesome thread! I've been reading for a couple of hours getting caught up on it. Great to see my buddy Billy Smith way back on page 25.
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Jay Em
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« Reply #1055 on: January 17, 2006, 01:47:28 PM »

What do I remember about that photo back on page 33?

Cleve Dean, a hog farmer from Georgia, won the Heavyweight (!!)
Wristwrestling Championship that night, rather handily. His strength
he said came from much hard farm work, sloppin' hogs. But he did
admit to swingin' a few weights around, too. Huge guy with huge
strength. Just a good 'ol boy who was greatly entertained by the
whole notion of bendin' some boys arm over. Nice guy, though, and wouldn't
hurt a ton of flies unless they got up on the wrist table.

In this photo it looked like he was in-between sucks of a gigantic lollipop
with that tongue popped out of the corner of his mouth like that. He had
hands like giant hams. And he could really smoke his opponents.
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #1056 on: January 17, 2006, 02:55:28 PM »

Hey, Jay, Semper Fi! I was stationed at Del Mar just about that time and ran the beach on a daily basis.

First Force Recon was stationed there and those were some of the best times of my life, but I was one of those guys who avoided Tiajuana like the plague after a couple of my troops got locked up down there for inappropriate behavior in some side street bar that catered to donkey lovers.

The Del Mar gym was a half assed gym, but you might recall a Recon Marine who trained there on a daily basis. During a jump he got his bicep ripped out on some static line (I forget the details), but they sewed him back up and he worked that bicep on a daily basis until he was just about as complete as any other Recon Marine.

I got some good memories of training in the Corps and was instrumental in setting up a couple of fairly decent facilities (even under combat conditions) when the old "musclebound theory" was still pretty prevalent.

Will get back to you on this subject as time allows ......

Are you familiar with Gilardi's Bar and the history behind it?

Hey UnknownBB, I posted these International shots earlier, but here they are again ..... thanks for asking...





* Sergio relax 600.jpg (40.06 KB, 500x338 - viewed 945 times.)

* Sergio 500.jpg (89.35 KB, 500x740 - viewed 928 times.)
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #1057 on: January 17, 2006, 03:13:34 PM »

Here's Sergio and Franco. I spent a lot of time in the back talking with Sergio that day. He didn't have too much respect for Weider and Arnold and could care less about Franco.

Bob Birdsong won this contest and deservedly so. I think Bill Grant was in it too.

We went to a party thrown by one of the doctors on behalf of Birdsong the day before this contest and there was an unvailing of a oil painting of Bob done by a very well know artist whose name I forgot.

Just around that same time my best Recon Bud was cast in some casting material that would eventually be used to build a major body statue to be placed along side the Hollywood sign up thar in the hills. That eventually fell through but we were all special guests at the artist's grand opening of some of his other works. Met a lot of major players at that event as well as some real strange individuals. Back then Marines always had standing invites to attend some of the major Hollywood functions and parties. Good times.


* SergioFranco 500.jpg (52.6 KB, 500x392 - viewed 934 times.)
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #1058 on: January 17, 2006, 03:25:11 PM »

Hey TOmmyWishbone, You were around in the days when this sport hit its peak and I know you have a hell of a lot more stories to tell than I do.

I'll try to submit stuff here that may jar your memory and maybe you can fill in the details or correct my memory of the way things actually were.

Here's my first question for ya ....... What single individual has been training at Gold's Venice more than any other?
My guess would be Kent Kuhn but I could be wrong.

Were you training at the old Gold's on 2nd?

Did you ever train in the original Gold's? I recall that yearly membership being around $34 a year or less.

How many BB shows did you attend at that old outdoor theater on Venice Beach? Who was the competitor who lived on tuna fish all year long?

Do ya recall the German's? ANd how about that Swedish Smorgasboard around the cornor from the old Santa Monica Golds?

Did you know Joe Nazario? Tuefel? etc. Lots more to ask ya about but gotta get back to work . Thanks Tommy and all....



* R500.jpg (41.55 KB, 500x338 - viewed 902 times.)
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Jay Em
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« Reply #1059 on: January 17, 2006, 07:00:45 PM »

Stuntmovie, great hearing from you (I wrote you a personal, too...).

