Cochran's and Palace Billiards

Jimmy B

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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.


What about 'Kansas City Whitey' who was Richard Specks buddy? The nurse killer? Grady said his family sent him 2 or 3k a month to stay out of town. That was your buddy, right???.. I'm just kidding..
 

beatle

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never heard of him.
but i avoided the central u.s. and the south. you got robbed or beat up and didnt get out with the money often if you hung around more than a few days.
 

Jimmy B

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That guy called Canadian Dick in Cochrans who played good snooker and and hustled playing every shot wi the rake, ala Corey, said 12 footers posed little problems for him because he learned on some 7 by 14 foot snooker table. Was he just making that up? Because I googled and can't find anything about 14 footers, but why would he lie. Does anyone know about that situation??
 

beatle

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a little foggy on the details but there was a guy called canadian dick or pete. and he played great snooker. i think he came down from alberta someplace, probably calgary. at one of the tournaments or actions spots he was shooting his mouth off and challenged billy i. to play some nine ball on the snooker table. of course no one in their right mind would do that, but billy came back with okay but we use pool balls. dick declined that one.
 

NH Steve

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New Hampshire
I wish I could ask some of the people I interviewed just a few more questions -- like Norm Webber and Salt, who both spent a lot of time there. Norm a little earlier, but they definitely overlapped.
 

Jimmy B

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I heard a lot about him but never met him

I see Frank. I read where he hung out with Harry The Russian a lot. There were people with unusual nicknames there. Like Jesse The Go Away Kid'. How did he get that name? Did he leave town and then come back quite often, like 'One Eyed Hank' who would leave and go out to sea every year for six months or so? How could he stay in stroke like that? Fascinating people. Sleepy Bob.. He must have fell asleep in the pool room a lot.. Tugboat', ? I'm sure he was in the water a lot also. Anybody here deal with them???
 

baby huey

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I was an LA guy but those weekend roadies to San Fran were a lot of fun. In Oakland I went into a pool room with Ron Conley, my first road partner, and we went up the stairs to the room and on the left it was a mexican players pool room and on the right an black players room? I think it was on 14th street. Anyway we played a little in both rooms and it was quite strange to say the least. I also played in the Fillmore District at a room called Trees I think. I played Johnnie "Go Away Kid" there and I needed a little weight from him and did win a $100 or so. I cannot think of any place in the country where so much pool was played by so many people in so many rooms. A close second to the Bay Area would be LA in terms of rooms and action and eclectic players. Although some of you would disagree with me and make a case for another part of the country just as fun. Who knows?
 

jrhendy

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May 24, 2004
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Placerville, CA
Jessie ’The Go Away Kid’. Played pretty good until the late 80’s, early 90’s. I met/played him at a tournament at the original CA Billiards.
I see Frank. I read where he hung out with Harry The Russian a lot. There were people with unusual nicknames there. Like Jesse The Go Away Kid'. How did he get that name? Did he leave town and then come back quite often, like 'One Eyed Hank' who would leave and go out to sea every year for six months or so? How could he stay in stroke like that? Fascinating people. Sleepy Bob.. He must have fell asleep in the pool room a lot.. Tugboat', ? I'm sure he was in the water a lot also. Anybody here deal with them???
I would go to Hollywood Billiards in LA in the late 50’s/60’s. Full of characters and Sleepy Bob was one of them. He played all games well, including three cushion. He would ask me if I had any money, and I said I had $40. He said he was going to play Jack Perkins for $80 and I could have half. I was thrilled to be one of the boys. They let me sit in the action room and sweat it. I went for this twice before I figured out they were dumping me. He tried to spot me ten points in three red ball snooker and I won $60 back.

They had some characters. Feathers, George The Drummer, Fitz, Legs, Crying Sam, Hollywood Jack, Junior (Ronnie Allen), and more. What a place to cut your teeth in the pool world.
 

demonrho

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SoCal
Grady on Cochran's (maybe originally from onepocket.org):

