Tush hog from Dallas

KindlyOleUncleDave

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Thanks guys

Thanks guys

This is the best thread I have read in quite some time. TX tush hogs to PGA score keepers : amazing, just flat amazing!
 

usblues

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amazing part 2

amazing part 2

Sure is Dave,one of the best parts of looking back.Reminds me of a sunny place for shady characters like Venice and Bezerkleley,cheers,B
 

jay helfert

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I love this thread - all the old road dogs and some damn good ones at that. Surfer Rod, Portland Don, Three Finger Ronnie, Little Hand, Little Bear etc. etc.

I first saw Surfer Rod at a little poolroom on Salem Ave. in Dayton, Ohio. He came chugging in, in his old '50 Chevy, all his shit loaded inside. He hustled all us kids out of whatever money he could, including me who went off for $5 or $10 at a dollar a game. That night I heard he had a big game playing bar pool with a guy they called Sarge, from Wright Patterson AFB. He beat the Sarge for maybe a hundred bucks at ten a game and disappeared into the night. I didn't see him again for several years until he showed up at Johnston City. He was built like Vernon himself, a very healthy specimen.

I first met Portland Don in L.A. and he was the laziest looking pool player of all time. He made it look so easy, and never missed a ball. He turned Philly Joe Veasey into a big crybaby. I saw Little Hand for the first time in Oklahoma City in the early 60's. He came into an action bar that I had been working for $1-5 a game and challenged anyone to play for $25! Way to rich for my blood so they got Herman The German to play him. Little Hand dusted him and they tried to get him to go down to the Central Club and play Hitchcock, but Little Hand took a pass.

Three Finger Ronnie was part of Freddie's crew in L.A. and what a helluva gambler he was. I was running with Jimmy Reid then and they had a good game one day at the Den, as we called it. Jimmy got him playing 9-Ball and lost the dough a few days later to Black Bart. I was in both times.

Little Bear was out of Tulsa and his real first name was Calvin. He came to Oklahoma City and played Hitchcock with the eight ball and got robbed. I never saw anyone beat Hitchcock and all the road men tried, including a very young Buddy! He went down at Trueloves. That was his welcome to OKC.

Like Freddie I was immediately attracted to the most notorious gambling joints in whatever city I was in. I grew up in Dayton around the Stepp gang, so I was familiar with real outlaws. They ruled southwestern Ohio for many years. I got drawn into a trap with one of them when I was a young kid and got into some deep shit. They beat me out of my money playing Tonk and Pappy Winkler who liked me and knew my father was a big shot in town, pulled his .45 and made them give me my money back. He told the Stepps to leave me alone and they did. They were afraid of the old man who would definitely shoot someone. He owned Forest Park Billiards before Joe Burns, when it was just called Winks.

Joe was another serious outlaw and well known safecracker who also protected me when I was a kid. I didn't know shit and was always sticking my nose in the wrong spots. My first score was off Dan Bell who owned a pool room in Fairborn, Ohio. We played $5 9-Ball all night and I won over $100. He was pissed as hell about losing to a kid, but Pappy Winkler told him I won it fair and square, and to leave me alone. Dan Bell was a big guy too but he never said a word to me after that.

After growing up in that environment, nowhere else seemed quite so bad. All these "thieves" as they called themselves had toughened me up. I learned how to stick up for myself and not back down from anyone. Of course, I also learned that carrying a gun (even a small one) gave you an added measure of security. Back then buying a gun was as easy as buying a loaf of bread. I bought my first .25 (a Browning) when I was 18 for $25. I had that gun for the next twenty years. I liked it because it fit in the back pocket of my jeans and looked like a pack of cigs.
 
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SJDinPHX

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jay helfert said:
I love this thread - all the old road dogs and some damn good ones at that. Surfer Rod, Portland Don, Three Finger Ronnie, Little Hand, Little Bear etc. etc.

I first saw Surfer Rod at a little poolroom on Salem Ave. in Dayton, Ohio. He came chugging in, in his old '50 Chevy, all his shit loaded inside. He hustled all us kids out of whatever money he could, including me who went off for $5 or $10 at a dollar a game. That night I heard he had a big game playing bar pool with a guy they called Sarge, from Wright Patterson AFB. He beat the Sarge for maybe a hundred bucks at ten a game and disappeared into the night. I didn't see him again for several years until he showed up at Johnston City. He was built like Vernon himself, a very healthy specimen.

I first met Portland Don in L.A. and he was the laziest looking pool player of all time. He made it look so easy, and never missed a ball. He turned Philly Joe Veasey into a big crybaby. I saw Little Hand for the first time in Oklahoma City in the early 60's. He came into an action bar that I had been working for $1-5 a game and challenged anyone to play for $25! Way to rich for my blood so they got Herman The German to play him. Little Hand dusted him and they tried to get him to go down to the Central Club and play Hitchcock, but Little Hand took a pass.

Three Finger Ronnie was part of Freddie's crew in L.A. and what a helluva gambler he was. I was running with Jimmy Reid then and they had a good game one day at the Den, as we called it. Jimmy got him playing 9-Ball and lost the dough a few days later to Black Bart. I was in both times.

Little Bear was out of Tulsa and his real first name was Calvin. He came to Oklahoma City and played Hitchcock with the eight ball and got robbed. I never saw anyone beat Hitchcock and all the road men tried, including a very young Buddy! He went down at Trueloves. That was his welcome to OKC.

