Old timers before Johnston City

spktur

New Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
Messages
2
Before Johnston City there was an action area on the Arkansas/Missouri line that was wide open for anything with a lot of pool action. This was just outside of Holland MO and Blytheville AR. Do any of 6the old timers here have any stories about things back then?
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,246
Before Johnston City there was an action area on the Arkansas/Missouri line that was wide open for anything with a lot of pool action. This was just outside of Holland MO and Blytheville AR. Do any of 6the old timers here have any stories about things back then?
I believe Weenie Beanie won about 90/100 thousand from Cleo Vaughn.

Cleo was living in a older house with 105 siding and driving a Chevrolet at the time.
That much money was a phenomenal amount at that point in time.
Cleo moved to Vegas and worked there for some years before returning South.
He told me all the years he lived there he never beat the big poker games.
He'd get paid beat the small games then go off in the high stakes games.

I remember he was originally from "Marked Tree" Ark.
He finished in Mobile with a pool hall and sports book and did very well.

I remember Fats telling me he shared a room in Blytheville with Greg"Big Train" Stevens.
He said they were about broke and spent their last money on chickens (21 of them) fried them and ate them all in one meal. :)
Rod.
P.S. Welcome to the site.
 
Last edited:

fred bentivegna

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
6,690
I believe Weenie Beanie won about 90/100 thousand from Cleo Vaughn.

Cleo was living in a older house with 105 siding and driving a Chevrolet at the time.
That much money was a phenomenal amount at that point in time.
Cleo moved to Vegas and worked there for some years before returning South.
He told me all the years he lived there he never beat the big poker games.
He'd get paid beat the small games then go off in the high stakes games.

I remember he was originally from "Marked Tree Ark.
He finished in Mobile with a pool hall and sports book and did very well.

I remember Fats telling he he shared a room in Blytheville with Greg"Big Train" Stevens.
He said they were about broke and spent their last money on chickens (21 of them) fried them and ate them all in one meal. :)
Rod.
P.S. Welcome to the site.
That aint no joke. Greg could eat Fats' speed. I went out to eat with him -- once. He tried to eat enough in one meal to last him the 4 days he was going to stay up.

Beard
 

Island Drive

Verified Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4,143
That aint no joke. Greg could eat Fats' speed. I went out to eat with him -- once. He tried to eat enough in one meal to last him the 4 days he was going to stay up.

Beard
Sounds like Jim Beluschi in Curly Sue....eat like a snake.
Fats during his youth would of course hang with his dad, and during that time in NYC in the garment district there was Always free food in a Bar, fats ate like a pig during those years Every day at lunch with Rudolph Wanderone Sr.
 

gulfportdoc

Verified Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2004
Messages
10,032
Did New York Fats ever tell you or Rod why he left New York? Had the action dried up, or did someone run him off? Never heard the story.

Doc
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,246
Did New York Fats ever tell you or Rod why he left New York? Had the action dried up, or did someone run him off? Never heard the story.

Doc
Doc.
He said he beat every living human in Nu Yawk. Had to move around to find some new suckers. :)
Rod.
 

SJDinPHX

Suspended
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
9,226
Did New York Fats ever tell you or Rod why he left New York? Had the action dried up, or did someone run him off? Never heard the story.

Doc
Fats had to become 'Triple Smart', because everybody else in Nu Yawk was already 'Double Smart' !...In other words, no one there would bet a nickel, unless they had the 'quadruple nuts'..That mindset still exists today !
 

NH Steve

Administrator
Joined
Apr 25, 2004
Messages
9,049
Did New York Fats ever tell you or Rod why he left New York? Had the action dried up, or did someone run him off? Never heard the story.

Doc
Every time I have interviewed older players, they have mentioned running into Fats -- he did go everywhere, not just before Johnston City, but before WWII as well. George Rood described Fats coming in to a poolroom when George was just a teenager -- which was back in the 30's. Squirrel and Taylor also talked about running into him early -- Eddie Taylor mentioned playing him in a couple places when Taylor was only about 14.
 

Island Drive

Verified Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4,143
Did New York Fats ever tell you or Rod why he left New York? Had the action dried up, or did someone run him off? Never heard the story.

Doc
When did Fats sell his pool room in NYC?
His move could easily of been because of his love for Evelyn and getting his home in Dowell IL. Evelyn first traveled with Fats when his sister died before they got married, and when his dad passed ev didn't go with him. Fats called her almost every day when they were apart, and if they had been on the road for quite some time, he would always put her and sometimes the dog on the train so she could visit her family in Dowell. Dog came only when Ev got a sleeping car/rules.
 

Henry

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
130
I knew 4 brothers that came out of Blysville Ak..they all gambeled high at pool and anything else...I met them in Medford Ore in the 70s...The first time I saw Harold Prince (one of the brothers) he was in the Highway Club playing Bill Rosenbaum for $40 a game...Rosey had not hit the big money yet but when he did Harold beat him 3 or 4 times in excess of $100,000...
 
Top