Ok…I just finished writing the speech I’ll…

..give on May 13th, 2017.  While I could say a little more than I did, I believe that what I did say was more than enough.

Here was what I wrote:


On April 18, 2017, Stephen Joseph Smith passed away at his home in Panama City, Florida.  It was Steve that helped me start my career in bodybuilding.  Steve was the type of guy that really cared for people.  He would almost always speak to people before they spoke to him.  He & I had many talks over beer & chicken wings at various restaurants within the last 8 years.  We would talk about everything from work to relationships, to the best way to “strike a pose” on stage.  Bottom line: he was a friend, a co-worker, a fellow bodybuilder, a Brother Mason, and a mentor in life, as well as in bodybuilding.  Almost never negative about anything, he would give me an earful if I hit a pose wrong, or if I was late on hitting a musical mark.  And while we both had the same disability, we rarely ever talked about it…it was just a known quantity – he would show me ways to get around doing a move a certain way on stage, & work out new ways of exercising if I had trouble doing a certain exercise, – BUT I ALWAYS HAD to hit my mark on time, NO exceptions!  Steve was an original.  If he knew you were having trouble in a certain area of your life, he would make time for you, no matter what it was…he was rarely negative, rarely down, always constructive, always concerned…I learned a lot from him, & am just now beginning to employ it.  That was the true gift he gave me!


More will be added to this by my friend & boss, Dan Sowell, but the above was all written by me, in the space of an hour.

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