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lstevedus
06-01-2011, 10:36 PM
My first exposure to a "real" pool room. It was behind a men's clothing store. Been there about a 100 yrs, for real. Really fast tables with leather drop pockets. The "game" was one pocket. This was the early 70's. There was a black guy who racked the balls and wore a leather apron. He charged by the game. There was also usually some kind of card game going. The men playing cards were usually men of substance. They owned their own business or were bankers, lawyers and such.

Church pews against the walls served for seating, and usually there were a few guys filling out their racing forms or studying them or whatever. There were beads on wires that hung across the room to keep score of the various games going on. Players left sacks of money laying around and never worried about it. (Try imaging that happening today, right.)

This was where I played when I was a young man. I'm sorry you young guys missed it. I'm glad I didn't.

SteveD

vasilios
06-01-2011, 11:01 PM
My first exposure to a "real" pool room. It was behind a men's clothing store. Been there about a 100 yrs, for real. Really fast tables with leather drop pockets. The "game" was one pocket. This was the early 70's. There was a black guy who racked the balls and wore a leather apron. He charged by the game. There was also usually some kind of card game going. The men playing cards were usually men of substance. They owned their own business or were bankers, lawyers and such.

Church pews against the walls served for seating, and usually there were a few guys filling out their racing forms or studying them or whatever. There were beads on wires that hung across the room to keep score of the various games going on. Players left sacks of money laying around and never worried about it. (Try imaging that happening today, right.)

This was where I played when I was a young man. I'm sorry you young guys missed it. I'm glad I didn't.

SteveD

Amen brother

Nitro Psycho
06-01-2011, 11:12 PM
Rub it in why don't ya! :-) good to hear you had a good experience, won't find rooms like that where I am from. There is one close to being kind of like that but it's 45 miles south, just far enough to be a pain in the ass.

spanky79
06-02-2011, 12:04 AM
My first exposure to a "real" pool room. It was behind a men's clothing store. Been there about a 100 yrs, for real. Really fast tables with leather drop pockets. The "game" was one pocket. This was the early 70's. There was a black guy who racked the balls and wore a leather apron. He charged by the game. There was also usually some kind of card game going. The men playing cards were usually men of substance. They owned their own business or were bankers, lawyers and such.

Church pews against the walls served for seating, and usually there were a few guys filling out their racing forms or studying them or whatever. There were beads on wires that hung across the room to keep score of the various games going on. Players left sacks of money laying around and never worried about it. (Try imaging that happening today, right.)

This was where I played when I was a young man. I'm sorry you young guys missed it. I'm glad I didn't.

SteveD

You can't even leave a piece of decent chalk on a table for 2 minutes these days. Let alone a piece that is worth $25.

I feel fortunate I have not lost anything while I was in the bathroom.

I am only 31 but I was taught the old fashion way, IF ITS NOT YOURS LEAVE IT ALONE, unless you want to get a beating.

keeponkeepinon
06-02-2011, 02:10 AM
Men of substance/businessmen. Those characters always frequent poolrooms, lol.

Not quite as old but been around since '68 or '69, w/ lots of old school charm is The Jointed Cue in Sacramento. I didn't start hanging around regularly until the mid to late '90's. I worked there part-time for a few years (mostly to get free table time). I know there is lots of history here I just wasn't old enough to experience most of it.

There is something that looks like a smoke ring near the upper parts of the walls. Littered with hand-painted antique signage on pool etiquette and funny pool pics. The place has a few bench-type church pews near 3, 3-cushion billiard tables. 1 older model, and 2 others recently replaced with the heated variety. And the rest 9-ft Gold Crowns (II's, III's and IV's). Antique movie theater seats, in the tournament room, and score placards from old tournaments from the late 60's & 70's. Pictures on the walls of players that came through back then, Rempe, Sigel, Mataya, Cole Dixon, Hopkins, Buddy Hall, Davenport, and some older names (that escape me) probably on the tail end of their pool careers. And more recently occasional weekly tournament entrants such as Rafael Martinez, Tony Chohan, Amar Kang (although not as much lately). Some of the Filipino greats have rolled through when they were playing the Reno Open/Hard Times Jamboree. There is one 'unknown' monster that doesn't play much at all, who might have been able to hang w/ them, needless to say those guys were left alone. I heard stories in the olden days players here used to bet it up, not so much now.

Guys like to play dominoes now. Learned to play Backgammon here. Pitched quarters. Hold 'Em used to be played after hours, w/ staff and the 'regulars'. Bets on chess and checker games. Guys would bet on foot races around the building (hi-larious stuff). Still have and use beaded wires for action and tournament scoring. A few guys pull double duty at the track as well.

$70 monthly membership (last I checked). Daily cheap action $20 sets, just ask around or speak to staff and someone will accommodate you. (Action on Table 10, scotch doubles or one on one. 9-ball, 1-hole, or straight pool in the back room). Good way to learn a few things and up your game. (Or maybe get gas money, if you're any good.) I 'paid' for my 'education'.