"Cochran's was anything and everything, simply the greatest pool room ever. 1028 Market St. was the actual address. I worked there in 1963. I got paid two dollars an hour and often I'd pay someone five bucks an hour to work for me so I could be in action. Public transportation was $.15. I didn?t own a car and neither did my friends.
Ronnie Allen won the One Pocket tournament there in 1962. When it was over nobody hustled him to play for money. Ronnie gave Earl Whitehead 8 to 5 and the break and won easily. Denny Searcy played "Cliff Thorburn" to a virtual draw on the 6 X 12 snooker table. That was a 40 hour match.
Here is an incomplete list of the regulars, as I remember them, with some assorted shorts:
"Trees," worked for the post office for a while but liked pool and the race track too much to continue. A warm, honest human being who played decent Banks.
"Legs," Gerald was his name, a good hustler and better than average shortstop.
"Ears," smart and clever, a real good game maker.
"100 Ball Blackie," still played a nice game in his dotage. We used to kid him and call him 10 Ball Blackie but he used to run 100's on the 5 X 10.
"Kansas City Whitey", a real rascal, his parents sent him $2,000 a month to stay away from home.
"Jesse, The Go Away Kid", a flashy young black player with much gamble.
"King of the open table," so called because on the ?open Table? ( a 6 X 12 snooker table) anyone could play for the time. The King would go months without losing a single game but wouldn't play for money.

"One Eyed Hank," a brilliant but troubled player, spent half of every year at sea, killed himself with an overdose of LSD, or so it was said. I loved Hank and I still miss him.
"Mexican Phil," A really good One Pocket player, moved like a ghost, was a terrific gambler, but couldn't leave the bottle alone.
"Okie Sam" Very good all round player and scuffler. He came from the Eddie Taylor school of pool. He died of cancer, broke and lonely.
"Ronnie Allen" displayed his power One Pocket game to everybody. He was aggressive and fearless and really unbeatable.
"Frank Bananas Rodriguez" One of the sharpest gamblers I ever knew. He was a perfect gentleman and a very fine One Pocket player.
"Canadian Dick" The resident philosopher. On the 6x12 table by the counter, there was a daily out hole only game. To give you an idea how good Dick played, one day in that game, 11 times in a row, he one railed his ball into the out hole. He moved to Burlingame and managed a pet store until he passed away.
"San Jose Dick" He liked action so much that he would sometimes rent two tables next to each other and play two opponents at once. For awhile, Dick played about as good a One Pocket as anybody in the world.
"Jack Perkins" A flashy young and sharp gambler who played One Pocket about a ball under Ronnie.
"Harry the Russian" Used to hang around with "Bananas." Harry was a good game maker and took care of himself.
"Hawaiian Paul" Worked at the Palace down the street. Paul played as good a Nine Ball as anybody in the world but only against weak players and for small money. ($3 to $10 a game) Paul also played very good golf.
"Rusty Jones," a high roller and one of the classiest gamblers I ever knew.
"Denny Searcy," the best stroke of any player ever. It's too bad scientists didn?t examine it when he was maybe the best player in the world.
Philipino Gene, a good card player and hustler.
"Oakland Blackie", Bucktooth's uncle and a top shortstop, and let's not forget the "Tooth" himself!
"Earl Phillips," a venerable older player who never said a word but was tough to beat for the dough.
"Sleepy Bob," a very fine player.
"Johnny Vivas," played everything good, too bad he was a heroin addict.
"Tugboat Whaley," grand old-timer who was one of the few willing to share knowledge.
While I was there, notable visitors included: Clem, Boston Shorty, Artie from Chicago,
"Jack Stamper," Eddie Taylor, Richie Florence, Weldon Rogers, Jack Coony, Al the Plumber,
"Portland Don," Cole Dickson, and Joe Salazar (Tracy Joe then.).
Quite a crew, wouldn't you say?"
 

Jimmy B

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6,275
Jessie ’The Go Away Kid’. Played pretty good until the late 80’s, early 90’s. I met/played him at a tournament at the original CA Billiards.

I would go to Hollywood Billiards in LA in the late 50’s/60’s. Full of characters and Sleepy Bob was one of them. He played all games well, including three cushion. He would ask me if I had any money, and I said I had $40. He said he was going to play Jack Perkins for $80 and I could have half. I was thrilled to be one of the boys. They let me sit in the action room and sweat it. I went for this twice before I figured out they were dumping me. He tried to spot me ten points in three red ball snooker and I won $60 back.

They had some characters. Feathers, George The Drummer, Fitz, Legs, Crying Sam, Hollywood Jack, Junior (Ronnie Allen), and more. What a place to cut your teeth in the pool world.