Like Freddie I was immediately attracted to the most notorious gambling joints in whatever city I was in. I grew up in Dayton around the Stepp gang, so I was familiar with real outlaws. They ruled southwestern Ohio for many years. I got drawn into a trap with one of them when I was a young kid and got into some deep shit. They beat me out of my money playing Tonk and Pappy Winkler who liked me and knew my father was a big shot in town, pulled his .45 and made them give me my money back. He told the Stepps to leave me alone and they did. They were afraid of the old man who would definitely shoot someone. He owned Forest Park Billiards before Joe Burns, when it was just called Winks.

Joe was another serious outlaw and well known safecracker who also protected me when I was a kid. I didn't know shit and was always sticking my nose in the wrong spots. My first score was off Dan Bell who owned a pool room in Fairborn, Ohio. We played $5 9-Ball all night and I won over $100. He was pissed as hell about losing to a kid, but Pappy Winkler told him I won it fair and square, and to leave me alone. Dan Bell was a big guy too but he never said a word to me after that.

After growing up in that environment, nowhere else seemed quite so bad. All these "thieves" as they called themselves had toughened me up. I learned how to stick up for myself and not back down from anyone. Of course, I also learned that carrying a gun (even a small one) gave you an added measure of security. Back then buying a gun was as easy as buying a loaf of bread. I bought my first .25 (a Browning) when I was 18 for $25. I had that gun for the next twenty years. I liked it because it fit in the back pocket of my jeans and looked like a pack of cigs.
Jaybird,

I don't dispute anything you said, but I'm glad you clarified your statement about Hitchcock, by saying "you never saw" any roadman beat him.

Chester Truelove, is still around to recall, that when I first went to OC, I beat Herman (sometimes giving weight), and Hitchcock at snooker, 9-ball, and one pocket, over several different plays.
The only time I got beat in OC, or Tulsa, (in well over a dozen trips there) was on a bar box against Weldon Rogers, I didn't watch my drink close enough...I gave him the 6, his one handed to my two..He might have won on the square anyway, but somebody made REAL sure he did...(I had double vision, and threw up for two days)
That time, I got broke, and hocked my Balabushka to Chester, for $150, and left town, one eying it down the road.

I came back a few weeks later...pumped to the gills, with my good bud, Billy Dan Rodgers... Weldon was gone, but BD beat Calvin (LB) and I got to Hitch again. Also one of the trips up there, I had a two day session with Bakersfield Bobby (also still alive and well)...we broke dead even on a tough bar box. I played other games besides 1P in those days, ...I used to stay with Herman and his wife, during later trips to OC...We must have just missed each other. (this was 64'-'69, or so)

Hey, I can see how some guy's might get hooked on the "brag"...this is fun...(specially if its verifiable).:cool:

PS..You remember we talked about it one time, I leased the other Pool room in Fairborn Oh, in 1956-57, for about a year. (just a little before your time, I believe you said)...I knew Winkler, Coffee, Valley St. Red, and all those guys. Got along great with all of them.
And I know you didn't expound on this but just for grins, I agree, Dayton could be rough in spots, thats true. But, bottom line...even the Mafia didn't mess with Texas too much, in those days...More crazy tush-hog's, in Dallas and Houston per square mile, than anywhere I've ever been..They didn't need no stinkin' gangs. ;)... I think Carlos (from NOLA) tried to control Dallas for a while, but even HE gave it up after the JFK Assasination. I have to think, their attitude was...Let 'em have it, they'll kill each other off, and THEN we can move back in. According to the FBI, that hasn't happened yet..;)
 
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vapros

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All of a sudden, this is a great thread - don't stop now - but I note that not all the old road agents are coming clean. How about it, Billy, don't you ever do any of this? As you might suspect, it doesn't have to be all gospel, long as there's a real story somewhere in it.

Every old warrior is an editor here, verifying or doubting all posts, and all the fistfights are online. Cyber tush-hogs, maybe, a new breed of swine? :D
 

jay helfert

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SJDinPHX said:
Jaybird,

I don't dispute anything you said, but I'm glad you clarified your statement about Hitchcock, by saying "you never saw" any roadman beat him.

Chester Truelove, is still around to recall, that when I first went to OC, I beat Herman (sometimes giving weight), and Hitchcock at snooker, 9-ball, and one pocket, over several different plays.
The only time I got beat in OC, or Tulsa, (in well over a dozen trips there) was on a bar box against Weldon Rogers, I didn't watch my drink close enough...I gave him the 6, his one handed to my two..He might have won on the square anyway, but somebody made REAL sure he did...(I had double vision, and threw up for two days)
That time, I got broke, and hocked my Balabushka to Chester, for $150, and left town, one eying it down the road.