Owned and operated by the same family since inception, Terry passed awhile back, so the biz was passed down to son Dave. There's a cue repair shop you can see thru the front window and as soon as you walk in. Terry used to make cues, Dave also does some bang up repairs. The (43rd was this year) Annual Tournament in memoriam of Terry happens late March every year, is a 2 day tournament, averages near 100 players, $60 entry fee total, and 1st place usually pays about $1K.

At the food counter are padded turnstile stools. The grill has been going I think since very early on, and the food is excellent here. The burgers and fries are great. Not to mention tuna sandwiches grilled or toasted, german sausage sandwiches on a burger bun or a curly hot dog on a hamburger bun as well. Chili is made in the winter to add to any of those orders as well. Oh and breakfast at open (9AM) is better than Denny's or IHOP (is that saying much? well it's good anyway).

Not too many pool halls like this. The old 'tank' fridge conked out and was replaced by a new stainless steel model, the picture tube tv replaced w/ a flat screen and a new jukebox were all replaced in the last 5 years (things break). But the pool hall still has the old days 'feel' that the OP is posting about. Across the city is another more modern pool hall, with bigger action, brighter lights and newer model Gold Crown's but if you're in town and want that old school feel The Jointed Cue is where you'll find it.

Tramp Steamer
06-02-2011, 04:54 AM
Soda pop was in bottles. The floor was wood and there were burn marks on the rails from laying cigarettes down on the tables. When you were finished with a game you yelled out "rack", and the guy came over and reracked the balls and took your money, and there was only one restroom because ladies didn't frequent such places. How am I doing so far? :)

Mr. Wiggles
06-02-2011, 05:08 AM
Soda pop was in bottles, right? The floor was wood and there were burn marks on the rails from laying cigarettes down on the tables. When you were finished with a game you yelled out "rack", and the guy came over and reracked the balls and took your money. And, there was only one restroom because ladies didn't frequent such places. How am I doing so far? :)

One of my old places had spitoons about every ten feet on both sides of the room. They held about a gallon. Two rooms on same block. And of course the old guy that shook like a leaf but played really well. Nothing but snooker tables. Never played eight ball and didn't play on a pool table till I was drafted into the Army. Gas was $.19 a gallon and they had gas wars!

oldplayer
06-02-2011, 05:17 AM
tramp steamer is really close. in the late 60's, the only pool room in town was up some old wooden stairs, old wooden, creaking floors. i think it was 10cents/game. and yes, we yelled, "rack", and threw the dime on the table. leather pockets, 6 tables, 2 spittoons and only played one pocket or straight pool. well, sometimes "bank". the good ole days, no doubt! no music, only the souund of the balls dropping into leather pockets, music to my ears!

ArizonaPete
06-02-2011, 07:01 AM
tramp steamer is really close. in the late 60's, the only pool room in town was up some old wooden stairs, old wooden, creaking floors. i think it was 10cents/game. and yes, we yelled, "rack", and threw the dime on the table. leather pockets, 6 tables, 2 spittoons and only played one pocket or straight pool. well, sometimes "bank". the good ole days, no doubt! no music, only the souund of the balls dropping into leather pockets, music to my ears!

I used to play in Evan's (pronounced E-von) in NYC on 7th street in the Lower East Side. In the front room there were a series of 7 foot tables and the older Russian/Ukrainian/Polish guys would play 8 ball for 5 cents a game. You would always hear one of them yelling "rack em". In the back room were two 9 foot tables and they were either 25 or 50 cents/hour (don't remember which). Us youger guys would play on them. This goes back to the late 1940's. Otherwise, the rooms were as described by "Tramp Steamer" and "OldTimer". Once in a great while we'd catch the subway up to 42nd street exit and climb up the stairs to "Ames Poolroom". Now that's a whole other story.

Maniac
06-02-2011, 07:16 AM
My first experience with a pool hall wasn't all that good nor interesting because,,,,,well, I couldn't get in the darn place. I was too young (had to be 21). It was the mid 60's, downtown Arlington, Texas (when Main Street downtown Arlington was about three blocks of brick storefronts w/concrete stairs going up into the buildings). There was an "old school" poolhall two doors down from where the hobby shop where I purchased my model planes/cars was. I was about 12-13 years old. It was a place that held mysteries to me. My brother and I used to sit on the concrete stairs in front of the poolhall just wishin' we could get in. The sound of the balls clacking together coupled with the fact that we couldn't go in made the place more alluring to us. Looking in the door I remember seeing about 6 or 7 green-felted tables with leather drop-pockets running from front to back in a nice orderly row the length of the building, racks of cues hanging on the walls, and a constant stream of cigarette smoke curling upwards into the rafters. Two wooden w/glass windowed doors were always being propped open for ventilation (I guess). There were plenty of rough-looking men in there, enough that kinda made me glad I wasn't allowed to go in anyways. "Dapper" does not describe the way most of them were dressed. I spent more than a few Saturday afternoons sitting in front of that place wishing I could find out more about the game they were all playing.

I believe it was the very next summer (1967) when I made my trip to Pennsylvania with my Dad and got my first taste of what shooting pool was all about, but.....that's another story (and one I've told before on this forum).

