by Al Myers
One of the BIGGEST SURPRISES of the 2009 IAWA World Championships in Lebanon, PA was NOT any of the lifting, but the unexpected appearance and attendance of Howard Prechtel. Most of us had not seen Howard in several years, and we were not aware ahead of time that he was even going to be at this meet. But in WALKS the PIONEER of the USAWA, Howard Prechtel, which took all of us by surprise! It was a joyful reunion! Special thanks HAS to go to Bob Geib for bringing Howard to this meet and making it all possible. For several of us, that was the last time we got to visit with Howard. I spent alot of time watching him throughout the day – and the ENTIRE TIME he had the biggest smile on his face. It was obvious to me that he was enjoying himself immensely, as I’m sure it brought back many great memories to him from his days on the lifting platform. His Grandson Melvin Cooler commented in the latest Daily News story about a quote Howard made to him, and it ringed so true at this time, ““I have forgot about alot of things in life, but I never forgot how to lift weights.”
Howard is one of three men (in my opinion) that shaped the early days and foundation of the USAWA. Howard’s influence on our organization will ALWAYS be there – and without a doubt he will go down as LEGEND in our organization.