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Al Bonife "New York Blackie" Passed Away
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Arrow Al Bonife "New York Blackie" Passed Away - 08-16-2007, 06:36 PM

YJY at onepocket.org posted:

Al Bonife "New York Blackie" Passes Away

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With great sadness, I would like to post that Al Bonife (better known as New York Blackie) passed away yesterday. He had spent the last year living with Buddy Hall in Metropolis, IL. Please keep his loved ones in your thought & prayers.


Many players in Tampa and New Orleans are saddened by this news.
R.I.P. Blackie
My condolences to his friends and family and to his best friend Buddy Hall.

Doug
  
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08-16-2007, 06:42 PM

............

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Sad news
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Sad news - 08-16-2007, 06:43 PM

I never met him, but I've heard about him for years. It's always sad when someone passes. Thanks for letting us know. Our thoughts and prayers go out for those who knew and loved him.
  
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08-16-2007, 06:59 PM

Terrible news! My heartfelt condolences go out to his family ..I knew him,he was a very special human being..

R.I.P. NY Blackie.
  
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Blackie the great
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Blackie the great - 08-16-2007, 09:18 PM

Blackie lived in Portland Oregon back in the late 60's early 70's was here a couple of years and worked in the downtown pool hall "Park Avenue" All the stories told about his time here were spectacular. He beat those who lived here,and every living human who came to town. Some who were young pool players at the time will all morn this loss as they are now the old timers.
  
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08-16-2007, 09:32 PM

Blackie was my friend. I miss him. Recent photo of Blackie doing his second favorite thing.


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08-16-2007, 09:35 PM

Blackie was a true road warrior. His entire life was spent as a pool player. He lived all over the USA, usually for periods of a month to a few years. EVERYONE in the pool world knew Blackie, and had stories to tell about him. He was a lovable rogue, one minute laughing with his arm around you, and the next minute his other hand was in your pocket.

I knew him from my youth in New York in the mid 60's, and then in Johnston City and Vegas. Like Pancho, Blackie turned up anywhere there was action, whether it be Florida or California. He even spent a couple of months hanging around my poolroom in Bakersfield in the 70's. Only I knew how good he played. He NEVER showed his speed. I gambled with him almost daily at cards and pool, and he kept me sharp. He loved to get on the table and try different shots. That was kind of a New York thing, all those guys had their favorite shots.

I'll never forget the first time I ever saw him in New York. This young handsome guy with the huge shiny black hair pushed up high on his head. He talked funny, mostly out of the side of his mouth, and every line was a move. He knew every angle in the poolroom and invented a few of his own.
All I can say was that 7-11 was a helluva training ground, cause every guy that came out of there was the dead nuts. One poolroom was responsible for turning out Jersey Red, Boston Shorty, Blackie, Ervolino, Richie Ambrose, Brooklyn Jimmy and a few other lesser lites. This was Murderer's Row, circa 1960's.

I think Johnny Irish was the mentor to this entire crew, and they all took after him. Well, I'll miss you Blackie. I'm sorry I didn't get to see you one more time. You always put a smile on my face. Thanks buddy.
  
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08-16-2007, 09:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert
Blackie was a true road warrior. His entire life was spent as a pool player. He lived all over the USA, usually for periods of a month to a few years. EVERYONE in the pool world knew Blackie, and had stories to tell about him. He was a lovable rogue, one minute laughing with his arm around you, and the next minute his other hand was in your pocket.

I knew him from my youth in New York in the mid 60's, and then in Johnston City and Vegas. Like Pancho, Blackie turned up anywhere there was action, whether it be Florida or California. He even spent a couple of months hanging around my poolroom in Bakersfield in the 70's. Only I knew how good he played. He NEVER showed his speed. I gambled with him almost daily at cards and pool, and he kept me sharp. He loved to get on the table and try different shots. That was kind of a New York thing, all those guys had their favorite shots.

I'll never forget the first time I ever saw him in New York. This young handsome guy with the huge shiny black hair pushed up high on his head. He talked funny, mostly out of the side of his mouth, and every line was a move. He knew every angle in the poolroom and invented a few of his own.
All I can say was that 7-11 was a helluva training ground, cause every guy that came out of there was the dead nuts. One poolroom was responsible for turning out Jersey Red, Boston Shorty, Blackie, Ervolino, Richie Ambrose, Brooklyn Jimmy and a few other lesser lites. This was Murderer's Row, circa 1960's.

I think Johnny Irish was the mentor to this entire crew, and they all took after him. Well, I'll miss you Blackie. I'm sorry I didn't get to see you one more time. You always put a smile on my face. Thanks buddy.
This photo was taken in 1962 at Johnston City and Blackie looks exactly as you describe him.


