T.J. Parker

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Since I'm laid up for a while, I'll write about working for T.J. Parker.

I went to work at Parkers lounge / pool room in about 1963/64. The pool rooms were closing at midnight. The operators were trying to get the city to let them stay open. T.J. was very active in that. Enough Politics.

I was trying to hustle pool so I thought this would be a good job.

My 1st day on the job was rainy and dreary. 5 Latino laborers came in and started playing partner 8 ball, with one sitting out each game. T.J. explained how he wanted me to figure the time, and laid down in a big chair next to the register to have a nap, which he often did.

These 5 guys were steady drinking Lone Star and playing 8 ball for about 3 or 4 hours, well I see one guy getting pretty drunk and arguing with the others, I see the others pointing at the door ,so I figured his pool time.

He came walking up front, I told him you owe $2.80 or whatever it was.

He said" I owe nussing, I no pay chit ." He kept walking, I had no idea what to do so I woke T.J. up, and said T.J. this guy won't pay.
He hollered at the the guy loudly, Hey Bud c'mere and waved him back.
He stood up and looked at the ticket and questioned if I had it right, I did.

The guy walked to the counter and T.J. said Bud you owe $2.80. now go back there and get it from your amigos.

The guy repeated himself " I owe nussing, I no pay chit"
They keep a heavy tool on the counter to rough up tips, rasp on one side file on the other.
T.J. picked it up and wound up and hit the guy across the temple and cheekbone.

The guy dropped like a 100 lb. sack of whatever and was out cold.
T.J. pointed at the amigos in the back and said "keep an eye on them" and left and went in the lounge side.

I don't know how long he was gone, but it seemed a real long time.
when he came back he had a pitcher of ice water and he started pouring it on this guy, he finally picked up the guy's shirt and poured on his stomach.
The guy began to stir and T.J. just waited, he finally came to and T.J. brushed him off and said, you owe $2.80 go back there and get it from them and pay your time.

I looked in the back and those guys looked like mice in the cage with a python, they were not moving a muscle, The guy went back there and they quickly got the cash together.

When the guy came up to pay I saw he'd been lucky, all the marks on his temple and cheek were file marks, the rasp would've been rough.

And that's the way it was my 1st day on the job.
Rod.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
The middle of the week

The middle of the week

A pool hustler came through, named Charlie Jones. I've known 2 more with the same name since.
Charlie had a good looking young lady with him, he began to hustle the locals and win pretty good money, when that died down he began spotting the 8ball and won a little more. He then offered the 7ball, but no takers.

after a while the biggest loser, also the best player, said give me the 7,.8 and 9balls and we'll play higher.
Charlie said Oh no that's a huge spot, nobody can give that to anybody.
Then he said, if you give me that spot, I'll shoot left handed.
The loser said No way, Wade crane was just here and I've seen how well some people play other handed.

Nothing happening, they both circled around for maybe 10 minutes, mumbling and growling.
Finally Charlie says, ah man I know you're loser, we need to do something, what the hell, I'll stake the girl if you give her that game.

it was the early 60's no one around here had ever seen a woman who could play pool, so the game was on. A few rail birds asked Charlie for a bet, he said no way, I'm just giving the man some action.

They see sawed for about 15/20 minutes and the bet was raised again, the girl had missed a lot of balls but no money balls. I don't believe any of us knew she was stalling, but the game was getting heavier for the guy carrying the weight.

One more bet raise and she cleaned his clock.
The loser was grumbling and bitching about the game.
Charlie told him " I told you nobody could give that to anybody"

They were gone the next day.

P.S I've got a good story about Charlie that Jersey Red told me.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Charlie Jones

Charlie Jones

I guess I'll wrap up the story Jersey Red told me about Charlie Jones.

I asked Red if he knew Charlie ?
he said I went into a bowling alley in atlanta about 11: pm and this guy was practicing 9ball, he asked if I would play, I agreed.
He said bet twenty because the place closes at midnight, I agreed.

We see sawed a few games and he was up one game when a left handed shot came up, he switched hands and finished his run out. He then broke the balls left handed and continued to shoot that way.

It was like looking in a mirror, he looked exactly the same from either side.

He continued lefty until a right handed shot came up, switched back and never missed a beat.
Now the joints closing, I'm $100 loser and he asked if I wanted to play tomorrow ?

I said OH YEAH, you bet I do, just one slight change.
You've got to pick a PAW and stick with it, you've driven me completely crazy switching back and forth.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
For those who didn't know T.J. he was an out going, personable man.
The downside was he didn't stand for any back talk, or misbehaving from anyone.
I never saw him start trouble, but I've seen him finish a lot.
He was a big man 6' 4'' 245/255 pounds. When younger he had 5 or 6 pro boxing matches, won them all and retired. He told me that he decided that wasn't what he wanted to do in life.
More later !

