Pools Golden Years

stedyfred

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In Philly watching the Rabbit play Joe Veasey was more entertaining than seeing any comedy show on TV. Good one pocket, but gr8 entertainment.
 

jrhendy

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In Philly watching the Rabbit play Joe Veasey was more entertaining than seeing any comedy show on TV. Good one pocket, but gr8 entertainment.
Veasey came to California with Alibi Al and they had us convinced Al was the best player until the pool detectives got the word out.

Two of pools many characters, I can still see Veasey with a big cigar hanging out of his mouth holding court.

He was not one of my favorites after he dumped a friend of mine. I chewed him out a bit because this was a good guy who helped everyone he could. Joe said 'You get busted a few thousand miles from home and see what you would do'.
 

keoneyo

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Veasey came to California with Alibi Al and they had us convinced Al was the best player until the pool detectives got the word out.

Two of pools many characters, I can still see Veasey with a big cigar hanging out of his mouth holding court.

He was not one of my favorites after he dumped a friend of mine. I chewed him out a bit because this was a good guy who helped everyone he could. Joe said 'You get busted a few thousand miles from home and see what you would do'.
I bought my first 2 piece from Joe Veasey. It was a Paradise. A beautiful cue. Joe was broke and sold it to me for $85. After I handed Joe the money he turned and said "well, got rid of that dog".
It was a beautiful cue and worth 100 times today.

I asked John the Dancer Brascia , who produced The Baltimore Bullet with Omar Sharif, what he thought of the cue and he said "What the **** do I know"? Mosconi, Crane, Florence, Butera, Mizerak, Rempe, and Sigel were all in it.
 

LSJohn

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You're a warrior and a true competitor, not many left like you John. I admire you for your willingness to play and your stamina, you just keep on keeping on. It's been a pleasure knowing you and watching you as you relentlessly pursue what keeps you going..playing action pool.;) What a life, hope you keep it going forever.


Dr. Bill
I was on the way-out periphery of pool in the heyday, and if I'd been any deeper it would have been as someone's Gunga Din. I consider myself very fortunate to have hooked up with a bunch of you guys in recent years.

Funny, gamblers have a bad reputation with a lot of society, but I consider the vast majority of people I've gotten to know here to be a clear cut above in the character department.... and I don't just mean you're characters. :)
 

Jeff sparks

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Damon Runyanish characters abound throughout the life and times of the wonderful game of pool. Most of us have fond memories of our time spent in "The Golden Years" and for us, they truly were Golden Years. I'm fairly positive this would apply to all generations of pool players throughout the history of the game.

Like Dr. Bill, I'm very fond of the years I spent in and around pool rooms all across America. It was educational, not in the academic sense, but street wise, complete with some of the worlds most colorful and lethal characters! I've been beat and flat broke in some of the best cities in the U.S.A., and I wouldn't change a thing. One exception.... I'd have come back sooner for more!!!:)

Nice thread Bill,
Thanks
 

1pwannabe

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I came into the "pool scene" in the late 80's through early 90's before life/family/career pulled me away. At that time it was all 9-ball, and America couldn't get enough of it. I was more of a 14.1 player and players like Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, etc. dominated both games. Then Jose and Efren came along and everything changed completely, a whole new era was born.

I am very fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with Marshall Carpenter and I get to hear so many incredible stories about his era. He definitely lived through one helluva golden era of pool also, the 50's through mid 60's was chock full of bigger than life characters.

Dr Bill, you need to write a book. Your comprehensive knowledge covers at least 3 eras of the game, and you know pretty much everyone. You've probably been told this 1000 times already, so consider this the 1001 time.:D
 

gulfportdoc

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...
It was a great time. I saw Bernie Schwartz, Richie Ambrose, Gene the Machine, Dalton Leong (road partner to Earl), Marvin Henderson, Hawaiian Brian, Hippy Jimmy and Barbara (Jack Cooneys wife), Cole Dickson, Cecil the Serpent, etc etc.
...
Keone, was the Gene the Machine you're referring to a red-haired guy with a great stroke, and loved his beer? If so, I met him at Mr. Pockets on 6th St. in the late '60s. He was still working then, but soon gave it up for the life of the pool scuff. Last I saw of him, he was working at Chopsticks Billiards out on Victory in N. Hollywood, where Hollywood Jack was the de facto houseman.

