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Steel Away



Artie Zeller, Bob Kennedy & Greg Zulak at Joe Gold's World Gym

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Good morning, bombers, and a dandy it is; clear, sunny, warm, and hopeful. God Bless the land of the free.

Monday, as the world slept, I turned 70.

Excuse me. What’s so funny? This is not a laughing matter. Wipe that smile off your face. You think I’m joking? Kids! Wait till you grow up. You pee every half hour.

Regardless of your cruelty, it was an exciting day. The all-girl marching band didn’t miss a note, a beat or a step. The floats were colorful and creative, the speeches of acclamation by the celebrities were inspiring and the fans were enthralled. The spectacular, one-of-a-kind B-70 Bomb Fest went on joyfully into the evening.

Unable to relax as the festivities wound down, I found myself at the gym for a midnight workout. The iron bore a thin film of rust not present earlier that afternoon; the weights were slightly heavier, the machines creaked stiffly, the pulleys wobbled as they turned and the blurred reflection in the mirror was that of startled stranger.

Just kidding. I haven’t been to the gym at midnight since I owned the joint. Noon, twice a week is enough for me. Hello, iron… hoist, toss, heave... Good bye, iron. We’ve been communicating for so long we know exactly what the other dumbbell is going to say. Moan, clunk, groan, thud.

Where do I go from here? It’s all the same, yesterday, today, tomorrow. Forward, on, onward. Nothing’s changed. I’m just another day older, boldly confronting the challenges of the day.

I’ll make appropriate adjustments. The IOL motto for example has been abbreviated from “Train hard, Eat right, Be strong” to “Train, Eat, Be.” Come to think of it, “T, E, B” works, or TEB for short.

I eat the same, only less. I lift the same, only less. I am the same, only 70, going on 100. Oh, and the reflection in the mirror is not that of a stranger but an old bud. He may not be perfect, but he’s the only reflection I’ve got.

Really? Really!

I’ve been tossed around and about this week. No bruises, but I ache.

Have you ever had the experience of knowing a person you met years ago who became a friend at the time because he was nice and good and you trusted him, but you didn’t see him much because he lived far away? Still, you were connected by memory, association and infrequent greetings amid chaos, and your friendship lasted?

Bob Kennedy, the publisher of MuscleMag International, was such a friend. He invited me to his cottage in wooded Ontario where I met his team when his mag was a fledgling. I had hair raging from beneath a headband and wore a tie-dye tank top to match my eyes. We trained in his home gym, ate steaks at his dinner table, chased his dog through the forest and gazed upon Niagara Falls as water thundered across the earth’s shoulders. Thanks, Bob, see you in NYC, see you in LA, see you in Columbus. See you.

He died last Thursday at home in Ontario.

Bob dared to enter the flourishing yet mightily dominated muscle world in the mid-’70s with his energetic and colorful MMI interpretation. Bob loved the stuff of muscles as do you and I. He wanted to express himself and broadcast strength, health and fitness, make a few friends, have a few laughs and earn a few bucks along the way. And he did just that with grace and aplomb.

God’s grace, dear family and friends of Bob Kennedy. We miss him.

<><><><> 

… Ratta tat tat ratta tat…

The speed at which Laree’s nimble fingers dash across the keyboard is astonishing and I fear, if she doesn’t slow down, her hands, her computer and her mind will crash from physical fatigue, data overload and big bad brain bang. Thoughts are flying, keys are clattering, screens are blinking, printers are printing.

Me, myself, I, le musclehead, ze bomb, on the other hand, who’s one and only active digit crawls like Spot, the drugged snail, atop my computer ivories, am out of things to say or consider or underline, discover or reveal, invent, imagine or plagiarize. I’m running on empty, bombers.

Sniff, sniff. Smell that? Fumes!

Plan B: I shall irregularly transmit my mad IronOnline ramblings as I get the urge, the whim, the whatever… the itch...  and switch to Facebook (sound familiar?), the latest tool of communication since beating drums and cave drawings. You can’t get rid of me.

We can’t get rid of him? Crap!

Keep your eye on Laree for the secret as to how this mystery will unfold.

Gee, Jane, what do I do with my collection of drums and drawings?

Sell them on eBay, Biff.

You’ll be hearing from me, asaifowthid (as soon as I figure out what the heck I’m doing).

God’s speed… Mabe Perhapski

Post Script – Thanks a million for the sincere birthday wishes this week. I’ll never get around to thanking you individually. 80 should be interesting.

~Laree, here with a couple of links...

MuscleMag’s announcement of Bob’s death is here.

John Balik of IronMan collected a nice batch of tributes here.

Dave found his way to Facebook, got signed in all on his own. Really, no kidding! And get this: He said he was going to type something into the little post box this afternoon. Twitter to follow shortly, oh, yes, that’s exactly what he said.

I’ll track everything down and pull some conversation together for you next week and we’ll see how this turns out.

Dave is on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/bodybuilderdavedraper

Dave on Twitter, here: http://twitter.com/davedraper

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