Boy, I bet we could swap some serious stories about the Corps and Del Mar, huh? I have a story about TJ--related to what you mentioned--that could have cost my life...but didn't. So, you were there about the same timeframe, huh? 1965.

Gilardi's Bar? You mean the one in Petaluma, home of Wristwrestling?

It's funny, but we found ways to workout even in Vietnam, above and beyond
the call of duty. When I brushed my teeth, which I did every chance I got while
in camp, I did one-leg calf raises...just a way to moniter something and help pass the time. The guys in my tent nicknamed me..."The Incredible Hulk" because of some heavy benches I did without a warm-up and some other im-
prompt strength feats (but honestly, I hated it...).

At Del Mar, I remember Forced Recon; remember 'em well. In Vietnam, after
some personal shit hit the fan, I was a whisker away from being transferred to
Forced Recon. I had this guilt thing, actually carried it with (malaria during
college) me for quite some time still do, honestly. In my platoon from boot, some forty-plus young men were killed out of apx. 57 recruits within one week
of hitting the sand of Vietnam. I made one of those WWII, John Wayne landings. Shortly thereafter, most all arrivees to Nam were flew in. Anyway...

I have so many stories regarding my experience with Corps, boxing, bodybuild-
ing, powerlifting, early sports nutrition (as writer, researcher), John Grimek,
Muscular Development, Strength & Health, WomenSports, Wristwrestling, ABC,
Reeves, Sergio, Weider, Arnold, Franco, Muscle Digest, Lou Ferrigno (Carla),
Ken Patera, Superstar Billy Graham, Nubret, Wong brothers, the '80 Olympia,
and so much more. Thinking about all this again after being dormet for some
time, gets my creative and writing juices flowing again. Hey, I even have a few
Hollywood tidbits.
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« Reply #1060 on: January 17, 2006, 08:21:54 PM »

good stuff
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stuntmovie
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« Reply #1061 on: January 17, 2006, 09:45:42 PM »

Yes, Jay, Gelardi's in Petaluma. That's where it all started I've been told. I was raised in that vicinity on the Russian River and first met Reeves there  in the early 50's. He wasn't much more than a kid himself back then.

Did you used to go to the old time bodybuilding contests at the Embassy Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles?

A bunch of us Marines used to go up and ddown the coast between LA and San Diego and enter any beach contest that was available from chinup contests to lifting events to bodybuilding shows always bringing a trophy or two back to base with a bad case of sunburn.

Do you recall Gunny Sam Griffith? The base gym at El Toro? Crazy parties in Beverly Hills mansions? Airline stewardesses in Santa Monica?

Jay, were you one of the original Marines to make that amphibious landing in Vietnam?

Things were so much simpler back then. I remember driving to Disneyland through miles and miles of orange orchards and acres of strawberry fields surrounding the Park. And driving up the coast route from LA to Malibu where you could actually see the ocean along the entire route once you passed Santa Monica Beach and parking any place you wanted to walk down the slight slant to the beach. Playing vollyball with Ozzie and Harriet's kids on the beach in Laguna and inviting major TV stars to our weekend parties which usually lasted from late Friday to late Sunday. Wishing Doug McClure a lot of luck making it as a major star and checking out all the action at Universal Studios as a special guess way before the public was invited in to ride the trolly cars. Just wait till the red light was off and enter the soundstage and make yourself comfortable watching them make major movies.

Do you recall The Dungeon and Zuvers and Bill West and George Frenn and Pat Casey and some of the others who really started this muscle frenzy?

How about Von Lamon? That name just popped up but he was a major player around that area back then. I think it was Von who suffered a major injury with a buzzsaw. Been a long while back so I could be mistaken.

Bring some more old time stuff up and I'll see if it refreshes my memory. I was around most of the time when something crazy happened. SOme not even repeatable in an effort to protect the guilty.
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Jay Em
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« Reply #1062 on: January 18, 2006, 12:09:53 AM »

I certainly knew and read about Gunny Griffins, but he was before my time, I
think. I'm 59 so a lot of that stuff you mentioned was years before my arrival in
California in '65 (from Minnesota). Wow, that musta been cool to meet Steve
Reeves back then? I meet him too in 1980 in Long Beach at the WABBA World
when I was editor of Muscle Digest. Pretty uneventful though. I barely got a
whimper out of him.

