Does anybody remember Butch Dennis ?

philip guagliardo

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Jun 27, 2005
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I assume every city has had a player who could have been a champion but for various reasons it never happened . We in Chicago had a player who I thought was on his way to that elite status of top nine ball players which in Chicago was very rare . I met Butch the very first night out returning from the Army in 1968 at a bar named the Casa Madrid where there was always some good action . Butch was playing and I challenged the table and proceeded to bust the young man very easy ! We became good friends and he was very interested in becoming a better player and he started coming to Bensingers where they quickly trapped him and sent him home broke everyday . He then took some lessons from Artie B ! I dont think Artie showed him too much but it was enough to help Butch with his game and I also told him a few things that helped him ! Within a very very short time this kid was beating everybody playing nine ball he played including the great Mexican Johnny Chicago's best nine ball player and I was amazed at how good he got in a short time and I knew he was bound for that elite status of great nine ball players like Jimmy Mataya and Billy Incardona who made frequent trips to Chicago to hustle our so called nine ball players ! I watched Butch drive Joey Spaeth crazy making the most ridiculous shots and then running out over and over . Butch would shoot cut shots that looked impossible or at least just plain dumb to attempt and split the jaw and then look at you and smile and say my stroke is as smooth as butter ! The bad part to this story is Butch just on the verge of becoming a champion like to mess with some drugs and took some LSD for a little high and I think it became a high that he never came down from and went totally nuts in time . I tried to help him but he was beyond help the brain was still in ding dong land ! Butch then became so nuts he would take a cigarette and just burn himself constantly on his hands and then he decided to bite off part of his lip ! He was on a self destructing mission and ended up spending his winters in the nut house and his summers living in a cave by Lake Michigan ! It was very sad to see a friend with all the talent in the world waste his life . Butch has not been seen in years that I know of and is probably dead and buried . the last time I seen him was about 15 years ago I was sitting at a red light on my way to the racetrack and he walked up to my window begging for money and I gave him a sawbuck and I dont think he knew it was me his old
friend ! I just thought I would write this post just in case I'm wrong and Butch is alive living in another city ? I guess Butch should be considered one of the greatest could have been players ever lived in Chicago .

Phil
 

fred bentivegna

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Feb 2, 2005
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Crazy Butch

Crazy Butch

Yes Phil,
Under different circumstances Butch could have really become a good player. I seen him beat Artie playing 9 ball and he even broke even with Artie playing 8 ball. That ended Artie's lessons to Butch. I heard from Mike
O'shea what was behind Butch's eventual slide into insanity, was that Butch was extremely sexually abused as a child. Mike told me among other things, his father used to make little Butch and his brother do each other while he watched. All the later drug use probably set all of that off. And yes, he did live in a cave for awhile in the North Side's Park district. He was also totally obsessed with Barbara Streisand.

the Beard
 

hemicudas

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Mike Parker

Mike Parker

I didn't know Butch but do any of you Chicago guys know what ever happened to Mike Parker? When he was a kid and running with Mark Jarvis it looked like he had great potential.
 

fred bentivegna

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Quit

Quit

hemicudas said:
I didn't know Butch but do any of you Chicago guys know what ever happened to Mike Parker? When he was a kid and running with Mark Jarvis it looked like he had great potential.

Thats Jim Parker's son. Jim owns and runs the Illinois Billiard Club, a great operation. The kid hardly plays anymore.

the Beard
 
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