Walking with giants

Ross Keith Thompson

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May 19, 2010
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121
It's nice to know there is Giants of my era still around such as Bill Incardona, Tall Jeff and so on. I read about the Golden Years of pool in the late 60's and early 70's by Incardona and company and just want to add to it!

In 1970 I walked among giants of the game at Jansco's showbar in Johnston City IL.

No matter who you were or how well you played, even the people players of this time right now could not enter those premises and think he or she was going to rob everyone.

If you wanted to play some nine ball, there was no less than fifty players that would play you a race to eight or eleven and you may never shoot!

I truly understand now why they called Johnston City the Legendary tournaments.

There was still a slew of the old guns Lassiter, Fats, Crane (didn't gamble), D. Jones and so on, Then there was R. Allen, J. Red and the middle age giants.

Then there was the young guns of that era, Mataya, Incardona, Tall Jeff, Jimmy Marino, Eddie Burton, Richey Florence, Steve Cook, Hippy Jimmy, Jim Rempe, Nick Varner, Cole Dickson, Myself and so on.

If you, (meaning everyone of you) LOL, picked any player from any era, come on people, Efren Reyes or whomever, including me, and turned that player loose with 10k, chances were very very good he would leave there with a broke a--!

That is coming from me the All around champion of that year 1970!

How many times have any of you ever been in a pool room where you could go from one room or table to another and watch either opponent run five racks of nine ball all night long, just table after table, room after room, rack after rack, good tough playing tables, not the slop buckets some guys made them out to be.

We had fine equipment back in this era, even indoor toilets, LMAO.

Players from every nook and cranny in the country showed up at Johnston City or the Stardust in Vegas, what tournaments they were.

There were no easy brackets in any division, you had to earn every victory playing these Giants a race to eleven in nine ball.

If you could not run five racks consistently in your every day game you had no chance of winning a bracket.

If your one pocket game wasn't with in a ball of Ronnies game, you had no chance of winning a bracket.

If you couldn't run a hundred in 14 and one, you had no chance of winning a bracket.

This is what Mr. BILL INCARDONA, and myself say and mean about pool's golden years with the utmost respect to MR. INCARDONA because he was one of those ELETE, MID-EVIL NINERS of the DAY that would send you packing!

Nobody ever walked in the Stardust or Janscos Showbar and told every one to line up, chances were they wouldn't make it past #2, LOL.

Even Incardona knew better than that!

Forget for a moment the great players but some of the characters of the day were as good as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy!

I use to go to LaCue Club and downtown Houston to wage war with Tall Jeff, John Duke Dowell, Jersey Red, Greg Stevens and so on and would leave the place 12 hrs. later having not played one game and my sides were sore for two days from laughing the whole time.

These times were the best I've had, not playing Buddy Hall even nine ball or Tall Jeff, but to here some one such as Jersey Red, Grady Mathews or who ever did stand up that night, to be there among giants and to have a front row seat was second to none.

Those were the golden years of pool and we can't get them back but we can write about them.

So if any of you on this site have a story to tell of the golden years please put it here now before you can't put down. I have a book completed and won't get off my a-- and publish it, so don't be lazy like me, put some thing on paper.

YOURS TRULY the FORMER WORLD CHAMPION
 

lll

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Mar 19, 2007
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15,299
keith i really enjoy all your stories from the past
i wish i could have been there to sweat it
keep posting
thanks for sharing your memories
p.s. publish the book ....i will buy the first copy....:)
larry
 

bstroud

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May 29, 2010
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1,426
Keith,

I was in JC the year that Jimmy Marino challenged everyone to play some 9 ball.
No takers.

He got in the ring 9 ball game and broke everyone.

Billy I. will remember. He played in the game as I remember.
350m a man.

Where is that bet today?
 

cincy_kid

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Great story Keith, keep them coming. I wish I could have been there but I was just a glimmer in my daddy's eye in 1970 hehe.