Maniac

macguy
06-02-2011, 07:16 AM
My first exposure to a "real" pool room. It was behind a men's clothing store. Been there about a 100 yrs, for real. Really fast tables with leather drop pockets. The "game" was one pocket. This was the early 70's. There was a black guy who racked the balls and wore a leather apron. He charged by the game. There was also usually some kind of card game going. The men playing cards were usually men of substance. They owned their own business or were bankers, lawyers and such.

Church pews against the walls served for seating, and usually there were a few guys filling out their racing forms or studying them or whatever. There were beads on wires that hung across the room to keep score of the various games going on. Players left sacks of money laying around and never worried about it. (Try imaging that happening today, right.)

This was where I played when I was a young man. I'm sorry you young guys missed it. I'm glad I didn't.

SteveD
What you describe would be hard to find now a days. Most of us grew up learning to play in bowling alleys with the more modern atmosphere. I have been in quite a few places like you describe though. Bakers in Tampa Florida had the old time charm. One that sticks out in my mind was in NC. I just found it when I got off the highway to get gas. I pulled in the station, this is maybe 1973, and there was no one around. Then I see this guy running my way and asked if I wanted gas. After he filled it up I saw where he had come from, it was a pool room. Seems he only comes to the station when he see a car pull in the rest of the time he is in the pool room. Of course I wander over and it was like the Twilight Zone. It was 1973 outside but inside the calendar had stopped somewhere in the 1930's. The tables were all wood with huge wood cue racks on the walls. It had a shoe shine stand with an old black guy sitting there waiting to give you a shine between racking balls.

Everywhere you looked the place showed age and ware. I sat in a chair and began watching a ring game of rotation. I doubt many strangers ever came in because I attracted a bit of attention. It may have been my looks though, my shoulder length hair, red white and blue bell bottoms and T-shirt with Hollywood dog track on it. They were on the other hand mostly in bib overalls and looked like they were ordered up by a casting studio to play small town residents. It was unreal. To make a long story short I spent the rest of the day there talking playing and in general losing myself in the place and these nice people that were so different from anyone I knew.

The black guy was very interesting. He told me except for his time in the army during world war 2 the only job he even had was in the pool room. I wish I had had a camera because This place was something else. The place had about a dozen tables and looked like at one time the building may have been a church. I never forgot this place I think it was Rocky Mount NC if I remember correctly. I have often wondered if it can possibly still be there.

CocoboloCowboy
06-02-2011, 07:36 AM
The Good Old Days a G O N E, and Pool Room for the MOST PART are also G O N E.

Pool today is play at home, in Private Community Rooms, and BARS, and Sports BARS for the most part that are in business, to sell Booze, and Pool is just a Second Fiddle to the Booze Sales, and Booze pays the bills.

Housemen who cleaned Tables, Balls, House Cue Sticks are also mostly gone, or shall we say not spending much time CLEANING.

The World is, or has change for the worst IMHO, and I do not see America getting better until American's change their mind set.

Kids who use to hang out by the doors of the Pool Room waiting to be of age to enter, are play WII, Video Games, Text Messaging, and having SEX with Condoms the Elementary School Nurse provided.:dance:

I too miss the good old days.:shocked2:

Winston846
06-02-2011, 07:47 AM
My first exposure to a "real" pool room. It was behind a men's clothing store. Been there about a 100 yrs, for real. Really fast tables with leather drop pockets. The "game" was one pocket. This was the early 70's. There was a black guy who racked the balls and wore a leather apron. He charged by the game. There was also usually some kind of card game going. The men playing cards were usually men of substance. They owned their own business or were bankers, lawyers and such.

Church pews against the walls served for seating, and usually there were a few guys filling out their racing forms or studying them or whatever. There were beads on wires that hung across the room to keep score of the various games going on. Players left sacks of money laying around and never worried about it. (Try imaging that happening today, right.)

This was where I played when I was a young man. I'm sorry you young guys missed it. I'm glad I didn't.

SteveD

My last taste of that environment was LaTorre's in Pittston, Pa. It was a "classic" pool room in every sense of the word. Smoke-filled, card games in the back, etc. Lou Butera played there, but that was a little before my time.

lstevedus
06-02-2011, 09:43 AM
Soda pop was in bottles, right? The floor was wood and there were burn marks on the rails from laying cigarettes down on the tables. When you were finished with a game you yelled out "rack", and the guy came over and reracked the balls and took your money. And, there was only one restroom because ladies didn't frequent such places. How am I doing so far? :)

I had forgotten about some of the details. There was only one restroom and a shoe shine chair against one wall. Lunch time was busy cause guys came in to play pool on their lunch hour. Never saw a woman in there. Never saw any trouble either. No music. Just guys playing pool. Thanks for reminding me.

pooltchr
06-02-2011, 11:54 AM
Soda pop was in bottles, right? The floor was wood and there were burn marks on the rails from laying cigarettes down on the tables. When you were finished with a game you yelled out "rack", and the guy came over and reracked the balls and took your money. And, there was only one restroom because ladies didn't frequent such places. How am I doing so far? :)

You just perfectly described Pete's...the first pool room I ever found my way into, back on Mechanic St in a little town in upstate NY.

