and the Bash, June 2003
June 30, 2003
you look at a globe of the world and slowly rotate it until the
continent of the United States is positioned before you, you will
notice a distinct appendage of land protruding like a languid digit
from the southeastern-most corner of the great American landmass.
This peculiar formation is known as Florida, one of the 50 states
closely united in heart and mind that constitute the U.S.A.
is a grand peninsula, water-bound on the east by the Atlantic and
the west by the Gulf of Mexico. Inlets and bays and the irregular
coastline give added and delightful watery exposure to the warm
and sunny state. In fact, the lattermost characteristics have earned
Florida her honorary reference, the Sunshine State. Dotted throughout
the state are lakes, large and small. One might think that boats
are in equal proportion to the auto, but no one’s counting.
Both modes of transportation have been lost every now and then in
sinkholes, bothersome phenomenon indigenous to this amazing territory.
Small ponds and the immediate not-so-terra firma disappear hell-ward
when least likely expected. Oops! Gone, gators and all.
daring expeditions have set out on occasion to discover great snow-capped
mountains ranging across the thick Floridian landscape, none have
been found to this day. In fact, it is suspected that the average
altitude is 12 to 18 inches above sea level on a good day. When
it rains in the sunshine state, there’s quite a scramble for
dry ground. And it’s been reported by sources not affiliated
with the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce or the Realtors Association
of Greater Florida that the humidity averages 95% in June, but drops
to 89% when it rains, as it often does to the relief of the Floridians
and their soggy tourists. Blinding rainstorms and raging floods
add excitement to otherwise ordinary days in this tropical paradise.
held our 3rd Annual Bombers Bash in St. Petersburg this past weekend,
June 21st. It was swell.
to bore you dear readers with an elaboration of a festivity that
was for any number of countless reasons not on your event list --
work, family responsibilities, finances, canasta playoffs, bingo,
neighbor’s yard sale -- let me just say this:
the humidity was cool and the rain a pleasant dance on our bodies.
faces and the familiar faces shown with excitement and wonder at
the joy they never expected to experience at the first-time meeting
of brothers and sisters in iron and steel.
silver-gray cloud covering caused the rare appearance of the sun
to be an amazing event, historic, the equivalence of a space launch
from Cape Canaveral. Together we stood transfixed, our eyes heavenward
and drifted into our own reverie as a ray of sun glanced across
Hard, Eat Right and Be Happy: all three instructions were applied
with the precision that once came from tough discipline, but were
now assumed with ease and common sense. We met at the gym as prescribed
to do the work we must do, the toil we love, the training we need
and the exercise we praise. When we gathered to eat and rejoice
throughout our days together there was no effort to forego junk
food or excess; the thoughts were foreign to our minds. And happiness
abounded, rebounded, bubbled over or simply simmered on the faces
of those who naturally hold external bursting within.
caterers were silent heroes, impeccably performing their tasks complete
with more than a day’s worth of unpredictable hitches. As
they dodged errant raindrops, improvised and repaired damaged equipment
and prepared the luscious foods, the stealthy bombers gathered,
soaring and buzzing and performing stunts.
Incledon, the Bombers and I talked over the facts and fiction that
attend the sport of muscle building… for three hours and 15
minutes till the food was ready. The barbecue was not a gluttonous
affair with endless tables of colorful goop in trays and platters
and bowls. It was a thoughtful collection of mouth-watering grilled
mixed vegetable salad, black beans, yellow rice, fresh salad, tri-tip
steaks and Jamaican-jerk chicken -- all you could eat. Cold spring
water, iced tea and lemonade were the beverages of choice and nobody
missed the beer or soda pop. St. Petersburg’s locally made
natural fruit ices were available in a frosty freezer for dessert…
I had one.
it was a long question and answer presentation and nobody left,
though I saw a few people yawn and look off to the squawking and
swooping seagulls, no doubt envious of their freedom. Oh, to have
wings and fly away. I personally delighted in the seminar. Give
me a mike, ask me a question and I’ll stammer for up to 10
seconds. Of course, as I cleverly planned it, Tom “The Answer
Man” Incledon was my co-presenter and I never had to answer
more than three questions: Is it true you know Arnold, do you still
work out and if you had to do it all over again, would you lift
weights? I had the first two down, no sweat, but the last one confused
me a bit. I looked to Laree for help on that one, but she was busy
feeding the ducks. I bucked up and said with decisiveness, “Ah,
sure, maybe… I dunno.”
there we learned more about training techniques that work and that
are forbidden, building different kinds of power and muscle fiber
for men and women, leanness verses mass verses bodyfat verses tone,
creatine and its value and effective transportation and the latest
scoop on the latest multi-syllable hype adorning the muscle mags
and the web pages. We listened to a Peterbuilt scientist as he spoke
to our lay minds about things that immediately concern us, our health,
our chemistry, our anatomy, physiology and our muscle building needs.
Scientists, especially those committed to research, do not lie or
exaggerate and insist on backing every word they say with a list
of the researching authors and the papers from which their material
is derived. The questions kept coming and the answers kept going,
an assembly line, co-labor not in vain. They built on each other,
the toil of a stone mason building at once a work of art and a wall
to last forever.
Ken assembled a powerhouse sound system for the talk and was prepared
to entertain the gang throughout the chow down with his incomparable
Elvis performance and Karaoke show. The melodious white noise of
the sipping and chomping and Bomber talk postponed the amusement
to another time. Training strategies, sharing nutritional insights
and nostalgia became the irreplaceable topics until we all said
goodbye. Parting is such sweet sorrow, so I offer that merry subject
to someone else. That was Saturday, late afternoon. Half went home
near n’ far, half went to see “The Hulk” and the
other half went to bed. “Goodnight, Laree.” “Goodnight,
darling sweetheart.” She’s so darn cute!
last night was Sunday night as 18 wild ones with an extra day on
their hands continued the good times over dinner. The restaurant
closed around us and we filed out with the staff dragging baggies
of garbage, their last duty of the evening. The night was young
and across a spacious balcony the hoppin’ Baywalk Mall featured
a Karaoke setting for the shear fun of it. We stopped in our tracks
and five of the Bomber Squad rolled up their sleeves and launched
into their renditions of Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Rivers and other rockers.
I got booed off the stage (used to it) for my impersonation of Mel
Torme singing April in Paris. Needs work. The cameras came out of
nowhere and we again went through even worse goodbyes, agreeing
unanimously that “See ya later” expressed in a laid-back
manner was a whole lot better than saying “Good… gulp…
dear Florida. Next time I will bask in your sun and swim in your
waters and admire the lush floral life for which you are famous.
see ya later…
York, New York, September, 2004… Dave
here to order Dave's new Top Squat
here to see the previous week's column
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