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View Full Version : A couple of photos from the Dallas pool scene in the 1960s


BillPorter
06-18-2010, 01:00 PM
A guy I was helping with a book about his life as a pool hustler asked my opinion about using a particular person's real name in the book. As we discussed this issue, I recalled having seen a couple of photos of the person in question when I had visited them a few years back in Dallas. The author asked if there were any way he could get the photos for his book, so we embarked on a project of tracking down the pics. A friend of mine in Dallas (Mike Haines) was able to go to the person's house and eventually they came up with the photos. Mike took them to Fed Ex/Kinko's to be scanned and sent along to me. I edited them and sent them along to the guy who is writing the book.

So it occurred to me that someone on AZ might be old enough to remember the world-class tush hog in these pics. Anyone? Anyone?

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Other/Alf-Photos/Vernon-cropped-levels-US-Mask/905615664_XXT7H-XL.jpg

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Other/Alf-Photos/Vernon-Danny-cropped-levels-US/905615623_cYaEU-XL.jpg

DRW
06-18-2010, 01:06 PM
Bobby Leblanc

BillPorter
06-18-2010, 01:08 PM
Bobby Leblanc

Bobby MIGHT be the guy writing the book, but he is not the muscular guy in the pics. Bobby would have been about 3-4 years old when these pics were taken.

mandersotx
06-18-2010, 01:21 PM
Are the initials B.I.?

Karate
06-18-2010, 01:24 PM
Kind-of looks like Brad Pitts character from the movie Snatch. I wouldn't f**k with him or the dogs...and I damn sure wouldn't burn down his trailer with his mom inside. :D

Can't wait for an ID on this guy.

Karate-
ps. I always like to see your photos Bill, thanks for sharing.

Scott Lee
06-18-2010, 01:29 PM
mandersotx...To my recollection, "B.I." has never been a tush hog...a great player...a great gamber...but no tush hog!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Are the initials B.I.?

Johnnyt
06-18-2010, 01:40 PM
It does look like a youg Billy I. Johnnyt

Johnnyt
06-18-2010, 01:46 PM
Dallas West? Johnnyt

BillPorter
06-18-2010, 02:01 PM
Are the initials B.I.?

Are you thinking of Billy Incardona? Good guess, but incorrect. The initials are V.L.

Maniac
06-18-2010, 02:10 PM
He's a pool player for sure! He's already "lost his shirt" :D!!!

Maniac

Johnnyt
06-18-2010, 02:23 PM
He's a pool player for sure! He's already "lost his shirt" :D!!!

Maniac

LMAO. Good one. Johnnyt

Cuebuddy
06-18-2010, 02:30 PM
For everyone who is as ignorant as myself.:o
A tush hog is the kind of person who starts a fight for no other reason than that they wish to hurt someone, not for Honor or valour, just because they want to inflict pain.

Johnnyt
06-18-2010, 02:37 PM
I always thought a tush hog was a bodyguard for a pool player. Johnnyt

BillPorter
06-18-2010, 02:37 PM
For everyone who is as ignorant as myself.:o
A tush hog is the kind of person who starts a fight for no other reason than that they wish to hurt someone, not for Honor or valour, just because they want to inflict pain.

Yeah, for me, a "tush hog" is a rough customer who is prone to physical violence and who isn't going to lose any sleep over hurting someone.

BillPorter
06-18-2010, 02:39 PM
I always thought a tush hog was a bodyguard for a pool player. Johnnyt

The guy in the picture did some body guard work from time to time. He also collected money for a few high rolling gamblers.

Cuebuddy
06-18-2010, 02:47 PM
Yeah, for me, a "tush hog" is a rough customer who is prone to physical violence and who isn't going to lose any sleep over hurting someone.

Thanks for your definition Bill and thanks for the pic.

1 Pocket Ghost
06-18-2010, 09:53 PM
Are the initials B.I.?



It does look like a young Billy I. Johnnyt



Huh?...this guy doesn't look one iota like a young 'Pittsburgh Billy'...Billy's looks are/were, big city, east coast, black-haired Italian...this guy looks like a southern country boy.