No juke box, but the Yankee's game could often be heard quitely from a radio behind the counter. And the soft drink cooler, you had to grab the bottle by the top, and slide it along the cooler until you got it to the place where you could get the whole bottle out!

Steve

bboxgrinder
06-02-2011, 11:58 AM
If we could only turn back time... maybe I am getting old but I sure do miss the days mentioned in this thread. Thanks for russling some old memories.

Tramp Steamer
06-02-2011, 12:19 PM
You just perfectly described Pete's...the first pool room I ever found my way into, back on Mechanic St in a little town in upstate NY.

No juke box, but the Yankee's game could often be heard quitely from a radio behind the counter. And the soft drink cooler, you had to grab the bottle by the top, and slide it along the cooler until you got it to the place where you could get the whole bottle out!

Steve

This is like being in Mr. Peabody's "wayback machine", Steve.
Joe's Pool Hall was my first. Two Snooker tables and four full size pocket billiard tables, with webbed pockets.
Sodas were fifteen cents and a great thing to do on a hot summer's day was to buy a bottle of Pepsi and a small five cent bag of Planters peanuts. Take a swig or three from the Pepsi and then fill the neck of the bottle up with peanuts. Gooooood!
Maybe my imagination is getting the best of me here, but now that you mentioned it, Joe had a small radio behind the counter and in the summer would listen to St. Louis Cardinal's baseball. :)

Tom In Cincy
06-02-2011, 01:26 PM
Maybe my imagination is getting the best of me here, but now that you mentioned it, Joe had a small radio behind the counter and in the summer would listen to St. Louis Cardinal's baseball. :)


KMOX in St. Louis broadcast the games with Curt Gowdy and Harry Carey when I grew up in the 50s and 60s while living in Memphis, TN.

The first pool hall I remember was really in a bowling ally downstairs in the Northgate Shopping. We were on a waiting list for lanes and the counter guy said it would only cost us 50 cents each to play pool for an hour or so. I was either 16 or 17 years old and have been hooked ever since. None of us knew what we were doing except, you make a ball you keep shooting.

WardS
06-02-2011, 02:30 PM
We had a great place in Big Spring, TX., the Cue & Triangle operated by the McMullen family. They had 9ft. tables, 5x10 Snooker tables and two 6x12 Snooker tables at the front. It opened in 1963 or 1964, pool halls were illegal in Texas at the time and all the bars had shuffleboard tables no pool tables, that's where the gambling action took place.

What a great place, when I got out of the Army in 1967 I went to Pittsburgh, Pa. and played in a place called the Hawk's Nest run by a guy named Bernie Schwartz, I think. He let me play because I was from Texas and he knew Puckett.

I also played at the old Cotton Bowl Palace and Times Square Cue Club in Dallas. The memories were great, young people should build memories.

Later

david(tx)
06-02-2011, 02:47 PM
My first experience with a pool hall wasn't all that good nor interesting because,,,,,well, I couldn't get in the darn place. I was too young (had to be 21). It was the mid 60's, downtown Arlington, Texas (when Main Street downtown Arlington was about three blocks of brick storefronts w/concrete stairs going up into the buildings). There was an "old school" poolhall two doors down from where the hobby shop where I purchased my model planes/cars was. I was about 12-13 years old. It was a place that held mysteries to me. My brother and I used to sit on the concrete stairs in front of the poolhall just wishin' we could get in. The sound of the balls clacking together coupled with the fact that we couldn't go in made the place more alluring to us. Looking in the door I remember seeing about 6 or 7 green-felted tables with leather drop-pockets running from front to back in a nice orderly row the length of the building, racks of cues hanging on the walls, and a constant stream of cigarette smoke curling upwards into the rafters. Two wooden w/glass windowed doors were always being propped open for ventilation (I guess). There were plenty of rough-looking men in there, enough that kinda made me glad I wasn't allowed to go in anyways. "Dapper" does not describe the way most of them were dressed. I spent more than a few Saturday afternoons sitting in front of that place wishing I could find out more about the game they were all playing.

I believe it was the very next summer (1967) when I made my trip to Pennsylvania with my Dad and got my first taste of what shooting pool was all about, but.....that's another story (and one I've told before on this forum).

Maniac




1967 ? My parents bought their first brand new car in 65 , in Grapevine , my Dad was about 50 i think , but i went with riding up and down Division when it was loaded with car dealers . They were having a gas war in Arlington and gas was 18 cents a gallon .:grin:


Wonder why you had to be 21 , was Arlington wet then ? We had 2 pool rooms in McKinney ,

david(tx)
06-02-2011, 02:49 PM
[QUOTE=david(tx);3040972]1967 ? My parents bought their first brand new car in 65 , in Grapevine , my Dad was about 50 i think , but i went with riding up and down Division when it was loaded with car dealers . They were having a gas war in Arlington and gas was 18 cents a gallon .:grin:


Wonder why you had to be 21 , was Arlington wet then ? We had 2 pool rooms in McKinney , both were all ages , dominos and moon in the back .

catpool9
06-02-2011, 03:14 PM
I guess most all the old days poolhalls were just as described by the forum posters.

