by John McKean
As a classic Autumn day, Art’s big meet started in brilliant warming sunlight, crystal blue skies, trees ablaze in color, and Art more mellow (well, he growled less!!) upon his 83rd birthday! I was first in, to find Art in his usual position in the VFW Barbell Club office, ready to dispense the meet t-shirts and donuts that he generously supplies free to all lifters & guests. We didn’t have to wait long for our travelers to bound down the steps into our Ambridge “cave.” First came Denny & Kohl from a delightful trek through the mountains from across state, then the ever-smiling Scott Schmidt from Cleveland, and, finally, big Ernie Beath and family from the Eastern shores of Maryland. Ernie is usually the first one to show, but managed to misplace his car keys, AND – big news – he’s newly married to a gorgeous gal who attended her first meet with us!!
Art announced that, in addition to our usual self torture, Scott, he, and I would do the lifts for Steve Gardner’s World team Postal meet. Wonderful, more pain! But these proved to be a good choice of movements, and gave us each a shot at a few more records!
Big Ernie and I had been reducing – Ern was down to a meager 385 (marriage will do that to ya, big guy!) and I was down to my old powerlifting weight of 165 (having just celebrated MY 41st wedding anniversary, momma has stopped feeding me altogether!! Naw, she baked me a superb apple pie right after the contest – tho’ I had to elbow Sean & Rob outa the way!). But the two of us were excited about doing the bent over row for a National record, and are hopeful that next year the IAWA will reconsider and put it on the international list of lifts. Ernie did a huge 351 pound pull, and hopes to be the first to row with over 400 for the record books! His big dumbbell presses were their usual awesome displays of pure power!
Old Art celebrated the onset of his 84th year with one arm hacks & Zerchers, and did a teeth lift with 113 pounds – I still maintain that Art should get extra credit for this event, since he must be pulling with little more than one remaining tooth!! (I mentioned that once before to him and he BIT me, to prove ALL the old chompers are still healthy – ouch!! But my subsequent rabies shot hurt worse!!). But the ole guy went on to do all the Postal lifts with ease, cleaned up the gym, and later attended the usually long barbell club monthly meeting! And I’ll bet he still was up for his usual training session at 4 AM this morning (Monday)!
Denny went through with quiet deliberation on 5 new records, to keep a slight, but constant lead over Art in the race for most USAWA records. Of course, President Habecker always has exciting news and views of All-Round lifting to share with us – only, as yours truly experienced, don’t plan on getting a bench press signal from him anytime in the forseeable future when he’s expounding those views!!
Kohl Hess at 16 years young, and 273 pounds big, astounded us by performing the “shoulder drop,” which absolutely frightened us older guys! Later, among others, he did a big “bear hug” lift with 115K, which seemed natural, since the massive young man undoubtably trains by wrestling & terrorizing real local bears in the Lebanon woods!
Ole Scott Schmidt is the only olympic style lifter I know that keeps smiling while he bangs big lifts overhead!! Though he found new joy in the Postal events contested and loved the 2 hand pinch grip and Ciavattone deadlift! It’s almost too bad that later on in the day his hometown Cleveland Browns had to play our Steelers!! (tho for this day he was an honorary VFW BBC member and an adopted Western Pennsylvanian!).
Lots of iron was moved and birthday candles snuffed out (next year’s meet has to have the cake monitored by the fire department!!), and we hope to have a big crowd for 2011! Train hard, guys!
Art’s Birthday Bash
Ambridge VFW Barbell Club, Ambridge, PA
October 17, 2010
Meet Director: Art Montini
All lifts listed in pounds except as noted
IAWA International Officials: (3 judges on all lifts) : Art Montini, Denny Habecker, Scott Schmidt, John McKean
John McKean – 165 pounds, 64 years, Class – 60+, 75K
Trap Bar Deadlift 365#
Ciavattone Deadlift 322#
Bent Over Row 220#
Deadlift 2 Barbells 360#
Straddle 2” Bar 302#
Reflex Clean & Push Press 95#
Reverse Curl 70#
Two Hands Pinch Grip 101#
Art Montini – 180.5 pounds,83 years, Class -80+, 85K
Left Hand Hack Lift 98#
Right Hand Hack Lift 98#
Left Hand Zercher 98#
Right Hand Zercher 98#
Teeth Lift 113#
Denny Habecker -191 pounds, 68 years, Class -65+, 90K
Fulton Deadlift 262#
Ciavattone Fulton Deadlift 202#
Bench Press Hands Together 150#
Right Hand Thumbless Deadlift 128#
Two Dumbbells Clean & Press 100#
Scott Schmidt -252 pounds, 57 years, Class -55+, 115K
Clean & Press – 105K
2” Bar Vertical Deadlift R – 95K
Kohl Hess -273 pounds, 16 years, Class – 16+, 125K
Shoulder Drop – 40.0K
Clean & Jerk – 79.5K
Bear Hug -115.0K
Straddle Deadlift – 200.0K
Clean & Press on Knees – 62.5K
Ernie Beath – 385 pounds,29 years, Class – Open, 125+
Bent Over Row -351#
RH Dumbbell Clean & Press -150#
Strict Curl -150#
LH Dumbbell Clean & Press -135#