I came back a few weeks later...pumped to the gills, with my good bud, Billy Dan Rodgers... Weldon was gone, but BD beat Calvin (LB) and I got to Hitch again. Also one of the trips up there, I had a two day session with Bakersfield Bobby (also still alive and well)...we broke dead even on a tough bar box. I played other games besides 1P in those days, ...I used to stay with Herman and his wife, during later trips to OC...We must have just missed each other. (this was 64'-'69, or so)

Hey, I can see how some guy's might get hooked on the "brag"...this is fun...(specially if its verifiable).:cool:

PS..You remember we talked about it one time, I leased the other Pool room in Fairborn Oh, in 1956-57, for about a year. (just a little before your time, I believe you said)...I knew Winkler, Coffee, Valley St. Red, and all those guys. Got along great with all of them.
And I know you didn't expound on this but just for grins, I agree, Dayton could be rough in spots, thats true. But, bottom line...even the Mafia didn't mess with Texas too much, in those days...More crazy tush-hog's, in Dallas and Houston per square mile, than anywhere I've ever been..They didn't need no stinkin' gangs. ;)... I think Carlos (from NOLA) tried to control Dallas for a while, but even HE gave it up after the JFK Assasination. I have to think, their attitude was...Let 'em have it, they'll kill each other off, and THEN we can move back in. According to the FBI, that hasn't happened yet..;)
If you beat Hitchcock playing 9-Ball, then you were a helluva player. That's all I've got to say about that. I started playing in Dayton in about 1961-62. Forest Park Plaza was a new shopping center built next to Frankie's Forest Park, a big amusement center, on vacant land. I can still remember when it was first built. Winks was hidden downstairs in the back and all us high school kids tried to sneak in and play. Wink would look the other way as long as you left in time for dinner. He didn't want trouble with the parents.

I couldn't make a ball back then. I really learned to play at Oklahoma U. banging heads with Tommy Fisher (the famous poker player), John Guffy the cue maker and Don Owens, a partner today in OB Cues. I also played with Jim Garner's (twin) brother who had a soft drink route. He told me that Jim was the best player in Norman when he lived there, before movie and TV fame. By my Junior year I had my hands on some money and was running all over Oklahoma looking for action. I moved to Oklahoma City in 1964 and lived there for about six months. You must have gone to the Central Club downtown and I'm sure you knew Lloyd Thompson (the hustler's hustler) who got killed years later. Hobart was the best golf player in there and Ronnie used to come in and play him from time to time. I was twenty years old but hung in the bars night after night playing pool. I was becoming a good player but nothing like your speed. I beat on kids in the day time and drunks at night.

In '65 I went back to Dayton for a year or so, moved up to Columbus for a brief stint at Ohio State and the local poolrooms (Danny Jones had a room there and Little Miami was his resident hustler), and then went on the road for the next year or so, ending up in California. You were actively looking to play the best players. I was actively looking to avoid them. Big difference! My specialty was playing kids in the family poolrooms that were everywhere in those days. A lot of kids thought they could play and were easy pickings for a shortstop like me. 9-Ball, 9-Ball, 9-Ball with an occasional game of One Pocket or Eight Ball thrown in. In the bars at night it was all Eight Ball.

I went back to Dayton in the early 70's and when I beat Valley St. Red he was in shock. He didn't know I had been playing for ten years non stop. Pappy Winkler was dead by then and Joe Burns owned the place. One more quick story. We all drove up to Detroit in 1963 for the big state tournament at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. That's where I first saw Cornbread, Worst and many others. Wink won some money and bought a brand new 1963 Mustang. I drove back to Dayton with him and he laughed and giggled all the way. After that trip he always looked out for me.

I believe you about the mob never getting a foothold in Texas. I can just see some Yankees with suits trying to take over in Dallas or Houston. The fur would fly and the guns would come out fast. I bet some mobsters lost their lives down there. A Southern gangster was a very feared outlaw by everyone, including the cops. George McGann killed a guy outside a poolroom in Dallas after a card game, when he caught the guy cheating. A detective asked him what happened and George replied, "The guy just needed killing." He was never arrested. That speaks volumes about how the law was handled in Texas in those days. If some northern mob guy got killed, everyone would just look the other way. You're right about that.

P.S. George Rood was the MAN in Dayton back in those days and no one could beat him, not even you. Russ Maddox was around and he schooled me at pool and gin rummy. Frank Reeves, who still owns a room back there, really taught me more about playing pool then anyone else. Bill Phelps was another good player who helped me out and Dino Gounaris, the jeweler, was probably second beat after Rood. But when Joey Spaeth came up from Cincy he cleaned Dino out. Chris Raftis was one of the best One Handed players in the country and I watched him beat Eddie Taylor. Lassiter would visit Dayton every year and hang out with his buddy George. Luther loved to play Pinochle and Hearts.
 
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BillPorter

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jay helfert said:
If you beat Hitchcock playing 9-Ball, then you were a helluva player. That's all I've got to say about that. I started playing in Dayton in about 1961-62. Forest Park Plaza was a new shopping center built next to Frankie's Forest Park, a big amusement center, on vacant land. I can still remember when it was first built. Winks was hidden downstairs in the back and all us high school kids tried to sneak in and play. Wink would look the other way as long as you left in time for dinner. He didn't want trouble with the parents.

I couldn't make a ball back then. I really learned to play at Oklahoma U. banging heads with Tommy Fisher (the famous poker player), John Guffy the cue maker and Don Owens, a partner today in OB Cues. I also played with Jim Garner's (twin) brother who had a soft drink route. He told me that Jim was the best player in Norman when he lived there, before movie and TV fame. By my Junior year I had my hands on some money and was running all over Oklahoma looking for action. I moved to Oklahoma City in 1964 and lived there for about six months. You must have gone to the Central Club downtown and I'm sure you knew Lloyd Thompson (the hustler's hustler) who got killed years later. Hobart was the best golf player in there and Ronnie used to come in and play him from time to time. I was twenty years old but hung in the bars night after night playing pool. I was becoming a good player but nothing like your speed. I beat on kids in the day time and drunks at night.