I miss those great L.A. rooms like Celebrity Billiards on Vine St., Hollywood-Western, Mr. Pockets, Ye Billiard Den, Chopsticks, N. Hyd Billiards, Romy's, etc. It was a fascinating era.

~Doc
 

keoneyo

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Keone, was the Gene the Machine you're referring to a red-haired guy with a great stroke, and loved his beer? If so, I met him at Mr. Pockets on 6th St. in the late '60s. He was still working then, but soon gave it up for the life of the pool scuff. Last I saw of him, he was working at Chopsticks Billiards out on Victory in N. Hollywood, where Hollywood Jack was the de facto houseman.

I miss those great L.A. rooms like Celebrity Billiards on Vine St., Hollywood-Western, Mr. Pockets, Ye Billiard Den, Chopsticks, N. Hyd Billiards, Romy's, etc. It was a fascinating era.

~Doc
Yes but there was also another Gene. Gene Nagy who popped in once. The guys from the east coast jaws just dropped. I said who is that. They said thats Gene. He plays like a machine. Ran over 400 balls once. He mentored The Black Widow, who has runs in the hundreds.

Romy's on Main Street was another great, great joint. All the best Mexican players played there. Young Ernesto and Rafael. You could go in and ask if anyone had a tv for sale and they would just take your order and tell you to be back tomorrow.

Hollywood Jack was a great unsung hero though. Great hustler. Kiefer Sutherland loved him so much he went out and bought Jack a car once.
 

petie

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Damon Runyanish characters abound throughout the life and times of the wonderful game of pool. Most of us have fond memories of our time spent in "The Golden Years" and for us, they truly were Golden Years. I'm fairly positive this would apply to all generations of pool players throughout the history of the game.

Like Dr. Bill, I'm very fond of the years I spent in and around pool rooms all across America. It was educational, not in the academic sense, but street wise, complete with some of the worlds most colorful and lethal characters! I've been beat and flat broke in some of the best cities in the U.S.A., and I wouldn't change a thing. One exception.... I'd have come back sooner for more!!!:)

Nice thread Bill,
Thanks
Its a whole sub-culture, an underworld, a world of it's own. It has it's own language and it's own rules and values. It's like taking a trip to another country and its just down the street under the billiard sign. What a life. I'm proud to have shared it with you guys.
 

Island Drive

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Its a whole sub-culture, an underworld, a world of it's own. It has it's own language and it's own rules and values. It's like taking a trip to another country and its just down the street under the billiard sign. What a life. I'm proud to have shared it with you guys.
Years back I took a gal with me, 20 years my younger a good friend to a pool event, we worked together in the bar biz. When she overheard ''us guyz'' talking about games, matches, etc. she said it sounded cryptic. She had no clue what was said but was intrigued.
 

LSJohn

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petie;182813 It has it's own language
"Dummy up, sucker."

"George."

"Tom."

jar

lemon

arm

air

horse

pony

whale

go-off

whitey

rock

boodle

flash

right mix

thru ticket

rail

rail bird

scuff

shortstop

stall

dump

dog

cshekkkk (clearing throat)

hand to the heart

weight

shrimp

=================

Gimme some more!
 

Jimmy B

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Aug 17, 2007
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Keone, was the Gene the Machine you're referring to a red-haired guy with a great stroke, and loved his beer? If so, I met him at Mr. Pockets on 6th St. in the late '60s. He was still working then, but soon gave it up for the life of the pool scuff. Last I saw of him, he was working at Chopsticks Billiards out on Victory in N. Hollywood, where Hollywood Jack was the de facto houseman.

I miss those great L.A. rooms like Celebrity Billiards on Vine St., Hollywood-Western, Mr. Pockets, Ye Billiard Den, Chopsticks, N. Hyd Billiards, Romy's, etc. It was a fascinating era.

~Doc


Gene 'The Machine' Cooper roamed the country for a time. A bar table specialist. Pretty well known...
 

Jimmy B

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5,437
"Dummy up, sucker."

