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What the Heck is the AOBS and When is its Next Reunion?

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  • Dave Hartnett
    replied
    Mike, sorry I wont see you this year, but trust me, I understand. Looking FWD to seeing Stan as usual, we usually party after the dinner until like 4 AM (Me, Stan, Barb, Julie). makes for a hurting drive home the next morning, but worth it :>) The historical meeting will be Mike Fera showing his presentation that he recorded while visiting Leo Sterns Gym, and Loprinzi's gym in California. I normally run the audio/visual for Artie, so I'll be doing it this year again. (This time I'm bringing my own screen and projector, the hotel charges 500.00 just to rent it). I'll also run Anibal's presentation. Anyways, packing now, getting ready to drive down tomorrow AM. We're bring bodybuilding legend, Dave Mastorakis with us this year. DMASS and I have been known to enjoy a few bottles of wine, this year I'll be bahaving for once :>)

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  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike Corlett View Post
    I spoke to Stanley Pleskun aka Stanless Steel, tonight. Stan and his lady Barbara are going. He has never missed a dinner since he started going, sometime in the early 1990s...
    Stan also said that the guitar player, as well as the drummer from his band, Ajammination, will be attending. Probably two of the most unlikely individuals in the history of the event to be attending. I presume they want to see the other side to their bandmate's life.

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  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    I spoke to Stanley Pleskun aka Stanless Steel, tonight. Stan and his lady Barbara are going. He has never missed a dinner since he started going, sometime in the early 1990s...

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Two weeks ago, I said I was going to describe my first AOBS experience. Sorry, not doing that right now. Reporting specifically what the schedule is this year is more appropriate right now. Quoting from their September newsletter that I received since my last post, "here is an outline of our full agenda for October 11th at the Newark Airport Marriott Hotel:

    Historical Meeting on AOBS History 12:00 Noon to 1:45 PM
    Anibal Lopez Seminar 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
    Stars of Oldetime Strength 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
    Cocktail Hour 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
    Dinner 7:00 PM (Sharp) to 11:00 PM

    Dinner reservations must be received, with payment, by Friday October 3rd.

    The discounted Hotel room deadline was yesterday.

    Dave, definitely not going this year. I am bummed, but I have too much going on at that time.

    I am going to keep posting on this thread even though I am not going this time around...

    There are two honorees this year: Women's weightlifter Karyn Marshall, and bodybuilder Anibal Lopez.

    The "Stars of Oldetime Strength" will be presented by/produced by Slim "The Hammer Man" Farman, Dennis Rogers and Chris Rider. There are usually anywhere from 4 to 8 people performing feats of strength, many of them up and comers, some of them seasoned veterans. That particular piece of the day started in 2007, and has been a bit hit since it began. It was originally called "Slim Farman's Rising Stars", but the format has evolved a bit over the years.

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  • James Fuller
    replied
    This is great Mike!! Thanks for posting this!!

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  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Dave, I still don't know yet. If so, it would be solo.

    How I first heard of AOBS...

    I grew up getting muscle head-style culture through Osmosis, I was exposed to a lot of it from 1965 to the mid-1970s, did not follow anything for 20 years, and then became a "grip guy" in 1999. My brother called me in 2002 to tell me about something that happened at a "dinner" in New Jersey a few days earlier, and I had to check something out that was on the Internet. It was before "Youtube" existed, but there was video that was available through some Cyberpump link (I think that was it). He said that all kinds of big names in the Iron Game were there, and that Mark Henry cleaned and pressed the Inch Dumbbell. Somewhere in there, he mentioned that Richard Sorin was there. Turns out, it was one of his Inch Replicas that Henry used. Then I said, "wait a second, when was this thing?", and he told me. I said, "I was attending the US Track and Field Championships in Palo Alto, and Richard's son was competing in the Hammer Throw the night before that dinner, I know because I commented to my wife that Richard would be somewhere in the stadium. He wasn't watching his son compete??" My brother said, "You don't understand, this dinner is a big deal". No, I didn't understand, but after he told me that, I went online and came across this video, which is now on Youtube:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0lvfvxckxU

    I watched it perhaps 10 times, and was positively amazed at it. I recognized a number of people in the video, and since then, I have come to recognize many others.