In '65 I went back to Dayton for a year or so, moved up to Columbus for a brief stint at Ohio State and the local poolrooms (Danny Jones had a room there and Little Miami was his resident hustler), and then went on the road for the next year or so, ending up in California. You were actively looking to play the best players. I was actively looking to avoid them. Big difference! My specialty was playing kids in the family poolrooms that were everywhere in those days. A lot of kids thought they could play and were easy pickings for a shortstop like me. 9-Ball, 9-Ball, 9-Ball with an occasional game of One Pocket or Eight Ball thrown in. In the bars at night it was all Eight Ball.

I went back to Dayton in the early 70's and when I beat Valley St. Red he was in shock. He didn't know I had been playing for ten years non stop. Pappy Winkler was dead by then and Joe Burns owned the place. One more quick story. We all drove up to Detroit in 1963 for the big state tournament at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. That's where I first saw Cornbread, Worst and many others. Wink won some money and bought a brand new 1963 Mustang. I drove back to Dayton with him and he laughed and giggled all the way. After that trip he always looked out for me.

I believe you about the mob never getting a foothold in Texas. I can just see some Yankees with suits trying to take over in Dallas or Houston. The fur would fly and the guns would come out fast. I bet some mobsters lost their lives down there. A Southern gangster was a very feared outlaw by everyone, including the cops. George McGann killed a guy outside a poolroom in Dallas after a card game, when he caught the guy cheating. A detective asked him what happened and George replied, "The guy just needed killing." He was never arrested. That speaks volumes about how the law was handled in Texas in those days. If some northern mob guy got killed, everyone would just look the other way. You're right about that.

P.S. George Rood was the MAN in Dayton back in those days and no one could beat him, not even you. Russ Maddox was around and he schooled me at pool and gin rummy. Frank Reeves, who still owns a room back there, really taught me more about playing pool then anyone else. Bill Phelps was another good player who helped me out and Dino Gounaris, the jeweler, was probably second beat after Rood. But when Joey Spaeth came up from Cincy he cleaned Dino out. Chris Raftis was one of the best best One Handed players in the country and I watched him beat Eddie Taylor. Lassiter would visit Dayton every year and hang out with his buddy George. Luther loved to play Pinochle and Hearts.
Jay, how can you ask people to buy your book, Pool Wars, when you just told your whole life story in about five paragraphs???:D :D:D
 

usblues

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taste

taste

Jay says its good advertising,there's lots more.Too bad Buddy can't type,B
 

SJDinPHX

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Remenicsing...Part ll..

Remenicsing...Part ll..

jay helfert said:
If you beat Hitchcock playing 9-Ball, then you were a helluva player. That's all I've got to say about that. I started playing in Dayton in about 1961-62. Forest Park Plaza was a new shopping center built next to Frankie's Forest Park, a big amusement center, on vacant land. I can still remember when it was first built. Winks was hidden downstairs in the back and all us high school kids tried to sneak in and play. Wink would look the other way as long as you left in time for dinner. He didn't want trouble with the parents.

I couldn't make a ball back then. I really learned to play at Oklahoma U. banging heads with Tommy Fisher (the famous poker player), John Guffy the cue maker and Don Owens, a partner today in OB Cues. I also played with Jim Garner's (twin) brother who had a soft drink route. He told me that Jim was the best player in Norman when he lived there, before movie and TV fame. By my Junior year I had my hands on some money and was running all over Oklahoma looking for action. I moved to Oklahoma City in 1964 and lived there for about six months. You must have gone to the Central Club downtown and I'm sure you knew Lloyd Thompson (the hustler's hustler) who got killed years later. Hobart was the best golf player in there and Ronnie used to come in and play him from time to time. I was twenty years old but hung in the bars night after night playing pool. I was becoming a good player but nothing like your speed. I beat on kids in the day time and drunks at night.

In '65 I went back to Dayton for a year or so, moved up to Columbus for a brief stint at Ohio State and the local poolrooms (Danny Jones had a room there and Little Miami was his resident hustler), and then went on the road for the next year or so, ending up in California. You were actively looking to play the best players. I was actively looking to avoid them. Big difference! My specialty was playing kids in the family poolrooms that were everywhere in those days. A lot of kids thought they could play and were easy pickings for a shortstop like me. 9-Ball, 9-Ball, 9-Ball with an occasional game of One Pocket or Eight Ball thrown in. In the bars at night it was all Eight Ball.

I went back to Dayton in the early 70's and when I beat Valley St. Red he was in shock. He didn't know I had been playing for ten years non stop. Pappy Winkler was dead by then and Joe Burns owned the place. One more quick story. We all drove up to Detroit in 1963 for the big state tournament at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. That's where I first saw Cornbread, Worst and many others. Wink won some money and bought a brand new 1963 Mustang. I drove back to Dayton with him and he laughed and giggled all the way. After that trip he always looked out for me.

