Thom Van Vleck, lifting Grandpa Jackson's Anvil at a recent Contest.
If anything symbolized our club more, it is the Anvil. My grandfather started training in 1928 because his father had an anvil that he would often lift to impress his kids. Later, my grandfather said he lifted weights as a way to get strong enough to lift that anvil and in the process, lifting and training became a way of life for him. A way to greater strength, but also greater health and quality of life for a lifetime.
In the 60's, that anvil was gathering dust in an old barn when my Uncle Phil Jackson came back after a year in the Vietnam theater. Phil, and my Uncle Wayne, recalled the story of the Anvil and traveled back to the old homestead now owned by another family member to try and find it and lift it. They did, and again it sat here for many years until I heard the story and made the trip to lift it. Since then it has been a cherished family heirloom that occupies a central, prominent location in the JWC training hall.
That anvil does not gather dust, but instead is used in all of our strongman evangelism shows and is always utilized in our strongman contests in some manner. At our Highland Games, Grandpa Jackson's Anvil is always on location to challenge any and all comers. I wrote a couple of articles that were published in "Milo" Strength Journal that have brought the club more fame in the strength world than I could have ever imagined.
It is perhaps fitting that an anvil would be so attached to the JWC. The anvil symbolizes hard work, a blue collar attitude, a "can do" spirit, and a special kind of toughness.
So, for that reason, an anvil is our symbol and from our anvil trophies to anvil logos on shirts and plaques, it is central to the clubs identity.
Matt Faltis lifting Grandpa Jackson's Anvil at the Mason City Highland Games