It was late friday afternoon, my 1st week, we were at the counter shooting the breeze and the girl tending bar in the lounge part, came out and said "T.J. there' a coustomer in the bar with blood all over his hands"

T.J. went into the lounge and I started figuring someones time, I looked up and T.J. was walking a guy into the restroom.
The next thing I hear is a loud BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM, about 10 or 15 of them, I ran to the restroom and looked in and T.J. was hammering the guys forehead into the towel machine.
He looked up and told me to get a broom and dust pan, when I came back T.J. was cleaning him up. They guy had blood all over his face and T.J. was giving him a few swirlies, and looked like he was going to drown him.
He handed the guy the broom and dust pan and told him"get all this glass cleaned up before you come out."

After he cooled off, he said can you imagine that fool went in there and broke the mirror in the towel machine with his hands, then went back and ordered another beer, like I wouldn't know who did it.

The last excitement my 1st week.

P.S. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
I said "more later on T.J."

Most of the people that were around T.J. very much, agreed that he could of been heavy weight champ, if he'd followed his boxing career, although heavy weights were smaller in those years. As Jeff mentioned in one of the posts he took down, he had the largest hands I've ever seen, one of his was as big or almost as both of mine.

If there was a house fly around him, one, two or maybe three swipes and he had it. I'm still amazed by that.

It was said he won every dance contest that he entered, I have no idea but don't doubt it. He was very light on his feet for a big man.

The downside with him was his temper, he went from zero to ten in a flash and if he could reach you, you were going to get hit. I saw him hit many guys with that left hook and they all went down. He followed that with a kick almost every time.

More about the kicks and flashing hot later.
Rod.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Flashing hot.

T.J. had grey hair and wore it in a crew cut. Ala "Shell Scott"
The story was that it turned white over night, that was before I knew him, so I don't know.
One saturday afternoon another room operator named Ray Humphery came in the back door.
Tee said, I heard you played Fats last night in the bowling alley in Bellaire.
Ray said yeah I should've beaten him, but he got me.
Tee said why would you go out there to play, I know a big crowd followed out there, you could have played here and helped my business.
After all Ray "you owe me some money"
Ray was facing toward me but Tee was between us.
Ray said " I might not ever pay you"
I saw the color rush up T.J.'s neck and turn his ears bright red and Tee hit him with that left hook and knocked him into the telephone booth, There was a guy in the booth, the guy weighed probably 260 lbs. He had the door shut talking on the phone.
It didn't matter, the door flew open and I heard a high pitched sound like Ching, ching, ching, ping.
Ray wasn't out, but was out of it.
A couple of guys grabbed Ray and drug him in the kitchen and stuck his head under the faucet in the sink.
About 10 minutes later Ray came out of the bar with a beer and got in T.J.'s space and said what's the matter with you, why did you hit me ?
I was behind Tee and saw the red start up his neck, I ran over and grabbed Ray and told him he needed to get out of there. He started arguing with me and he looked down and said," wait a minute somebody stole my ring"
A light went on in my mind and heard the ching, ching. I said, no I don't think so, let's look for it.
We found it in the back corner, against the wall, about 30 feet from the phone booth.
more about the kicking later.
Rod.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Filthy McNasty

A stranger showed at parkers and said he was broke and would sweep out the joint for $3.00 I told him talk to T.J. Next thing I know he pushing the broom all around and did a hell of a job.

He got paid and hung around for a while and finally asked a hacker he'd clocked to play one pocket for a dollar.
He won 5 or 6 bucks, paid his time and introduced himself as Don Keith, said call me lefty.

When I left he was playing another non player, I came back the next day and they were still playing. Now lefty was giving a small spot and they were playing on the wire. They had raised the bet and lefty won about $30.00 and got his money.

T.J. had watched the game and told me Lefty can play some, I'm not sure how good.

After a couple of days T.J. saw the light and cut into Lefty and steered him into a few customers that T.J. didn't let anyone hustle, unless he was in.
They made several nice scores and Lefty now had some cash.

A lot of guys around the room that hadn't woke up before daylight started hustling Lefty, he played just good enough not to lose, but managed to win several hundred. His bankroll was now about $800.00 and he was crowing.

U.J. Puckett and some youngster came in to take him off. He wouldn't play Puckett and he wouldn't play the kid 9ball. After stalling around a day the kid said ok I'll play one pocket.