- Ghost

SJDinPHX
06-19-2010, 08:10 AM
Bill,

Not sure about the guy shooting, (looks like maybe Cotton) but the guy standing is definately a young Vernon Litton. (sp)

Rod and I covered it extensively on I P. org. (thread "Dallas Tush Hog" by CaliRed, refering to your post here)

Stop over once in a while,

Dick

BillPorter
06-19-2010, 08:26 AM
Bill,

Not sure about the guy shooting, (looks like maybe Cotton) but the guy standing is definately a young Vernon Litton. (sp)

Rod and I covered it extensively on I P. org. (thread "Dallas Tush Hog" by CaliRed, refering to your post here)

Stop over once in a while,

Dick

Hey, Dick...I knew that if you saw this thread you'd recognize Vernon right away. You probably remember Danny Matthews, though you may not have recognized him in this photo. I'll have to check out the thread you mentioned. For the guys here on AZ, the main thing to know about Vernon back in the 1960s is that it was better to be his friend than his enemy.

I talked to Vernon on the phone the other day and even though he's 82 and can barely get around, he still threatened me bodily harm if I didn't get his photographs back to him intact.

Dick, I plan to be in Arizona the first part of October and hope to see you and Alfie Taylor. I just finished helping him put all his notes together into a manuscript -- maybe he'll let you look through it.

jay helfert
06-19-2010, 09:57 AM
I know the guy shooting, definitely not Cotton. Looks a little like Calhoun or Willie Elder but it isn't either of them. I know this guy, just don't remember his name. Is it Danny? I may have even played him at the Cotton Bowl. He was a shortstop One Pocket player.

BillPorter
06-19-2010, 10:08 AM
I know the guy shooting, definitely not Cotton. Looks a little like Calhoun or Willie Elder but it isn't either of them. I know this guy, just don't remember his name. Is it Danny? I may have even played him at the Cotton Bowl. He was a shortstop One Pocket player.

Jay, your memory never ceases to amaze! The guy with the hat is Danny Matthews, a local bookie and pretty fair pool player. One night I started betting Danny on a proposition that involved me throwing a cue ball three rails to knock in a ball. He got me $90 stuck, in 1963 money, but five hours later I finally got back to even. I walked with a limp for a while because I had been leaning hard up against the rail of the table for about 7 hours.

jay helfert
06-19-2010, 11:06 AM
Jay, your memory never ceases to amaze! The guy with the hat is Danny Matthews, a local bookie and pretty fair pool player. One night I started betting Danny on a proposition that involved me throwing a cue ball three rails to knock in a ball. He got me $90 stuck, in 1963 money, but five hours later I finally got back to even. I walked with a limp for a while because I had been leaning hard up against the rail of the table for about 7 hours.

Pretty sure he was the old guy I played $5 One Pocket with for about 8-10 hours one day. I had a helluva time beating him out of $20. I was glad when he quit.

sausage
06-19-2010, 11:44 AM
i don't know who the guy is but his dogs are definitely from the original, "dogs playing pool" poster. :grin-square:

cuesmith
06-19-2010, 12:36 PM
I was thinking Titanic Thompson, but the initials don't work.

bstroud
06-19-2010, 01:22 PM
Bill,

As you probably remember from the Cotton Palace, Vernon used to get so mad because he could not beat me that his face would turn beet red and he would threaten me.

Were you there the day Vernon staked Mike Ferguson against me? I gave Mike the 5 up in 9 ball and beat him. I thought Vernon was going to have a heart attack.

He was more bark than bite. Charlie Boyd was way more dangerous.

Great times.

Bill Stroud

BillPorter
06-19-2010, 01:23 PM
I was thinking Titanic Thompson, but the initials don't work.
Vernon Litton for the muscle guy and Danny Matthews with the hat. Coincidentally, Titanic Thompson, then in his 70s, was around Cotton Bowling Palace for a few years at the same time that Vernon and Danny were there. Roughly the 1963-1966 time period. Cotton Palace lost its billiard license in May of 1966.

