Cochran's and Palace Billiards

Island Drive

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I practically lived in Cochran’s in 66. Also after the Navy.. We must have crossed paths and breathed the same air back then... :)

I don’t remember Cole being there in 66 though, but there were plenty of other very good players who frequented Cochran’s... The payball game on “Big Bertha”, the 6 x 12 snooker table, was always on whenever there were 3 or 4 good players in town...
It was the Palace that had all the glass tiled walls wasn't it?
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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Frank,
Was Frisco Jack Cooney there at that time. In around '70 he came to Long Beach and we bummed around awhile looking for action. Ended up playing each other one day, I got him in OP and he got me in 9-ball. One hell of a nice guy, and what a calm demeanor, and shot lights out, beautiful stroke We were so young.
thanks, Whitey
 

Frank Almanza

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Frank,
Was Frisco Jack Cooney there at that time. In around '70 he came to Long Beach and we bummed around awhile looking for action. Ended up playing each other one day, I got him in OP and he got me in 9-ball. One hell of a nice guy, and what a calm demeanor, and shot lights out, beautiful stroke We were so young.
thanks, Whitey
You are right that we were so young. I don’t remember seeing Jack there but I only went into the city once in a while because there was so much bar action in the east bay.
In one of those visits I waited a few hours to get into the pay ball game because there was always a list of names waiting their turn. When one dropped out the next in line went in.
Well after being in the game for a few hours a young guy around twenty years old gets in the game being staked by a couple of older gentlemen. At one point Philipino Gene whispers to me that when the new kid in the game makes two balls in a row he’s getting out. After a while this kid does get in stroke and Gene pulls out and me also shortly after him. Turns out that the word was that the kids name was Cliff Thorburn that later was a world snooker champion.
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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You are right that we were so young. I don’t remember seeing Jack there but I only went into the city once in a while because there was so much bar action in the east bay.
In one of those visits I waited a few hours to get into the pay ball game because there was always a list of names waiting their turn. When one dropped out the next in line went in.
Well after being in the game for a few hours a young guy around twenty years old gets in the game being staked by a couple of older gentlemen. At one point Philipino Gene whispers to me that when the new kid in the game makes two balls in a row he’s getting out. After a while this kid does get in stroke and Gene pulls out and me also shortly after him. Turns out that the word was that the kids name was Cliff Thorburn that later was a world snooker champion.
Thanks Frank! That explains a lot about pay pool in the bay area, for Jack Cooney was one hell of a pay pool player. By per chance we almost matched up in pay pool, for I was asked to play him, but declined for I was tapped and would not play on my shooting partners money. 3 or so years later he took down a marathon pay pool match down south.
great guy!
Whitey
 
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jrhendy

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Placerville, CA
In those days I think Jack was still playing at Tropicana Bowl in Los Angeles. He did try me some golf on Bertha in Bellflower one time. He did not last too long.
 

mr3cushion

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Anyone remember a guy that hung around both these rooms in the early 60's, his name was, Harry Paul. A pretty good straight pool and 1P player, friend of Bud Harris's. When Bud moved to Chicago, Harry followed.
 

baby huey

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Cochrans and the Palace were the "Cats Meow." I made several trips up there starting in 1967 alone and later with Hawaiian Brian and Ron Conley. I played Joe Smiley at Cochrans geting the call 8 on a 41/2 X 9 and won and he moved me over to the 10 footer with dead rails (ala Frank the Barbers post) We played all night and all of a sudden he quit me and we were even. I said why are you quitting? He told me I had forgot to take the win with the call 8 for hours and kept shooting through to the 9 ball. After he saw me wake up and remember the spot he decided to quit.

That painting that hung up high in the Palace is something to behold. For those regulars who remember it, it was a guy taking his shirt off while the woman is in bed waiting for him. It's a Gay 90's type genre' but I wish I knew who owned it now. I'd pay handsome money for that painting.

There was something eerie about walking out of either room at 4AM into the fog of San Fran. You never knew what you might run into. I never had my cue in my case back then, I always carried my butt in my hand ready for action. I needed it a few times just as a prop mind you, because it could be rough in the Tenderloin. Still is..........
 

Island Drive

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florence, colorado
Probably told this story before it happened in Cochrans.
To the left as you walk in, there was a wooden slatted lengthwise bench by the 4'x4' room exhaust fan.
Black guy selling a white guy who was broke dick.......a joint for 75 cents.
The white guy kept repeating himself, ''no seeds man, don't give me no seeds''.
1970 and if you parked your ass on that bench that Fan, was 4' or so from your back as you faced the room, ok to light up there.
 

demonrho

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SoCal
....painting that hung up high in the Palace is something to behold. For those regulars who remember it, it was a guy taking his shirt off while the woman is in bed waiting for him. It's a Gay 90's type genre' but I wish I knew who owned it now. I'd pay handsome money for that painting....
Jeff Bay who owned Cochran's under name Hollywood Billiards and owned Hollywood Billiards in LA probably has the paintings that were on the walls of Palace Billiards
 

Jimmy B

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A trip down Market .. . Did anyone know Katsura, the girl player or Ernie Morgan, the good one handed player who blew off his bridge hand playing wi dynamite?