Yea, Gilardi's played the stage a few times for me and my hunt for characters,
quotes and stories. And Petaluma was full of them. After covering the event for
so long, the city's media let me go and do anything. I'd always drop by the local radio and tv stations to get inside color. But after eight years, I could virtually not come up with any new slant and my creative flair was spent, so I told Grimek that it was all over. And he agreed. But we had a great run.

I'll always miss driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County and
Petaluma for the Championships. I lived in Los Altos, maybe 10 minutes from
Stanford University. I absolutely loved the Bay Area. But since I left I'm afraid
it's become, as Michael Savage says, "San Franfreako." Memories!

Yes, Stunt, I remember Orange County when they actually had orange groves
all over then, too. I pulled liberty from Pendelton to visit this chick in OC and
I can't get over how that place was changed and grown...for the worse. Back
when I visited it in '65 the place was still mainly orange groves. And there was
very little growth around Disneyland, which I visited as a hot shot young leatherneck on liberty once. Four of us rented a room for $8. and split the cost.
I think with your uniform on they let you in free, or half, something like that.
Remember, out of boot camp as a PFC I was pulling in nearly $90. a month.

I don't know about stewardesses in Santa Monica, but I ended up marrying one who flew for Western Airlines; stayed together for eighteen years and had
four kids.

About your beach landing comment. No, I definately WAS NOT the first wave of
Marines to make the amph landing, just one of any number at the time. There
were landings like the Duke made before me for sure, but probably not many.
There may have been one or two waves hit the beaches of Chu Lai before me.
Mainly however, the jest of any landings before us took place at Danang or
above. I don't know about the Saigon areas. Iwould never take one smidgeon
of credit (if you want to call it that) for anything I didn't do as a Marine or in
Vietnam. I have to much respect for those who paid the ultimate price...'nuff
said.

I did go to Santa Monica once on liberty in early '66 to see what was left of
Muscle Beach. Oh well. But I heard about this guy who owned a local watering
hole/eatery that was pretty famous. This guy was an old fight manager or
some shit. I was under age and drinking beer but he let it slide by, saying,
hell if you are old enough to defend our country and go to war and risk your
life, you're old enough to drink in my place...but don't tell anyone. After we had
a few he took me in the back room and wanted to see me move since I had
told him I had done some prior boxing. Damn, for an older guy, about my age
now, he could move! Anyway, he complimented me and told me to drop by
and look him up when I returned from across the pond. If I did, he said. I
never did know exactly how to take that. But a revisit never materialized.

Lastly, Stunt, did you ever hear of the famous Marine Captain around that
time named Walker, one of the heirs to the whiskey family? I took his infamous
30-day training before Vietnam at Pendelton. Funny, it was called The Regimental School. The focus of the school was how to kill and avoid not being
killed. I think he himself later was. But when I took it, he had won purple hearts and one Silver Star, I believe...had just returned. On his birthday, he
would put on dress blues and jump out of a plane singing the Marine Corps
hymn. When he landed, he would do 100 push ups PLUS his age (30ish) PLUS
one more for the Corps. The training was so severe and controversial--even by
Marine standards--that the Corps choose to forget it happened and exsisted,
I think. His idol was Gen. Chesty Puller and you can just imagine what he put us through. But darn, I'm proud of that. Not many Marines went through Walker's school. For example, in that 30-day span, we went through the gas
chamber three--3--times. At the end it was worse in some ways than boot; I
had bruises, cuts, burns and had lost maybe 8-10 pounds just from all the
demanding exercise. It took me several weeks for my muscles to lose the
soreness. Now, that, my friends...is

INTENSITY.
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« Reply #1063 on: January 18, 2006, 12:16:31 AM »