I believe you about the mob never getting a foothold in Texas. I can just see some Yankees with suits trying to take over in Dallas or Houston. The fur would fly and the guns would come out fast. I bet some mobsters lost their lives down there. A Southern gangster was a very feared outlaw by everyone, including the cops. George McGann killed a guy outside a poolroom in Dallas after a card game, when he caught the guy cheating. A detective asked him what happened and George replied, "The guy just needed killing." He was never arrested. That speaks volumes about how the law was handled in Texas in those days. If some northern mob guy got killed, everyone would just look the other way. You're right about that.

P.S. George Rood was the MAN in Dayton back in those days and no one could beat him, not even you. Russ Maddox was around and he schooled me at pool and gin rummy. Frank Reeves, who still owns a room back there, really taught me more about playing pool then anyone else. Bill Phelps was another good player who helped me out and Dino Gounaris, the jeweler, was probably second beat after Rood. But when Joey Spaeth came up from Cincy he cleaned Dino out. Chris Raftis was one of the best best One Handed players in the country and I watched him beat Eddie Taylor. Lassiter would visit Dayton every year and hang out with his buddy George. Luther loved to play Pinochle and Hearts.
Certainly did not mean to imply that I "robbed" Hitch playing 9 ball. He was double tough action. I refused to play him 9 ball at first, and we played only snooker, golf, pay ball, or one hole. I managed to get him a little off balance at those games, but none of it was stealing. He did try one time, to give me the called 8. He and Chester did not like that. Sometime a few yrs. later, I got them stuck pretty good at 1 Pocket, and agreed to a set of 9 ball, even...to give them a shot a some of their cash back. He was not at his best, being off loser, and that tlme, I managed to prevail... I agree, nobody made a living playing Hitch 9 ball, in those days.

Also, used to play Greg Stevens a lot, in my Dallas/Houston/Witchita days. As you well know, everybody used to play position on him (including yours truely) I had a little the best of it playing 1P at that time...He was tougher than Hitch at 9 ball, if you caught him in gear...But all you had to do with Greg, was wait, (maybe 4-5 days) and hope he didn't go off before your turn came up...He was going to play somebody, something. Day one he would refuse to play me 1P...Day five, he would have somebody wake me up to play.
Always pulled for him to win,...the first few days..;)

Didn't Russ Maddox have a pool room in Springfield or Columbus around that time ? I played him a few times. I never ran across George Rood. Of course I knew of him....I think he may have been semi-retired by that time. He was sure not real active then. He certainly was not around Dayton then, was he ?

Someone gave me Herman Croy's number a while back. And I tried to reach him. The mutual aquaintance said he was in very poor health and did not communicate well. Always liked him. He was one of the good guys. Speath came up when I had the joint in Fairborn. Had hiim a little loser at 9 ball on a 4 X 8. (maybe a stall) then we moved to the big table, and he handed me my ass at one pocket, giving me a few balls...at that time (late 50's) I couldn't even spell wun packet.

Jay, I used to mix it up pretty good, and sure did not always win. Also I would not try to tell you, or anyone else, that I was a top notch 9 baller, but they did not run in droves, that could give me any weight at all in those days..Just sayin'

Funny you should mention James Garner's brother. I did not know him, (or James Garner)... but I did know the guy who "played" his brother on the TV show...Jack Kelly.
Just prior to him becoming a regular on "Maverick", he was a sometime go-off at Hollywood Legion Lanes. That was the place to catch an occasional sighting of Peter Falk, Gleason, Jerry Orbach, and some of the other celebs who could play a little. I know you know that crowd better than I do.
Anyway, I beat Kelly for a few hundred, and he air-barrelled me for a few hundred more...As we all were at that time, I was a big fan of the show...it used to frost me a little, when they rolled the credits...I'd point up at the TV from my barstool, and say "That SOB owes me $200"... I never saw Jack Kelly again. guess he took the cure after he made the big time. Fun days, huh ?
 
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jay helfert

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SJDinPHX said:
Certainly did not mean to imply that I "robbed" Hitch playing 9 ball. He was double tough action. I refused to play him 9 ball at first, and we played only snooker, golf, pay ball, or one hole. I managed to get him a little off balance at those games, but none of it was stealing. He did try one time, to give me the called 8. He and Chester did not like that. Sometime a few yrs. later, I got them stuck pretty good at 1 Pocket, and agreed to a set of 9 ball, even...to give them a shot a some of their cash back. He was not at his best, being off loser, and that tlme, I managed to prevail... I agree, nobody made a living playing Hitch 9 ball, in those days.

Also, used to play Greg Stevens a lot, in my Dallas/Houston/Witchita days. As you well know, everybody used to play position on him (including yours truely) I had a little the best of it playing 1P at that time...He was tougher than Hitch at 9 ball, if you caught him in gear...But all you had to do with Greg, was wait, (maybe 4-5 days) and hope he didn't go off before your turn came up...He was going to play somebody, something. Day one he would refuse to play me 1P...Day five, he would have somebody wake me up to play.
Always pulled for him to win,...the first few days..;)

Didn't Russ Maddox have a pool room in Springfield or Columbus around that time ? I played him a few times. I never ran across George Rood. Of course I knew of him....I think he may have been semi-retired by that time. He was sure not real active then. He certainly was not around Dayton then, was he ?