BillPorter
06-19-2010, 01:30 PM
Bill,

As you probably remember from the Cotton Palace, Vernon used to get so mad because he could not beat me that his face would turn beet red and he would threaten me.

Were you there the day Vernon staked Mike Ferguson against me? I gave Mike the 5 up in 9 ball and beat him. I thought Vernon was going to have a heart attack.

He was more bark than bite. Charlie Boyd was way more dangerous.

Great times.

Bill Stroud

I don't recall your match with Mike Ferguson, but I do remember than you and Vernon weren't that friendly. And for sure, Charlie was far more dangerous. And R.D. Matthews more dangerous yet. I may not be remembering this right, but didn't Vernon get physical with you once? Rubbed your face in a bush or something like that? Like I said, I may not have that right. And it seems like he once paid some kid to threaten you and that got turned around on him. Billy, you'll have to set the reord straight here as you probably remember these events better than I do.

I do recall when you beat Jerry Trigg at Cotton Palace and I think that is when you became generally considered the best 9-ball player in Dallas. Right?

SJDinPHX
06-19-2010, 06:50 PM
Jay, your memory never ceases to amaze! The guy with the hat is Danny Matthews, a local bookie and pretty fair pool player. One night I started betting Danny on a proposition that involved me throwing a cue ball three rails to knock in a ball. He got me $90 stuck, in 1963 money, but five hours later I finally got back to even. I walked with a limp for a while because I had been leaning hard up against the rail of the table for about 7 hours.

Bill, now that you point it out, I do see a resemblance to Danny Matthews. No way to tell with the hat on, but didn't we used to call him "the Bald Eagle" ?

I could be confusing him with another guy, who frequented the Le Cue in Houston, and the Cotton Bowling Palace, and Times Square in Dallas.

I know the "Bald Eagles" name was Danny,...I just can't be sure his last name was Matthew's...Am I close ?
Smart gambler, but he was a low end shortstop at pool...but no dummy at matching up.

PS.. I bet Rod (Androd) on 1P.org would know for sure.

BillPorter
06-19-2010, 06:59 PM
Bill, now that you point it out, I do see a resemblance to Danny Matthews. No way to tell with the hat on, but didn't we used to call him "the Bald Eagle" ?

I could be confusing him with another guy, who frequented the Le Cue in Houston, and the Cotton Bowling Palace, and Times Square in Dallas.

I know the "Bald Eagles" name was Danny,...I just can't be sure his last name was Matthew's...Am I close ?
Smart gambler, but he was a low end shortstop at pool...but no dummy at matching up.

PS.. I bet Rod (Androd) on 1P.org would know for sure.

Well, I know that Vernon was sure it was Danny Matthews when he gave the photo to Mike Haines yesterday. That "Bald Eagle" nicknames sounds right, but I'm not sure. Danny was a pretty smart gambler, but Titanic busted him one night on a dice proposition. (How many rolls of a single die to roll any given number. Ti gave Danny 3 rolls one time and 4 the next, alternating 3 and 4 rolls. That is equivalent to 3.5 rolls but unfortunately for Danny, 3.8 is the break-even point on that bet.)

BETNHI
06-19-2010, 07:41 PM
I watched Danny Mathews and Calvin Littlebear Play in Tulsa at Homer Gaffords place, they played all Sat evening and till noon Sunday, when the smoke cleared Danny had the cheese.

jay helfert
06-19-2010, 08:43 PM
Bill, the day after I played the old guy, I ran into a young guy with a big smile plastered all over his face, who had watched my game the day before. He asked me to play for $10 a game One Pocket and I said okay. After he beat me out of $40 I quit on him. I'll give you one guess who he was. He had a blonde afro style haircut and a constant smile on his face, with big shining teeth. He was like a well dressed hippy. Maybe in his late teens then. His initials are J.C. I think we played in Times Square.

