Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

 

THIRD SET: FRANCO, CUPID AND CHIROPRACTORS

 

Franco Columbu! Two time Mr. Olympia, the Sardian Samson and a doctor of chiropractic medicine. No doubt it was Dick Tyler's influence and inspiration that carved that career path.
But was it only Arnold's "advices" that Franco listened to? It turns out that among his many attributes and talents Ole Doc Tyler also moonlighted as a naked cherubic boy with angel wings holding a bow and a quiver full of arrows. I know, the visual is keeping me awake nights too. Let's let Cupid himself explain.

"Franco once said I was the motivating force behind him getting intochiropractic and I appreciate him saying that but part of it was through the back door. I used to have parties over at the house and I'd have different bodybuilders,we'd have fun. There would be Joe, maybe Larry and Rick Wayne, guys like that.


So one party Arnold and Franco were going to be there and I told Franco don't bring a girl. I had taken one of the bodybuilding magazines to chiropractic school and this girl had looked through it. Her name was Anita Sanangelo, she was a fellow student, and looked through the magazine...she just loved musclemen. Then she comes across a picture of Franco and says "Oh God, Oh God... I have got to meet him!".
I was putting on a Mr. southern California or something like that I think Franco was going to do a guest posing. So I said why don't you come to the contest I'll let you in, you can see the show and I'll introduce you. So I introduced them, just for a second as he was coming off stage. This is Franco..."hi". And she was madly in love with him.

So I thought this party would be a great way for her to come there, told Franco not to bring a girl that I had someone I wanted him to meet. Although they had met briefly I didn't think it had registered to them at all. So he did come without a girl, I don't remember who Arnold brought if anyone. Anita was there. I said Franco you may not remember Anita here met you and was
very impressed with you physique and posing. So I introduced them once again and walked away. Five minutes later I come back. I was in another part of the room and looked back and they were holding hands!

Later he comes by the office and i said Well are you going to get married? "No, No I'm not going to get married, no never!!! I don't believe in it!!!
Yes you are.
"NO! No I'm not"! He was really getting mad.

So...he got married!

Then divorced."

 

Back a few years ago, August 31, 2004 to be exact, Dr. Dick Tyler recieved certification that he has been appointed to the California State Board of Chiropractic Examiners by old friend and current Governor of the state of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger! Make no mistake it was a well deserved and earned appointmnet. Dick's been in practice for over 39 years. All the writing he did for Weider served a purpose, it paid his way through chiropractic college. put food on the table and a roof over his family's head. Student by day, a magical writer by night! Now who do you think was Dick's very first patient when he opened his practice? Arnold insisted that he had the honor. The picture still hangs in "Ole Doc Tyler's" office.

Although Arnold is very loyal to his old freinds, a trait which is very much admired by many, even the Oak cannot just appoint at will whoever he choses. Let's let Dr, Tyler expound.

First let me explain the process of board approval to those who might be interested. Arnold would certainly approve those he knew and trusted but he cannot he make any nominations himself. This procedure he leaves to committees who conduct investigations and interviews. Only then do they make their recommendations to put before the governor for his approval.

Take my appointment for example. Friends suggested that I apply and that I would prove of value to the public and the profession. I thought this would be easy because of my background. The background included 35 years in practice at the time I applied, having had numerous professional papers published in chiropractic journals, being published for several years in an osteopathic medical journal called "The Osteopathic Physician", having been the secretary to the Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders of the American Chiropractic Association and as such the editor for three years of that council's publication "The Chiropractic Family Physician". For five years I was the associate editor of the largest publication in the profession "Dynamic Chiropractic". For years I lectured at seminars around the country on diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. I also have a second edition of a text I wrote titled "Alternative Chiropractic - A Clinicians Manual on Diversified Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications in Conservative Health Care" and finally I was on the Vermont State Board of Chiropractic Examination and Registration. On that board I wrote the radiology and physiotherapy examinations. All of which Arnold was not involved with. In spite of all this I was informed that what really made a difference was that I had been on another board - something that is rare.

Chiropratic Medicine is still a mystery to some even in this day and age. Dick goes on explaining his profession.

Now there are some of you out there who may not know much about chiropractic and are inclined to dismiss the profession a kind of pseudo profession composed of poorly educated MD wannabes.

