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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Memories of Bob Hise II and III


Bob Hise III with another great lifter of that era, Rick Holbrook

I first met Bob Hise II and III back in the 80's as my family and I participated in some of his AWA (American Weightlifting Association) meets.  Bob II was an American original. He was a long time coach and administrator in U.S Weightlifting when it was under the auspices of the AAU (American Athletic Union) whose practices were arcane and far reaching. He was finally black balled for punching John Terpak, a York Barbell Co. employee and legendary character as well. Well Bob just went ahead and started his own weight lifting organization (AWA), his own magazine, International Olympic Lifter, and his own barbell company, Mav-Rik Barbell. While his organization never really competed with the United States Weightlifting Federation that was born with the dissolution of the AAU, it did introduce the idea of allowing people of all ages to compete. The USWF only allowed those 12 years and older to compete and did not have a developed masters program for older lifters. Bob's AWA had both and his meets were fun. That is how we met. I would take my kids, who lifted as young as 4 years old, and I would lift myself, in my 40's and past my prime, but having fun doing it as a family. Bob like the fact that we did this as a family and also that we were of Native American descent. He claimed to be "part Cherokee" like so many other white people here in the U.S.A. lol Imagine my surprise when one day I received a long rectangular box in the mail from Mav-Rik Barbell. I opened it and found a "PeeWee bar" with a note that is was complimentary to his Native American brothers. These bars were developed ahead of their time, before others marketed such equipment for youth lifters. They were made of titanium, weighed 7.5 kg., and sold for around $600.00. What a gift! I used it well with my children and now it is ready for my grandchildren as they begin lifting. That was Bob II. His son, Bob III was a very talented lifter in his younger days. He got involved in the drug culture of the 60's early 70's and was in a serious car accident which left him with very limited use of his legs. He accompanied his father at the AWA meets and always sent me pictures that he took of my family lifting. He would also ask about Native American issues and was very curious and interesting to talk with. After Bob II passed away the AWA was carried on for a few years then eventually died. Mav-Rik Barbell also continued under new owners for awhile, but I haven't heard anything about them in years as well. It sounds from the reports below that Bob III is still a character and still living life on his own terms, even if it may seem strange to the rest of us "normal" people, whatever that means. The personal account was reported by Chris Dariotis, an old friend and current master lifter on another site.

On Saturday, November 10th I found Bob Hise III at his street camp on Eagle Rock Boulevard near the 7-11. I identified myself by the nickname he called me in 1968 (Dirty Hippy) and he immediately called out my name. 
We spent an hour on the street remembering the old times training at the LA YMCA under Papa Hise, our trip to York for the Senior Nationals in 1968, and many members of the weightlifting community, some of whom had passed. Bob definitely has not passed although he is broken from his car accident in 1988 and somewhat beaten by his 24 years living on the streets not to mention being shot in the face by a 45. 
His mind and memory are sharp, allbiet unconventional and he remains both friendly to the souls like him who are living on the street and combatative to anyone who wants to change him. 
We shared a beer, exchanged gifts, and parted with a hug. 
He was the coach who first taught me about how to move your body during the "weightless" portion of the lifts and how to believe that your body was capable of more than your mind believed at the time. He is living proof that his body is still capable of more. He still can offer weightlifting advice as he reviewed video of my lifts that day and told me that I should have started higher and with different positions. 
He talked about a book that he had been asked to write about lifting. It would be great if someone could get his unconventional knowledge down on paper to share.

An article appeared in the local paper awhile ago, followed later by an update:
http://eaglerock.patch.com/articles/lapd-homeless-man-was-a-public-health-hazard-update

http://eaglerock.patch.com/articles/the-return-of-bobby-hise-part-ii








18 comments:

  1. Regards,
    WHERE TO START?? I first met bob Hise senior and Bob Hise junior while attempting to learn Olympic lifting at the los Angeles Athletic Club and YMCA.
    I remember Bob senior telling me to point my right foot straighter ahead. I didn't know then that I had a hereditary defect that made that impossible.
    I remarked that I was going to jump into the club pool after training and he said"you can't lift weights and swim to." Because of training at the club I picked up a lot of tips from the Hises.This was about 1970 while I was a student at Cal State University, Alhambra. So long ago. I bought a York Olympic bar new at the York outlet store near downtown L.A. then for that huge amount of $100.00 still greased over the black oxide bar. I bought one recently on E-Bay from a guy in a town near York penn. for $235.00. Packed in a huge plastic sewer pipe with a wood frame around it. That was the shipped price. It's straight as a arrow though not as deeply knurled as the one I bought in the seventys.

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  2. Addendum: I also attended the Senior nationals in Culver City and met Bob Bednarski walking down the isle at break. What a giant of a man. Big smile .

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  3. Bob was arrested for 9 warrants last year but released from County jail 2 days later. No record of how or why all of the warrants were dropped from the books. Just that he was released 2 days later and all charges were dropped. Anyone interested could call Bob's son David at hs business number in North Carolina.

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  4. To call David just look up David Hise NC on Google.

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  5. I recently learned that Bob was released from LA County Jail in spite of his many warrants due to his current very bad health condition. Additionally he wss released to his ex wife Sherry and is currently livng with her. I do not know Sherry.s phone number but he address in Ventura is listed in the internet white pages. So one could write either one possibly thru the mail.

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  6. I recently learned that Bob was released from LA County Jail in spite of his many warrants due to his current very bad health condition. Additionally he wss released to his ex wife Sherry and is currently livng with her. I do not know Sherry.s phone number but he address in Ventura is listed in the internet white pages. So one could write either one possibly thru the mail.