Scott Lee
06-19-2010, 08:49 PM
Bill...Great to see you posting here. I remember the first time we met. A buddy and I drove over to Aspen from Gunnison, to see your shop. I wanted you to build me a box cue I had designed, but it cost too much at the time (I was 19, and a G was a TON of $$$ to me then...LOL). You did build me a cue, a few years later, but it was just a plain 4 pointer, and I picked it up from you at Cardone's tournament in Burlington IA in Oct. '75. I always kept the drawing, and you finally built the box cue for me, for my 30th b.d., 12 years later. It was the FIRST cue you built when you first got your CNC, that you had hooked up to your Mac (you were living in C. Spgs at that time). In 1991 I had to sell a high dollar cue to buy my APA franchise...it was either the custom Joss you made for me, or my 17 yr old Balabushka. The Bushka went for $4K, to the girl that started Atlas Billiard Supply. You always referred to me, to others (like at the trade show), as "the guy who sold a Balabushka, to keep a Josswest"! LOL Love what you're doing with the cue shows!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Bill,

As you probably remember from the Cotton Palace, Vernon used to get so mad because he could not beat me that his face would turn beet red and he would threaten me.

Were you there the day Vernon staked Mike Ferguson against me? I gave Mike the 5 up in 9 ball and beat him. I thought Vernon was going to have a heart attack.

He was more bark than bite. Charlie Boyd was way more dangerous.

Great times.

Bill Stroud

TxSkin
06-19-2010, 11:30 PM
Bill, now that you point it out, I do see a resemblance to Danny Matthews. No way to tell with the hat on, but didn't we used to call him "the Bald Eagle" ?

I could be confusing him with another guy, who frequented the Le Cue in Houston, and the Cotton Bowling Palace, and Times Square in Dallas.

I know the "Bald Eagles" name was Danny,...I just can't be sure his last name was Matthew's...Am I close ?
Smart gambler, but he was a low end shortstop at pool...but no dummy at matching up.

PS.. I bet Rod (Androd) on 1P.org would know for sure.

Was this guy also AKA "Balder" around Times Square? Would have been late 40s/early 50s probably in the early 70s.

Skin

jrackman
06-20-2010, 12:28 AM
Yeah, for me, a "tush hog" is a rough customer who is prone to physical violence and who isn't going to lose any sleep over hurting someone.Oh you know Bubba well?

BillPorter
06-20-2010, 04:49 AM
Bill, the day after I played the old guy, I ran into a young guy with a big smile plastered all over his face, who had watched my game the day before. He asked me to play for $10 a game One Pocket and I said okay. After he beat me out of $40 I quit on him. I'll give you one guess who he was. He had a blonde afro style haircut and a constant smile on his face, with big shining teeth. He was like a well dressed hippy. Maybe in his late teens then. His initials are J.C. I think we played in Times Square.
Jay, the only guy with those initials I could think of who might knock you out playing one hole is Jack Cooney. Didn't know he was ever at Times Square Cue Club, but who knows.

BillPorter
06-20-2010, 04:51 AM
Was this guy also AKA "Balder" around Times Square? Would have been late 40s/early 50s probably in the early 70s.

Skin

The age seems about right, but I was not around Dallas much after 1969, so I can't tell you about the early 1970s.

jay helfert
06-20-2010, 04:54 AM
Jay, the only guy with those initials I could think of who might knock you out playing one hole is Jack Cooney. Didn't know he was ever at Times Square Cue Club, but who knows.

Ever heard of James? That's what we called James Christopher.

BillPorter
06-20-2010, 05:39 AM
Ever heard of James? That's what we called James Christopher.
Sorry, I am familiar with the name, but I never knew him. Is this the guy? The one on the right?

http://billporter.smugmug.com/photos/907207862_bREE6-O.jpg

backplaying
06-20-2010, 06:27 AM
I met James over 35yrs ago when he came through. I think he was staying around the Memphis area at the time. I also remember Gordy,wasn't he a stakehorse/stirer also from the Memphis area and didn't really play much pool himself?