Yeah. That's sorry as hell to take a young up-and-comer, full of enthusiasm, and dump them like that, imo.. F him
 

Jimmy B

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Aug 17, 2007
Messages
6,275
Grady on Cochran's (maybe originally from onepocket.org):

"Cochran's was anything and everything, simply the greatest pool room ever. 1028 Market St. was the actual address. I worked there in 1963. I got paid two dollars an hour and often I'd pay someone five bucks an hour to work for me so I could be in action. Public transportation was $.15. I didn?t own a car and neither did my friends.
Ronnie Allen won the One Pocket tournament there in 1962. When it was over nobody hustled him to play for money. Ronnie gave Earl Whitehead 8 to 5 and the break and won easily. Denny Searcy played "Cliff Thorburn" to a virtual draw on the 6 X 12 snooker table. That was a 40 hour match.
Here is an incomplete list of the regulars, as I remember them, with some assorted shorts:
"Trees," worked for the post office for a while but liked pool and the race track too much to continue. A warm, honest human being who played decent Banks.
"Legs," Gerald was his name, a good hustler and better than average shortstop.
"Ears," smart and clever, a real good game maker.
"100 Ball Blackie," still played a nice game in his dotage. We used to kid him and call him 10 Ball Blackie but he used to run 100's on the 5 X 10.
"Kansas City Whitey", a real rascal, his parents sent him $2,000 a month to stay away from home.
"Jesse, The Go Away Kid", a flashy young black player with much gamble.
"King of the open table," so called because on the ?open Table? ( a 6 X 12 snooker table) anyone could play for the time. The King would go months without losing a single game but wouldn't play for money.

"One Eyed Hank," a brilliant but troubled player, spent half of every year at sea, killed himself with an overdose of LSD, or so it was said. I loved Hank and I still miss him.
"Mexican Phil," A really good One Pocket player, moved like a ghost, was a terrific gambler, but couldn't leave the bottle alone.
"Okie Sam" Very good all round player and scuffler. He came from the Eddie Taylor school of pool. He died of cancer, broke and lonely.
"Ronnie Allen" displayed his power One Pocket game to everybody. He was aggressive and fearless and really unbeatable.
"Frank Bananas Rodriguez" One of the sharpest gamblers I ever knew. He was a perfect gentleman and a very fine One Pocket player.
"Canadian Dick" The resident philosopher. On the 6x12 table by the counter, there was a daily out hole only game. To give you an idea how good Dick played, one day in that game, 11 times in a row, he one railed his ball into the out hole. He moved to Burlingame and managed a pet store until he passed away.
"San Jose Dick" He liked action so much that he would sometimes rent two tables next to each other and play two opponents at once. For awhile, Dick played about as good a One Pocket as anybody in the world.
"Jack Perkins" A flashy young and sharp gambler who played One Pocket about a ball under Ronnie.
"Harry the Russian" Used to hang around with "Bananas." Harry was a good game maker and took care of himself.
"Hawaiian Paul" Worked at the Palace down the street. Paul played as good a Nine Ball as anybody in the world but only against weak players and for small money. ($3 to $10 a game) Paul also played very good golf.
"Rusty Jones," a high roller and one of the classiest gamblers I ever knew.
"Denny Searcy," the best stroke of any player ever. It's too bad scientists didn?t examine it when he was maybe the best player in the world.
Philipino Gene, a good card player and hustler.
"Oakland Blackie", Bucktooth's uncle and a top shortstop, and let's not forget the "Tooth" himself!
"Earl Phillips," a venerable older player who never said a word but was tough to beat for the dough.
"Sleepy Bob," a very fine player.
"Johnny Vivas," played everything good, too bad he was a heroin addict.
"Tugboat Whaley," grand old-timer who was one of the few willing to share knowledge.
While I was there, notable visitors included: Clem, Boston Shorty, Artie from Chicago,
"Jack Stamper," Eddie Taylor, Richie Florence, Weldon Rogers, Jack Coony, Al the Plumber,
"Portland Don," Cole Dickson, and Joe Salazar (Tracy Joe then.).
Quite a crew, wouldn't you say?"


Awesome. Who in here saw the snooker match between Searcy and Thorburn? Grady said it was the greatest match he ever witnessed and Helfert said that after they played, they teamed up and traveled the country in a Jaguar, plundering the nation for many thousands of dollars....
 
