Pools Golden Years

wincardona

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
7,458
Imo. pools golden years started in the late 60's ...1967-68-69, and went through the 70's decade. During that time we had pools most colorful characters, characters that became legendary for their entertainment value which they brought to everyone through their charisma and charm. If you will I would like to rate some of these people from what I remember of them, of course i'm probably going to leave some people/players out, however, anyone can bring up names of their favorite characters.

The absolute elite character of all characters is the great "Minnesota Fats" Fat's Imo. stands alone on the top tier of the worlds greatest pool characters.

The next tier would be Imo. Ronnie Allen, Keith McCreedy and of course " CORNBREAD" all three of these players always drew the largest crowds whenever they performed, both on and off the table. Of course it didn't hurt that they were all upper echelon players as well.

The next tier is a little more crowded with player/ characters the likes of "Freddie the Beard" "Jersey Red" Johnny "The Foghorn" Ervolino "U.J. Puckett" "Omaha Fats" "Ernest Nubby Morgan" Peter Lindhart rabbit" Please excuse the misspelling of some of the players mentioned, but none the less, these guys were a large part of "Pools Golden Years" the way I remembered them.

Action was fast and plentiful, players were many, entertainment was non stop, life was good.:):) Pools Golden Years.

Dr. Bill
 
Last edited:

fred bentivegna

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
6,690
Imo. pools golden years started in the late 60's ...1967-68-69, and went through the 70's decade. During that time we had pools most colorful characters, characters that became legendary for their entertainment value which they brought to everyone through their charisma and charm. If you will I would like to rate some of these people from what I remember of them, of course i'm probably going to leave some people/players out, however, anyone can bring up names of their favorite characters.

The absolute elite character of all characters is the great "Minnesota Fats" Fat's Imo. stands alone on the top tier of the worlds greatest pool characters.

The next tier would be Imo. Ronnie Allen and Keith McCreedy, both of these players always drew the largest crowds whenever they performed, both on and off the table. Of course it didn't hurt that they were both upper echelon players as well.

The next tier is a little more crowded with player/ characters the likes of "Freddie the Beard" "Jersey Red" Johnny "The Foghorn" Ervolino "U.J. Puckett" "Omaha Fats" "Ernest Nubby Morgan" Peter Lindhart rabbit" Please excuse the misspelling of some of the players mentioned, but none the less, these guys were a large part of "Pools Golden Years" the way I remembered them.

Action was fast and plentiful, players were many, entertainment was non stop, life was good.:):) Pools Golden Years.

Dr. Bill
Amen. My sentiments exactly.

Beard

Coincidentally, last night as I was leaving Red Shoes, I was accosted by Watusi Slim who had just heard about Ronnie passing. He bemoaned to me the fact that today's players, and he was pointing directly to Sergio and Ike who were constantly arguing while playing for $50 a game, dont have a clue as to the way it was when he and I (and you) were gambling back in the day. He and I played for thousands in the 70s. I am just glad that I was a part of it.
 
Last edited:

vapros

Verified Member
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,659
I wasn't there, but I can see it in my mind. Gotta be a book there - who's gonna do it? Think of all that RA took out with him when he died. Most of what still remains lies in the recollections of a shrinking bunch of guys who ain't going to live forever. Am I talking to you? :eek:
 

fred bentivegna

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
6,690
I wasn't there, but I can see it in my mind. Gotta be a book there - who's gonna do it? Think of all that RA took out with him when he died. Most of what still remains lies in the recollections of a shrinking bunch of guys who ain't going to live forever. Am I talking to you? :eek:
Gee whiz, Vap, I am writing a book about those days. The Encyclopedia of Pool Hustlers. The books journey starts in the 50s and ends in the early 90s. Unfortunately, today's players are not mentioned -- just the Golden Years.

Beard
 

JAM

Verified Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
1,037
Imo. pools golden years started in the late 60's ...1967-68-69, and went through the 70's decade. During that time we had pools most colorful characters, characters that became legendary for their entertainment value which they brought to everyone through their charisma and charm. If you will I would like to rate some of these people from what I remember of them, of course i'm probably going to leave some people/players out, however, anyone can bring up names of their favorite characters.

The absolute elite character of all characters is the great "Minnesota Fats" Fat's Imo. stands alone on the top tier of the worlds greatest pool characters.

The next tier would be Imo. Ronnie Allen and Keith McCreedy, both of these players always drew the largest crowds whenever they performed, both on and off the table. Of course it didn't hurt that they were both upper echelon players as well.