SJDinPHX
06-20-2010, 07:21 AM
Sorry, I am familiar with the name, but I never knew him. Is this the guy? The one on the right?

http://billporter.smugmug.com/photos/907207862_bREE6-O.jpg

James Christopher (AKA the Sniper) and I go way back to when he was a kid growing up in Corpus Christi. Frank Rodriguez and I went down there one time, and he gave me fits on a Bar Box (3 X 6 big cue ball)

We played for about 2-3 days off and on, and it was only Rods (Banana's) sharp moves on the rail, that got us out of there with the $$$. I think James and I actually broke about even, in games played. We later teamed up a few times and made a few scores. Sharp manager, and a square shooter. Always played all games well.

Talked to Charlie Brown a few weeks ago. He said James beat some guy for about 12K recently (in Mobile I think) So I guess he's still in action.

PS.. Not your fault Bill, but that is a terrible picture of him...Is that a "mullet" haircut he's sporting ?..:eek:

BillPorter
06-20-2010, 07:45 AM
James Christopher (AKA the Sniper) and I go way back to when he was a kid growing up in Corpus Christi. Frank Rodriguez and I went down there one time, and he gave me fits on a Bar Box (3 X 6 big cue ball)

We played for about 2-3 days off and on, and it was only Rods (Banana's) sharp moves on the rail, that got us out of there with the $$$. I think James and I actually broke about even, in games played. We later teamed up a few times and made a few scores. Sharp manager, and a square shooter. Always played all games well.

Talked to Charlie Brown a few weeks ago. He said James beat some guy for about 12K recently (in Mobile I think) So I guess he's still in action.

PS.. Not your fault Bill, but that is a terrible picture of him...Is that a "mullet" haircut he's sporting ?..:eek:

Dick, I "borrowed" the photo from a Website that showed pics of "Arkansas Pool Players." You might recognize a few on this site: http://imageevent.com/coram/arkansaspoolplayers

ironman
06-20-2010, 07:52 AM
Are the initials B.I.?

Ican see where you might get the idea. Billy wasnever a Tusch Hog at all. he was never loud, just Billy. He was though A pretty good Golden Gloves Boxer and stil a great boxing fan. I thought it was Robert Clark.LOL

ironman
06-20-2010, 07:54 AM
Dallas West? Johnnyt

Good one, LMAO!!!!!!!!!

Papa Red
06-20-2010, 08:04 AM
Dick, I "borrowed" the photo from a Website that showed pics of "Arkansas Pool Players." You might recognize a few on this site: http://imageevent.com/coram/arkansaspoolplayers

The first photo of Amos Bush And Willie, Amos and I are team mates on the OB Cues team in Dallas.

"CaliRed".
06-20-2010, 08:36 AM
Dick, I "borrowed" the photo from a Website that showed pics of "Arkansas Pool Players." You might recognize a few on this site: http://imageevent.com/coram/arkansaspoolplayers

Great link, Bill! Thanks!

Check out Page 14... Rooster appears to be wearing..... CAPRI'S??:eek:

jay helfert
06-20-2010, 08:51 AM
Sorry, I am familiar with the name, but I never knew him. Is this the guy? The one on the right?

http://billporter.smugmug.com/photos/907207862_bREE6-O.jpg

That's him. See what I mean about the big teeth?

alstl
06-20-2010, 01:42 PM
A guy I was helping with a book about his life as a pool hustler asked my opinion about using a particular person's real name in the book. As we discussed this issue, I recalled having seen a couple of photos of the person in question when I had visited them a few years back in Dallas. The author asked if there were any way he could get the photos for his book, so we embarked on a project of tracking down the pics. A friend of mine in Dallas (Mike Haines) was able to go to the person's house and eventually they came up with the photos. Mike took them to Fed Ex/Kinko's to be scanned and sent along to me. I edited them and sent them along to the guy who is writing the book.

So it occurred to me that someone on AZ might be old enough to remember the world-class tush hog in these pics. Anyone? Anyone?

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Other/Alf-Photos/Vernon-cropped-levels-US-Mask/905615664_XXT7H-XL.jpg

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Other/Alf-Photos/Vernon-Danny-cropped-levels-US/905615623_cYaEU-XL.jpg

I'm guessing not many people fired air barrels at those guys.