They started for $50.00 a game and see sawed a while and Lefty got a game winner. Puckett and the kid had a conference and they started again.
Puckett had a handful of coins and if the kid started to shoot a shot U.J. didn't like, he'd start rattling the coins.
The stall was off and Lefty won two games real fast and Puckett pulled up.
Puckett said the kid needs a spot, Lefty said I'm letting you coach him with the rattle, how much more can I spot him.

We all got a big kick out of that, everyone was laughing and U.J. started laughing too.
More about Lefty later.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
More about Lefty

Lefty hung around and booked some more winners, I came in one day and someone asked have you seen Lefty's car ?
He heard that and came over and drug me outback to show it.
He had bought a cream puff 52 buick, it looked new inside and out.

I asked how much, he said $800.00, this was about 1964 and 12or13 year old cars were worth a few hundred, $800.00 was a premium but it was really nice.

He left town around then and was gone a couple of months, when he came back he was riding a boxcar, was dirty and filthy and the Buick was long gone.

I asked what happened, he said " I don't want to talk about it " he scuffled up a little money in the next few weeks and rented a flop hotel room at the train station down the road.
I came in early a few weeks later, he was the only one there beside the house man.
We talked a while and I asked what happened to you face, he said T.J. hit me last night, it was my fault I was ragging on Fireman Lee to play, he didn't want to but I kept after him and T.J. told me to leave him alone.
I was drinking and I started on Lee again and T.J. popped me.
I asked did he kick you, he said no.

I said I'm going to get some breakfast, I'm buying. He said I don't feel to good, would you give me a ride to the hotel? Sure c'mon.

We're riding to his hotel and he said can we go by the drugstore, I think I'm coming down with a cold.
He went in and came back with cough syrup, and I dropped him off.

I had breakfast and went back to the pool room and a few people were there.
A guy came over and asked did you hear T.J. hit Lefty last night?
Lefty told me, he said he didn't kick him. The guy laughed and said Tee knocked him out and kicked him in the chest, he slid about 4 feet.

I started laughing and thinking about the cough syrup, I'm sure Lefty didn't know about the kick and thought his sore chest was a cold coming on.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Reminiscing about Memphis.

We hustled a lot of pool around there, you could go 50 to 80 miles away and play pool every day.
We played in west Memphis Ark, Blackfish lake ark, Marianna ark, Roe Ark, Marked tree Ark, Blytheville Ark, Trumann Ark, Paragould Ark, Oxford Miss, Bruce Miss, South Haven Miss, Hayti mo, Popular Bluff Mo, Dyersburg tn, tiptonville tn, Fulton tn/ky. Jackson tn.

We drove back to Memphis most every night, we had a hell of a deal at a Travelodge motel there.
The night clerk played pool and liked us, we paid about $12.00 a night and got the 7th day free.

In Blackfish the pool table was in an old store, The owner called a guy and he came riding up on a tractor.

In Roe the owner was a horse bookie, he had a cafe with a pool table, next to a dance hall. Tourist courts in back with hookers and a crap game.

In Marked tree, on Saturday they only let kids in, they didn't have to be 18 only be able to count to 18. They looked about 10yrs up to 13yrs most had tattoos and smoked cigars.

In trumann was the cotton club, fri and sat there would be at least 100 people, seemed more.The gambler there owned a car lot, in the back a metallic building repair shop, in the back of that a bar table and a craps table. The year before when we were there I won $2200.00 playing knock poker with him, so we played 9ball at the cotton club and I lemoned off $300.00
getting the 8ball. He knew Jimmy or bigfoot as they called him, was a very good player, but he thought I was the Stake Horse. This current year he'd hired a craps dealer who was a good pool player.

The car man, Bill Hannah woke us up banging on our motel room door at 8:30 AM, he said, when I saw that Texas License plate I figured it was pool players. You can't make any money in bed, come on down to the cotton club. When we got there, the dealer, Smitty was playing the Sniper and 4 games winner. James got even and quit, said he had to go to Jonesboro and get his laundry. After Bill wouldn't let Smitty play, Jimmy said let's go to Paragould, I said I'll hang here.
Bill tried to match me with Smitty but I ducked him. I told Bill, I've been practicing and I'll play you even, Smitty said no way, Bill's terrible. They got their heads together and Bill said you give me the 8ball and we'll play for a hundred a game.
Five games later, I won them all, Smitty said now you'll have to play me. I stalled and said ok but I use your cue and you play off the wall, the game was on.

My cue was in the car with Jimmy and the house cues had plastic tips, an hour or more later I'm another 5 games winner, Smitty said the only thing you can do now is go downtown and play one pocket $200.00 a game, I didn't stall, I said well I've got y'all loser, lets go. He didn't have much of a chance, even though the tables were 4x8's. We won serious money there.

