Columbia, SC — Just about every teenage boy who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s knew of the magazine Muscle Builder. The man who started it all, Joe Weider, died March 23 in his Los Angeles home at 93. Gone, but not forgotten.
I’d like to have a nickel for every time one of us looked in the bathroom mirror and flexed our arms in hopes of seeing that little bump start to grow. Joe Weider and his band of legendary bodybuilding giants had arrived at the sunny California coast, and Stevieboy was right there with ’em … at least in my mind. With every page, there were people such as Dave Draper, Frank Zane, Franco Columbu and the kid from Austria — a guy with a last name that we couldn’t pronounce, so we just called him Arnold.
They were tanned and standing on the California beaches — girls usually all around — and dripping with muscles. My brother and I spent every cent of our paper route money buying that Weider Starter Barbell Set. The day it arrived, we did every exercise that magic magazine said to do.
Even now at 60, every morning when I’m shaving, I still pop that bicep up in the bathroom mirror in hopes of seeing it just a little larger than the day before.
Joe, may you rest in peace.