Lee Bjella Designs 2015

Chapter 33


For a really fun book, read Remembering Muscle Beach by Harold Zinkin, 1999 Angel City Press, INC.  It is filled with great photos of gymnastics stunts and neat remembrances.  Here are two such photos of John Kornoff who was a WSU football player for two years before he went off to war.

Peggy Stockton holding Don Brown and Johnny Kornoff.

“Although an excellent gymnast, John Kornoff attended Washington State College on a football scholarship until war was declared.  In 1941, after two years of college, he joined the Army Air Force and became the first physical training instructor at Mitchell Field in New York.” Pg. 66 from Remembering Muscle Beach.

When America went to war in 1941, Muscle Beach went with it. 
The City of Santa Monica sent Zinkin, Saunders and Ran Hall out to promote the sale of war bonds. Subsequently, they and most of their pals served in the armed forces. One of them, John Kornoff, appeared on the cover of LOOK magazine, bare-chested, holding a rifle, as a symbol of the American fighting man. As much as anything else, Zinkin believes, that photo was “the beginning of a change of attitude regarding fitness,” but, he adds, “It was certainly revolutionary to see a Muscle Beach regular glorified instead of vilified.” 

From “New Book Celebrates Santa Monica Heyday” article By Peggy Clifford. Santa Monica Mirror Editor  --1999 book review of Remembering Muscle Beach by Harold Zinkin 1999 Angel City Press, INC.

Quote from the Washington State University yearbook Chinook of 1941: “The varsity tumbling squad in action. TUMBLING Tumblers of Washington State established a great reputation for themselves during the post season for their remarkable exhibitions. Popular artist of the team was Coach Bill Bond ' s pride and joy — Johnny Kornoff, who thrilled audiences with his high bar and trapeze acts. All in all. Cougar tumblers took another step toward a jamor goal — that of being recognized as one of the popular sportsmen of the campus and minor sports status.





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