In paragould was a player named Sugar Mill, poor fellow was dirty and filthy, had no teeth and a family of 4 or 5 kids. The regulars there would stake him playing Snooker for a hundred a game. I saw him at the cotton club once, he had on an old raggedy sport coat, and worn out tennis shoes, he was dressed up to go there hustling pool. They told me his whole family picked cotton every day and put the youngest on a pallet under a shady spot. Jimmy didn't catch him that day but won $70.00 from someone else. I heard Sugar was killed in a car wreck a couple of years later.

In Hayti we stayed a couple of weeks the action was so good. Only one place in town to play, the town lounge. They had a jukebox that only had Merle Haggard songs.
The best player was named Black Island, I asked, they said he's dark complected and was born on an Island in the Mississippi river.
There was a poker game run by the town that started at 7AM he was always there first, if he got a little winner or not loser he could sell his seat for $50.00 when the farmers got to town. He'd then come to the town lounge and play pool.
After about a week of us winning a little cash every day, some of the regulars went somewhere down in Arkansas and got Hayti Bill, he was a legend around there but had moved the previous year. They wanted action and I went to the motel and got Jimmy up. When we got back to the lounge Jimmy got a roll of quarters and said, i just got up, I want to hit some balls. He started making balls from everywhere, I went over and said maybe you could miss a few, he said don't worry, this guys getting staked, they drove however many miles to get him, he's got his reputation to think of, he's going to play. Jimmy shot everything in for the next 10 minutes, said I'm ready.
He completely destroyed Bill, who was paralyzed after watching Jimmy pour balls in.

Enough of my rambling.
As MrT said "I got a lotta more" but I may've worn out my welcome ?


.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
More about Lefty and Memphis

On this trip through Memphis we saw lefty in the pool room downtown.
He was dressed real nice, new shoes, sansabelt slacks, nice looking sport coat.
I said man you look sharp, you must be going good ?
He said I'm living with a good looking Widow who owns a bar. she bought me some clothes and lets me drive that Pontiac out there. wow says I, you hit the lottery.

While we were there Martin Luther King was shot, the town became a mad house.
People had an excuse to loot the Pawn Shops on Beale St. The rioting spread and the police had their hands full, later riots began to break out all around town
When things slowed down officials installed a curfew. We went to the downstairs pool hall on the city square, it was owned by Raby and full of players and action all day, when the curfew time came some left but quite a few stayed. The owner of the room on Park Ave, named A.J. stayed also.

Like Jeff said, I called home most nights, and I needed a pay phone, so I didn't have to pay. I peeked out the door and all was quite so I went up the street a few blocks and found a phone. Just as the operator was talking to the wife, the loudest howling you can imagine started. I had no idea what it was, so I beat it back to the pool room.

I asked what is that terrible howling, they said that's a tornado warning, wow, I guess were safe since we're downstairs. They said it's no problem they never come here, the high bank of the river turns them and they follow the river upstream til the high bank, which is the deep side changes. It'll go ashore at Germantown.

I read the paper the next day and sure as shooting that's what happened.

More Memphis pool later.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Back to pool in Memphis

we had won some money, the nut and a little more playing the locals.
I guess they got tired of seeing us win, so they said there's a guy down in Mississippi who'll play but he likes to bet it up. We figured what the hell, so we said call him up. They called him, he said I'll be there in 1 1/2 hours.

When he got there it was Sonny Springer, I had seen him before but he didn't recognize me. The game is on, he and Jimmy started playing 9 ball, $50 a game. An hour later Jimmy was 3 games winner and I hear Sonny raising his voice and growling and bitching about the rack. Jimmy said rack them yourself, he said no, I want you to rack them right, Jimmy said I rack the best I can. Sonny said in that case I quit.

Sonny prowled around and then asked me to play, I said no way you're a legend around here. I said since you're a little loser, I'll try some one pocket 10 to 7, he said 9 to 7. I said no way, He said ok $100 a game, I got a few games winner and he doubled the bet. He went right off for all the cash he had, never said a word, no arguments, nothing. Shook hands and left.

I asked Jimmy what's up with him, he said he knew he was going off but he didn't want his fans to see him lose to a young kid playing even, giving weight is different.

later.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Back to Parkers

I was working one monday, that morning no body was there except a shortstop hustler called Puerto Rican Mike.

In comes a guy wearing a long sleeve shirt ( it's summer time) khaki's, orange pointy toed Stacy adams, Tattoos peeking out the neck of his shirt.
Mike says $2.00 9 ball and they start playing. Mike is up $18.00 and comes up to the register and asks for change for a hundred, early Monday I didn't have it.