Man Stunt knows how much I love to hear his war stories.  I am pretty sure Jay knows Stunt but I will leave that up to them.  Stunt likes his privacy. It's great to have you on here Jay.  I armwrestled Cleve twice beat him once.  He killed me the first time in Beverly Hills.  He weighed 550 then.  About 4 months or so later at the IAC Worlds he was weighing around 660.  Our match was over a minute and I won.  The refs called me the winner and everything.  About a few minutes later they they declared him the winner.  He had complained about me using my shoulder to block him.  The place went crazy.  I beat him fair and square and everyone knew it and voiced there opinon.  But, ultimately the promoter stepped in and made the decision.  It was more for the publicity than anythng.  He later came up (the promoter tosay sorry)  I got third in that Worlds.  It was the biggest armwrestling event in history.  I think 30 countries were represented and more than 700 entrants.  I should have taken at least 2nd if not 1st in that one.  Oh well.  Yes Cleve was huge.  He also pissed his pants after out match.
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« Reply #1064 on: January 18, 2006, 12:19:27 AM »

Oh, Iwas always asked why I didn't compete in Petaluma since I beat regualry everyone who did.  Basically it was money.  I think 1st place paid $400.  I lived in LA.  Just to travel spend a night food and such I would have lost money.  When they lost their TV contract it went downhill.
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Jay Em
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« Reply #1065 on: January 18, 2006, 12:28:34 AM »

I believe you, On. Cleve may have been a country bumpkin...but a pretty crafty
one at that. Man, if you could beat that dude, you are one strong guy and
wristwrestler, as we termed it. I've got more wrist stories than I have veins.
In that picture of Cleve (where I'm up in right hand corner), his hat is turned
around for a reason...and it wasn't what you may think...to give his giant head
more room. No sir. It was because Dean had lead a charge of warrior complaints that they demanded more this, more that, from the promotion and ABC. ABC got pissed and told Cleve he had to turn his hat around--away from the cameras--because...

It was a Miller beer hat...and Budweiser had been the event's long time sponsor.

Miller (case) closed.

Say, On, I hope Stunt reads my last (Marine memory & question) post. And thanks for the welcome. I appreciate it.
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« Reply #1066 on: January 18, 2006, 07:49:48 AM »

Jay,.........  HOCKADAY WALKER, Major, USMC!

Sure as hell do remember Hockaday! I was his XO in 1st Force before Jay Sullivan took over. Jay was another hard charger that brings some great war stories to mind. I served with both of them.

Hockaday drove around Pendleton in his Marine Corps Green Cadillac and had a haircut every day. I lost touch with him after he left 1st Force and had no idea that he passed away. You got the details?

I did meet Chesty one time at the old Marine's Memoriali in San Francisco. That was immediately after I signed up on the dotted line and the recruiter made it a command performance to show up. Until then I had never heard of him.

Correct me if I am wrong here but I believe I served with his son in Vietnam who lost his arms and legs in a land mine accident. Am I correct here? I recall that was Chesty's son.

My best friend in Nam took my jeep one morning off of Hill 34 just south of DaNang to go check on some minor schirmish and stepped on a mine as soon as he stepped out of the vehicle. Died immediately.

If you were ever on Hill 34, I built that Officer's CLub there with some assistance from the local SeeBees in exchange for a couple of pairs of combat boots I had. They poured the concrete foundation and we built that club out of local crates adn palm fonds when we had the time. That was the only place I ever built that has an actual thatched roof that actually kept out the rain. Maybe not so good during the Monsoons though.

I used to get a shave every week from a Vietnamese guy who was phenominal with a straight edge razor. Clean your beard like a baby's ass. We got hit one nite and he was one of the guys we found dead in the wire trying to take the hill.

Give me some time and I'll get those stories out to ya that are more related to lifting weights in Vietnam.

Our supply Corporal was a scrounger and colorful as hell so he would often hop on a helicopter and come back days later with some amazing stuff. I think we called that the Midnight Requisition. He knew we liked to lift heavy stuff so one time he arrived with two helicopters loaded with more weight lifting equipment than any base gym I ever saw back then.

THat's the time we built a pretty decent gym between incoming rocket attacks on our setup just south of Hue Phu Bai.

Got more so Stand By to Stand By.

