[Home] [Philosophy] [What's New] [Products] [FAQ] [Feedback] [Order]

From The Desk Of Clarence Bass (www.cbass.com)

If you enjoy and benefit from our website and products, tell your friends.

horizontal rule

The Iron Game Has Lost a Friend

Norm Komich


Norm Komich made friends with everyone he met. He was a guy you don’t forget.

I knew of Norm before I knew him. He was an Iron Game enthusiast and historian—Chuck Sipes, strongman and bodybuilding champion, was a former neighbor and his favorite subject. Norm was also a longtime trainer himself; the Iron Bug bit early and stayed with him.  

His letters appeared frequently in “The Iron Grapevine” section of Iron Game History. In one of his missives (mid-90s), he described me as the “real deal.” I don’t remember the context, but I stored the compliment away in my memory until a few years later when the opportunity arose to reciprocate. Norm wrote IGH that he was back in training after an extended layoff and things were “not going well.” Age was rearing its ugly head. “It is as if my resistance [to injury and colds] goes down the drain with any semblance of intensity,” he lamented. “Am I just a wimp…or is this typical for someone in his fifties?” he asked. IGH advised him to keep training, but stick to a level of intensity he can tolerate over the long haul. Sensing that Norm was feeling more discouraged than need be, I wrote him a note of encouragement, suggesting that he continue to train hard, but give himself more time to recover between workouts.  

A month or so later I received a beautifully composed three-page, typed, single-spaced letter/essay. After regaling me with a detailed history of overtraining in various sports, he thanked me for renewing his enthusiasm. Taking my advice, he was doing much better lifting one day a week and walking on off days. That amazingly gracious and thoughtful reply showed me that Norm was the “real deal.”

After that, we stayed in contact by letter and email—and finally met in 2006 at the 20th annual reunion of the Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen, where I received the AOBS Vic Boff award. The evening before the big event, Norm hosted a dinner for six at the classiest restaurant in the hotel; Kobe steaks and other gourmet items were featured on the menu.

Most of us were meeting for the first time; the main connection was that we all knew Norm—who made it an evening to remember. His warmth and congeniality brought us all together. In addition to Carol and I, the group included Dave Mastorakis, Rich Abbott, and Norm’s son Jonathon. Dave is a well-known bodybuilding champion of yesteryear who stays in terrific shape and 70-something Rich Abbott is a power lifter, endurance cyclist, and showman who, along with wife Suzie, does a cabana act including show tunes, standards, and old-time vaudeville songs. Jonathon is a well-spoken, well-educated, handsome young man who shares an interest in physical culture with his dad.

Thanks to Norm, we met as strangers and left as friends.

For Carol and me, that wonderful dinner symbolizes Norm Komich as a man and friend. We will miss him terribly, as will his Iron Game friends everywhere.

Our sincerest condolences go to his wife of 32 years Joy, son Johnathon, family members, and friends.

horizontal rule

Ripped Enterprises, P.O. Box 51236, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-1236 or street address: 528 Chama, N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, Phone (505) 266-5858, e-mail: cncbass@aol.com , FAX: (505) 266-9123. Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8-5, Mountain time. FAX for international orders: Please check with your local phone book and add the following: 001-505 266-9123

[Home] [Philosophy] [What's New] [Products] [FAQ] [Feedback] [Order]

Copyright © 2013 Clarence and Carol Bass. All rights reserved.