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Of Dobbins, Isabelle and the Pittsburgh Pro

img_2848wbcrThe July ’09 IRON MAN is on press as I tap this out, and though I finished my part yesterday, I am still, as I commented to a nice fellow I met at Bill Dobbins’ performance on Sunday night, brain dead. Even so, a couple of things that came up during deadline week cry out to be mentioned.

Number one is Dobbins’ show at Music Club Mogul, which takes up quarters at a Russian restaurant on Fairfax Avenue. For those not familiar with the famed female physique photographer’s resurrection of his music career, you can read about it at and check out the blog entry I wrote after the first time I went to hear him sing.

I really enjoy Bill’s music. His blend of folk, rock and blues with just a hum of country-western is right in step with this boomer’s musical taste buds. Still, the deadline almost kept me from making the show.

As usually occurs before we go to press, I spent the weekend with my trusty PowerBook, crafting the final version of my Pump & Circumstance pages. I’d missed the last couple of dates Bill played in the Hollywood area, and I really wanted to go, but when Sunday arrived and I had barely made a dent in the work, I figured it was not going to happen.

Somehow the inspiration started to flowing—and voilà. I made it, and I’m so glad I did. Dobbins’ show was an excellent antidote to the Sunday deadline blues. Plus, the next time I hear him do “What Have they Done to Route 66,” I might have to start singing harmony.

Item two is an interesting  side note to the rescue of the ’09 Tampa Pro Women’s contest and one Dobbins’ would undoubtedly have something to say about.

A couple of years ago the IFBB Pro League made an addition to the Olympia qualifying rules. Basically, in any year where there are less than three open competitions—“open” meaning shows other than the Ms. Olympia and Ms. International—the federation can increase the number of qualifying spots. So, after Tampa promoter Tim Gardner announced that he wouldn’t be able to finance the women’s show, Ms. I seventh-placer Isabelle Turell secured an invite to compete at the Orleans Arena in September.

824mp0952Although the Tampa show is now back on the women’s schedule, the invite hasn’t been taken back. So ’Belle is Olympia bound—a wonderful addition to the lineup—and the ladies who get onstage in Tampa won’t have to worry about vying for a qualifying berth against her symmetrical self.

Item three is about a tradition broken. Last weekend was the first time since Jim Manion’s been holding pro shows at his NPC Pittsburgh Championships that I didn’t make a visit to my hometown for the show. Nothing against the city—or my family—but since there were no pro babes in the ’Burgh, meaning that Mr. Manion traded in the Pittsburgh Pro Figure for the Pittsburgh Pro 202 and Under—I decided to take a pass. Instead I’m planning a trip to Gary Udit’s marathon Teen, Collegiate and Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh in July. That should be a fun and exhausting trip.

Another tradition broken: The winner of the Pittsburgh Pro was not the favorite but, rather, a relatively obscure athlete from South America in his pro debut, Eduardo Correa Da Silva. Now, that’s something you never see in figure.


Bill Dobbins (top) performed in Hollywood on Sunday night.

Isabelle Turell is headed for her first Ms. O.

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