I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: The Mighty Apollo

My sister sent me this link to a film of Paul Anderson, "The Young Apollo". One of his great feats here is to be holding large chunks of bluestone while another man breaks them with an axe. You can see him flinch and hold his arm that has sustained the blow, but then power on to the next thing: pulling cars with his teeth. But it is a very Melbourne trick.


ruffcut anderson said...

No tricks here Stephanie
The Mighty Apollo was my father. He was a trained strongman and circus performer who dedicated his life to performing feats of strength and pushing the boundaries of human endurance. Pushing through the pain threshold is just par for the course when you are in this business. The show must go on regardless of pain or injury. I might just add that the piece of film footage included in your blog was shot in 1946 on nitrate film on a Bolex or Cineflex camera of the era, and not all on the same day. it was filmed over a period of weeks and edited later on. You are however correct with the fact that he was slightly injured while performing this feat for the camera. He did not however do the car pull just moments later.
As difficult as it may be to believe, The Mighty Apollo was the real deal. He came from an age where although there were fakes, they were frowned upon by real strong men. They did not last in the business for too long as they were either exposed as frauds or died in their fraudulent attempts.
My father had a standing challenge on offer throughout his career of a thousand pounds sterling to anyone who could just match his feats of strength. They did not even have to better them. That challenge was never beaten. The Mighty Apollo's career lasted around 70 years and he was well respected in the circus, strongman and television communities. If you would like to know more I would be happy to enlighten you. As I grew up within the Apollo family and there is certainly no Melbourne trick in any of it. ruffcutanderson@gmail.com

Stephanie Trigg said...

Thanks so much for this comment: it's great to hear from you. Let me clarify: I didn't mean "trick" to suggest a fake or deception; rather, a stunt or performance. That's so interesting about the filming of these clips too. I know almost nothing about the circus tradition in Australia. As you can see from my blog, my interest here is in your father's choice of the typical Melbourne bluestone as weights. Do you have any pictures or other footage of him using bluestones in this way? And all the best to you and family for the Christmas season. It's great to hear from you.