BillPorter
06-20-2010, 02:12 PM
I'm guessing not many people fired air barrels at those guys.
Might have done it once, not likely to do it twice....

Actually, as Dick McMorran correctly pointed out, Vernon (the muscle guy) was probably more accurately described as a bully than as a tush hog. On the other hand, he did do some money collecting in his day and there are some stories about him collecting from people who didn't initially want to pay up. Vernon came up with some creative ways of persuading people to settle their debts and I'll let you imagine how one of these methods led his being nicknamed "Ice Pick" by a few insiders.

Frankenstroke
06-20-2010, 03:12 PM
I thought he was a young Nick Varner.

donut
06-20-2010, 04:49 PM
Well, I know that Vernon was sure it was Danny Matthews when he gave the photo to Mike Haines yesterday. That "Bald Eagle" nicknames sounds right, but I'm not sure. Danny was a pretty smart gambler, but Titanic busted him one night on a dice proposition. (How many rolls of a single die to roll any given number. Ti gave Danny 3 rolls one time and 4 the next, alternating 3 and 4 rolls. That is equivalent to 3.5 rolls but unfortunately for Danny, 3.8 is the break-even point on that bet.)

Bill, how did Ti come up with propositions like this? Was he secretly a math whiz or something? That's pretty smart.

BillPorter
06-20-2010, 05:11 PM
Bill, how did Ti come up with propositions like this? Was he secretly a math whiz or something? That's pretty smart.

Ti had very little formal education, so it seems unlikely that he did the math behind this proposition. It is my belief, though I can't prove it, that some of Ti's propositions, the ones that involved probabilities/statistics, came from mathematicians/statisticians. While he didn't seem to have the math abilities to figure them out, he definitely had the memory and smarts to keep complicated propositions in sharp focus.

donut
06-21-2010, 05:31 AM
Ti had very little formal education, so it seems unlikely that he did the math behind this proposition. It is my belief, though I can't prove it, that some of Ti's propositions, the ones that involved probabilities/statistics, came from mathematicians/statisticians. While he didn't seem to have the math abilities to figure them out, he definitely had the memory and smarts to keep complicated propositions in sharp focus.

Thanks, Bill. Everything I hear about Ti makes him sound like a pretty smart cookie. And thanks for posting the photos.

bstroud
06-21-2010, 05:48 AM
[QUOTE=BillPorter;
I may not be remembering this right, but didn't Vernon get physical with you once? Rubbed your face in a bush or something like that?

He did have me over a table once with his fist ready to hit me but reason prevailed and he passed.

Jerry Trigg had the best stroke I ever saw. Only problem was he would draw the cue ball 3 rails for position when he could just stop it. Took a while to beat him.

We all spent a lot of time with Titanic. Me most of all.

Do you have the book on Ti? Great read.

Bill Stroud

BillPorter
06-21-2010, 07:42 AM
I may not be remembering this right, but didn't Vernon get physical with you once? Rubbed your face in a bush or something like that?

He did have me over a table once with his fist ready to hit me but reason prevailed and he passed.

Jerry Trigg had the best stroke I ever saw. Only problem was he would draw the cue ball 3 rails for position when he could just stop it. Took a while to beat him.

We all spent a lot of time with Titanic. Me most of all.

Do you have the book on Ti? Great read.

Bill Stroud
Yeah, I wasn't there that night; I probably got the story from Alfie Taylor.

As for the Titanic book, I read one some years ago, but I don't recall the title. Why don't you check and post the title in this thread. None of these young'uns have even heard of him. I'd bet that if you gathered some experts on the history of gambling, Ti would be rated among the top five gamblers of the 20th century.

Everyone knows you as a cue maker, but not everyone knows you played a pretty sporty game of pool. I dug around among my old pool pics and found one of you at the table. Do you know when and where this was taken? I do in case you have forgotten.

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Other/1980-Las-Vegas-9-Ball-Open/Stroud-edited/72362013_bkFXP-L.jpg