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« Reply #1067 on: January 18, 2006, 08:00:52 AM »

MAN YOU KNOW I LOVE THE WAR STORIES
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« Reply #1068 on: January 18, 2006, 04:02:36 PM »

Thanks, Only, but on this site it's more appropriate to tell those war stories that are related to bodybuilding and the lifting game. I got a few of those as perviously mentioned but the most interesting stuff happened outside of the rhelm of bodybuilding and lifting weights.

I'll do my best to work some of those in somehow.

Jay and Knny realize that a great Supply Sgt in the USMC is usually a former "bandit" from the east coast who pulled midnight requisitions at an early age from the airports and the wharfs in and about NY city and other major supply centers.

The Marine Corps has/had this bad habit of requesting funds from Congress that would actually never meet their needs or simply resulted in purchasing equipment such as rain gear that did more to keep the rain in than out and weapons that failed to fire in adverse conditions such as outdoors. We always suspected that we got the gear that the other services never wanted.

So, a great Supply Sgt in the Corps was a very valuable asset and the best of the best were very aggressive in getting equipment that the Marine Corps supply guys back in Washington felt we had no need of.

My Supply Sgt was a young "bandit" from Brooklyn. He was the best among the best.  One day he heard one of us mention that it sure would be great to start some lifting in the field between our missions and various skirmishes around the hilltop.

So one day, he requested permission to "..... hop in that helicopter over thar. I need three days away from camp!"

In order to avoid possible criminal charges as specified by the UCMJ it was always best to not ask why a Supply Sgt was taking off, so usually it was a simple nod of someone's and off he'd go for a day or two in "that helicopter over thar".

Needless to say, he was back in a couple of days with enough gym equipment to outfit a regiment. And all delivered to us personally by the US Army (the 101st Airborne if I recall correctly - not really sure about the delivery system).

Years later in a column about mysterious shit in Vietnam, I found out that one of the Army's best equipped gyms suddenly disappeared overnight down by Saigon someplace. But those in the know but the blame on the Viet Cong or the local gangs in the neighborhood who used the weights to hold their tarp-topped roofs down during the Monsoon season.

So thanks to the Army, the 101st Airborne (great guys who saved my ass on one particular occasion - story later)
and those gosh-darn VC bodybuilders, we got our gym in the field. It lasted quite a while until a 155 mm rocket hit it dead center one busy night.

I'd also give the biggest thanks to our Supply Sgt., but I'd hate to imcriminate him. A "Thanks, Sarge!" is good enough. And you all know who you are!

Goes to prove, that if you really want to train, you'll always find ways to get it done and a great Supply Sgt will make it possible.

That next week he flew off and came back with a dozen mini refrigerators, but it was up to me to get the beer. So my CO cut me orders to visit the closest Army base as liason for a day or two. Just enough time to find the beer and get it on its way to those empty minis.
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« Reply #1069 on: January 18, 2006, 05:04:45 PM »

Stunt, your memory is nothing short of amazing, every detail. I love it! Love it! And thanks. I personally cherish every word and wll print out those posts to keep so that has to tell you something. People are usually amazed at my memory mind for detail. But I do believe I have met my match, and then some. Do you know that recalling facts with such detail, going back so many years, actually helps build the neurons of the brain transmitters, those paths that messages take and travel across the super highways of the grey matter. And it all helps to keep us oldtimers sharp; it's the "deep thinking" that builds and strengthens the, as Major (he was a Captain when I took his training) Walker called, THE BRAIN HOUSING GROUP. Speaking of which, I didn't know Walker's first name, but since you refreshed my memory, I believe you are right. What confirms that was your comment that Walker got a haircut every day. And drove a Marine Corps green Caddie. Yes, my friend, that is him. Rumor (fact) has it that the Hiriam Walker Whiskey founder and old man had two sons and
told them they both must accomplish great and unsual things in life to inherit
the family fortune. I believe the one brother became some bigshot attorney or
surgeon down in the south, while the other, our Marine hero, became, perhaps, the most colorful character the Corps has ever produced, and that's
saying something cause the Corps has produced some genuine ones, including
Walker's idol and role model, Chesty Puller. And Stunt, you met him?! Wow!?
In that training I formerly wrote about, we awoke at 4:30 in the a.m. and had
to leap out of our racks and hit for floor for a quick 20 pushups. Even the slightest blimp in our actions (or inactions) would cause an immediate saddle up for a quick 2-5 mile run, in yellow Marine Corps sweatshirt. And as we ran
down the old barracks stairway, a 10x10 foot picture of Chesty with those
steely blues were staring you in the eyes.