Back when I was 14yrs. we had three poolhalls in town, the one I most frequented (Rods) you had to be 14 yrs. to enter with signed parents permission, mostly just the 14 to 25 yrs crowd.

Another was Barney's , it was a 21yrs. and up guy's , a pretty rough place.

Then there was Wayne's, it was a restaurant in the front part with a big half glass partioned window and door going into the poolhall., it was 18yrs. and up for the longest then the age limit was dropped down to 16yrs. to enter.

All these poolhalls had three snooker tables and two 4x8 pool tables.

I remember several Friday & Saturday night's going to the Warren Pastime Theater with friends when I was about 12yrs. or so of age and watching the same movie both nights, then going to Wayne's to get a coke float and setting at the back booths of the restaurant so I could peer through the plate glass window and watch the old men play snooker.

Those tables had leather pockets at the top half and a metal bottom, when the balls were pocketed it made a loud unique sound you could here for miles!.....j/k

By the time I was old enough to get into the poolhall at Waynes, I was already a pretty good little shooter, played snooker mostly. The wall was lined with sturdy chairs up on a wooden deck about a foot from the back door to the partioned glass window, spit-toons, cigarette butts all on the floors, burn marks on all the tables, very smokey atmosphere, domino tablles and lots of loud talking.

This old man named Mr. Creed and his son Bobby Creed worked there, they wore aprons and you called for Rack, and they would come running to get the balls in place for another game.

The coke machine was in the back, with stacks and stacks of different brand colas, knowone ever dared steal a hot cola, just never entered one's mind for very long, people were just more honest back then than they are now.

I remember watching Mr. Creed retip all the cue's that needed repairing, he used Elk Master tips and Tweents glue, he put on a tip holder and rubberbands to hold the tips in place, seemed like he would place about 10 to 15 cues behind the hot water heater on Mondays to leave over night and the next day the sanding festival would start, he was pretty fast though, didn't take him long to finish up all the cues.

Only the top tier players played (snooker) on the front table by the big windows, the lower class players were on table two, and bottom of the pack used table three.

One summer back in 1974 three players came to town, two were snooker champions from Canada, a guy named Al and one named Terry, can't remember the others name, he was a pool player from California, my brother Calvin ran into them in Little Rock,AR. and told them they could play him all they wanted in Warren.Ar. and also would get lots of other action, guess they liked the action, they stayed for three months in the local motel.

The county of Warren was Dry, so lots of older guy's would slip in drinks in cups, or go outside to their vehicles and drink a snort or drink a cold one, some would hide their whiskey or Dr.Ticneirs in the bathroom in the cracks in the walls or overhead ceiling.

Seems like no one had a two piece cue back then except , out of town hustlers, the locals always had their special cue that they would hide somewhere in the poolhall, and you dared not get caught shooting with it by the one who hid it , or an ass beating may take place.:grin:

You never heard of getting stiffed by anyone on a gambling wager, it was almost unheard of, if you did , you got an ass whooping and was bared for life from the hall.

You never heard of getting weight either, you played your opponet head up, the best man won!


I learned alot from those old timers, learned that you didn't necesscarily have to be a run out player to win at snooker or pool, but be the smartest player with safety's, you keep a man in the dog house most of the time his will to win deminishes!


Those were some good ole days, I will remember them forever!


David Harcrow

Nick B
06-02-2011, 05:19 PM
Ah the good old days.....Seymour Billiards for those who have been to Vancouver. Closed in 1999...I think it opened in 1960ish..

The only thing I don't miss about the old school places is the washrooms.

http://www.vancouverneon.com/images3/downtown/seymour-b-300h.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2016/2073984995_56fb897e92.jpg

danquixote
06-02-2011, 05:56 PM
KMOX in St. Louis broadcast the games with Curt Gowdy and Harry Carey when I grew up in the 50s and 60s while living in Memphis, TN.

The first pool hall I remember was really in a bowling ally downstairs in the Northgate Shopping. We were on a waiting list for lanes and the counter guy said it would only cost us 50 cents each to play pool for an hour or so. I was either 16 or 17 years old and have been hooked ever since. None of us knew what we were doing except, you make a ball you keep shooting.

Tom...I remember the hall at Northgate, but I'm surprised you never made it downtown to "Peoples Billiard Parlor" Down stairs in an old basement for some century old building. 2 three cushion tables, 4 or 5 GC's , the 10 cent cokes in the pull handle vending machine. requisite shoe shine stand and the old man that racked tables also had a straight razor he would use to trim the ends on customer cigars. Yes sir that was a "real" pool hall.....Dan

GoldCrown
06-02-2011, 07:29 PM
11th & Chestnut Phila Pa. (Nuebies)...not sure about spelling. There was a sign in the bathroom. It Read... If You Piss on the floor at home...please piss on the floor here...we want you to feel at home.
That was my 1st center city poolroom. Was a downstairs basement kind of place. And if you wanted to commit suicide start whistling while you were playing or hanging out.

