This wall and page is dedicated to those NASA members who contributed greatly to the success of NASA over the years. These people will be forever remembered in NASA as some of the cornerstones in the NASA foundation and responsible for a great deal of our success over the years. All of these inductee’s went well beyond what was ever expected of them to promote, support and contribute to NASA so that the next generations of lifters could experience NASA and our principles.
Our Inductee’s Include-
Bo Casto – WV
Terry McGowan – OH
Tom Manno – AZ
Eddie Payne – NC
Shelby Jones – TX
Jim Ayers – KS
The First Annual NASA LEGENDS Meet will be held in 2020 to honor these great NASA members. Details will be posted later.
I will be adding bio’s for each of these fine people as time goes on. I will be calling on some of their best friends to write their biography pertaining to their time in NASA. Anyone interested in doing a bio is welcome to contact NASA by our e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio’s By Friends-
Jim Ayers by Mike Ewoldsen –
If Rich Peters was the brain of NASA, then Jim Ayers was the heart. He was with Rich in the USPF Executive Committee meeting when the decision was made (by Rich) to pioneer a drug-tested powerlifting organization. Jim was the only one there who backed Rich. Appropriately, he then became NASA’s first vice president. Jim was also an amazing coach and encourager. He was never too busy or important to give advice (good advice) to an up-and-coming lifter. When he would announce at a meet, his word choice made it sound as if every lift was already successful before it was even attempted – which helped many a lifter with otherwise difficult attempts. Finally, Jim was one of the most amazing master raw bench pressers in NASA history. At age 50+, he pressed 501. This an amazing lift at any age. However, Jim’s most incredible lift in his career occurred at the 4th of July Spectacular in Wichita, KS. Witnessed by a privileged few, Jim’s ‘rollover deadlift’ has, to this date, never been repeated. You will have to ask Rich about it.
Terry McGowan – OH by Tobey Johnson
Terry McGowan fell into the Powerlifting world through his wife Cindy. She was a bodybuilder turned powerlifter. Since Powerlifting is not the greatest spectator sport and he did not lift, he got very involved in refereeing.
Terry learned the rules in detail and could quote the rulebook.
He soon became the National Powerlifting Chairman for NASA. He was responsible for producing the best referees in the sport. His favorite statement was “ remember, you are here for the lifter “.
It was Terry McGowan that coined the phrase,” NASA FAMILY”. He truly believed that the referee made the difference in a lifters attitude on the platform. He expected strictness and adherence to the rules, while at the same time he stressed that as a referee, you were the closest person on the platform to that lifter and as such, were the best source of encouragement to the lifter.
Terry McGiwan was a legend in his own time.
Bo Casto – WV by Sammy Sebok & Rich Peters (coming soon)
Sammy Sebok- When I first met Bo Casto he was the coach of a rival WV team called Parks powerlifting. After competing in a few meets Bo approached me after a meet and offered to take me to the NASA World Cup meet and help pay my way. As a young teenager I was blown away and couldn’t understand how someone I saw as a rival could offer such a thing. In the years to come as a man I would grow to learn it was because Bo loved powerlifting but most of all loved seeing people thrive. After a period of being away from competing due to college/football when I returned to NASA there was many new faces but Bo was still there. He no longer had a big team but any meet I went to in WV, KY, or Ohio he was always there helping in some fashion and to my surprise despite being gone for a few years Bo still remembered me and my former teammates. As I got to know Bo better he would offer advice on my lifts when I missed a lift or received a red light. I often was told by Bo and heard him tell others after lifts “As much as I hate it I just couldn’t give you that lift”. Bo was a man of integrity which is one reason I feel he loved NASA so much. Over the years we grew close and he would simply reach out to see where and when I would be competing, see how my family was, or invite me out to eat. When WV got a meet back I was excited to tell Bo but before I could even call him he had caught wind of it and was calling me to help. That’s just who Bo was he was selfless. He not only helped make the WV meet a success but was in Ohio the next weekend to help after hosting the Peters family that week. I can’t imagine meets without Bo as he’s been a fixture in NASA and it will be a shame that a new generation of WV lifters will grow up not knowing Bo Casto.
Shelby Jones – TX by Rich Peters
Shelby Jones was the type of person who you’ll only meet once in a lifetime. He never met stranger, he was warm fuzzy yet he was a fierce competitor on the platform. He was one of the very best announcers NASA has ever had and he had the best voice, a radio voice, big and booming, which demanded your attention. Shelby was also one of the most colorful people you could ever know. There wasn’t much Shelby wouldn’t do and if it was for a good cause he’d do it. Everyone loved Shelby. On the platform Shelby was a tremendous lifter with a squat which stood for years as one of NASA’s best lifts, well over 800 lbs but this gentle giant could often times be found entertaining the kids at our events. I was introduced to Shelby years ago in Dallas and we became instant friends. Shelby helped me numerous times with meets where we were the only two staff when we got to the venue. At one meet in TX Shelby and I didn’t finish loading in the trailer until after 2 am. But he was there by my side and he never wavered. Shelby came down with a virus later and eventually passed on. NASA supported Shelby through this terrible ordeal and never turned our backs on him. I visited him in Dallas a few days before he passed and he was semi comatose but I succeeded in getting him to smile for me. It was sad to see such a warm, caring, loving, strong and jovial man in such a way. Shelby will always be remembered by the long time NASA people as the guy who was always there, who always brought a smile on his face to share with others and NEVER complained. It was a true honor to know Shelby Jones and have the ability to have him in my life and to have the ability to share him with others. Shelby is in NASA’s Hall of Fame, Over All Athlete of the Year, National Champion numerous times, Announcer of the Year, National Record Holder, NASA’s Entertainer of the Year (aka Chocolate Elvis) and all around most loved lifter in NASA. When Shelby left this world he left a huge void that has yet to be filled and never will be.
Eddie Payne – NC by Rich Peters
Eddie Payne was a terror on the platform but he was a gentle giant and a man of very few words, very humble. He let his lifting speak for itself on the platform. Eddy was one of NASA’s best Referees, a spotter loader, NASA’s handy man aka go to man, who showed up at the meets to make the event better for everyone including himself. I can’t remember a time that Eddie didn’t show up to help load in or load out at a meet if he was attending the event. Eddie was an outstanding lifter in the 220 lb class and had several National Records. He and his wife, Melissa, WERE NC NASA Powerlifting. When we showed up in NC Eddie and Melissa were there and they kept the meets moving and functioning to the end. It was rare for anyone to get Eddie to openly laugh. He was serious even in the heat of a dispute or when someone told him a very funny joke. Myself and Bo Casto were two who could actually get Eddie to break down and openly laugh. Eddie was a hard working blue collar kind of man, someone everyone respected on and off the platform. His lifting and his actions told the story about Eddie Payne. After Eddie passed it was just too painful to go back to NC and thus NASA has yet to return. Eddie was a true friend, a strong NASA supporter and an all around great person. He won untold awards in NASA including Referee of the Year, Lifter of the Year, NASA Meet Assistant of the Year and many other awards. There are very few men who can fill the shoes of Eddie Payne. He was a dear friend of mine.
Eddie’s picture is in the upper row, center of this header we still use on our website shown with his trademarked beard that he always wore.
Tom Manno – AZ by Rich Peters (coming soon)
Tom Manno to this day still appears on some of our banners on this web site. He is pictured 2nd from the left below doing an easy 317.5 kg (700 lbs) BP during the Natural Nationals.