I said T.J will be here at 11:O'clock, because he makes a bank deposit this AM.
So they keep playing and marking them up on the wire. Now mikes got a string of buttons up there.

Right on time T.J. walks in, Mike calls to him, Have you got change for a hundred, he says sure Bud and starts walking back to where they're playing.
The guy Mike's playing says we don't need no change, Tee turns around and starts back to the counter, Then the guy says you can stick them buttons up your a$$, Tee just shrugs at Mike, Then the guy pulls a knife and says and I'm gonna take back the $18.00.

T.J. says no you're not going to do that, the guy says" who's gonna stop me ?"
Tee walked straight to the guy, he's swinging the knife around, Tee hit him with that left hook and knocked him over the back corner of a 4x8 and under the bar table behind it.
He calmly grabbed the seat of the guys khaki's and reeled him out from under and grabbed his neck and went around the bar table to a little table with a 16 inch fan on it.
Tee rammed his head into the fan, the fan leaned against the back wall and began to slow RRRR RRR rrr rr, tee backed off and the fan r r r rr rrr RRR RRRR, Tee stuck him back into it until it bogged down again. He did it a few more times. I can see tee talking to him although the guy's out. There's hair and scalp and blood all over the floor.

Tee turned and came walking towards the front, still talking to the guy, as he past me I heard him asking the guy "who's gonna stop me" over and over.
He walked to the front door carrying the guy like a rag doll. He kicked the door open and looked down the street and just waited, still talking.

It's a car length plus about 6 or 8 feet to Washington Ave. In a minute Tee started swinging the guy harder and harder, He turned and threw the guy as far as he could, about that time I saw a bus go by, The guy was lucky he only made it to the edge of the street.

When Tee came back in he asked me, did you hear what that punk asked me, he asked me who was gonna stop him.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Oxford Miss.

We heard they were gambling high in Oxford, so away we went.

Every morning at 7:30 am, the gamblers ganged up around the Coke machine, They drew pills to see who went first and bet $20.00 a man on who had the coke bottle from furthest away. Most times while we were there they had 3 to 5 players. They had a big map on the wall in case of an argument. I believe Water Valley and Springdale ? was a tie, they were near by and both had bottling plants.

The fellow that was the new owner of the pool hall, made a killing selling cokes over and over. He was also playing and was fading craps every night.
We didn't get invited it was a closed game. The reason I mention it they didn't play regular craps, they thought anyone who did was a sucker. The game they played was called shooting the numbers.

The way they played was a shooter would pick a point and anyone that wanted to bet had to lay him the proper odds, the shooter would point at a player, depending on how high the guy played, shooter would say I'm coming to you for $50.00 that meant you were laying $100.00 to the $50.00, next guy coming to you for $20.00. Bigger gamblers, coming to you for $ 100 and so on around the table.

Never got to play or watch, that was how it was explained to me.
When they brought cotton to market, everyone said the games were huge. They played in the cotton gin. Never got to play pool there so we moved on to Southaven.
We decided to take a shot at Richard Austin. His brother had a pool room in South Haven.

More Southaven later.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Southaven Miss

Jimmy and I had both beaten Richard in Houston, Jimmy at 9 ball and me one pocket.
We heard from everyone that he was almost unbeatable in his brothers place.
We decided to take a shot at him anyway.
The day we arrived we didn't see him anywhere, of course we didn't ask for him.

I got a cheap one pocket game $5.00 and won, I think $15.00 and Jimmy played some guy named larry and won $50.00. The guys around started asking Richard's brother where he was, he said out of town, back tomorrow.

There was an older fellow on the rail, he came over and asked if we wanted to go make some money. What's in it for you ? He said half and we said no we've got expenses, we said how about 3 ways, He said you take 60% and give me 40. We didn't have any thing to do so we said show us the action.

His name was Clarence Leatherwood and he took us into Memphis and to some bar spots, sure enough action was on. He knew everyone everywhere, some places he went in first, came out and gave us the rundown, other spots we all went in, the end of the night, we'd won $300. We took him back to his car said good night. He wanted to know if we were going to play Richard, the answer was yes and he said I'll come out tomorrow, but no hard feelings, I'm not in with it. Jimmy told him "we didn't get married or nothing. "

Next day we went about noon and Richard was there, as soon as we walked in he yelled across the room, get you cue. Game on.

They played all day til 10pm They were even and Jimmy quit.
We had to be all kinds of chicken shits, nits, no gambling MF's. We knew how dangerous Richard was so we hit the door. We saw Leatherwood downtown the next day, he told us Richard had lost big money in Mobile playing Cleo Vaughan 9 ball.