My 1st poolroom was Burholme Billiards...a free standing building. 2 floors of pool tables. $.50 hour. That was the only place in the neighborhood to play. About 50 years ago. Where did the time go...where did my frkn hair go:scratchhead:

onepocketron
06-02-2011, 08:20 PM
Summer of 62 my brother introduced me to the game (I was nine years old). There were 4 pool tables. Two for 9 ball at five cents per game.
Two for 8 ball at ten cents per game.
Can't remember exactly the number but around 5 snooker tables at fifteen cents per game. Got to love the snooker and played a lot. The next summer by brother, myself, several of his friends from high school went to play snooker. Those guys were all athletes and super competitive. They really got steamed when this 10 year old snot nosed kick kicked the crap out of em that day....all day long.
No loud music, no games,...only the clicking of balls. House man wore an apron and racked the balls for you every game and then took your coin. I was hooked immediately. Got married, gave up the game for 35 years and started playing again. My how the halls have changed.....need a set of ear plugs at most of em today.

jimmyg
06-02-2011, 09:27 PM
I used to play in Evan's (pronounced E-von) in NYC on 7th street in the Lower East Side. In the front room there were a series of 7 foot tables and the older Russian/Ukrainian/Polish guys would play 8 ball for 5 cents a game. You would always hear one of them yelling "rack em". In the back room were two 9 foot tables and they were either 25 or 50 cents/hour (don't remember which). Us youger guys would play on them. This goes back to the late 1940's. Otherwise, the rooms were as described by "Tramp Steamer" and "OldTimer". Once in a great while we'd catch the subway up to 42nd street exit and climb up the stairs to "Ames Poolroom". Now that's a whole other story.

Fast forward about 20 years: John's poolroom on 6th Street, just west of Avenue A, 4 tables I believe; Mike's poolroom on Avenue A, just north of 6th Street, about 7 tables; Sam's poolroom, 5th Street just east of Avenue A, 4 or 5 tables; another small room near 10th Street on Avenue A: and Julians Pool Academy, homeroom of George Makula, upstairs, on 14th Street around 3rd Avenue, lots of tables, including snooker and billiards...great place. Just to name a few. :)

J

tlingit
06-02-2011, 09:32 PM
That sounds just like the old 211 Club on union st in Seattle , 1971 for me. John Teerink Owner

Mr. Bond
06-02-2011, 09:46 PM
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=216002 :cool:

risky biz
06-02-2011, 10:06 PM
Miami, Florida, 1965-66

Ball and Cue at 34th Avenue on S.W. 8th Street (Tamiami Trail then, now "Calle Ocho") Owned by Orey Jansen and closed about 1967 when he passed. He made book, also, I was told. I also heard, elsewhere, that Charlie Royer stiffed Orey for $3,000 worth of horse bets and got away with it but was 86'ed. Charlie was an organized crime type or, at least, an associate. That's another story.

Long, rectangular room. About 11 tables, maybe more, all 9 footers, all pool tables. The match table was up front. Table time was kept by the old circular clock-type time keeper with handles. A card was stamped and went in a slot bin next to the houseman. Old style wooden theatre seats along the walls on a raised cement platform as far as the first three tables in front. Old style wooden button and wire scorekeepers in a wooden frame on the wall next to each table. The floor was cement and painted dark red. It was cleaned each day with a broom and wax shavings. The bathroom was clean and had a Boraxo soap dispenser that actually got the chalk off your hands. I never saw a woman in that room except for Orey's wife. No music. Small black and white television that they would have on if there were ball games but never loud.

The clientele ranged from gambling degenerates ("Skippy") to business men or otherwise of various levels who wore shirts and ties and usually came in for a couple of hours during lunch on weekdays. One regular like this freely admitted that he used a fake name and would never reveal his real name. In between were neighborhood people and spoiled rich kids from Coral Gables whose fathers were probably lawyers and doctors. I lived two blocks away.

jimmyg
06-02-2011, 10:36 PM
Miami, Florida, 1965-66

Ball and Cue at 34th Avenue on S.W. 8th Street (Tamiami Trail then, now "Calle Ocho") Owned by Orey Jansen and closed about 1967 when he passed. He made book, also, I was told. I also heard, elsewhere, that Charlie Royer stiffed Orey for $3,000 worth of horse bets and got away with it but was 86'ed. Charlie was an organized crime type or, at least, an associate. That's another story.

Long, rectangular room. About 11 tables, maybe more, all 9 footers, all pool tables. The match table was up front. Table time was kept by the old circular clock-type time keeper with handles. A card was stamped and went in a slot bin next to the houseman. Old style wooden theatre seats along the walls on a raised cement platform as far as the first three tables in front. Old style wooden button and wire scorekeepers in a wooden frame on the wall next to each table. The floor was cement and painted dark red. It was cleaned each day with a broom and wax shavings. The bathroom was clean and had a Boraxo soap dispenser that actually got the chalk off your hands. I never saw a woman in that room except for Orey's wife. No music. Small black and white television that they would have on if there were ball games but never loud.