Someone gave me Herman Croy's number a while back. And I tried to reach him. The mutual aquaintance said he was in very poor health and did not communicate well. Always liked him. He was one of the good guys. Speath came up when I had the joint in Fairborn. Had hiim a little loser at 9 ball on a 4 X 8. (maybe a stall) then we moved to the big table, and he handed me my ass at one pocket, giving me a few balls...at that time (late 50's) I couldn't even spell wun packet.

Jay, I used to mix it up pretty good, and sure did not always win. Also I would not try to tell you, or anyone else, that I was a top 9 notch baller, but they did not run in droves, that could give me any weight at all in those days..Just sayin'

Funny you should mention James Garner's brother. I did not know him, (or James Garner)... but I did know the guy who "played" his brother on the TV show...Jack Kelly.
Just prior to him becoming a regular on "Maverick", he was a sometime go-off at Hollywood Legion Lanes. That was the place to catch an occasional sighting of Peter Falk, Gleason, Jerry Orbach, and some of the other celebs who could play a little. I know you know that crowd better than I do.
Anyway, I beat Kelly for a few hundred, and he air-barrelled me for a few hundred more...As we all were at that time, I was a big fan of the show...it used to frost me a little, when they rolled the credits...I'd point up at the TV from my barstool, and say "That SOB owes me $200"... I never saw Jack Kelly again. guess he took the cure after he made the big time. Fun days, huh ?
Russ Maddox owned the same room that Mosconi ran his 526 in, but it was after that. George was his partner, believe it or not. George was around Dayton at that time but preoccupied with his dog breeding and showing business. He was raising and selling world champion dogs. BIG money! But if a player came to town that was beating everyone, they would call George and he would come down and whip on the guy. I saw him beat Eddie Kelly one day at the Cue & Bridge in Northtown Shopping Center. Joey would not play George, anytime or anywhere.

All the top players were friends of George's and would stop in Dayton to visit him. I saw Fats many times, Taylor, Lassiter, Caras and even Mosconi came to town once, He had a lot of respect for George, who was a quiet but proud man. Mosconi wouldn't play George in an exhibition because he knew he might lose. Greg Stevens was the straightest shooter ever, along with our man Richie. He played Hitchcock several times and lost to him in OKC, but beat him in Tulsa from what I heard. You must have broke Hitch down a little at those other games. I never saw him play One Pocket and didn't think he liked the game. He would play in the golf games at the Central Club though.

Greg Stevens put on a show at LeCue for years. He played good players and gave them the 7, 8 and 9. Then he never missed a ball for hours on end and broke them down. The guy just ran out from everywhere. He was a freak of nature. I helped him change his tip once in that big caddy limo he had parked at LeCue. He asked me to hold the cue while he attached the tip. Then he put a rubber band around it and the next day he was playing with it. He was a nice guy with me and would buy me a pop if I got one for him. I was honored he asked me. Sad to say he would stay up for days popping pills and after 3-4 days he was in a stupor and couldn't play. I saw weak players rob him for all his cash, getting the six ball, after he had been up for three days. I knew better than to say anything though. You know he wised up later and had a string of successful pool halls. He wouldn't let the hustlers come in either! I went to the family pool room he had in Wichita several years later and I sat at the counter and he gave me a pop, just like old times. Then he told me not to gamble with his customers. :)
 
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jay helfert

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Gleason could play and was really the only celeb besides Fred Astaire who could. Jerry Orbach used to hang out in Guys and Dolls in New York when he was trying to make it as an actor. His nickname then was Jerry The Actor. I played him several times and never lost.

Peter Falk loved pool and all the pool players, but he got bit so hard and so often he had to give them up. He truly admired Mosconi, Caras, Crane, Balsis and Lassiter. It was the "other" guys who worked him so hard. I'm sure you know who I mean and one name begins with an RA.

Telly Savalas was another regular but he was a lot harder bite than Falk. Telly was a street smart guy who played poker (pretty good too) and knew that if he got the five and the break he had a good game. He played some good players 100-50 in the Den and they had trouble beating him. For small stakes I might add, like $20 and the time. Telly was no sucker.

Don Johnson spent a lot of time in there too with a young Melanie Griffith, his girlfriend at the time. He couldn't play pool at all but he liked the scene. Jim Morrison from the Doors used to come in and practice once in a while, early in the day. He wasn't that bad and shame on me, I tried to hustle him more than once. I knew he had some coin. He was real quiet and just liked to hit the balls around for an hour or so. Lots of other actors and musicians came in there too. I was friends with Dewey Martin the drummer for Buffalo Springfield and we played pool cheap many times. Don Adams (Get Smart) and Vince Edwards (Dr. Ben Casey) also played pool in there and would make small donations to the HPPA (Homeless Pool Players of America). :)

Jimmy Caan (James Caan) was one of my favorite games. I always gave him the seven ball and we'd play $50 sets, maybe a Race To Seven. He was funny and had a good sense of humor, but I could never tell anyone I beat him out of money. He had a big ego even then.
 

SJDinPHX

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jay helfert said:
Gleason could play and was really the only celeb besides Fred Astaire who could. Jerry Orbach used to hang out in Guys and Dolls in New York when he was trying to make it as an actor. His nickname then was Jerry The Actor. I played him several times and never lost.

Peter Falk loved pool and all the pool players, but he got bit so hard and so often he had to give them up. He truly admired Mosconi, Caras, Crane, Balsis and Lassiter. It was the "other" guys who worked him so hard. I'm sure you know who I mean and one name begins with an RA.

