Travis Was Tough
by Earle Liederman
This happened about the year 1916 at
At every performance he would flash a genuine $1,000 bill and offer it to anyone who could duplicate his lift of his global 110 lb. dumbell. He first showed the crowd how easily he could do it. After all, 110 pounds isn’t so heavy, and yet not one person ever succeeded in picking this weight up off the floor and putting it overhead with one arm. In the first place, the small handle was about 3” thick and defied the grip holding it even to shoulder level or less. It just slipped. However, I always suspected a trick. I think that Travis had a steel prong under his thick middle finger-ring, and the prong entered an almost hidden slot on the bell’s handle. How else? If so, it would certainly not be the first time this method was employed by a famous strongman. Travis’s hands were not very large ones.
But, back to his roughness. One time when both of us were at leisure, he suddenly pretended to show me how glad he was to see me (This didn’t make sense, as I had already been talking at length with him). He quickly grabbed my hand, swung me around and secured a double arm hold around my lower chest. He squeezed me so hard that he cracked three of my ribs. If anyone who has read this far has ever had a rib fractured, he may well appreciate the lingering sharp pains that followed for the next eight or nine weeks.
Ah yes! There was always six feet of space between him and me afterwards.