The clientele ranged from gambling degenerates ("Skippy") to business men or otherwise of various levels who wore shirts and ties and usually came in for a couple of hours during lunch on weekdays. One regular like this freely admitted that he used a fake name and would never reveal his real name. In between were neighborhood people and spoiled rich kids from Coral Gables whose fathers were probably lawyers and doctors. I lived two blocks away.

I may have been in that room once when I was 14 years old and living in Coral Gables for a year. :)

J

risky biz
06-03-2011, 12:14 AM
I may have been in that room once when I was 14 years old and living in Coral Gables for a year. :)

J

Spoiled rich kid.

Wedge
06-03-2011, 03:46 AM
11th & Chestnut Phila Pa. (Nuebies)...not sure about spelling. There was a neon sign in the bathroom. It Read... If You Piss on the floor at home...please piss on the floor here...we want you to feel at home.
That was my 1st center city poolroom. Was a downstairs basement kind of place. And if you wanted to commit suicide start whistling while you were playing or hanging out.

My 1st poolroom was Burholme Billiards...a free standing building. 2 floors of pool tables. $.50 hour. That was the only place in the neighborhood to play. About 50 years ago. Where did the time go...where did my frkn hair go:scratchhead:

Wow, thanks for the memory. Nuebies was the first poolroom in Philly I ever went to (I am from Reading, PA). I remember walking in the door and meeting a young black guy who said his name was "Smooth". From there we went to Boulevard Billiards (Mike Fusco's Room) and watched J. Henry Basheer (AKA Patcheye) play one pocket. This was 1971...good times!

Voodoo Daddy
06-03-2011, 05:01 AM
Miami, Florida, 1965-66

Ball and Cue at 34th Avenue on S.W. 8th Street (Tamiami Trail then, now "Calle Ocho") Owned by Orey Jansen and closed about 1967 when he passed. He made book, also, I was told. I also heard, elsewhere, that Charlie Royer stiffed Orey for $3,000 worth of horse bets and got away with it but was 86'ed. Charlie was an organized crime type or, at least, an associate. That's another story.

Long, rectangular room. About 11 tables, maybe more, all 9 footers, all pool tables. The match table was up front. Table time was kept by the old circular clock-type time keeper with handles. A card was stamped and went in a slot bin next to the houseman. Old style wooden theatre seats along the walls on a raised cement platform as far as the first three tables in front. Old style wooden button and wire scorekeepers in a wooden frame on the wall next to each table. The floor was cement and painted dark red. It was cleaned each day with a broom and wax shavings. The bathroom was clean and had a Boraxo soap dispenser that actually got the chalk off your hands. I never saw a woman in that room except for Orey's wife. No music. Small black and white television that they would have on if there were ball games but never loud.

The clientele ranged from gambling degenerates ("Skippy") to business men or otherwise of various levels who wore shirts and ties and usually came in for a couple of hours during lunch on weekdays. One regular like this freely admitted that he used a fake name and would never reveal his real name. In between were neighborhood people and spoiled rich kids from Coral Gables whose fathers were probably lawyers and doctors. I lived two blocks away.

That was down the street from Kenny LeBar's place {8st and 50 somthing ave}, which if Im right came just after the Ball & Cue closed. Kenny was the man that wrote the first standardized rule book on "golf". I was very VERY young then but he would come to the 8-Ball lounge on 27 ave and Dixie Hwy to have liquid lunch with my grandpa once inna while.

risky biz
06-03-2011, 08:51 AM
That was down the street from Kenny LeBar's place {8st and 50 somthing ave}, which if Im right came just after the Ball & Cue closed. Kenny was the man that wrote the first standardized rule book on "golf". I was very VERY young then but he would come to the 8-Ball lounge on 27 ave and Dixie Hwy to have liquid lunch with my grandpa once inna while.

Was that one named "Your Cue"? It opened before the Ball and Cue closed but not long before. I'm pretty sure that's the one you're talking about. I was there once in a while because I had a friend who lived nearby.

And, I remember an Eight Ball. I didn't think they had alcohol but I only set foot in there once or twice. Maybe I'm thinking of a different Eight Ball. One that was just a pool hall.

Also, Palace Billiards at SW 8th Street and about 30th Ave. It only lasted about three years. Tony decided to do something else. Ten 9' GC 1's and a ten foot snooker. Plush red carpet and drapes all along the front wall.

Underclocked
06-03-2011, 10:10 AM
Okay, what was that stuff they used to spread on the floors before using the big push brooms? Looked like a mix of sawdust and coffee grounds with an overall reddish color. Seemed to keep the place from stinking - especially around the spittoons (those things disgusted me even as a kid, but I didn't say so).

We had two pool rooms in a small town of ~1200 people. Both had the same number and type of tables but the newer one lacked the atmosphere of the older one. It was a good room in its own right but just didn't have the space to be what the older room had been.

Four 10 foot snooker tables (Kling) and two 9 foot pool tables with about a zillion house cues. A special cue rack had small locks so that one could store his chosen cue (all were one piece and mostly just bought from the room owner for $10 or less). Snooker was a quarter for every two players, with pool being a dime per game.

The seats were a mix with most looking like aged park benches (long ones) and others like used theater seats. There was a cafe up front where families could sit and often did for awhile after the theater let out. None of the women came back to the table area for more than a minute or two and the little children weren't allowed to run amok.