Telly Savalas was another regular but he was a lot harder bite than Falk. Telly was a street smart guy who played poker (pretty good too) and knew that if he got the five and the break he had a good game. He played some good players 100-50 in the Den and they had trouble beating him. For small stakes I might add, like $20 and the time. Telly was no sucker.

Don Johnson spent a lot of time in there too with a young Melanie Griffith, his girlfriend at the time. He couldn't play pool at all but he liked the scene. Jim Morrison from the Doors used to come in and practice once in a while, early in the day. He wasn't that bad and shame on me, I tried to hustle him more than once. I knew he had some coin. He was real quiet and just liked to hit the balls around for an hour or so. Lots of other actors and musicians came in there too. I was friends with Dewey Martin the drummer for Buffalo Springfield and we played pool cheap many times. Don Adams (Get Smart) and Vince Edwards (Dr. Ben Casey) also played pool in there and would make small donations to the HPPA (Homeless Pool Players of America). :)

Jimmy Caan (James Caan) was one of my favorite games. I always gave him the seven ball and we'd play $50 sets, maybe a Race To Seven. He was funny and had a good sense of humor, but I could never tell anyone I beat him out of money. He had a big ego even then.
Great stuff Jay,

I knew, you knew them all. Most of it is in your book, in greater detail. I guess the Hollywood Legion Lanes had run its course by the time you arrived on the LA scene. I know Henderson remembers it, and the Wonder Bowl (action joint before the Tropicana)

Of course Hollywood Billiards, (downstairs version, on Western)...and 4th and Main were always there...I guess the Billiard Den, and Hard Times, came along after I left Cali. (around '63)...Returned to San Jose quite often during those years, but just to visit the kid's. Rarely got to L.A... Moved to Phx in '72, and began my 20 yr. "time out."

Enjoyed this public chat with you, and thanks for filling in some of the blanks.

PS...Wish I'd been there then...but, then I wouldn't be here, now..;) ...I'd probably be running up and down the road with RA, hunting our next tank of gas...(If its OK with you,...I'll take the "now")...:D
 
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fred bentivegna

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Jimmy Caan

Jimmy Caan

Ye Billiard Den. He made me give him the 7,8 and 9 for $2 a game. He would never raise it and would woof, cheat and shark.
A good guy, however. (Unlike his piece of dreeck brother who got him started on freebase)
Did me a turn at a Fred Whalen tourn on Celebrity Nite. I was there with my wife and he was with a group of celeb's. He yelled across the room at me, "Hey Beard! Come over here!" My wife almost keeled over. He treated me like a long lost bro, and my wife was ecstatic. Jimmy was a street guy from NY and he was just doing me a solid and laying a spread for me in front of my wife. We werent that close, not like him and Pancho, he loved him. But thats the kind of guy he was.
He repeated the solid later in Chicago when he was filming a movie (forgot which). I visited him on the set with my 12 yr old daughter and he ran the same game down for her. Went bad in Fla with freebase for awhile. He used to have Pancho procure for him. I blame that on his brother who was a real NY creep. He came out of it and moved to Colorado or something.

Beard
 

bstroud

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>Bill, apparently there was an old guy named the Silver Fox who hung out there, also. Do you know anything about him? In those days I was just a kid and hadn't taken up pool yet, so the few times I went there (on YMCA outings :)) I wasn't aware of any of that scene. Just bowling, eating, and "racing" the lights on the side of the building.

I played with Slim Burrell a lot. He was the best 9 ball player in Dallas at the time. Played at the Palace pool room downtown. Was never able to beat him until one day I went to the premier of "The Hustler" up the street from the Palace. After the movie I went back to the Palace and beat him. Never lost to him again.

Bill Stroud
 

jrhendy

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SJDinPHX said:
Great stuff Jay,

I knew, you knew them all. Most of it is in your book, in greater detail. I guess the Hollywood Legion Lanes had run its course by the time you arrived on the LA scene. I know Henderson remembers it, and the Wonder Bowl (action joint before the Tropicana)
There were two Wonder Bowls with pool action in the 60's. The one in Anaheim near Disneyland was one of the first 24 hour joints,and there was another Wonderbowl in Downey that had some action. I watched Detroit Whitey and Johnny Chapman play one pocket in Anaheim for hours. Johnny broke Whitely and Whitey pumped back up hours later and caught Johnny and busted him this time.

Most of the newer bowling alleys in So. Cal had pool rooms in them and they almost all had 5 x 10 snooker tables. I was pretty much a snooker/golf player only then, although I had played some one pocket on the snooker tables since I was in my teens.
Ritchie Florence put me to work in 1961 at the Wonderbowl in Anaheim, busting me after I was ahead 18 games playing $10 snooker. We raised it, I dogged it and went out and got a job. Best decision I ever made. I was a route salesman for a saw co in the early 60's and hit every bowling alley in LA and Orange county that played golf. There were quite a few of them.


Hollywood Billiards at Hollywood & Western was where I headed in the mid to late 50's when I had some $$. They beat me at all games, dumped me when I was dumb enough to go in with somebody and gave me a good part of my pool room education.

I hustled an old guy with Dean Chance in 1964 at 4th & Main (Romy's), the year Dean won the Cy Young award with the Angel's. Dean talked me into playing him. The old guy was Don Willis.