The next tier is a little more crowded with player/ characters the likes of "Freddie the Beard" "Jersey Red" Johnny "The Foghorn" Ervolino "U.J. Puckett" "Omaha Fats" "Ernest Nubby Morgan" Peter Lindhart rabbit" Please excuse the misspelling of some of the players mentioned, but none the less, these guys were a large part of "Pools Golden Years" the way I remembered them.

Action was fast and plentiful, players were many, entertainment was non stop, life was good.:):) Pools Golden Years.

Dr. Bill
There's no doubt in my mind about it. Pool will never be the same since the advent of digital technology. Back in the day, road players walked into a room cold, not knowing who was who, and sometimes the hustler got hustled playing on foreign equipment, often using a house cue to conceal their identity. :D

Today it takes hours to match up with spots, equipment, rules, et cetera. You didn't see this extensive back-and-forth before an action match previously. Players stepped up to the plate and gave it their all, hoping to come out on top. Some of today's young gamblers are looking for somebody to drop their wallet. They don't want to gamble; they're hoping to match up right, wanting the proverbial "lock."

I'm sorry, but watching these challenge matches with robotic emotionless play is boring to me, and I love pool. Pool does need a personality a la Minnesota Fats. It's missing. I mean, when I'm not working, I sure as hell don't feel like watching robots play mum pool for 6, 7, and 8 hours on my computer monitor. No, thank you.

Today's pool world is quite different. It's become more of a tournament soldier arena, but even that, at least in America, is plagued with problems due to lack of sponsorship, a pro tour, BCA's disdain for professional pool, the American pool culture's lack of respect for professional-caliber players, et cetera, et cetera.

I also believe, much more today than previously, sad to say, there is a discrimination in pool when it comes to women. They are not given any respect when it comes to professional play, and in some circles, women are regarded as pieces of meat. "Come to Philippines to pick and choose which lady you'd like to lay down with," as an example, seems to be the sentiment of how women are regarded by some men in the pool world. This lack of respect for women is rampant, even on pool forums.

There was a comaraderie among the players during the golden years, to include a respect for the legends of the game. When an Accu-Stats camera man passed away and a well-known pool tournament director from Arizona passed away -- [may both rest in peace] -- it immediately became front-page news on the AzBilliards website.

The greatest American one-pocket player of all times, Ronnie Allen, has passed away, and there's not one mention of him at the time of this writing on that very same front page. It is quite disappointing to me as an avid pool enthusiast, but maybe it's also very telling of what direction pool is going in. The BCA doesn't care about professional players, much less people like Ronnie. I guess the pool media doesn't, either. :(

Thanks for the memories, Mr. Incardona. There's one thing about it. No matter what happens from here, that's one thing that they can't take away from us. We were so lucky to have witnessed pool when it shined so brightly in those golden years. :)
 
Last edited:

Island Drive

Verified Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4,143
60's

60's

During those days liquor was not sold in the pool rooms, bars yes. They all had smoking, candy, soda machines, no juke box and some sold cue sticks. Most all rooms had the white powder snow cones, and the Brunswick house cues were top notch at times. Either every room had Gold Crowns or some other older Brunswicks, or maybe a few AMF tables and toss in a few Gandys and then the early deep shelved Diamond nine footers. If you were in the suburbs of Chicago, Gordon Hart might frequent your room and peddle his wares, and then the world famous Viking Super Joint. The sounds of the wooden racks doin' their thing and usually No music but the sounds of life and Ronnie Allens game being born. Walkin' money was still the norm, and if ya haddent' been dead broke one time in your life, you'll never know what its like to ''have'' to win.
 

tylerdurden

Verified Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
1,959
I watched and interesting Woody Allen movie recently, and the point seemed to be that no matter what era you are from, you'd like to live in another era. Meaning, any given point in time is just as interesting as any other, yet perhaps we just don't know it. I guess he wasn't a pool player, because damn, these are assuredly some low down times when it comes to pool :)
 

Fast Lenny

Verified Member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
2,216
During those days liquor was not sold in the pool rooms, bars yes. They all had smoking, candy, soda machines, no juke box and some sold cue sticks. Most all rooms had the white powder snow cones, and the Brunswick house cues were top notch at times. Either every room had Gold Crowns or some other older Brunswicks, or maybe a few AMF tables and toss in a few Gandys and then the early deep shelved Diamond nine footers. If you were in the suburbs of Chicago, Gordon Hart might frequent your room and peddle his wares, and then the world famous Viking Super Joint. The sounds of the wooden racks doin' their thing and usually No music but the sounds of life and Ronnie Allens game being born. Walkin' money was still the norm, and if ya haddent' been dead broke one time in your life, you'll never know what its like to ''have'' to win.
Diamond tables came out in the late 80s I believe.
 