Cleo followed him back to Southaven and Richard beat him unmerciful. Won the cash back and more.
We left and headed towards Nashville.

More later about Jackson Tenn and Nashville.
 
Last edited:

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Jackson Tenn.

We rolled into Jackson about noon, went to the room upstairs and barely anyone there. We went to the street level room and ate, food there was excellent.
Back upstairs and still no one around.

There was a player that lived there, that went to most of the Johnson City tourneys. He got spots from the top players and bet it up. They called him Meathead, seems like his name was Cotton Something. I remember he was the first guy I'd heard of that wanted to play one pocket, so much a ball and play the til all the balls were gone.

He was kind of famous as a proposition man, The story goes he once went to Memphis and rented an apartment downtown near the newspaper, had a phone installed and put a guy and gal there, then he and another guy went around the bars and started talking baseball.

At this time Memphis was big St.Louis town. After a few beers and trivia questions he'd ask who was the leader in triples in the NL, well every body there knew it was Stan Musial, He'd say no that's wrong, back and forth and do you want to bet. The baseball fans all put up their cash and said how can we prove it, Cotton said call the newspaper, whats the number ?
His buddy, the shill would say 544-654-3925. the bartender usually had a phone behind the bar, if not a payphone close by.

Cotton would say, barman you call them I'll take your word. The barman calls and the gal answers Memphis express and the guy asks her the prop, one moment please, I'll connect you with the sports desk, the guy gets on the phone, sports desk. The barman asks the question, the guys says hold please, after a minute the guy comes back and says it's Richie Ashburn or whoever, the barman repeats it, Cotton picks up the money and eases out the door.

They just relied on people being lazy and not knowing the phone number of the paper.

He didn't show so we headed to Nashville.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Jimmy and I went to Nashville. We went to see a guy we'd met in Houston, the guy was with a pool player who didn't beat anyone at the LeCue.

We gave them a bar spot and they won however much ? The horse tried to give us some cash, we told them "you're not home yet hold on to it. "
The next day the Horse said if you ever get to Nashville I've got a bar on the Chattanooga Hwy, come see me, and gave us a business card.

We found the spot and they were playing challenge 8 ball on a bar table for a beer. The owners name was shelby and he treated us like long lost relatives, Introduced us to the players, bought us beers and sat at the table with us. He was grinning from ear to ear and said we're going to make some money.

The next day and 4 or 5 more he carried us around to a lot of bars, we played most places we went and chopped the money up 3 ways. During this spell we went to a pool room out in the burbs and Dutch the guy he was in houston with was there. He seemed glad to see us and named a few spots, but we'd already tried them.

The last bar we went in, we were surprised to see Lefty hustling $1.00 8 ball.
When he saw us he rushed over and said to Shelby I've got a hell of a deal for you,
hang on, he went over in the corner and came back with a grocery sack with Sansabelt slacks. he said I paid $35 a pair for these I'll sell them 2 pair for $30 dollars.
Shelby asked who is this guy ? Is he a booster ? I said no he's ok, I know he didn't steal those. Shelby said $10.00 a pair, they haggled a minute and Lefty said ok to something.
We asked what's happened Lefty, he said the widow kicked me out, took the Pontiac back and left me broke, I've been hustling but haven't done no good. We gave him a few bucks, told him where shelby's joint was, and went on our way.

one afternoon Jimmy wanted to see a movie, so I just hung in Shelby's bar. a countrified guy came in, he had bright red hair and was really cross-eyed.
He put his coin up and started to hustle the 8 ball players, he was asking to play for $5.00. Shelby pointed at me and said He might play. The guy said 8 ball for $5.00, I said 9 ball for $25.00. He nodded and I gave Shelby the office and the game was on.

It was amazing that he could even play pool with those eyes, but play pool he could, He beat me like a Puerto Rican step child, I lost 4 games so fast I could hardly get my breath, I threw my hands up and said I quit. Shelby came rushing over and said you can't quit, I said sure I can, this guy hasn't missed a ball.
He said I'll stake you, I said I've got money the games no good. He wouldn't take no for an answer, In the back of my mind I was hoping Jimmy would get back soon. So I said ok and the game was back on. We see sawed about 30 minutes, then he beat me 4 more in a row. Now Shelby is a believer and said enough.