Let me try to enlighten those folks. To become a Doctor of Chiropractic the student must go through pre-med college with a good GPA. This is followed by four and a half to five years of resident study. If that is completed National Board Examinations must be taken and passed. The doctor may then take graduate courses in such specialties as orthopedics, diagnostic imaging, neurology and sports medicine. These specialty courses average two to three years in length with examinations for diplomate status.

Now the allopathic medical profession has several areas of contention with chiropractic. One of the most egregous is there contention that we are poorly educated. That while we may invest years in study the quality of that study is poor. On numerous occasions I have challenged, both in print and on television, the AMA to have a specified number of their top senior students take the same basic sciences examinations as a commensurate number of chiropractic seniors and have the results published. I firmly believe that the chiropractic students would win such an academic confrontation. We will never know because the medical profession won't accept.

Since organized medicine continually expresses the belief that chiropractic is a form of quackery, one would think they would be anxious to expose our presumed stupidity to the public. Another point of contention is that the chiropractic profession labors under a fallacious paradigm that promulgates the concept that structure can effect function. That faulty spinal biomechanics may, and often does, effect organic function. This concept was espoused by Hippocrates and by the osteopathic medical profession of today. The concept is known as the somatovisceral/viscerosomatic reflex. In other words extended structural pressure upon neural and vascular components that effect a specific organ might be adversely influenced and predispose that viscera to compromised function. Does that mean that by making a specific spinal correction you eliminate disease? Of course not but it could have a salubrious effect and often does.

Allopathic medicine is based upon the idea that the body has been bad or you wouldn't be in the MD's office. It must therefore be disciplined with drugs. If that doesn't work it must be cut or burned. These are the basic modalities of medicine. And remember the MD is not a pharmacist. He or she has had the average of 60 to 120 hours in resident study in pharmacology. This is why they use that famous term "try". "I want you to try this medicine - oh you can't walk or swallow? - I want you off of that - lets try this." I was almost killed by a well meaning medical friend who prescribed the wrong combination of medications. And my oldest daughter was indeed killed by an experimental drug for cancer. Even the AMA has published the fact that the profession kills approximately 250,000 people a year because of bad surgery and poorly prescribed drugs. They further admit that this is only the tip of the iceberg and that millions are permanently injured - all in this country alone.

On the other hand, natural therapeutics doesn't heal anyone of anything. The body does that. The natural practitioner merely attempts to create an environment within the body to heal itself.

Are there medical doctors who are quacks? Yes. Are there chiropractors who are quacks? Yes there are. That's why boards have been established to control aberrant behavior.

Have I convinced some MD or pharmacist who has an inbred hatred of any enterprise that believes health doesn't always arise out of a bottle of drugs? Or a chiropractor who has a visceral hatred of all things medical? Nope. I know this. However I felt the dialogue needed a little more than what I had previously written. We indeed need all forms of viable therapy.

There's an old saying that translated from Latin says - "The welfare of the ailing is the supreme law." That after all is all that matters.

 

Franco Columbo was Dick's second patient when he opened his practive, who else. Franco also followed in his friends footsteps by choosng the same career path as a doctor of chiropractic medicine. "The Sardian Samson" has also been in practice for decades.

As Dick has already explained being appointed to the Board is not a walk in the park. "The background check alone makes you think you're being considered for a top secret position - and then there's all the interviews.

Did I make it on the board because of Arnold? Of course. Did Franco? You bet. Is this good? Naturally. I don't care if you're the Governor or the President - you appoint people to positions of responsibility that you know and can trust.

The Board is the "supreme court" of the profession. It serves at the pleasure of the Governor for the welfare of the people of California. We meet at different locations around the state and are constantly required to study and make decisions on volumes of legal briefs. Its time consuming and monetarily penurious. The reward is the realization that in some way you are serving the public in a manner that insures their safety and the quality of their health care."

Back in the late 60's when we first read in Weider's "Muscle Builder/Power all the stories of Franco, Dick and Arnold magically imagery of that "West Coast Bodybuilding Scene " was forever seared into our consciousness. In our mind's eye we were living the life with them.

Flash forward closing in on 40 years is it no wonder then why we can only smile at the thought of the three of them being reunited. It might not be Gold's gym and Artie Zeller snapping his camera capturing the moments in time but it is still Arnold, Franco and Dick Tyler together again .

