Bugs.

Cowboy Dennis

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blackeee said:
Do any of ya'll now how he got his nickname? I do.
I believe it was because he liked pulling the wings off of flys and the rear legs off of grasshoppers. I could be wrong though:) .

RBL
 

crystal cue

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I was told that he got that name from the way he would try to look under a ball while eyeing up a shot,they thought he looked like a bug when he did it.
Freddy will chime in if this is incorrect.:)
 

lll

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i thought it was because he could run faster and was smarter than those that trised to trap him:rolleyes: :D
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM5Gwzk3Vfc[/ame]
 

fred bentivegna

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Sorry,

Sorry,

blackeee said:
Only person who might know is Freddy. Let's see what he says.
I once asked and got the answer to that question. The only problem is that I got the answer about 40 years ago and I have completely forgotten what it was. I do remember that he had it very early in his career.

Beard
 

tsk7878

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bugs

bugs

some confused him with mentor "youngblood" who was certifiedly "bugs":confused: :confused:
 

blackeee

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fred bentivegna said:
I once asked and got the answer to that question. The only problem is that I got the answer about 40 years ago and I have completely forgotten what it was. I do remember that he had it very early in his career.

Beard
According to Larry Cox,who is known to you Freddy and plays at Red Shoes, it happened like this: When Bugs first started hangin around the poolroom, all the young guys were called "jitterbugs" As Bugs became accepted to the poolroom crowd it went from jitterbug to Bugs.

Larry is here in Jackson, Tn. and I asked him about it a couple of days ago and that was the way he told it.
 

Red Shoes

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This is why

This is why

Leonard "Bugs" Rucker got his name because way back when he started playing, he (and his crowd of young men) would "HUMBUG" when playing pool for money. "HUMBUG" is a term used in the black community for verbal "sharking". It can be anything from calling fouls that didn't happen to "threatening" an opponent. No matter what form it takes it is constant during the match. Continual "chatter" during a session is considered "Humbugging". An old black guy named "Bones" (don't know how he got his name, he died about 10 years ago) shortened the term "Humbug" to "Bug" when Leonard would come in the pool room. "Bug" transformed into "Bugs" AKA Leonard "Chicago Bugs" Rucker. The last of the old black players left on the planet "Odell" (he is 96 I think) will verify this. So "Bugs" got his nickname because of unsporting conduct when he was young. Now in the late 60s and 70s his ability made "humbugging" unnecessary, plus it was not tolerated in high-stakes gambling around the country. Also, "Bugs" just plain grew up (not a wild kid anymore). Still, given the right situation "Bugs" was willing to create an illegal advantage for himself if he thought he could get away with it.
 

fred bentivegna

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Bug

Bug

Red Shoes said:
Leonard "Bugs" Rucker got his name because way back when he started playing, he (and his crowd of young men) would "HUMBUG" when playing pool for money. "HUMBUG" is a term used in the black community for verbal "sharking". It can be anything from calling fouls that didn't happen to "threatening" an opponent. No matter what form it takes it is constant during the match. Continual "chatter" during a session is considered "Humbugging". An old black guy named "Bones" (don't know how he got his name, he died about 10 years ago) shortened the term "Humbug" to "Bug" when Leonard would come in the pool room. "Bug" transformed into "Bugs" AKA Leonard "Chicago Bugs" Rucker. The last of the old black players left on the planet "Odell" (he is 96 I think) will verify this. So "Bugs" got his nickname because of unsporting conduct when he was young. Now in the late 60s and 70s his ability made "humbugging" unnecessary, plus it was not tolerated in high-stakes gambling around the country. Also, "Bugs" just plain grew up (not a wild kid anymore). Still, given the right situation "Bugs" was willing to create an illegal advantage for himself if he thought he could get away with it.

Unfortunately for me, I do go back far enough to where a lot of the players from the South Side called "Bugs," "Bug." I never did think much of it at the time, I thought it was just bad grammar.
The other guy you mentioned, Odell, I think he is only 95. He comes into Red Shoes about once a week. He is a shining example of health food, and abstention. As soon as Odell gets into the room he orders a polish sausage and fries. When he is done he goes outside and smokes a cigarette. He's still clearheaded, but he does now use a walker.
He used to play good. In 63' or 64', I brought Jersey Red down to the South Side. He was looking for action. One of the two players Red played was Odell. The other guy was named Squabbles. Red broke even with both guys playing onepocket and quit. There was plenty of side action available.
Red got a little uncomfortable with the amount of guys that were willing to play him and bet against him -- even tho everybody knew who he was.
After we left, I dropped Red off at the YMCA and said I would come back and get him the next day and we would go back to the South Side (58th and Indiana) and play some more. He had a line of guys that wanted to play, with Bugs waiting far down the line. In those days you had to play your way up the ladder.
It was amazing how many good players hung out at 58th. NY Hank Montague, Youngblood, Jew Town Red, Baby, Baby's Brother, Frog, Frankenstein, Bob Akins, Alphonse, Noah, Odell, Squabbles, Bugs, Richard Powell, and a few more, along with a hundred shortstops.
When I showed up at the YMCA the next day, Red had checked out and had taken a bus to Johnston City.

Beard

Other white players used to wonder why I wanted to play down there. I loved it because it didnt take more than ten seconds to get action. Those days are gone, however. The South Side has become just as nitty as the rest of the world.
 
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