Island Drive

Verified Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4,143
I watched and interesting Woody Allen movie recently, and the point seemed to be that no matter what era you are from, you'd like to live in another era. Meaning, any given point in time is just as interesting as any other, yet perhaps we just don't know it. I guess he wasn't a pool player, because damn, these are assuredly some low down times when it comes to pool :)
Your right, But, the Whole Worlds playin' the game now, something will eventually happen, most likely overseas.
 

Scrzbill

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
3,820
Although Fred will laugh at this.........My first road trip was with Eric and Truman. Eric was a top nine ball player, Truman a pretty good nine ball player and great banker, and me, the guy that played the also rans. We all lived in Louisville at the time and Kentucky was full of pool rooms. Our plan was to hit the rooms in these little towns and ask for the best player there. Sometimes we would get action, sometimes not. In his day, Eric could beat most any nine ball player. There were a lot of dry counties in Kentucky so getting a drink was Eric and Trumans first priority. In one little place, a dry country, Eric, Truman and I were booking winners. Eric sent out for some Early Times. We were winning. Each one of us had pockets full of our cash. Towards the end of the night and several half pints, the locals brought in someone to play Eric. We pooled our money and Eric played. That night we slept in my Corvair convertible and the next day we went home, broke. The glory years.
Now Fred knows I'm lying so call up Truman and ask him about the red Corvair trip, then you can apologize.:heh:heh
 

Skin

Verified Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
2,196
During those days liquor was not sold in the pool rooms, bars yes. They all had smoking, candy, soda machines, no juke box and some sold cue sticks. Most all rooms had the white powder snow cones, and the Brunswick house cues were top notch at times. Either every room had Gold Crowns or some other older Brunswicks, or maybe a few AMF tables and toss in a few Gandys and then the early deep shelved Diamond nine footers. If you were in the suburbs of Chicago, Gordon Hart might frequent your room and peddle his wares, and then the world famous Viking Super Joint. The sounds of the wooden racks doin' their thing and usually No music but the sounds of life and Ronnie Allens game being born. Walkin' money was still the norm, and if ya haddent' been dead broke one time in your life, you'll never know what its like to ''have'' to win.
ID, I remeber those days very well. Can still smell and hear them, and still feel my hands sweat thinking about the thrill of going in, unknown, looking for action and matching up with who-knows-who-he-is. One thing you left out was the cadre of old-timers playing all-day-long golf on the snooker table. And the linoleum floors that got everyone's eyes riveted on the guy who knocked one off the table. ;)

Skin
 
Last edited:

Cowboy Dennis

Suspended
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
11,123
You old dudes crack me up:p. Let me quote Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) from "My Name Is Nobody".

"There was never any good old days"

Cowboy "never lived in the past and never will" Dennis
 

Skin

Verified Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
2,196
You old dudes crack me up:p. Let me quote Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) from "My Name Is Nobody".

"There was never any good old days"

Cowboy "never lived in the past and never will" Dennis
There was, for those who are old enough to remember them. :p


Skin
 

wincardona

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
7,458
During those days liquor was not sold in the pool rooms, bars yes. They all had smoking, candy, soda machines, no juke box and some sold cue sticks. Most all rooms had the white powder snow cones, and the Brunswick house cues were top notch at times. Either every room had Gold Crowns or some other older Brunswicks, or maybe a few AMF tables and toss in a few Gandys and then the early deep shelved Diamond nine footers. If you were in the suburbs of Chicago, Gordon Hart might frequent your room and peddle his wares, and then the world famous Viking Super Joint. The sounds of the wooden racks doin' their thing and usually No music but the sounds of life and Ronnie Allens game being born. Walkin' money was still the norm, and if ya haddent' been dead broke one time in your life, you'll never know what its like to ''have'' to win.
Good post Bill, "The Golden Years" will always take you to a place that's comfortable, and stress free. It's times like this ....with Ronny and all....that gets ya thinkin about the good times, which will always be a good stop.:)
Dr. Bill
 