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We'll miss "Blackie" in New Orleans
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Arrow We'll miss "Blackie" in New Orleans - 08-16-2007, 10:00 PM

Blackie was a great player and a great guy that I knew for over forty years, he just about lived in my pool room in New Orleans in the 90s and still could play a real good speed in his late sixties. Blackie called everyone he liked a lot a "goose" so if he ever called you that you now know he was your buddy. Speaking of Buddy, I'm sure the entire Buddy Hall family will miss Blackie he was one of the family for the Halls for many years. May God Bless his Soul.


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08-17-2007, 12:48 AM

The first time I ever met Blackie was a few years ago at the Carolinas Open. He was hanging close to Buddy Hall, and the three of us sweated a few matches and had a glorious conversation. I could have sat there and listened to those guys for hours. He was fully of stories. What a sweet man.

May he rest in peace. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

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08-17-2007, 01:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert
Blackie was a true road warrior. His entire life was spent as a pool player. He lived all over the USA, usually for periods of a month to a few years. EVERYONE in the pool world knew Blackie, and had stories to tell about him. He was a lovable rogue, one minute laughing with his arm around you, and the next minute his other hand was in your pocket.

I knew him from my youth in New York in the mid 60's, and then in Johnston City and Vegas. Like Pancho, Blackie turned up anywhere there was action, whether it be Florida or California. He even spent a couple of months hanging around my poolroom in Bakersfield in the 70's. Only I knew how good he played. He NEVER showed his speed. I gambled with him almost daily at cards and pool, and he kept me sharp. He loved to get on the table and try different shots. That was kind of a New York thing, all those guys had their favorite shots.

I'll never forget the first time I ever saw him in New York. This young handsome guy with the huge shiny black hair pushed up high on his head. He talked funny, mostly out of the side of his mouth, and every line was a move. He knew every angle in the poolroom and invented a few of his own.
All I can say was that 7-11 was a helluva training ground, cause every guy that came out of there was the dead nuts. One poolroom was responsible for turning out Jersey Red, Boston Shorty, Blackie, Ervolino, Richie Ambrose, Brooklyn Jimmy and a few other lesser lites. This was Murderer's Row, circa 1960's.

I think Johnny Irish was the mentor to this entire crew, and they all took after him. Well, I'll miss you Blackie. I'm sorry I didn't get to see you one more time. You always put a smile on my face. Thanks buddy.
Jay,
You are a very interesting and intellegent poster,the more of your post I read ,the more I realize how informative,and entertaining you actually are.You are right on with your assessment of Blackie. Blackie and I had a lot of respect for oneanother,every time I would run into him on the road we would always try to help oneanother out. He was as stand up guy as i've ever been around,I really,really liked that man. I'm sad to hear that he passed,my condolences to his family,he will be sorely missed.
  
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08-17-2007, 01:07 AM

Does anyone know how he passed? Buddy and Blackie was here in nearby Cookeville a couple of months ago for a few days and I didn't know he was ill! Sad News for he was a interesting and entertaining man. I just met him and didn't know much history about him.


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sad news - 08-17-2007, 02:25 AM

It is sad news to hear of such a great ambassador to the sport passing . Does anyone have any information on the funeral arrangements or when it is to be held? I live close enough that I may try to make it. I just spoke with him for quite a while at a tournament in Metropolis maybe six weeks ago or so. He seemed to be doing well. My condolences to his friends and family.

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08-17-2007, 03:58 AM

As you know, I am originally from Paducah, Ky and have just recently moved to Louisville. I have gotten to know Buddy and Blackie the past year and half extemely well. I would see them about everyday and would often play with Blackie at Side Pockets in Paducah...our home room. Blackie was an everyday guy at Side Pockets and he brightened everyones day. He loved talking about pool, fishing, boxing, cards, and he would often enlighten us about stories from the road. It was always a great treat when Blackie was around. I always thought it was funny how Buddy called him Albert. He was the only person I knew that called him that... I think it got under Blackie's skin a little. It was great.

Blackie reminded me of the "cool" great uncle that everyone has. He was always quick with a joke or witty remark. He was a lover of life and an extremely nice person. He never made any fanfare about his pool days and he treated all of us at Side Pockets extremely well. I know that I speak for everyone in Paducah...including YJY from onepocket.org who is a regular and one of my best friends...when I say that Albert will be truly missed. I am going to call as soon as I can and send my regards...and all of yours to his friends down in Paducah.


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Say hello to Pancho and Ervolino
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Say hello to Pancho and Ervolino - 08-17-2007, 04:17 AM

Blackie is the only guy from the original 7-11 crew that I never got close to. It seemed like wherever he was on the road, I wasn't. I hardly ever seen him play, but I had heard he was one of the great shotmakers in the game. I think Brooklyn Jimmy is the only guy left alive out of that 7-11 crew. Adios Blackie, and tell Pancho, Ervolino, and Jersey Red that the Beard says hello.

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