WE JUST NEEDED A LITTLE MORE TIME
By Jack Coll
May 5, 2020
When I hear about the passing of someone I met, crossed paths with, coached with for a few months together or considered them friends, I typically think, “Gezz, I’m sorry to hear that” and I’ll say a quick prayer.
Then there are other people who are special in my life, or were special in my life, or a dear friend of one of my friends and it causes me to say “Damn,” and it stings for a while, Tony Todd was one of those deaths that’s still stinging me.
I can’t remember when I met Tony and it really doesn’t matter, because when I did finally meet him we bonded pretty quick. We were just two guys who understood each other, raising kids, taking care of our family and doing things the right way!
Anyone who ever crossed paths with him, even for a moment enjoyed his smile. I never greeted him, or talked to him, or just waved to him in a passing car when he wasn’t wearing that Tony Todd smile. His smile forced me to smile back at him, the very second you saw him you smiled, even if he wasn’t looking at you, you smiled.
I remember watching a Super Bowl with Tony and a bunch of other guys one time, I forget who was playing, what Super Bowl number it was or who won the game, but there must have been ten, maybe twelve guys and most of them were drawn to spend time with Tony and I certainly understood that.
I remember Tony and his band “The Love Train” playing at a number of Beef n’ Beers throughout the 1980’s, singing and smiling and talking to him in between sets. I spent some time with him at the Fellowship House, he was always positive about his children.
I remember his days working at Stroehmann Bread, where a couple of my other friends also worked and never had anything negative to say about Tony. From time to time I would show up at St. Paul’s Church for one reason or another where Tony sang in the church choir, he sung loud and proud and always with the smile, like he knew something that the rest of the world didn’t know. Every time with Tony was a good time.
I knew Tony’s father well and I can tell you the apple didn’t fall far from the tree on this one. Although Reid was a little different, I mean if you turned a corner and ran into Reid he looked like he wanted to beat you up before he broke into his smile, if you turned that same corner and Tony was there he was already smiling and ready to greet you.
Of course when anyone finds themselves talking to me, the subject eventually turns to Conshohocken and no-one wore Conshohocken prouder that Tony. He loved his hometown, he loved his family and he loved anyone he came in contact with, and everybody loved him back.
Rest easy my friend, you are right where you belong, no-one on this earth ever doubted where your final resting place would be. You are among the angels and they are all smiling, you’ll be missed here.
“Damn Tony” you could’ve stayed with us for another ten or twelve years, we just don’t have enough positive people on this earth and you were certainly one of them. I’ll miss you, your family will miss you, and Conshohocken will certainly miss you. You don’t need a prayer from me to meet St. Peter at the pearly gates, I know God’s already welcomed your spirit, but when I hit my knees tonight I’m praying for you anyway, no-one I know deserves a prayer more than you pal, “Damn Tony.”
The photograph was taken at St. Paul’s Church in 2012. Tony was always front and center, standing behind the flowers, we’ll all miss him.