|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.
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:
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Memories of Bob Hise II and III
Posted by Oliver Whaley at 2:58 PM