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

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  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    I believe the last banquet they held was in the Fall of 2018. Attendance had significantly dropped.

    They still publish a newsletter.

    Their current contact information is:

    53 Albertson Avenue
    Albertson, NY 11507

    [email protected]

    www.aobs.cc

    Leave a comment:


  • Heath D. Watts
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike Corlett View Post
    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.


    Is AOBS still active? Do you have a new web site?
    Thanks,
    Heath

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave Hartnett
    replied
    Mike, thanks for the info on the film, and yes, that was indeed fun when we had dinner with him, a nice man...

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Something my son mentioned to me over the weekend. There is a documentary out, a recent one about Star Wars' actor David Prowse, called "I am Your Father". It covers his life, his Star Wars role, and his unfortunate omission from many Star Wars promotions and events. I mentioned on my "2008" writeup of AOBS that some of us had dinner with him the night before the banquet, but I did not mention that he was there again in 2010, where he received a special award from the AOBS.
    Towards the end of the movie, with the camera panning throughout the house, it paused a bit on the AOBS award that was hanging on a wall in the home.

    There was one part of the movie where he was lamenting about the use of a stuntman for things he was better equipped to handle than the stuntman. I won't spoil it for you, as that part of the movie had a funny "strength" story angle to it. This after all, is the IronMind Forum...

    Here is a link to the movie's IMDB website:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2949296/

    And here is a link to the trailer of the movie:

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

    I forgot to mention, it is currently available on Netflix.
    ​​​​​​​

    Leave a comment:


  • Nathaniel Brous
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave Hartnett View Post
    Dave, Mighty Stefan, Annibal Lopez, Peter Yates...
    Nice pic! Good to meet you also sir.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave Hartnett
    replied
    Dave, Mighty Stefan, Annibal Lopez, Peter Yates...
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Jim, Nate, and Dave: Thanks for posting. Anyone else who would like to chime in, please feel free to do so! After my multiple essay-style annual reports jammed together on one thread, it is good to see someone else saying something. And it all started because back in 2014 someone sent me a message asking me to talk about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave Hartnett
    replied
    Nate, it was nice meeting you this year. We had a good time, sat with Mike's brother John Corlett and the usual crew. The only thing is my neck hurt, looking up to talk to you, (Huge dude).
    We did a tribute (SAT Historical Meeting) to Mike BonDurant and Reuben Weaver (long time AOBS members and personal friends) who passed recently. Maybe we'll see you and Andy next year Mike. (Saw some of Andy's recent lifts, powerful young man)...

    Leave a comment:


  • Nathaniel Brous
    replied
    I think Jim has the right of it. While it's true that most people took the opportunity to say hello (as I did as things were wrapping up), there definitely wasn't an "ebay sig" / paparazzi feel anywhere.
    It may have boosted numbers somewhat, but I think mainly it was a tie-breaker for people who were on the fence.

    I sat with John Decola at dinner...still in incredible shape!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jim Duggan
    replied
    I attended last year's reunion/dinner for the first time in a long time. This year's event seemed to be a little more well attended. True, Wilhelm was not present, nor Richard Sorin. John DeCola returned, after being honored last year. It was nice to see him again. I always thought it a shame when someone would get honored, and then never show their face again. Marvin Eder was there, a true legend.
    There was a nice couple at our table who were big fans of Holyfield. She used to live in Atlanta, and had a collection of photos tracing back to his days as an amateur boxer. I'm sure the were other fans, but it didn't appear as if a large number of people showed just for him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Nate, thanks for posting and for the photos.

    For those who attend the AOBS quite a bit, did anyone notice if there looked to be ANYONE who came there because Holyfield was being honored? One, two, 10? Curious.

    I heard that super-longtime-consecutive-attendee (20 years, what do you think?) Bruce Wilhelm was not there. Richard Sorin was not there either, but he tends to average around 75% attendance in my estimation. Quite a number of folks had passed away since last year, some very famous (Norb, Tommy), and some known mostly just to AOBS attendees.

    Hopefully, I will be back next year with my son.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nathaniel Brous
    replied
    So...Evander gave an amazing speech. It's obvious when listening to him, he's a little punchy now, but overall, he's such a kind warm person. Not at all what I thought he might be like. He literally talked to me for like 25 minutes before some people waiting cut in (no problem with that).

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  • Nathaniel Brous
    replied

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  • Nathaniel Brous
    replied

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  • Nathaniel Brous
    replied

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  • Nathaniel Brous
    replied
    Originally posted by Mike Corlett View Post
    Well my fellow AOBS and IronMind Forum participants, don't all write at once about your 2016 AOBS Weekend Experience last weekend!

    Seriously, there are people who enjoy hearing about it.
    Hey Mike. As soon as I got back from the AOBS, my heart went wacky again (hospitals etc) and it really took the wind out of my sails so to speak.

    Unfortunately I missed the first couple of hours (meet and greet etc), but caught the rising stars on. I don't have the energy for a trip report this year...but I'll throw up some pics.

    Hope to see you next year. -Nate

    Leave a comment:


  • Craig T. Covington
    replied
    I'm one of those people. I've never gone but I do like hearing about it. Hopefully someone will post something about it. Enquiring minds wanna know.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Well my fellow AOBS and IronMind Forum participants, don't all write at once about your 2016 AOBS Weekend Experience last weekend!

    Seriously, there are people who enjoy hearing about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave Hartnett
    replied
    I figured John would be there, he usually is. OK, I hope you and Andy go in the coming years, 1st time we met him Julie and I laughed non-stop, dude (Andy) is hysterical.
    Yes,and very strong indeed!

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Corlett
    replied
    Dave, no, am not going this year. Brother John is.

    Decided that I will only go if I go with my son. Went with my wife twice. Not her cup of tea, but last time was better for her than the first time, knowing a bit more what to expect. Hope to be there next year with Andy. With two young kids and joint custody, he has his hands full.

    I did not know Reuben had passed. It is sad that both honorees and attendees are leaving us, some, like Reuben, way before they should. And with each one, there is a bit of the "magic", gone forever. Who can replace Tommy Kono? But, as you know, it is not just the honorees that make the event worthwhile. Some of the friendships that you form, at times in the most unexpected ways, are a powerful thing.

    Say "hi" to Julie for Andy and I. Hope that we can share some laughs and fun next time. Gotta tell you, Andy's got more funny stories these days than just about anyone I know. He is one strong mother as well...

    Leave a comment:

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