I didn't hit the other L.A. and Hollywood rooms much. I was getting plenty of snooker and golf action with other working stiffs and had three sons from 61 to 65 and that kept me busy. When I did get out of town in the late 60's/70's,
it was Verne Peterson's Billiard Palace in Bellflower. I didn't have to fool with the champions, but would play in the pay ball game until it got too rich for me. There was always some kind of game on the 6 x 12 snooker table and I probably made more money playing on that table than at any other time in my pool playing life. Problem was, that was also when I fell in love with the ponies.

I never was a smart hustler. I loved to play too much and always had the job to fall back on. I recall watching Freddie play banks on one of my trips downtown, but I honestly didn't pay much attention because I had no interest in bank pool. He did have the rep as an action guy and a good player.

The only time I got in action at Tropicana lanes was with Kenny Anderson after hours playin 9 ball. He had me stuck pretty good and when I was making a comeback,the house man who was staking him, shut the light off because we were putting $$ on the table. Didn't bother him when Kenny was winning.

Those were the days......Pool rooms everywhere and most of them with snooker tables and ring golf/snooker games. Now I have to bark on here to get a little action or drive 150 miles to Mountain View to lose playing golf.

I still love it though...
 

surferrod

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What year was that?

What year was that?

SJDinPHX said:
You are right Rod, That is a young Vernon Litton (sp) He could be a tush hog, but I agree "bully" is a better description. He was a pretty good "spot picker"
He did not fool around with guy's like Charley Boyd, George Mc Gann, Billy T Dyer, or Stanley "the Creeper".

There was a Tush Hog pecking order in Dallas, and he rarely crossed that line.

I witnessed him get into a scuffle with Surfer Rod, at the Cotton Bowling Palace, it somehow wound up out on the lanes, and after a few punches were thrown, Rod got him in a killer head lock, and held him there 'til the cops came. Rod was around for a few days afterward, and Vernon gave him a wide berth.

I have a hilarious story about him and Jack Taylor, which is too lengthy for here...but it will be in DWTD...by the way, I have not recieved your advance order yet ? 'sup wi' dat..:p
Hi, Do you recall the year? I remember the fight but not the year. SurferRod
 

bstroud

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Been out of town.

I grew up with Vernon in the old Haskell pool room. He was sort of a tough guy but only with weaker people. He was very envious of the way I played and threatened me several times but never did anything. Mostly hot air.

Billy T. was nice enough to me. I think Charlie Boyd shot him 5 times and didn't kill him. Charlie was just crazy. Never had any problem with him.

Bill Stroud
 

SJDinPHX

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This is one of the best threads ever, on 1P.org...It is mostly geared for the "old guy's" of which thankfully, I am not one...:rolleyes:

I shall answer the last two posts,(Rod and Stroud) as honestly as I can. Rod, it must have been the early 60's, as best I can recall...You were always a gentleman, even though you did not fare well with me. Lucky for you, because I am a trained killer..:p

Billy S.,...Except for the "face scrubbing" I think Vernon did not take out his envy, regarding your game. He was jealous, but not enough to smash your head..

As for Billy T...I think he was only shot once..(I knew the person who shot him very well)..They then beat him to a pulp, with baseball bats and 2 X 4's... Then they stuffed him in the trunk of his car, eyeball hanging out, and bleeding profusely, and then slammed the lid, thinking they were leaving him for dead...In their haste to get away, they left his hand sticking out of the closed trunk lid. A concerned passer by, saw it and called the cop's...other wise Billy T may not have survived. This is from BT's own mouth, who I considered lucky to be a good friend, I used to stay with him, in later years when I visited Dallas...Billy T., was NEVER a bullshitter.

Mc Gann and Billy T, (good friends at the time) saw to it that all the perpetrator's of that night, were very sorry it ever happened...Most were pushing up daisy's soon after it happened.

Check this thread out, if you enjoy a good read about the old days..:cool:
 
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Cowboy Dennis

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SJDinPHX said:
As for Billy T...I think he was only shot once..(I knew the person who shot him very well)..They then beat him to a pulp, with baseball bats and 2 X 4's.
I'm confused:confused: . Did you know very well the person who did the shooting? Or, are you saying that that person shot the man very well?. I'm very confused.

Also, 2x4's are really 1 1/2 x 3 1/2's, that's a lot less wood to get hit with:p .

Please be accurate, precise, concise and well-spoken when you post here otherwise you can cause much confusion amongst all the old guys.

RBL
 

SJDinPHX

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Cowboy Dennis said:
I'm confused:confused: . Did you know very well the person who did the shooting? Or, are you saying that that person shot the man very well?. I'm very confused.

Also, 2x4's are really 1 1/2 x 3 1/2's, that's a lot less wood to get hit with:p .

Please be accurate, precise, concise and well-spoken when you post here otherwise you can cause much confusion amongst all the old guys.

RBL
F-you, RBL; I am trying to recall some good war stories...I'd hate to have to tell people, that you never even knew Cornbread...You are really starting to get on my nerves..!!!

SJD wishes RBL, would stay out of threads, from an era when he was only a 'mentally challenged' five year old...:D

PS..Cowgirl Dennis,...you are back on "ignore"...Freddy is now on my "buddy list"...:eek:..(or maybe my "Bucket List")...:cool:
 
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