    Turns out that particular dinner was the last one that AOBS Founder Vic Boff attended, as he passed away several months later, and Artie Drechsler took over the management reins shortly thereafter. And, that particular dinner one of my true sports heroes, the late great Al Oerter (4 Olympic Gold Medals, 4 Olympic Records, retired, and a dozen years later, made about a 10 year quest for his 5th Medal, did not make it, but upped his PRs at an "advanced" age) was honored by the AOBS. Also turns out that there were professional camera operators there from the WWE to film Henry; although it was a legendary feat of strength, to the Wrestling world and organization, it was just some publicity stunt for Henry to have on his resume. Also turns out that the filmmaker for the Stanless Steel move "Strongman" was in the audience working on his movie (no footage made it to the movie, although there was footage from the 2000 AOBS Dinner that was in the movie). Also turns out there were others from this forum in attendance at the event, some for the first time.

    For the next two years, all that I knew of the AOBS was that it was a "dinner" in New Jersey, and Mark Henry cleaned and pressed an Inch Dumbbell at the 2002 function.

    There was some silent footage of "Slim the Hammer Man" performing at the 2002 Dinner. He seemed like a very serious intense man who was really into some obscure niche craft. An old guy in his late 60s, I didn't have much appreciation for what he was doing.

    Next time, my first AOBS experience.

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  • Dave Hartnett
    replied
    Still wondering if you are going Mike... I heard that your brother John cant make it this year. Too bad, I always enjoy talking to John... Hope you can make it though...

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  • Dave Hartnett
    replied
    You going again this year Mike? If so Ill see you there...

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  • What the Heck is the AOBS and When is its Next Reunion?

    Someone from another forum asked me if I could write something here about the AOBS, as he usually finds out about its annual event after it is too late. I am going to make a number of posts on this thread describing what it is, and from my own perspective, my experiences in attending.

    First, when is its next "reunion"?

    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    Where is its next reunion?

    Same place that it has been since 2008, Newark Airport (NJ) Marriott Hotel.

    What is AOBS?

    AOBS is The Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen, an International Iron Game Organization, Organized in 1982, Founded by Vic Boff, who was President until he died in 2002. Artie Drechsler has been President since 2003.

    What else can you tell me about its history?

    Well, I am not an Iron Game Historian by any means, but the short version is a group of East Coast older Iron Game veterans got together for the purpose of throwing a birthday party for Sig Klein for his 80th Birthday in 1982. Not sure how many there were, less than a couple of dozen guys. They kept meeting once a year, and it gradually evolved into a club of sorts, and shortly after that, a formal organization with structure, goals, a newsletter, and most importantly, an expanding and entertaining annual dinner. It may have started out as a group of very connected and close knit Iron Game participants, but today it is still all that, plus Olympic Weightlifters (medalists at that), top level name bodybuilders, Pro Strongmen, power lifters, collectors, historians, magazine publishers, enthusiasts, Old Time Performing Strongmen, aspiring benders, grip guys, martial artists, magazine readers, equipment company representatives, garage gorillas, NPR reporters, track and field weight men, wrestlers, and more. When the media does a piece on it, it usually acts like there are guys in their 70s bending steel, quarters in their teeth, etc. Not exactly, but there are a number of guys in their 70s, and 80s, and even 90s who did do some very impressive things (and in some cases still do) in their heyday. The average age of the attendees, to me, has been steadily dropping every year.

    How do I get tickets?

    Well, they just sent out a newsletter dated July, 2014, and it did not have the familiar "insert" that you use to complete your reservation. I presume they will send another newsletter out in the next month including that. I don't remember the price off the top of my head, I think around $55, maybe a bit more. You can join the AOBS for $25, and for a year you get their newsletter, and you get a small discount off the price of the dinner. If you don't want to watch this thread for the next 6 weeks, you could email them at [email protected]. Their phone number is 718-661-3195, website is www.aobs.cc, and address is PO Box 680, Whitestone, NY, 11357. THERE ARE NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR AND THEY SHUT OFF TICKET SALES BEFORE THE EVENT. If you get the money and information in about 10 days in advance, you'll probably be okay.

    Anything else on the basics I need to know now?

    Yeah, there is. You can make hotel reservations by calling 800-228-9290 or 973-623-0006. Be sure to mention "AOBS Annual Reunion" to receive a rate of under half the hotel's normal rate (I think the rate will be $115 per night). I don't care who you are, you will have to spend the night on Saturday night, as the dinner NEVER ends before 11.

    I think my next post will be how I first heard of the AOBS, and my first experiences in attending. After that, perhaps a better description of how the weekend flows under the current structure.
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