Thanks for sharing!
 

beatle

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Jun 21, 2009
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2,563
okay here is a weenie beenie story.

in april 1976 before most of you upstarts were even born or a blip, we had a great gamblers tournament in bend oregon. it was put on by bob lambert a dear friend who got shot in a robbery in a supermarket in texas. bad luck. and ronnie allen, which the two formed formed a corp. called pool unlimited or something similar for just this tournament. bob said he needed that as ronnie was sure to run up bills that couldn't get paid.

so there was all kinds of big gambling going on, most of it was other than pool. cards was the thing and beenie was the high priest of that in charge by default.
mostly he played blackjack and liked to deal. we all bet very high at times with him, as he was most of the action. also poker games had plenty of pizazz.

beenie was winning for awhile then started losing but soon got embarrassed over it and of course the b.s. problems that arise with pool players trying to cheat and such.

so we took the game to a room and played real high. beenie went off like a rocket as he always did when he was losing big. made the tournament for a couple of us, mostly me.

cole played a bunch and lost as usual as he steamed himself broke when stuck as well.

beenie did beat someone real good at pool but they played in a bar or someplace else. i dont remember who it was but maybe richie.

the tournament was held at the inn of the seventh mountain and was a wonderful venue. all the gamblers came as they did for j.c and the stardust.
it would be nice to have gamblers tournaments again instead of these world beater bet nothing ones where only a few bet and they are the top players. old days lousy players matched up for big money. not so much anymore.
casinos did away with much of that.
 
Last edited:

lll

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Mar 19, 2007
Messages
15,299
okay here is a weenie beenie story.

in april 1976 before most of you upstarts were even born or a blip, we had a great gamblers tournament in bend oregon. it was put on by bob lambert a dear friend who got shot in a robbery in a supermarket in texas. bad luck. and ronnie allen, which the two formed formed a corp. called pool unlimited or something similar for just this tournament. bob said he needed that as ronnie was sure to run up bills that couldn't get paid.

so there was all kinds of big gambling going on, most of it was other than pool. cards was the thing and beenie was the high priest of that in charge by default.
mostly he played blackjack and liked to deal. we all bet very high at times with him, as he was most of the action. also poker games had plenty of pizazz.

beenie was winning for awhile then started losing but soon got embarrassed over it and of course the b.s. problems that arise with pool players trying to cheat and such.

so we took the game to a room and played real high. beenie went off like a rocket as he always did when he was losing big. made the tournament for a couple of us, mostly me.

cole played a bunch and lost as usual as he steamed himself broke when stuck as well.

beenie did beat someone real good at pool but they played in a bar or someplace else. i dont remember who it was but maybe richie.

the tournament was held at the inn of the seventh mountain and was a wonderful venue. all the gamblers came as they did for j.c and the stardust.
it would be nice to have gamblers tournaments again instead of these world beater bet nothing ones where only a few bet and they are the top players. old days lousy players matched up for big money. not so much anymore.
casinos did away with much of that.
thanks for the story beatle
 

vapros

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May 24, 2004
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3,616
The players, gamblers and characters who have already left the scene have taken with them a lot of great stories. Gone forever; we can't find them in anybody's archives, because they were never told outside their little circle, much less written down and organized.

No doubt there are plenty of stories left, dry-rotting in the memories of many of our members (and others) who won't live forever. Plenty of stories that are in danger of being gone forever too - maybe they intended to tell them and just did not get around to it.

So I am appealing to the guys who know stories - not people like me, who would tell if they could - because we were not there. I'm plenty old enough, but I was not in the pool rooms in that era.

Stories about the guys who are gone can be the best to tell, because you can make them come out any way you like. Let's go, I'm taking names. :heh
 

androd

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Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,215
No doubt there are plenty of stories left, dry-rotting in the memories of many of our members (and others) who won't live forever. Plenty of stories that are in danger of being gone forever too - maybe they intended to tell them and just did not get around to it.