Big Jim

Verified Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
262
hustle

hustle

Although Fred will laugh at this.........My first road trip was with Eric and Truman. Eric was a top nine ball player, Truman a pretty good nine ball player and great banker, and me, the guy that played the also rans. We all lived in Louisville at the time and Kentucky was full of pool rooms. Our plan was to hit the rooms in these little towns and ask for the best player there. Sometimes we would get action, sometimes not. In his day, Eric could beat most any nine ball player. There were a lot of dry counties in Kentucky so getting a drink was Eric and Trumans first priority. In one little place, a dry country, Eric, Truman and I were booking winners. Eric sent out for some Early Times. We were winning. Each one of us had pockets full of our cash. Towards the end of the night and several half pints, the locals brought in someone to play Eric. We pooled our money and Eric played. That night we slept in my Corvair convertible and the next day we went home, broke. The glory years.
Now Fred knows I'm lying so call up Truman and ask him about the red Corvair trip, then you can apologize.:heh:heh
I knew Fat Eric for many years, good story.
 

Ross Keith Thompson

Verified Member
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
122
Good laugh at the stardust

Good laugh at the stardust

Speaking of golden years Bill, here is a moment in time in 1972 at the Stardust that you probably forgotten about. I (squirrel)had just played a big fat kid a session of 9 ball and had spotted this kid the 8 and break for 200 a session. He was a loud mouth kid and most of you guys like yourself, Billy Johnson, Cole Dickson , Grady mathews and so on, wanted me (i suspect) to beat this kid and shut him up, but i couldn't overcome his break and lost to him as most of the players in the room watched! After the match this kids chest was bigger than king kong and as yourself and Grady Mathews harrased him a short while , he made the statement that he would take the seven spot from anybody and you stepped forward and said you got the seven. The fat kid ate crow and said I'll take the 6 from anybody causing Grady Mathews to bust into a laughter that probably only me and you know of today. I laughed myself to death that night even after losing to this kid! But you stepped forward and gave this kid the 6 and you guys played for hours and broke even. This was the same year that you and Cole had a big run at the crap table with thousands on the table and a cocktail waitress bumped into you and you crapped out with about 5k on the pass line and numbers and needless to say you were pissed. I had a front row seat, I was across the crap table from you and Cole that night. I was only 19 at the time
and the last time pretty much I played competively. No doubt there was some characters there in 72 in the golden years of pool.Just thought you might want to be reminded of one of the funniest moments in time for me and everytime Grady Mathews crosses my mind I think of him laughing at that fat kid, life was good!
 

Billy Jackets

Verified Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
1,544
It has always been fun for me to go to battle and to watch other people battle at pool when they both had a chance to win.
There was some of that in the Golden Years.
I don't see many of those games any more.
I also miss the antics of guys like Grady and Keith Ronnie Tooth and all the others who created action.{You also created action, but every time I saw you it was the soft sell Mr. Mustache} {harder to remember}
It was exciting just to be in the same room , let alone to be involved.
Thanks for the memory jog.
 

petie

Verified Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
3,314
Speaking of golden years Bill, here is a moment in time in 1972 at the Stardust that you probably forgotten about. I (squirrel)had just played a big fat kid a session of 9 ball and had spotted this kid the 8 and break for 200 a session. He was a loud mouth kid and most of you guys like yourself, Billy Johnson, Cole Dickson , Grady mathews and so on, wanted me (i suspect) to beat this kid and shut him up, but i couldn't overcome his break and lost to him as most of the players in the room watched! After the match this kids chest was bigger than king kong and as yourself and Grady Mathews harrased him a short while , he made the statement that he would take the seven spot from anybody and you stepped forward and said you got the seven. The fat kid ate crow and said I'll take the 6 from anybody causing Grady Mathews to bust into a laughter that probably only me and you know of today. I laughed myself to death that night even after losing to this kid! But you stepped forward and gave this kid the 6 and you guys played for hours and broke even. This was the same year that you and Cole had a big run at the crap table with thousands on the table and a cocktail waitress bumped into you and you crapped out with about 5k on the pass line and numbers and needless to say you were pissed. I had a front row seat, I was across the crap table from you and Cole that night. I was only 19 at the time
and the last time pretty much I played competively. No doubt there was some characters there in 72 in the golden years of pool.Just thought you might want to be reminded of one of the funniest moments in time for me and everytime Grady Mathews crosses my mind I think of him laughing at that fat kid, life was good!
I knew a guy named "Squirrel" in Indianapolis in the late '70s early '80s. Played pretty sporty 9-ball/6-ball on the bar box.
 
Top