View Full Version : Tony's Church Service

01-06-2014, 07:00 PM
It's been a few years, but I thought I'd include in this section a write-up of Tony's funeral service I attended:

Here's a photo of the church service and pictures of Tony's service announcement. Arnold spoke and said if there was one word to describe Tony to everyone after 40 years of friendship it would be "Passionate". It was interesting to hear Arnold be real in front of a microphone. He talked about when they were lifting together back in the day and some of the crazy stuff that happened. Drinking and fighting and that Tony, he did them of course with passion. It was a real conversation. The priest or bishop who was in charge of the service was a bit green around the gills once Arnold was finished; Arnold talked about how he and Tony attended mass every Sunday at that church and would stand in the back talking and laughing and discussing the frustrations of being married and the next jacket Tony was making Arnold. Arnold was wearing the last jacket Tony made him.


The photo of the inside of the church was taken before it got started as everyone was taking their seats. It was packed solid. Probably 250 - 300 people. I'm sure there were some producers there because of the way they presented, but I didn't recognize anyone. Lots and lots of family and family friends and maybe some folks from the movie industry. There were maybe 10 custom jackets people wore to the service, but thelastcrusader/tundrarider's and mine were the only Indy jackets. The other's were mostly variations of his Arnold Classics.

It was a very solemn and structured service. Everyone who spoke recited standard catholic prayers and everything. Almost surreal. And then Arnold spoke. It was refreshing and real and definitely not by the book. He brought a lot of humor to it and relieved the tension. I can see why he is who he is. From Mr. Olympia to actor to celebrity, etc. He has a POWERFUL presence that I suspect one has to experience in person to really get the full effect.

He told a few stories of his times with Tony and said Tony was a man of passion. He loved his country with passion. He made his jackets with passion. He loved his family with passion. He lifted weights with passion. Here's a few of the stories as told by Arnold:

1. Best training partner I ever had. Best spotter I ever had. Did whatever had to be done. Whatever weight needed to be done he'd do it. Arnold needed to do a 500 lb workout. And Tony always managed to do it as his partner too. The 500 lb bench press reps. The 500 lbs squat reps. The 500 lbs deadlift. Whatever Arnold was doing Tony would do it. With Passion.

2. Arnold was talking to Tony once like guys like to do and saying Big Tony. Could you ever kill anyone. And Tony said yes. Yes I could. Really, when. If anyone touched my sister (this was before the time of Tony being married), I'd kill them. What would you do? Would you shoot them? No. No. If someone touched my sister, I'd.......just break their neck. That's all. I'd break their neck. That would do it. So Tony loved his family. He loved his sister. With Passion.

3. After working out one day, Tony and Arnold went to get a beer at the local bar. Arnold was sitting with Tony talking and drinking their beers when this guy down at the other end of the bar started talking bad about America. Bad mouthing it and saying bad things about America. Arnold says the next thing I know is Tony stands up and punches the guy right in the face with everything he has. Nose, blood, teeth everywhere and says. Don't talk bad about America like that. [And then Arnold looked out at the audience and said, "and I never did."] In every jacket, whether it's visible or not, Tony puts an american flag patch. It might be hidden in the sleeve or underneath the lining somewhere, but he always puts a patch of the American flag in every jacket [hmmmm.........I don't know about that, but it'll likely be a long time before I go tearing one of my jackets apart to find out]. And anytime Tony went to another country, when he came back, the first thing he did when he got off the plane is to kiss the ground. He loved his country with Passion.

4. On Sunday's he and Tony would stand in the back of the church during the sermon and talk. Tony was telling Arnold about how he was going to make him a jacket with one whole half, the american flag, and the other whole half, the California flag. Arnold said he was telling Tony. No, no, NO! that's too out there. I can't wear something like that and he and Tony were arguing about it and finally Arnold said. Tony. You wear bright green and yellow and blue and everything loud. Tony even wore his clothes with passion. But, I'm not like that. Tony thinks for a minute and then says. I know. It's even better. I'll do it to the lining so it's even closer to you. So the american flag part is over your heart. And then Arnold opens up his jacket and shows everyone in the church. "This is it". Let me tell you. That caused goose bumps.

5. The Polish president was visiting Arnold in his Santa Monica offices and Arnold invited Tony to the come up and say hi and meet the Polish president. At the end, they're doing the photos and shaking hands and everything and Arnold sees that Tony has tears in his eyes. Arnold's never seen Tony get emotional like that before and puts and arm around him and says. Tony, is it because you miss home and Poland so much. And Tony says. No just the opposite. They're tears of joy because he has to go back and I get to stay.

After the service everyone is outside on the steps and milling around waiting to go to the reception and I got the chance to Introduce myself to Maria, Enzo, and Riley. I did go up to Arnold. I was just going to offer condolences for losing his friend of 40 years. Let him know I'm sorry he lost his friend and shake his hand. But it was not to be. No problem or anything on my part. But, the interesting part was getting to experience getting blocked out by Arnold and his security. Very subtle and barely, barely noticeable. Arnold himself with his movements and small hand movements and body position helps let his body guards and security detail know who he wants near him and not. From his point of view I could be any freaky deak. Somebody that shakes his hand and then somebody snaps a picture and there's Arnold shaking hands with a terrorist or something (I can imagine Tony now yelling, "hey, it's the bomber" right at that moment). So the only people who got to talk to Arnold or shake his hand were people who Arnold already new. I heard him speaking in his native tongue to a couple and that was pretty cool. Weird to not hear the Arnold accent. Anyway I figured it out after a couple of minutes of getting blocked out. Actually, that in and of itself was pretty cool. Again, I totally get it.

01-06-2014, 07:44 PM
Thanks for posting this. I miss those 3:30 am phone calls from Tony.

01-07-2014, 03:00 AM
Yeah, thanks very much for posting this. I well remember getting a late call from him going over the pocket flaps of a jacket I had ordered. Truly a special guy.