Aug 24, 2007

The Mighty Atom

Years ago, at the Allentown Fair, as one would push through a sea of carney delusion, tucked back by the 4H animals, was an island of reality. There, in an old battered truck, an ancient Jewish strongman performed incredible feats of strength, to sell only homemade kosher soap. Standing on a platform on the rear of his truck, flanked by photographs from his performing youth, he would bent horse shoes and bite through nails. Many years earlier, my mother as a little girl in Bethlehem, saw him pull a truck uphill with his hair. Even as an old man, like a reincarnation of Samson, his grey hair was still long.
In the summers of 1964 and 1965, myself and a friend,(Fred Schoenk, retired Allentown art teacher) made and sold printed tee-shirts at the fair. We had the honor to know Joseph Greenstein(The Mighty Atom) and his wife. For those interested, there are various articles on the Mighty Atom and even at least one book. Enjoy the fair!


mark ackerman said...

i too was enthralled by the mighty atom his stories were never boring and the green truck it is a wonder it still got him from fair to fair.he was always under a tree north of ag hall.

michael molovinsky said...

your correct mark, about the location of his truck, i took poetic license putting him with the 4H animals, which were south and west of ag hall. according to The MIghty Atom by Ed Spielman, he built the truck body himself. I suspect you would enjoy the book.

Anonymous said...

Fred Schoenk here, I saw with my own eyes the mighty atom twist a horseshoe with his bare hands many times. And he would hand it to any one in the corud to bend it back. Many jocks would attempt to do it all failed then the mighty atom would restore it to its normal shape. Also I saw to my amazement the mighty atom open his mouth and show his teeth and bite an 8-penny nail in half and the hold the two pieces in his hands. As his 90 year old wife sat filling bottles of elixer. What wonderful memorys of a fantastic man. Not bad for a guy only about 5 feet tall.