That cafe had some of the best chili, burgers, and homemade pies to be found anywhere around.

There was a juke box up in the cafe section but it was never played at loud volume. There was also one pinball machine that us kids would jack up and play all day for a nickel if we wanted. :)

There were several large fans scattered about as well as overhead fans to combat the heat of summer. For cold weather, there was a large pot-bellied stove located about center of the building.

The pool tables were for the very young and the very old players. The young would develop skills and the old could play at their own pace (slow!). Any kid getting out of line could expect to get whacked across the back by a cue stick - not always gently - by the room owner. It worked.

But everyone wanted to play snooker. Partner snooker most often... with all the jeers and cheers you might expect from a pretty close-knit group. Only the rare stranger would come in looking for a game on the pool tables.

Loved that old room and spent an awful lot of time in there. I don't remember a single person whining about the smoke or much of anything else. Good times.

macguy
06-03-2011, 10:50 AM
With all the comments one that hasen't been mentioned is not something you can see. Old time pool rooms had an atmosphere all their own. You walked in and the the rest of the world stopped at the door. No one cared about politics or world affairs they selfishley cared about pool. You walked in and felt like you were somewhere you belonged and were welcome, part of something. Of course it was a business but that seemed to be secondary; it was a subculture and you had a key to enter.

The public would come in and play, guys and girls on dates and so on, but unknown to them there was a whole other would going on around them as if in another dimension they could not see. If you were part of that world in that room you had status and respect and this did not always depend just on your ability to play.

Rich, poor, handsome, funny looking, disabilities, it didn't matter you were accepted. I always think about going to breakfast early morning after a night in the pool room and looking around the table at people who under no other circumstances would be together on an equal basis. A wealthy business owner, a cop, champion player, a guy living in his camper, guy in a wheelchair, a teenager and an octogenarian all sitting, laughing, talking and using up every salt and pepper shaker in the restaurant setting up shots and reliving the adventures of the previous night in the pool room till the sun came up. That I remember and miss more then anything else.

Tom In Cincy
06-03-2011, 11:26 AM
I did spend some time taking the Bus to downtown from Frayser to play at Peoples. I remember the musty smell of smoke and dampness the most, but those tables looked like monuments. Hardly any conversations over a whisper and the counter man nver smiled.

I also played (much later) at Hight Pockets just off Old Summer road. I had followed the owner James Strickland from his pool hall that was on Brooks road.

But the first time I played was at the Northgate Shoping Center in Frayser, just off Hwy51

Tom...I remember the hall at Northgate, but I'm surprised you never made it downtown to "Peoples Billiard Parlor" Down stairs in an old basement for some century old building. 2 three cushion tables, 4 or 5 GC's , the 10 cent cokes in the pull handle vending machine. requisite shoe shine stand and the old man that racked tables also had a straight razor he would use to trim the ends on customer cigars. Yes sir that was a "real" pool hall.....Dan

Scott Lee
06-03-2011, 11:42 AM
Damn Tom, you ARE old! LOL...and here I thought Harry Carey only commentated for the Cubbies (he did, for a few decades)!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

KMOX in St. Louis broadcast the games with Curt Gowdy and Harry Carey when I grew up in the 50s and 60s while living in Memphis,TN.

Underclocked
06-03-2011, 01:45 PM
macguy, you didn't read my post above. :)

whammo57
06-03-2011, 03:25 PM
Syracuse, NY 1960's.....

I watched Willie Mosconi and Joe Balsis play straight pool in Holiday Bowl pool room. It was a huge bowling alley with a large pool room.

I learned to shoot pool in Sports - o - Rama in Mattydale, NY. They had all GC tables with all different color cloth. The man at the desk punched your time in and out on a time card. Table time was 95 cents an hour.

We played straight pool for table time and 9 ball for gambling. A quarter on the 9 and a dime on the 5.

8 ball was only played in a bar, never in the pool room.

Kim

Tom In Cincy
06-03-2011, 03:40 PM
Scott

Harry started out with the Cards in 1946 and was fired in 1969, went to Oakland for a year and then to the White Sox for 11 years then to the Cubs.

I mentioned Curt Gowdy, but I erred, it was HOF'r Jack Buck that sidekicked with Harry that replaced him in 1969.

Yes, I am old, but it is better than the alternative... you whipper snapper you... :grin:

Damn Tom, you ARE old! LOL...and here I thought Harry Carey only commentated for the Cubbies (he did, for a few decades)!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

GoldCrown
06-04-2011, 01:36 PM
Boulevard Billiards (Mike Fusco's Room) and watched J. Henry Basheer (AKA Patcheye) play one pocket. This was 1971...good times!

Remember the Houseman(former boxer)...Al Fisher.... He picked up a guy by his belt with his teeth on a bet. But the best PR in NE Phila was Cue & Cushion at the Roosevelt Mall. Miz would stop in see Walt Krebbs. (Mid 60's)

illusivetrout
06-04-2011, 08:16 PM
I wanna go back.Oh the joys of a miss spent youth.