 

beatle

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knew nubby morgan well. a total piece of what do they call it. only one worse was detroit whitey. both great players at their prime.
 

mr3cushion

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Cocoa Beach, FL
A trip down Market .. . Did anyone know Katsura, the girl player or Ernie Morgan, the good one handed player who blew off his bridge hand playing wi dynamite?


In 68 or 69, Artie was on the road in CA with 'Fat Jerry' from Chicago. In LA at 4th & Main they met a little Mexican straight rail player that never missed, he didn't speak English much. They dragged him up to San Fran to play Katsura at the Palace. The owner was, Bill? who would bet any amount on Katsura. They played the first night and she beat Artie's horse pretty bad. When they left the PR and got back to their room, they had a friend ask him, "What happened, you couldn't run points?" He confessed he'd never played with ivory balls before, they rolled off a little on him.

When they came back to play again, they insisted to play with the, 'plastic balls'. Katsura had beaten the little guy so badly, Bill agreed to any terms. Naturally, He beat her and they busted out the room for more than 3 times what they had lost. Once the guy got a hold of the, 'plastic balls' it was history.

I never saw her play in person.
 

Island Drive

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mr3C.
After a night of play.....I remember a 24 hr restaurant on market street, up street away from the bay that I ventured in around 3am to get a bite after playing. When I walked in WOW, I felt like I was in the Star Wars Bar scene that had every animal, from every planet partying and carrying on. It was a hoot to see all these gay people, dressed like those in the Star wars scene. Almost felt like halloween in a way. The place was packed, bars had emptied out. Kinda like a Dennys/Not. I did work at Henry Africas on Vanness Blvd. They called em fern bars. For me to make a Tom Collins, I had to crack an egg, remove the yolk, pour it in a can/shake it with the mix and serve, with that frothy head. Also, if you wanted a screwdriver. We squeezed a fresh orange for each drink.
 

mr3cushion

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mr3C.
After a night of play.....I remember a 24 hr restaurant on market street, up street away from the bay that I ventured in around 3am to get a bite after playing. When I walked in WOW, I felt like I was in the Star Wars Bar scene that had every animal, from every planet partying and carrying on. It was a hoot to see all these gay people, dressed like those in the Star wars scene. Almost felt like halloween in a way. The place was packed, bars had emptied out. Kinda like a Dennys/Not. I did work at Henry Africas on Vanness Blvd. They called em fern bars. For me to make a Tom Collins, I had to crack an egg, remove the yolk, pour it in a can/shake it with the mix and serve, with that frothy head. Also, if you wanted a screwdriver. We squeezed a fresh orange for each drink.
It sounds like the "60's" were good to You!
 

Jimmy B

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In 68 or 69, Artie was on the road in CA with 'Fat Jerry' from Chicago. In LA at 4th & Main they met a little Mexican straight rail player that never missed, he didn't speak English much. They dragged him up to San Fran to play Katsura at the Palace. The owner was, Bill? who would bet any amount on Katsura. They played the first night and she beat Artie's horse pretty bad. When they left the PR and got back to their room, they had a friend ask him, "What happened, you couldn't run points?" He confessed he'd never played with ivory balls before, they rolled off a little on him.

When they came back to play again, they insisted to play with the, 'plastic balls'. Katsura had beaten the little guy so badly, Bill agreed to any terms. Naturally, He beat her and they busted out the room for more than 3 times what they had lost. Once the guy got a hold of the, 'plastic balls' it was history.

I never saw her play in person.


Good Story relating the difference in the ivory and plastic. I never would have thought it could be that much. But Artie was so smart. I would have cussed the little guy out and called him a choke artist but Artie knew what to do. Artie might be in an action room and be playing himself while backing three or four other guys at the same time, knowing he had the best of it in all spots. He just knew...
 
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mr3cushion

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Cocoa Beach, FL
Good Story relating the difference in the ivory and plastic. I never would have thought it could be that much. But Artie was so smart. I would have cussed the little guy out and called him a choke artist but Artie knew what to do. Artie might be in an action room and be playing himself while backing three or four other guys at the same time, knowing he had the best of it in all spots. He just knew...
!00% Jimmy! Especially when He groomed a couple of young players on the 'QT.' Down in Bensingers and at the Northshore Club where the action was pretty Big and regular.
 

Frank Almanza

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knew nubby morgan well. a total piece of what do they call it. only one worse was detroit whitey. both great players at their prime.
I ran into him too and had the same impression of him like you do. In the sixties I played a lot in a bowling alley in Monteray Park California. For a week straight there was a guy scoping me out. He then set up a coffee shop meet with the three of us. They wanted to set a game up (doing business) with me giving up the five ball and Ernest playing one handed. He even showed me a scrapbook of his. In that book there was something in it about him playing for loyalty in England. Wanting me to dump I told them that’s not a thing I would. Never saw them after that. The next day one of the waitresses told me that they skipped out on the coffee bill. Couldn’t have been more than a few bucks.
 

beatle

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nubby would after he burned himself out of any chance of making money in a room , he would hit up anyone he could find for spare change, even a quarter if he could shame you into giving it.
 
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