So I am appealing to the guys who know stories -

Stories about the guys who are gone can be the best to tell, because you can make them come out any way you like. Let's go, I'm taking names. :heh
I'll tell the story Jeff asked about, I could tell plenty more if my memory was better. I'm losing names at a scary pace, although they usually come back about 3AM.

Jersey Red and Danny Jones made me a lot of baseball parleys in the late 60's usually 3 teamers.

One day they get the paper and look over the prices and agree on two teams, Danny wants the dog with a big price at San Francisco. Marichal was pitching and he was Red's man, Red raved about him all the time.

They argue til one or the other says we'll play a game of one pocket to see who gets their choice.

The game somehow gets pushed uptable, nobody played that part of the game better than Danny, He wins it and the bet is on.

San Fran is a night game, the two early games romp home, they're going to win $500 or more if they win the late game.

You can guess what happened Marichal, pitched a two hitter and won 2-0

Red ranted and raved and cussed and screamed and preached for 3 months.

Every time I saw him coming towards me I'd hold up my hands and say" they just found out Marichal is gay" I began to get worried he was gonna punch me out, so I let up on that rib.

P.S. I've got a Sizemore story I'll post in the other thread.
 

Jeff sparks

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Apr 2, 2015
Messages
3,031
I'll tell the story Jeff asked about, I could tell plenty more if my memory was better. I'm losing names at a scary pace, although they usually come back about 3AM.

Jersey Red and Danny Jones made me a lot of baseball parleys in the late 60's usually 3 teamers.

One day they get the paper and look over the prices and agree on two teams, Danny wants the dog with a big price at San Francisco. Marichal was pitching and he was Red's man, Red raved about him all the time.

They argue til one or the other says we'll play a game of one pocket to see who gets their choice.

The game somehow gets pushed uptable, nobody played that part of the game better than Danny, He wins it and the bet is on.

San Fran is a night game, the two early games romp home, they're going to win $500 or more if they win the late game.

You can guess what happened Marichal, pitched a two hitter and won 2-0

Red ranted and raved and cussed and screamed and preached for 3 months.

Every time I saw him coming towards me I'd hold up my hands and say" they just found out Marichal is gay" I began to get worried he was gonna punch me out, so I let up on that rib.

P.S. I've got a Sizemore story I'll post in the other thread.
Thanks Rod,
Great story.... :lol:lol:lol
I can see them both right now as they were back then, and they were giants in the pool world. I thought you might throw in the pre game rules as well, the part they agreed upon after they decided to play the game... You remember right, Red said, "OK, Let's play..." "Mild sharking or heavy?" :D
 

androd

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Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,215
Thanks Rod,
Great story.... :lol:lol:lol
I can see them both right now as they were back then, and they were giants in the pool world. I thought you might throw in the pre game rules as well, the part they agreed upon after they decided to play the game... You remember right, Red said, "OK, Let's play..." "Mild sharking or heavy?" :D
That's right, I forgot that part.
They agreed on light sharking only. :p:D
 

petie

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Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
3,314
The players, gamblers and characters who have already left the scene have taken with them a lot of great stories. Gone forever; we can't find them in anybody's archives, because they were never told outside their little circle, much less written down and organized.

No doubt there are plenty of stories left, dry-rotting in the memories of many of our members (and others) who won't live forever. Plenty of stories that are in danger of being gone forever too - maybe they intended to tell them and just did not get around to it.

So I am appealing to the guys who know stories - not people like me, who would tell if they could - because we were not there. I'm plenty old enough, but I was not in the pool rooms in that era.

Stories about the guys who are gone can be the best to tell, because you can make them come out any way you like. Let's go, I'm taking names. :heh

Try some of these:


http://bankingwiththebeard.com/?p=453

http://bankingwiththebeard.com/?p=76

http://bankingwiththebeard.com/?page_id=12

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ronnie+allen+road+stories

These aught to keep you busy for a few days.
 

vapros

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Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,616
You are right, of course, Petie and today I have sent an email to whoever at Freddy's address, asking their blessing to offer some of his stories, with any editing for length only. I will let you know what I hear, if anything.

Bill
 
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