After Franco's inauguration into the California Board of Chiropractic Medicine, Dick sat down to write his recollections of the day.

So there I was sitting in the outer office of the governor of California - Arnold Schwarzenegger.    A week earlier his friend of many years Franco Columbu had invited my wife Penny and I to his swearing in ceremony to the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners.   Because of politics and vacancies, the appointment had been a long time coming and Arnold wanted to make something very special out of the event.   He had already appointed me to the same board and I had done everything I could to see that Franco would be there too.   And now was that day of realization.

It was a beautiful spring day in Sacramento.   The gods seemed to be smiling on what was to happen.   I looked over at Penny and smiled.   "What is it?" she asked.   "Oh nothing." I replied.   But there was something.   I was sitting there thinking of that day Artie Zeller and I first picked up Arnold at the airport - a big young Austrian with some trophies under his arm and six bucks in his pocket, of the parties in my house in North Hollywood with Arnold and Franco, of those beautiful days on the beach with those beautiful girls and Artie taking the pictures,   of the sweat, swearing and clanging of muscle and iron at Golds, of the sunny afternoons sitting around the the dining room table talking for hours about training,   of watching Franco lifting weights that only the insane would even attempt, of the car races to Weider headquarters in which you would fear for your very life, of the laughter the joy the ............... yes I was thinking of something.   A time and a place that would never be again.   But today - for the first time in some 35 years, the three of us would be together in the same place at the same time once more.   Yes - I was thinking of something.

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the entrance of people who seemed to spill through the door.   Fifteen or twenty people now filled the outer office.   In the middle was Franco and his lovely wife and daughter.   The others had been flown over from Sardinia.   Most had never been off this small island - and now, half way around the world they were there to meet this international icon and governor of the state.   It was almost a scene from the National Geographic Magazine.   Most were dressed in the black garb you so often see in Italy.   Even the mayor of Franco's home town was there wearing his sash of office.   The women were carrying baskets of food to give to Arnold and you wanted to visually embrace the scene so you would never forget.

After a few minutes someone opened a door and said "Would you come this way please."   The quiet of awe descended as we walked down a long hallway toward the next office.   The walls were lined with pictures of Arnold and his family and friends and some of the special events in his life.   He had placed his stamp on the office and made it his own.   It was hard to imagine anyone else had ever held the office before him.   I had been here before but this time it was different.   With these wonderful people from Sardinia leading the way, it was almost as if they were on a pilgrimage to see the pope.   You could feel the hushed excitement of their anticipation.

Going through another outer office we entered a large room that was bathed in sunlight.   In the middle was a long conference table that was used when the governor met with legislators.   At the head of the table, in a glass case against the wall, was the sword of Conan.   A reminder, if ever needed, of who the boss was.   Non alcoholic beverages were served in wine glasses and souvenir cigars with Arnold's name on them were passed around.

A few minutes passed and suddenly there was applause.   I looked up and Arnold had entered the room.   He started "working the crowd", shaking hands and greeting each individual personally.   He got to me and I could tell he was excited I was there.   Franco had mentioned earlier that he was looking forward to the three of us being together again.   After the formalities he went to the head of the table and asked for quiet.   He went on to explain what a special day this was.   He pointed out how I had met him at the airport and introduced him to California and how he had become my very first patient.    How Franco, in spite of knowing so little of the English language,   had, through sheer determination, mastered the complexities of physiology - anatomy - diagnosis and physics to get a license and build one of the most successful chiropractic practices in California.

Now the time had come for the oath of office to be taken.   With his wife holding the Bible and his daughter beside him, Franco was made a member of the Board by his best friend and old training partner.   This was an emotional time that no words can describe for it was written on the faces of those who loved their native son.

The official photographer was taking pictures when Arnold called to me to come over to have photos taken with he and Franco.   "I can't believe this Dick.   The three of us together again and so much has happened."   He paused as if to think of what he had said.   "So much has happened."

At last it was time to go and soon Penny and I stepped into the warm sunlight.   Groups had by now gathered around the capitol building chanting different political agendas.    Ahhh California.

Driving on the way home I kept thinking of all that had happened that morning.   Then I realized something that I honestly believe - when the day comes and Arnold is standing at heaven's gate - he'll be asked - "And just what Arnold would you say sums up what you've done in your life."   He'll answer simply - "I was a bodybuilder."