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beatle

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Jun 21, 2009
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generally if you can get a bet down you are getting dumped unless you know what is going on.
 

jrhendy

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May 24, 2004
Messages
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From
Placerville, CA
Grady on Cochran's (maybe originally from onepocket.org):

"Cochran's was anything and everything, simply the greatest pool room ever. 1028 Market St. was the actual address. I worked there in 1963. I got paid two dollars an hour and often I'd pay someone five bucks an hour to work for me so I could be in action. Public transportation was $.15. I didn?t own a car and neither did my friends.
Ronnie Allen won the One Pocket tournament there in 1962. When it was over nobody hustled him to play for money. Ronnie gave Earl Whitehead 8 to 5 and the break and won easily. Denny Searcy played "Cliff Thorburn" to a virtual draw on the 6 X 12 snooker table. That was a 40 hour match.
Here is an incomplete list of the regulars, as I remember them, with some assorted shorts:
"Trees," worked for the post office for a while but liked pool and the race track too much to continue. A warm, honest human being who played decent Banks.
"Legs," Gerald was his name, a good hustler and better than average shortstop.
"Ears," smart and clever, a real good game maker.
"100 Ball Blackie," still played a nice game in his dotage. We used to kid him and call him 10 Ball Blackie but he used to run 100's on the 5 X 10.
"Kansas City Whitey", a real rascal, his parents sent him $2,000 a month to stay away from home.
"Jesse, The Go Away Kid", a flashy young black player with much gamble.
"King of the open table," so called because on the ?open Table? ( a 6 X 12 snooker table) anyone could play for the time. The King would go months without losing a single game but wouldn't play for money.

"One Eyed Hank," a brilliant but troubled player, spent half of every year at sea, killed himself with an overdose of LSD, or so it was said. I loved Hank and I still miss him.
"Mexican Phil," A really good One Pocket player, moved like a ghost, was a terrific gambler, but couldn't leave the bottle alone.
"Okie Sam" Very good all round player and scuffler. He came from the Eddie Taylor school of pool. He died of cancer, broke and lonely.
"Ronnie Allen" displayed his power One Pocket game to everybody. He was aggressive and fearless and really unbeatable.
"Frank Bananas Rodriguez" One of the sharpest gamblers I ever knew. He was a perfect gentleman and a very fine One Pocket player.
"Canadian Dick" The resident philosopher. On the 6x12 table by the counter, there was a daily out hole only game. To give you an idea how good Dick played, one day in that game, 11 times in a row, he one railed his ball into the out hole. He moved to Burlingame and managed a pet store until he passed away.
"San Jose Dick" He liked action so much that he would sometimes rent two tables next to each other and play two opponents at once. For awhile, Dick played about as good a One Pocket as anybody in the world.
"Jack Perkins" A flashy young and sharp gambler who played One Pocket about a ball under Ronnie.
"Harry the Russian" Used to hang around with "Bananas." Harry was a good game maker and took care of himself.
"Hawaiian Paul" Worked at the Palace down the street. Paul played as good a Nine Ball as anybody in the world but only against weak players and for small money. ($3 to $10 a game) Paul also played very good golf.
"Rusty Jones," a high roller and one of the classiest gamblers I ever knew.
"Denny Searcy," the best stroke of any player ever. It's too bad scientists didn?t examine it when he was maybe the best player in the world.
Philipino Gene, a good card player and hustler.
"Oakland Blackie", Bucktooth's uncle and a top shortstop, and let's not forget the "Tooth" himself!
"Earl Phillips," a venerable older player who never said a word but was tough to beat for the dough.
"Sleepy Bob," a very fine player.
"Johnny Vivas," played everything good, too bad he was a heroin addict.
"Tugboat Whaley," grand old-timer who was one of the few willing to share knowledge.
While I was there, notable visitors included: Clem, Boston Shorty, Artie from Chicago,
"Jack Stamper," Eddie Taylor, Richie Florence, Weldon Rogers, Jack Coony, Al the Plumber,
"Portland Don," Cole Dickson, and Joe Salazar (Tracy Joe then.).
Quite a crew, wouldn't you say?"
Quite a list for sure. I did not make it up north from SoCal until 66 when I thought I could play a little snooker and jumped in a pay ball game. I could play, but not good enough. Tangled with many of them over the years, but the best on the list, IMO, was Denny Searcy. I even tried him on the trap 6 x 12 at the Billiard Palace in Bellflower. He would drink a 5th of booze and still bust the game.
 

jrhendy

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Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
5,330
From
Placerville, CA
I can’t remember if it was Cochran’s or The Palace, but you had to get the bathroom key from the houseman. I went in there and it looked empty, but a big black guy came out of the stall and pulled out a homemade sap. He looked at me and said, ‘Would you give me $8 for this’. Hell yes, I said, I have always wanted one of those. I think I gave him ten.
 
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