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Clarence among Invited Guests at AOBS 25th Annual Reunion/Dinner

On June 7, 2008, The Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen (AOBS), a fellowship founded by Vic Boff to honor and preserve the history of the Iron Game and physical culture, came together for the 25th time at the Newark Airport Marriott Hotel for the special purpose of honoring the memory of Vic Boff and inviting back all living recipients of the organizations Highest Achievement Award (now known as the “Vic Boff Award”). A total of 62 "legends" have received the award since the organization's inception and 42 are still with us. A majority (about 21) accepted the invitation and joined together in a packed banquet room for a spectacular and perhaps never to be repeated super reunion. (To learn more about the history of the AOBS and the names of all recipients of its highest award visit http://www.weightlifting.org/aobs.htm )

Clarence (who received the Vic Boff Award in 2003 http://www.cbass.com/News3.htm ) and Carol, joined by their friends Carl Miller (former US Olympic Weightlifting coach) and his wife, Sandra Thomas, attended the historic event, which included a Collectors and Historical Meeting, a “Wisdom of the Ages Seminar” presented by Tommy Kono, Joe “The Great” Rollino, Clyde Emrich, and Red Lerille (see below), and a Strongman Show organized by the legendary Slim Farman. Finally, the banquet included the posing artistry of the one and only Russ Testo (see below)—and, of course, an opportunity to renew old friendships and make new ones.

Carol’s camera captured some of the many memorable moments:

 Two superstars of the event, Joe “The Great” Rollino—who just turned 103—and physique artist Russ Testo, who was in superb condition, as shown by his face; more of Russ below. Rollino held his own magnificently during the afternoon seminar.

Clarence at head table with World and Olympic champion weightlifter and record holder Isaac Berger, and Tommy Kono, holder of 26 world records in 4 bodyweight classes and considered by many to be the greatest weightlifter of all time.

 Carl Miller (blue suit) chats with former Olympian, weightlifting world record holder, and pioneer strength coach for the Chicago Bears Clyde Emrich; weightlifting champions Jim Bradford, Mike Karchut, Tommy Kono, and Ike Berger can be seen in the background.

Sharing another part of the dais (L to R) lifting innovator Bill Clark (partially in shadow); 1962 Mr. America and NABBA Mr. Universe, (now attorney) Joe Abbenda; 1960 Mr. America Red Lerille (owner/operator/developer of the largest health club in the Southeast), and “The First Lady of Bodybuilding” Doris Barrilleaux.

Clarence with Terry Todd, the first AAU National super heavyweight champion in powerlifting, former editor of Strength & Health magazine, and Director and developer (with his wife, Jan) of the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas, Austin.

Clarence and Carol with strongman Jim Bradford, two time US national weightlifting champion, and silver medalist at 4 World weightlifting championships and two Olympic Games.

Photo courtesy of Russ Testo

The truly extraordinary Russ Testo in his famous Leaner pose; Russ has demonstrated his physique artistry around the world for the last 27 years. After seeing his performance at the 1983 Mr. Olympia in Munich, Germany, Franco Columbu told him, “You are the best poser I’ve ever seen and you should be giving lessons to the pros.” You’ll find his complete story on http://www.russtesto.com/ 

Our friends Carl Miller and his lovely wife, Sandra, looking terrific in the audience.

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