And yes, Chesty's son who got those horrible wounds, wrote  book, something
like...Unforgetable (forgetable) son, which I have in storage. That  poor soul
shot himself in the head. Dead. BY the way, regarding Major Walker. Maybe 10
to 12 years ago upon a visit to Camp Pendelton, some Marine told me that he
believed he was killed in 'Nam, in one of his subsequent tours. I would like to
think the crusty 'ol bastard (he'd probably love the reference...) was still alive.
I'd be there for him to help if he needed it.

Yea, I apologize to anyone for these extensive Marine Corps memories. LIke
Stunt says, we want to try and keep references to physical training, exercise,
weights, what have you...and the Corps had plenty of ALL. So, sorry, I'll always try to keep our relative subject matter at hand, which won't be hard @USMC.

Usually, I said. Damn it, the Corps deserves more. Just a little sidecar first. Stunt, you mentioned building that Officer's Club. I certainly couldn't claim that
kind of construction however, what I did helped change the course of SMELL,
ODOR, in our company. While on shit detail--even the gooks wouldn't burn our
shit for money--I got creative. I made and painted two signs for the shitters.
One was...The Honey Hut; the other...The Sugar Shack, both in red and yellow
Marine colors, of course. The shit sergeant was livid, ready to write me up. But
our company commander and his officers loved it, laughed and used the shitters with a renewed zest, so to speak.

And yes, Stunt, I know exactly what you mean about supply sergeants. True,
true, true. What many did would have got them arrested as civilians. But in
the Corps, and under the circumstances, everyone--well, most--loved them.
In 'Nam, our supply sergeant & team buried a $8,000 generator because our
company did not have it allocated to us. We had a big I.G. (inspection). But,
the I.G. never bothered with supply. Ruined generator, pissed Marines.

 
 

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« Reply #1070 on: January 18, 2006, 05:28:02 PM »

Oh, Stunt, and regarding allocations and war and what the Corps got, or didn't
get, you probably well know that the Marine Corps since WWII has gotten LESS equipment, goods, gear, (and has done MORE with it--by far--than any other service). This was offically noted by Congress and Truman. So henceforth, because Truman wanted to END the Marine Corps, he justified, as did Congress, the Corps continuation...but with less (actual) allocation than any other service branch.

In 'Nam, we had second hand supply trucks, most with floors rusted out and
supported with wooden blanks. These comments are in NO disrespect to any
other service, by the way. We're all in this formation of the brotherhood. But
facts are facts. Very few people realize this stuff. It deserves to be revealed.

So, for Marines to never complain (well, not entirely, but you know what I mean), suck-it-up and survive and thrive with PRIDE is incredible!!
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« Reply #1071 on: January 19, 2006, 01:05:26 AM »

Ya, Jay, one thing about Hockaday ... he never lifted weights but he was always running around the camp and doing typical Marine Corps fitness things. And we were all expected to go to Church on Sundays if we were not in combat mode. I do recall that he called us all into formation one Sunday and we all marched through the mud to CHurch.

Once there he told all that wanted to go to Church could go and the rest were to march back in formation. I recall that everyone went to CHurch that Sunday.

Back then I knew that he came from a wealthy family but he never mentioned what his family did for a living. But he was well aware of all the officers and troops who came from wealthy families and informed me as XO that so and so would not be with us on the next planned mission into some God forsaken valley because various family members would have their sons removed from out unit before we were actually committed.

In fact one congressman's son did disappeared one moonless nite without an explanation to anyone except Hockaday.

OK, to make this pertenant to this Board ....... One of my troops was a musclebound solid critter who was always training while he was back in camp. And he was solid as shit. Hit him with an M1 and he would simply laugh. He would usually walk around with his medals pinned into his chest until repremanded for bleeding on Marine Corps property - mainly his chest.

I told this before but one day he was at the LZ waiting for the helicopter pickup to get some R&R out of country someplace. While waiting for the bird, we got hit by 155mm rockets and one so happened to hit the LZ and the concussion knocked the shit out of everyone in the vicinity and shrapnel took a couple of guys out.

