Tuscaloosa Squirrel

MisterBanker

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Jul 6, 2006
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Doing the social isolation thing today and was reading a bit of Minnesota Fats' book. He was telling a story about beating Marshall Carpenter three games of one-pocket in five minutes. I looked on youtube and didn't see any, but does anyone know of any videos of Marshall Carpenter playing?
 

gulfportdoc

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Jun 25, 2004
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Doing the social isolation thing today and was reading a bit of Minnesota Fats' book. He was telling a story about beating Marshall Carpenter three games of one-pocket in five minutes. I looked on youtube and didn't see any, but does anyone know of any videos of Marshall Carpenter playing?
I haven't seen any videos of Squirrel. There may be something from the Johnston City videos. Marshall didn't play tournaments much, especially in later days, so there may not be anything out there. Too bad. Steve has a nice interview with him on this site. I'm guessing Marshall is still alive because we surely would have heard otherwise. He'd be 92 now. We used to have a couple of Bama guys on the site, but haven't heard much from them lately.

I had the opportunity to play him in Mobile about 15 years ago. He gave me 10-7, and we broke even, but I'm not supposed to win at that spot, even at his then age. He's a great guy to talk to. A real gentlemen, and has plenty of stories.
 

Jakie

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Oct 6, 2005
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I haven't seen any videos of Squirrel. There may be something from the Johnston City videos. Marshall didn't play tournaments much, especially in later days, so there may not be anything out there. Too bad. Steve has a nice interview with him on this site. I'm guessing Marshall is still alive because we surely would have heard otherwise. He'd be 92 now. We used to have a couple of Bama guys on the site, but haven't heard much from them lately.

I had the opportunity to play him in Mobile about 15 years ago. He gave me 10-7, and we broke even, but I'm not supposed to win at that spot, even at his then age. He's a great guy to talk to. A real gentlemen, and has plenty of stories.
When I was 14 yrs old (1964) my family lived in Hillcrest Heights MD. (right on the line between Md and DC) . About 2 miles from where we lived was a movie theater in Coral Hills MD that my friends and I would walk to. One Sat night after seeing a movie one guy in our group says that there is a pool room upstairs above the theater and we should check it out. None of us had any pool experience but our curiosity pushed us upstairs. The room was packed with people standing along the walls and between the tables. Only one table was being played on and the table next to it had more cash on it than I had ever seen. Two men where playing one pocket which at this point in my life I had never seen or even heard of. We found a place to stand against a wall where could see the table and tried to figure out what was going on in this strange game.( I am still trying to figure it out). An older black gentleman figured us out pretty quickly and gave us a running analysis of the game and what was going on with the betting which was changing between each game. What impressed me the most was the way both players handled themselves. One was a white guy thirty to forty yrs old. He was dressed in all black (western style. well groomed) and moved around the table like he owned it) . The other player was a black gentleman who was equally confident in his demeanor and was clearly the crowd favorite as the western clad man and his partner plus me and my three friends were the only white people in the place. We watched this match until it ended with the white guy prevailing and winning what seemed to me an extraordinary amount of cash. The whole scene that I had just witnessed had me mesmorized me and although I did not realize it at the time I was hooked.
Fast forward a few years and I come to learn that these impressive players were the great Melvin "Strawberry" Brooks and the southern gentleman
Marshall "Tuscaloosa Squirelly"Carpenter. Being as we both were from DC, Straw and I became friends and I asked him about his match with the Squirrel. He was very complimentary and said Squirrel was relentless,always played the correct shot and gave every shot 100%.(never took a shot off)
I ran into Mr Carpenter many years later and asked if he recalled the match and he lit up like a Christmas tree. He remembered it vividly and was very impressed with Strawberry's savvy and heart.He stated that Straw would play anybody and all but a few top players gave him a wide berth.
He also laughingly asked in his best AL drawl "can you believe that rascal Strawberry had me giving him a ball?"
 

baby huey

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About twelve years I was at the Executive West DCC event for the first time. As I was getting on the elevator to go down to the tournament area an older man probably in his seventies or so saw my cue and asked if I wanted to play some one pocket for $100 a game and I said "sure." We went down and couldn't get a table and that man was Marshall Carpenter. Later in the event I saw him again and asked to play and he said he saw me play and wanted 9/7. I said I give him a ball just to kick the game off and he declined. Well we never played and I never saw him again. So, my opportunity to play one of the all time greats never happened.
 
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