Jimmy came back in a while and the guy was still there, I gave him the high sign and he went over and asked the guy to play. The guy said No Thanks, Shelby went nuts, the guy shrugged his shoulders and said he plays too good and walked out the door.
I told Jimmy the story and he laughed, and waited til Shelby quit ranting and raving and went in the back. Then he asked "you know what happened "
No I say, he says I'd bet a dollar to a donut that Dutch sent the guy over here.
Jimmy then said, oh well it aint important.
More Nashville later.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
More Nashville

Things had slowed around Shelbys joint so we began looking around on our own.
We finally gave up and went downtown to the main pool room, we had talked it over and decided to try and play a guy called Bingo, He was a real good player.
I had seen him at a tourney in Macon Ga, we fooled around there and played a few cheap games and won a few bucks, but no Bingo.

We gave up and asked where he was and they told us he was in jail.


He was a bookmaker and had been arrested a time or two and the local cops said get a Federal Gambling Stamp and we'll leave you alone, well he got one and come to find out, he put the address of the women's dorm at vanderbilt University
down as his address. That didn't fly with the feds and they came and got him.
Seemed kind of silly to me, they want your address so they can come by and see how much business you're writing.

Then we asked for any other players around, they said maybe tomorrow.
We came back the next day and Marshall Carpenter was there, I'd seen him at the same tourney in Macon Ga, hard to miss, little guy with piercing blue eyes.
He was stalling around, asking for weight and so on. Jimmy was never one for matching up so I did most of the talking. I said I thought you lived in Tuscaloosa,
He said I've been here a year playing golf and gambling high at the black golf course most everyday. He was a classy little guy with a good sense of humor, I was enjoying our banter, but it didn't look like we'd get any action.

Jimmy was hitting balls and got bored, came over and said I'll play you some $50.00 9 ball. Marshall said nah no way, I haven't played in 2 years, Jimmy said ok then I'll play $500.00 worth, Squirrel said "if you really want to gamble I'll play one pocket for $200.00 a game" Jimmy kind of took the heat and said" if you really want to gamble, I'll play some head up basketball for $200.00 a point.
Well that was the end of that, Marshall flew out of the joint.
We headed back to Memphis.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Memphis once more

We got back in time to check into our favorite motel, we had picked up some Pepsi cola for Jimmy and some Rum for me. Onion dip and Lays potato chips.
We got settled by 11: pm, for the all night Charlie Chan marathon.

Jimmy only drank Pepsi, we once stopped in a little town in Miss, The program was we'd pull into the motel and back to the vending machines, if they didn't have Pepsi we went on to the next motel, after checking all three motels in this little town, NO Pepsi. as tired as I was we drove on to the next city which was thankfully bigger and had Pepsi Cola.

The next day was Saturday, we decided to go back by Trumann on our way home.
We slept late, got checked out , Had lunch and went by the pool room, a lot of hackers no action, we visited with the regulars, gassed up and got on the road.

It was around 4: pm when we got to the Cotton Club, There were a few people milling around one of the bar tables, but no game just woofing. I asked a guy I knew what was going on. He said the tall young guy standing against the wall, had just beaten Snuffy for a few hundred. Snuffy was a fellow we didn't know, but had heard his name around most of the gambling spots, word was he could play.

The tall kids stakehorse was woofing at the joint, Somebody that knew him, called him Bojack. The name fit, he was big, bald and had scars on his head.

I went over and asked Snuffy if he was trying to play, he said no I'm waiting for someone to bring me money, I said I thought we might try to play, he said go ahead, kid plays good, I'm going to look for an easier game.

I asked Bojack what he wanted to play for, He said whatever you can stand.
I said I don't play but my horse will play your horse $50 9 ball. He said put up a hundred. Game on.

They played even about two hours, then the young fellow began to feel the heat, he missed an easy 7ball and Jimmy got out, made the 9 on the break and ran 2 more racks. Bojack said bet a hundred. Game on.

The first game the kid missed an easy shot early in the game and Jimmy hit him with a 3 game flurry, back and forth a short while and Jimmy strung together 2 more.

That was all, take the stakes, I was a little worried about Bojack, but no problems.
He shook hands and asked, whats your players name. I said Jimmy but around here they call him Bigfoot. So what's your kids name. He said Mike but they call him Tennessee Tarzan. I could see it, 6' ft 2" or 6' ft 3" his waist was 28 or 30 inches and his shoulders about 50 inches.

Bojack said come to Little Rock and we'll play some on a big table, I said I'm not sure but probably. He wrote his phone down for me.


Little Rock later.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Little Rock

We talked about it a little and decided to head to Little Rock.
We drove over the next day and looked around some places, we didn't know where to go, we went in one place there was nothing going on but a partner's snooker game for $5.00 a man, so we got a room, a meal and went to a movie.
Monday we went back to the snooker hall and asked about action, they sent us some place, nothing happening. We'd been out a while, so we looked up a wash and fold laundromat and got laundry done, then called Bojack.