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  7. Just recently talked with Keith Cain. Keith was not only himself a lifter in the late 60's-early 70's that himself attended Junior High and High School with Bob but was a lifter for Pa Hise and the IOL Lifting Team as well. Well Keith himself became so "worn out" by the treatment he received by Bob that basically he cut off all contact with him as well-which began close to a half century ago. That is just another example of how Bob III drove off any contact with the entire weightlifting fraternity. The last few years when Bo was still coaching a few young lifters-well by his actions he drove them all away. It seems that Bob would rather associate with truly crinimal types of individuals than anyone else. Thus he was totally associated with the actual Drew Street Gangs for instance before it was finally taken down by law enforcement personnel. Yes not too many years ago the local gangs pretty much ruled the local communities and Bob himself was closely associated with them. That is a fact. And due to these gangs being pretty much broken up by law enforcement is the reason for Bob's total descent into homelessness. It was the gangs and their members that used to help plus protect Bob, but with their exit Bob has been totally on his own. This is how Bob has survived so long, but with the gang's removal Bob has no more outside help or support. That is the way it is.

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  8. Just recently talked with Keith Cain. Keith was not only himself a lifter in the late 60's-early 70's that himself attended Junior High and High School with Bob but was a lifter for Pa Hise and the IOL Lifting Team as well. Well Keith himself became so "worn out" by the treatment he received by Bob that basically he cut off all contact with him as well-which began close to a half century ago. That is just another example of how Bob III drove off any contact with the entire weightlifting fraternity. The last few years when Bo was still coaching a few young lifters-well by his actions he drove them all away. It seems that Bob would rather associate with truly crinimal types of individuals than anyone else. Thus he was totally associated with the actual Drew Street Gangs for instance before it was finally taken down by law enforcement personnel. Yes not too many years ago the local gangs pretty much ruled the local communities and Bob himself was closely associated with them. That is a fact. And due to these gangs being pretty much broken up by law enforcement is the reason for Bob's total descent into homelessness. It was the gangs and their members that used to help plus protect Bob, but with their exit Bob has been totally on his own. This is how Bob has survived so long, but with the gang's removal Bob has no more outside help or support. That is the way it is.

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  9. I recently had a phone call from Keith Cain-not only a lifter for IOL but attended Jnior High and High School with Bob. Keith himself pretty much ceased all contact with Bob decades ago. Bob has managed to drive all his old weightlifting associates away over the years. Bob exchanged all his old friends with ex-consand drug dealers. In fact he was basically a member of the Drew Street Gang for many years. The Drew Street Gang was the local-Eagle Rock, Glendale street gang at the time. In fact before law enforcement broke up the local gangs, they took care of Bob. That is how he was able to exist for so long. With their break up Bob had no more help or protection. Thus his final removal from the area. Who knows where he is today.

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  10. I recently had a phone call from Keith Cain-not only a lifter for IOL but attended Jnior High and High School with Bob. Keith himself pretty much ceased all contact with Bob decades ago. Bob has managed to drive all his old weightlifting associates away over the years. Bob exchanged all his old friends with ex-consand drug dealers. In fact he was basically a member of the Drew Street Gang for many years. The Drew Street Gang was the local-Eagle Rock, Glendale street gang at the time. In fact before law enforcement broke up the local gangs, they took care of Bob. That is how he was able to exist for so long. With their break up Bob had no more help or protection. Thus his final removal from the area. Who knows where he is today.

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  11. I just learned that Chris recently gave his dad a cell phone so that the two of them can stay in touch. So at least Chris tries to help Bob as much as he is able to. Better than nothing.

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  12. I just learned that Chris recently gave his dad a cell phone so that the two of them can stay in touch. So at least Chris tries to help Bob as much as he is able to. Better than nothing.

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  13. I just had nice talk with Ricky Lujan. He has learned from Chris that his dad now is livng in an apartment and has regular medical care. So at least Bob's last days should end well.

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  14. I just had nice talk with Ricky Lujan. He has learned from Chris that his dad now is livng in an apartment and has regular medical care. So at least Bob's last days should end well.

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  15. Just learned that Bob is staying at Teague Terrace at 6260 Eagle Rock Blvd-right next to where he used to hang out near the Pet Hospital. It is a government establishment for low income individuals. You can look it up on the internet. It looks very good. Just very small rooms, of course, but takes care of the essentials.

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  16. Sorry, it is 4260 Eagle Rock Blvd. Just past the 7-11, where Bob originally hanged out when he first became homeless. He must be able to get around now in the very same area that he grew up in. The only problem is that he must go thru regular drug tests to be able to continue living in his new quqrters. I always told Bob that his worst nightmare would be to never, ever smoke marijuana again. His own personal hell, to be sure.

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  17. i recently heard from Bob's son Chris. The impression that I get is that don't expect for Bob to remain at 6260 Eagle Rock Blvd. As he is still residing in the same exact area as when he was homeless the situation remains the same for Bob. That expect him to not revert to his prior activities, or to somehow pass the necessary drug testing required to remain in his government lodgings-well the odds of Bob not returning to his old ways are probably too difficult for him to overcome. Plus, I am sure that his will to somehow change his life remain very slim. How sad. I just read of a local homeless individual living in Boulder that died at 46 years old two months ago. There is just not much hope for change without the will to actually change. Without that it is probably a hopeless situation. So sad, so sad. Somehow being a highly ranked weightlifter 50 years ago, yes that is a half century ago, does not make much of a difference today. In fact, it just makes the whole story of Bob's life that much more senseless. Just a total and complete loss for not just Bob, but for anyone involved with him during his lifetime.

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  18. I was pretty sure Bob was not going to make it in that high-rise. He is much too opinionated and set in his ways. It would just turn into a pile like he lived in on the street, with people coming and going. And he certainly was not going to give up maryjane to pass a drug test. He has survived on the street for a long time and knows how.

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