Others suffered some concussion injuries that put them in the hospital for a few days, but the musclebound kid just picked himself up and dusted himself off and shook his head a few times and was well enough to get on the next ride to Danang and out of Vietnam for a few days of R and R.

When he returned he admitted that it took a week of R and R to get the ringing out of his head and his hearing back to normal but he was well enough to head back out on recon patrols and lift weights upon his return. But if anyone ever whistled loud enough, he was the first one to hit the deck.

One last thing about supply sgts and midnight requisitions ........ We were getting ready for a major size operation and the Associated Press somehow got the word and surrounded our position in force just waiting for something to happen. They were prepared to write the story of the year about Marines in combat in Viet Nam.

Associated Press guys are great but they do like to be comfortable in the field and travel with all the accomodations of a home back in the states. And that included the best mattresses in Viet Nam.

Well, my Supply Sgt knew all about that and when the press returned to their camp that nite, every mattress in their camp was gone.

And my Marines were enjoying one of the soundest sleeps they had all year long.

More later, Heading off. Thanks.......

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« Reply #1072 on: January 19, 2006, 01:42:16 PM »

About 2:00 am after the liquor plank closed, about 12 members of AP came knocking on my helmet to ask what happened to their mattresses.

I told them to come back in the morning and I would conduct a thorough investigation.

By that time we were gone off into the bush hunting for crocadiles and landmines.

When we got back the mattresses were still there with a couple of decent notes from the donors who headed back to Danang once they realized we were gone.

I got a hell of a lot of respect for those guys.
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« Reply #1073 on: January 19, 2006, 02:21:34 PM »

Stunt, I just travelled back to page 35, I believe and read your post about The
American Health Studios, and Steve Reeves working out there. That's where I
started, at the American Health Studio (formerly Alan Stephan Studio) in 1959/60. But in Minneapolis, Minnesota, my hometown. Boy, do I have some stories about that place, especially since during the entire time I worked out there, it was the workout home away from home for any and all professional wrestlers...and a few pro fighters, Duane Bobick's elder brother--a club fighter but with great power--whose name I forget. It was a large, close-up picture of Reeves in a window in  the lobby of that gym that convinced me that the Iron Bug was a worthy bite. I remember that picture in my mind to this day. I've never seen that same Reeves shot anywhere else, including any magazine. I think I remember someone telling me that it was a special gift to Alan Stephan from Steve when he opened his new establishment. But I rubbed elbows with the biggest thespians of the mat world, including Verne Gagne, Harley Race,
Eddie Sharkey, The Crusher, The Brusier, Igor, the Polish Strongman, George
"Catalina" Drake, Hard Boiled Haggerty, Frank Townsend, Eddie Gilbert and a
host of others. It also was the home of many world-class powerlifters, includ-
ing Don Cundy, Mike Carroll, and Ed Ammerman. Ahhh, what memories.
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« Reply #1074 on: January 19, 2006, 02:40:27 PM »

Jay, were you a member when American Health Studios closed down? Do you recall who the original partners of AHS where?

My mom used to be a close friend of the Masked Convict when she was in her 70's. She was 4'10' and he was way over 6 and close to 350 pounds and was one hell of a mean guy in the ring, but the nicest guy you ever met outside of it.

My mom used to hit him with her umbrella when he beat up the smaller wrestlers. She actully thought it was real and he played along.

I did meet Hard Boiled once or twice but that was so long back that I forget the circumstances.

Did you ever meet Pepe Gomez? Or a great bodybuilder from the Oakland area by the name of Curt (Kurt) Freeman who wrestled for a brief moment of time in the 50's.

I wish I had taken more pictures back then. I think I posted some photos of Arnold and a group of Marines when I took him over to KMCAS many years ago. They are someplace on this board.

Did you ever train at the El Toro Base Gym? It was run by a good bodybuilder by the name of Ked Schoming and that is where I met Gunny Griffith. He took me up to meet Joe Gold and we talked to him while he was doing some welding in the back.

Did you ever meet Reverend Zuver and his son Rhino?
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