He sent us someplace right downtown said they'd be there in an hour, we went early and found a pool room with only 4x8 tables. Jimmy began hitting balls and they soon showed, Well they said $25.00 a game, we hummed and hawed and tried to put up a few hundred but no soap. So I told Bojack to post up $50.00, he laughed but put it up on the light.

Well T. Tarzan played really good, he missed nothing for a few hours and we were six games loser. The back table was toward the wall and there was a room air conditioner mounted high in the wall, the moisture was dripping down as they played. A couple more hours, now 7 games loser The table was getting wetter.
I asked Jim what do you want to do quit, raise it, what ? He said let's play.
Well Jim was probably more used to playing on wet tables than Tarzan, They had both began missing balls. Jim caught a gear and we got even in about an hour. Game over.
I asked Bojack if there were any bars with action or any that stayed open late ?
He said go straight north on main street and when you cross the bridge turn sharp right and a cafe sits there. He said we'll meet you there.
Jimmy was tired and wanted to go to bed so I dropped him off and went to meet them.

It may have been the North Little Rock Cafe, I'm not sure. There was a game room with a couple of bar tables, bumper pool table and 2 shuffle alley machines.
Nobody to play pool so we went out in the boonies somewhere. I followed in my car, the place was an old barn looking honky tonk with juke box, a dance floor and 4 bar tables.
Nothing going on, they said wait an hour or so, when the clubs in town close, plenty of people come here.

While we were waiting Tarzan wanted to play me, we bantered a bit and I said I'll try some Texas 8 ball, he said he didn't know the game, so I explained last pocket 8 ball to him he said fine, $20.00 a game. Well sure enough he didn't know how to play it and I stayed a few games winner for the next hour.
The old joint began to fill and someone he had a game with came in and he quit 2 games loser. As I was leaving I noticed a barefoot kid about 12 years old playing near the door. He looked like he was playing pretty well.

More Little Rock Later.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Little Rock, day 3

I awoke to the sound of Magpies having a cart fight somewhere near our door.
Since I was first on the road, it's been an ambition of mine to kill a maid.
It was about 10:30am which is early when you've been up half the night, I put the "Do Not Disturb" sign out when I went in.

Many times we'd drive all night, stop and have breakfast, and wait til 10am to check into a motel, duck room service and sleep 6 hours or so, get up and start hustling. If not in action that night go back to bed around 11 or 12pm, Getting two sleep days for the cost of one.

Bojack had told me the night before to call him, he had some spots we could make money. We ate and gave him a call, he came and met us and we rolled out together. He had made a call from the cafe and set up a game. We went to a bar and played the owner, giving him the 8 ball on BO's advice, we won $200.00,
BO was on the phone while Jimmy was playing. The fellow quit in a short while, BO said let's cut the money, right in front of the guy. It had been so easy we gave him half, he did the damnedest thing, he turned around and gave his half back to the guy. BO said let's go we've got a game waiting.
Next stop another bar owner, this time 7, 8 and 9 for $50, the game was tougher but doable, the guy lost $300 and quit, same deal we gave BO $150 and he gave it back to the guy.

He said I haven't been able to get ahold of anyone else. Jimmy asked what's the deal about giving the cash back. BO said "I always pay my debts."
We rode over to the cafe by the bridge, Still don't remember the name, Today the same barefoot youngster I'd seen last night was playing $20.00 9 ball with a fairly young left handed guy. We settled in and watched and finally the kid ground him out of about $200.00.
Jimmy asked the tad to play and he said sure, he was looking at a man on the rail and the guy nodded.
Jimmy ran through him fast, won $120.00, @$20.00 a game. So I asked him to play, the stake horse shook his head no, the kid went over and began promoting, politicking, pleading his case, whatever. Finally another fellow on the rail said "go ahead I've got you" Game on.

We started playing and I couldn't do anything right, the kiddo, his name was Calvin beat me almost every game, I finally quit $200.00 loser@ $20.00 a game. Now calvin points at Jimmy and says "get up here" game on. Now Calvin plays better and it takes Jimmy a while to break him down, but Jimmy wins back what I lost @ $25.00 a game.
I say give me the last two and I'll play more, he starts laughing and says I aint doin that. I said well C'mon. Game on.
Long story short, he cleans my clock again, I lost $180.00 @ $30.00 a game.
He points at Jimmy and says "your next" His Stake Horse says oh no, not this time, I'm off. Calvin talked to several potential Horses but no luck.

Nothing happens for a while and as we get ready to leave Bojack says call me tomorrow, maybe we can do something, if not I've got a spot down the road that I'm sure we'll get action.

Later.
 
Top