"George."

"Tom."

jar

lemon

arm

air

horse

pony

whale

go-off

whitey

rock

boodle

flash

right mix

thru ticket

rail

rail bird

scuff

shortstop

stall

dump

dog

cshekkkk (clearing throat)

hand to the heart

weight

shrimp

=================

Gimme some more!


I've watched Monte men that have never seen each other put a hand across the heart and begin to talk to each other. One would be scratching and brushing their arm, putting a hand behind their back, touching ears, noses, on and on. It's fascinating...
 

TomRoden

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Nov 5, 2008
Messages
180
Golden years?

Golden years?

I think pools golden years were before it became civilized. Somewhere in the 1970s or early 80s pool lost its soul. Friggin "Color of Money" did more to destroy the old time pool room forever. I miss trashy pool rooms. The kind of place your mother wouldn't want you in. Now, we have family recreation centers or wanna be pool rooms that sell pizza and all the tables are coin operated bar boxes. It makes me want to puke.
 

gulfportdoc

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Jun 25, 2004
Messages
10,226
Yes but there was also another Gene. Gene Nagy who popped in once. The guys from the east coast jaws just dropped. I said who is that. They said thats Gene. He plays like a machine. Ran over 400 balls once. He mentored The Black Widow, who has runs in the hundreds.

Romy's on Main Street was another great, great joint. All the best Mexican players played there. Young Ernesto and Rafael. You could go in and ask if anyone had a tv for sale and they would just take your order and tell you to be back tomorrow.

Hollywood Jack was a great unsung hero though. Great hustler. Kiefer Sutherland loved him so much he went out and bought Jack a car once.
Yeah, that's undoubtedly a different Gene. I was only in Romy's on 4th & Main a couple of times. I was a habitue of Tiff Payne's room in N. Hyd then. I went into Romy's to investigate, and to play some friendly 3C. Hell, the guy that brushed the tables could probably run 20 points.:eek: I think Henderson spent a lot of time there. In fact he probably made their nut every week.:D

Jack was a unique guy. Almost everyone loved him. He had that "Guinea charm", a twinkle in his eye, and he loved the action. Could play all games well, even 3C. The ladies went for him in a big way too.

~Doc
 

jrhendy

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May 24, 2004
Messages
4,794
Hollywood Jack - Jack Cooney?
No. Hollywood Jack ran/owned Hollywood Billiards in LA for a while. Best game was snooker on a tight 5 x 10. I first played him there in the late 50's.

A true character and pool scuff who was well liked around Los Angeles and the Valley. There is a nice article about him on this site somewhere.
 

Wayne

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Nov 26, 2004
Messages
439
No. Hollywood Jack ran/owned Hollywood Billiards in LA for a while. Best game was snooker on a tight 5 x 10. I first played him there in the late 50's.

A true character and pool scuff who was well liked around Los Angeles and the Valley. There is a nice article about him on this site somewhere.
Yes Hollywood Jack was one of the many great characters I have met in pool.
One time was sitting around with another character named Ferrell who owned a pool hall called Players in Van Nuys. Jack says "I beat Ferrell for $1,000 but he says he is busted so he gave me his Saxophone and car to hold until he paid me, the saxophone was broken and I got pulled over and arrested because the car was stolen."
 

NH Steve

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Apr 25, 2004
Messages
9,262
No. Hollywood Jack ran/owned Hollywood Billiards in LA for a while. Best game was snooker on a tight 5 x 10. I first played him there in the late 50's.

A true character and pool scuff who was well liked around Los Angeles and the Valley. There is a nice article about him on this site somewhere.
We have a few players mentioned in a "Memorial" section on our Hall of Fame page -- players that did not make HOF status but deserved recognition:

http://www.onepocket.org/HollywoodJack.htm
 

gulfportdoc

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Jun 25, 2004
Messages
10,226
Nice article on Hyd Jack, Steve. I'd forgotten that it was 11 years ago, and that yours truly had a little quote in there. Jack was in his late 30's when I knew him-- still in his prime. He was a fascinating guy, and fun to be around.

BTW, who is Don Henderson?:)

~Doc
 
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