Tony, With a Twist

One reader recaps a brawl, another gives St. Louis a big ol' hug.

Tony Twist

Feature, October 5, 2006

Twisted Facts

Vinny sets the record straight: Recently, I read Ben Westhoff's article, "Twist of Fate," about Tony Twist. Seems Ole Tony gets himself into a lot of problems? I can relate to that myself. There is hope for Tony and I hope he finds it. My main reason for writing to you is about the incident where he got into a fight with Vincent Ventimiglia, of Imperial. Well, I am Vincent Ventimiglia, and I am here to correct the record. I once heard somewhere, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

If I could, I want to say that I never called his wife or mother-in-law a couple of "c---s!" That was a dirty thing for Twist to say about me, and it's wrong that it was even mentioned in the paper without giving me an opportunity to correct this smear. I would never talk about someone's mom or wife like that. I was defending decent people against some filthy-minded people, and that's what started the trouble. Yes, Twist and I got into a brawl. He was 35 and I was 50 at the time. He rushed me and I had to defend myself against him. We were on the parking lot of the Havana Cigar Room in Arnold, and he and April looked like they'd been up for a few days. They were both acting pretty squirrelly.

Anyway, Twist rushed me and we were entangled, and I was punching him in his head while he was trying to rush me backwards and pull my shirt over my head. We ended up on the blacktop behind my truck when I dropped down and tried to throw him over me. His face went in to the asphalt, but he wouldn't let go. We ended up on the other side of the parking lot by that time and he pulled my shirt over my head and was trying to punch me repeatedly in the head. I was blocking them pretty easily. (He really doesn't know how to fight; he's just a big country bully.) So as he was punching me, all of a sudden he stopped. I jumped up and he was walking across the parking lot with his groupies. I was getting kind of angry by that time. I asked the little friend of his, who was standing there looking at me, "Did you see him attack me?" And Twist's friend said, "I didn't see anything." That made me even angrier, so I just ran over there to the other side of the parking lot and punched him in his head again. I felt like I should get some payback. I didn't hear anyone say the fight was over. I wonder if he did.

Over on the other side of the parking lot, the fight continued. We were rolling on the ground, scraping our elbows, knees and knuckles. He got my shirt over my head again and we were going through my "Cincinnati cover-up," waiting for him to wear out, which he did. When I sensed he was out of gas, I slid out of the back of my shirt and was coming up, and I heard another of his buddies say, "All right, that's enough." And then Twist and I staggered away breathing very heavy. Remember, I was 50 and he was 35.

Then the police showed up and the rest is in the books. But the record will support my story and my facts. And one more thing — he couldn't hurt me. He tried with all of his heart. One of my hands was swollen from punching him in his head from self-defense, of course, and the other hand was swollen from blocking his punches. The reason the lawsuit was stopped was because I wrote him a letter and told him he was forgiven. That is the rest of the story. You see, everything I have been forgiven of demands that I forgive others the same way. Hopefully, Twist gets untwisted before it's too late. I did warn him that he better be careful with whom he tries to bully.
Vincent Ventimiglia, Imperial

Best Of St. Louis, September 27, 2007

You're the Best

Take a bow: I'd like to applaud your staff and contributors for September's successful and useful "Best of St. Louis" issue of the RFT. I am a student writer for my campus newspaper here in St. Louis and find it inspiring to read a publication that highlights all the amazing features our great city has to offer. As natives of St. Louis, we take for granted how rich in culture and ethnic diversity our city is, but it might not be immediately obvious to newcomers. The issue did a fantastic job of reminding everyone in our community just how much our Midwest city makes available to us.
Joanna Castle, Hazelwood

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