Friday, February 03, 2006


I often would describe Joe as a "gentle giant." Joe was a big man. He wasn't fat. He was just big. To me he always seemed to be about eight feet tall. Of course he was probably no bigger than 6'4. But still, he seemed to tower over everyone from an early age.

Picture Shaquille O'neal's body. That is Joe Antonie.

I went to both Magee and Clarke with Joe. Although we were never friends or anything, what limited contact we had was certainly friendly. Joe was that way with everyone. Had he chose to, he could carry with him an intimidating presence. But he didn't. Joe was pretty soft spoken and kind to everyone.

I got to know Joe a bit in our junior year, in Ms. Sapa's creative writing class. It was there that I found that Joe was a pretty cool guy. He was into a lot of the same music that I was. I think he had a thing for Pink Floyd. We had a mutual friend in class of 1990's Jason Krings.

Joe once created the title of "Bad Burt" for me. The document is scanned in below. Joe gave it to me. He signed it "King Siem" - which was some sort of nickname he would occasionaly go by.

On an unrelated note, Richard created a deed to the Earth for me. In Sapa's class, she once responded to something vile I said, by asking if I owned the Earth or something. I said that I did. I then showed her a document. Sure shit, she said, "I guess you do." The deed is below.

As seniors, Joe invited Dave Svatek and myself over to his house for some Dungeons & Dragons. According to some of the prior comments around here, we weren't the first. Larry Daffner joined us as well. Joe was in charge, and guided us through the game. Two things about those games come to mind. For one, I broke the house record for stacking dice. And two, I poked a hole in a candle. Larry somehow pulled the pencil out, and was met with a stream of rushing candle wax. All the while, Joe's brother Tom was upstairs playing the drums. At one point, Joe's other brother Bob came in with a few of his friends to watch us play. After they left, Joe commented that he was a bit annoyed that they'd interupted us.

Up in his room, Joe had this gigantic felt poster or something of Pink Floyd's "The Wall." I think he said it cost about $200.00.

Joe lived next door to fellow graduate Al Wegner.

Joe was dating a girl from the class of 1990. I think her name was Krista Ries. He also dated Jen Owens, another member of the class of 1990. Although I believe that happened during our first year out of high school.

After high school, Joe went on to college. He eventually became a chiropractor. I believe he has his own practice, in the city of Galesville, Wisconsin. He's married and has one daughter.

A few weeks ago, my wife and were having a discussion as to what profession we would like to know someone that works in it. In other words, what perks could we get? My wife's answer - chiropractor. Now we know one.


At Fri Feb 03, 10:50:00 AM PST, Blogger Joe Antonie said...

I finally stopped growing. 6'6" 287 lbs. That is exactly what I am today same as 1989.

For those that maybe curious about Dungeons and Dragons and what would really go on during a game session, the following link immortalized by a group called "The Dead Alewives", tells it all.


Be patient while it loads. It's pretty good.

At Sun Feb 05, 07:29:00 AM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Boy, you sure won't hear anything negative about Joe from me. He was probably one of the nicest, coolest people from this class, to my memory.

I know I mentioned the Empire Strikes Back card collection (I'm NUMBER 1 now! YES!) but I must also mention a key factor in our collective youth.



And if memory serves, Joe had a more than plentiful Atari cartridge collection! I was seven shades of green with envy.

At Mon Feb 06, 08:48:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Joe is awesome. I first became aware of him in 1st grade when Richard and I (in one of my only fond Richard-related memories) used to follow him around and hollar "BIG GUY!!" He was cool as a cucumber -- he'd pretend to give us autographs.

For a quiet guy, Joe could make me laugh harder than anybody, and at the worst times. Once was in 4th grade while Mrs' Sanville was reading a particularly intense chapter from the book "Sounder." He was sitting next to me doing this exaggerated pantomime of what the teacher was reading. After about a minute, my whole body was just convulsing in silent laughter. I thought I was going to pass out. Then I involuntarily let out some sort of tortured guffaw, at which Sanville shot me one of her well-practiced icy glares. I'm sure my life is a few weeks shotrter because of it.

Anyway, here's my very best Joe story:

I think the summer after graduation, Joe worked at MacDonald's. He might have been asst. Manager or something. And my little brother, Andy, and I were in line, and Joe was working the register. Just ahead of us there was this 90-year-old man who'd been waiting for his food. He might have had a walker.

After a minute, this guy started yelling at Joe in this strained voice that sounded like Statler (one of the old guys that were always in the balcony, heckling the Muppet Show):
(10 sec pause)
(15 sec. pause, and then in an enourmous bellow...)
Andy & I were trying so hard not to laugh, but it was so ridiculous. Joe was, like, freaking out behind the counter as though this guy were going to came at him with a knife.
To this day, sometimes I pick up the phone and hear my brother say HEY BIG FELLA! in exactly that guy's voice.

Do you remember that guy, Joe? I sure do.

At Mon Feb 06, 09:42:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Ah yes. Joe worked at McDonald's. That jogged two memories for me.

In our senior year, Joe came over to Dave's house to drop of some D&D figures that Dave had purchased through Joe. Joe warned us not to eat at McDonald's for awhile, as he had dropped a plastic soda cup cover onto the burner - where it promptly melted.

Maybe a year after graduation, I was driving my friend John (now a 65-year-old) who has CP, and John's elderly mother. We stopped at McDonald's for lunch. I was broke as usual. I only had enough for a sandwich and a soda. Joe put our food in a bag. When I opened it up, I noticed that Joe had thrown in a small size of french fries for me.

Classy guy Joe. It was appreciated. Thank you.

At Sat Feb 11, 11:55:00 AM PST, Blogger jenny said...

Oh bless those Antonie boys!!
Another neighborhood clan who i loved.
Joe, Tom, Bob and Rozy used to rock the shit out of the diving pool at the Family Swim Club. Joe, you know what I am talking about. Cannonballs and can openers galore. Those brothers could make some waves. (Erin, if you are out there, do you remember this?)
Cheers Joe! Happy to hear you are doing well. it would be great to chat about our career developments! You are a good man my friend>

At Sat Mar 04, 08:14:00 PM PST, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Hey, I just found this last posting Jenny....they did bomb most of the water out of that diving pool. that was so much fun. Everyone wanted to try and get mr. Erdmann (sp?) wet in the life guard chair. anyone remember the game where we would all blindly launch ourseves off the high dive into the bunch of people who went before and see how close we could get without landing on someone? Can you all imagine trying to get away with that now? I spent all day every day at that pool...& have the skin cancer to prove it! (parents.....sunscreen!)

At Mon Aug 14, 12:41:00 PM PDT, Blogger Phuong said...

Joe - I just found my page and was incredibly devestated when I initally "heard" you drew that mean picture of me. THEN....I scrolled down and in my mind was saying to myself..."I thought we were friends".....when I read your comment and noticed that you did acknowledge me as a friend. Thanks man, phew, that was a close one.
Are you a chiropractor? A chiropractor saved my life once in Santa Barbara.
I updated my life on my page in the comments. Check it out. Hope you are well! Take care.

At Tue Aug 15, 01:48:00 PM PDT, Blogger Phuong said...

I especially liked sitting behind Joe in any class that I could. He had super broad shoulders and I was tiny so I could "hide" from the teachers and take little naps. Good lookin' out Joe......I wish you sat in front of my desk at work now!


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