My Story - From Physical Culture to Mr. America continued (pg 5)
leave before returning to my home base, Morris Field Air Base in Charlotte, North Carolina.
While on leave at my home in Richmond, Indiana, I met Virginia Stanley who later became my wife. We were married on October 13, 1942, in Medford, Oregon, while I was stationed at Camp White. This past Halloween we celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary.
I was later sent to Officer's candidate school at Fort Benning, Georgia and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant Infantry -- I still have my tunic and it still fits (a little loose.) Virginia and I have two daughters, Mary Ann the oldest and Virginia the youngest. They are both teachers and are married to teachers. We have 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grand kids. We made the move to California in 1946.
I opened a gym on Melrose Ave. in Hollywood, California in October in 1946 and sold it to George Redpath in 1947. It was later taken over by Tony Terlazzo.
To help get my gym business rollingback in 1946 and 1947, John Emmerson, my friend, who was doing public relations work for Brunswick Bowling Co., arranged to sneak me into a photo session with Jane Russell and Jack Buetel who co-starred in "The Outlaw," produced by Howard Hughes.
Later, Jack Buetel was kind enough to come to my gym to pose for exercise photos with me, all which I still have. I didn't use them for publicity purposes. I guess I should have.
Les and Pudgy Stockton and Buford McFatridge came to the gym one evening, and had a nice visit. Les was powerful as was Buford. As I remember, Buford was one of the top heavyweights in California in the 1940's.
Dale and Harvey Easton had a gym nearby (Vince Gironda got his start with the Easton Brothers.) One of the Easton brothers was chosen by Bing Crosby to play the lead in "The Great John L. Sullivan" (The great bare knuckle heavyweight boxer of years ago.) Bing was the producer of the movie.
I remember well a couple of contests I entered in Los Angeles. The big one at the Shrine Auditorium in December 1949, MR. USA, was put on by Bert Goodrich and Vic Tanny.
All of the top bodybuilders were competing for the title including Steve Reeves, Clancy Ross, Al Stephan, George Eiferman, Floyd Page, Armand Tanny, Walt Baptista, Vince Gironda, and Bob McCune to mention a few. John Grimek flew out from York, PA to compete. It was a close contest with Grimek selected as the winner. All of the men should have won. Each was perfect for his particular body structure.
We drew numbers for appearance on stage. I drew a number between Steve Reeves and John Grimek. Can you imagine that? What a spot to be in.
I entered the "Mr. 1949" contest held at the Embassy Auditorium in Los Angeles. Armand Tanny won that title. During a demonstration of the one arm clean, he succeeded with 275 pounds. I understand that he one arm cleaned 300 pounds at a later date.
In 1950, I went to radio broadcasting school and became a newscaster and "Disc Jockey." I was in broadcasting for 3 1/2 years in the early 50's working at radio station KXOC in Chino, CA; KPMO in Pomona, CA; and KRNO in San Bernadino, CA. Between 1947 and when I started to work in broadcasting, I worked for a printing