Muscular Development, Vol 1, No 12, Page 28, December 1964
The entries in the Mr. United States Physique Contest looked very outstanding although the entry list appeared limited. Later I learned that due to the very untimely date of this event many of the top physique stars such as Dr. Craig Whitehead, John Decola, Dr. John Gourgott, Bill Seno and other physique champions who thought they might be able to take part were unable to make it because of other commitments. But from where I sat the entries, as they were lined up on the stage, looked very imposing and the audience applauded this fine lineup of physiques.
To start the physique contest rolling all the contestants were marched out in single file and made to stand in line under the ordinary stage lights. They then went through the usual group posing: facing front, then turned to the side, around to show the back, then again to the opposite side before facing front again while the seven judges appraised each man's physique. After this brief glimpse they filed off the stage again and were called out individually to do several poses of their own choosing. While only few of the contestants were able to do themselves justice in this posing display, all the men looked mighty impressive under the well-arranged lights that seemed to accentuate their muscularity and physical impressiveness.
After each contestant finished his posing routine, and while the judges were busy tallying up their score sheets, little Billy Parker, a very well-built fellow from Atlanta, Georgia gave the audience a treat by giving a very fine muscle control exhibition. Billy is just a little over five foot in stature but his ability to pose and do muscle control proved to be one of the highlights of the evening. He definitely proved that you don't have to be big and massive to be able to do amazing things with your muscles. And this was obvious to the audience as they watched and enjoyed his performance. Of course this fellow has very good symmetry for his size and his muscles are sharply defined and that gives him a very impressive appearance.
As soon as Billy finished his posing the Master of Ceremonies announced for Mike Ferraro to come on stage and stand upon the podium. He was then asked to do a few more poses and, when he finished, it was announced that he was the winner of the Most Muscular Man title, much to the approval of the assembled throng.
Smiling Mike Ferraro did look like he had improved since he competed in the Mr. America contest last June, at least his arms, shoulders, pectorals and back had more of that sharp, chiseled look. Following this a few more names were mentioned but the audience seemed more anxious to hear the name of the man who would be the winner of the Mr. United States title. Silence followed and patiently the audience awaited each word the M.C. spoke. Then once again the name of Mike Ferraro was called out and this time for the big prize-Mr. United States! This announcement surprised the audience for a moment but they responded with generous applause as Randy Watson was announced as being second, and Tom Helms was placed in third position. It was quite obvious that while the audience approved the decision it was not whole heartedly. The consensus of opinion among the spectators with whom I discussed the decision seem to feel that while Ferraro was deserving of one title he did not deserve both of them; that he wasn't so much more outstanding than any of the other entrants to wrest both tiles from this group of entries. Randy Watson, who placed in the recent Mr. America contest, was trained down in bodyweight so he could lift as a middleweight in the Power Lift Tourney. And although he appeared to be on the light side, he still had good symmetry and more muscularity than he had in the Mr. America contest. Many felt that he should have taken one of the titles. Others favored the muscular Fred Jarrett for the Most Muscular Man title. This Jarrett fellow looked very muscular under the lights, particularly his upper body, and although the lower part of his body failed to match his torso, he still looked impressive from the section of the audience where I sat, so either Watson or Jarrett could have shared the Most Muscular award. And by splitting the trophy awards among the contestants the decision would have been better and more agreeable to the contestants as well as to the spectators.
There were a few other contestants that looked very good to the audience. Contestants such as Gene Wells who was broad and thick-looking and had fine muscularity. Bill St. John also showed fine muscular separation even though he appeared to be the "whitest" of the group. And fellows like George Joseph, Charles Fautz and Nick Spano all looked very good but should, judging by their posing display, need more practice to improve their ability of displaying themselves to advantage.
All in all it was a wonderful show and a great contest even though it seemed rather brief. . . too brief for most people. This, I later learned, was due to the time factor, making it necessary to wind up the show because the interesting Power Lift Tourney took more time than it was planned to take. And now as the people filed out I could overhear many describing the events that took place, of the lifting and the physique contest, and while the opinions weren't all agreed, they did enjoy the entire evening.
I must say that I never saw anyone look happier than Mike after he received those trophies. And Randy, although he wasn't overjoyed at the outcome he was still one of the first to extend his hand in congratulations, as was third place winner Tom Helms.
Of course most of the audience wanted to see Val Vasilieff, the current Mr. America title holder and many wondered where he was. I later found out, through checking around, that he got ptomaine food poisoning and was unable to be present. But Vern Weaver, last year's Mr. America, did the honors of presenting the Mr. United States trophies to the winners. Thus ended another contest, another victory for someone, and defeat for others who will come back to try and try again. That's the true spirit of American bodybuilders.
- Vern Weaver, 1963 Mr. America presented the trophies to the winner and the runners-up.
- Winners of the Mr. United States Physique Contest, L to R: Tom Helms 3rd, Mike Ferraro 1st, and Randy Watson 2nd.
- Nick Spano, Atlanta, Georgia, placed 4th in the Mr. United States Contest
- Husky Fred Jarrett, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Was 2nd in the Most Muscular Man Contest.
- Charles Fautz, Newark, N. J. showed fine overall physical development.
- Gene Wells, Runnemede, N. J. displayed shoulders and good chest depth.
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