In memory of a friend.
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Unhappy In memory of a friend. - 12-01-2007, 12:12 PM

Yesterday I received a phone call from a friend who informed me that my friend Frankie had just passed away.

Frankie was a 67 year old Puerto Rican gent. He was a wizard at last pocket eight ball on a bar box. Although he knew how to play all the games, it was last pocket eight that was his favorite. He was a rough around the edges sort of guy, and never had much of an education beyond high school but he was a really nice guy once you got to know him.

Over the years I'd seen Frankie do things on a pool table that were nothing short of amazing...banks and kicks that would be right up there with the best, one pocket type shots that were beautiful to behold, and lock down safes that would torture any opponent.

He was never famous, but to those who knew him he will never be forgotten both as a player and a friend. RIP old friend, you will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew you.

Here is a repost of something I wrote a while back. Frankie is the player who was dying...

Friday Afternoon Services At the Pub

Every Friday afternoon at precisely 12:00 noon a group of interesting characters begins to filter into the local pub. They are there to begin their usual Friday afternoon "Last Pocket 8 Ball" marathon.

The men are by and large, older blue collar Latinos. Their faces tell the story of hard lives. Some of these men served and fought in rice paddies and jungles, others scraped by back home. Their individual character is etched deeply in their faces as are also the telltale signs of years of hard drinking.

One guy stands out from the rest because he's younger (late forties), wears a lot of gold, likes to dress all in black, and drives a newer Japanese luxo-car. This individual speaks perfect Spanish, with a Dominican accent..but he is an American Jew. His wife is Dominican and he grew up in the Bronx. His family stayed in their Grand Concourse digs long after all the other Jews had left for other parts.

The game is last pocket 8 ball on a bar table, with as close to perfect conditions as possible. The men make sure it is so. One of them grabs the brush that's used to clean under the rails, while another lovingly brushes the cool green Simonis from head to foot. Only when the ritual has been completed will the men begin play.

Meanwhile, the knowledge that the games will soon commence has triggered the sharking that will continue relentlessly into early evening, when the last ball, of the last game, has taken the subway. For them, it seems as much a part of the game as the table and balls.

Over the last couple of years, I have often watched these guys play, played with them now and again and have come to respect their game.. the creativity and flair with which they craft incredible, and sometimes mind-blowing, kicks. The banks that would be the envy of many a banks, or one-pocket player. There is beauty, grace, and intellect in these endeavors and it is what draws these men together for their weekly devotional to the pantheon of pool gods.

One of these men, an aged Puerto Rican, perhaps the best player of the bunch, and a man who is now facing death from his years of drinking told me this: "You know what? I had a hard life and I was drafted, and then I got out and busted my ass. One thing I know. I was good at last pocket, and drinking. Damned good, one of the best. And I don't feel bad about it. Hell, some guys go through life and never find something they love."

Last edited by Secaucus Fats; 12-01-2007 at 12:28 PM.
  
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Unhappy Condolences - 12-01-2007, 12:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secaucus Fats
Yesterday I received a phone call from a friend who informed me that my friend Frankie had just passed away.

Frankie was a 67 year old Puerto Rican gent. He was a wizard at last pocket eight ball on a bar box. Although he knew how to play all the games, it was last pocket eight that was his favorite. He was a rough around the edges sort of guy, and never had much of an education beyond high school but he was a really nice guy once you got to know him.

Over the years I'd seen Frankie do things on a pool table that were nothing short of amazing...banks and kicks that would be right up there with the best, one pocket type shots that were beautiful to behold, and lock down safes that would torture any opponent.

He was never famous, but to those who knew him he will never be forgotten both as a player and a friend. RIP old friend, you will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew you.

Here is a repost of something I wrote a while back. Frankie is the player who was dying...

Friday Afternoon Services At the Pub

Every Friday afternoon at precisely 12:00 noon a group of interesting characters begins to filter into the local pub. They are there to begin their usual Friday afternoon "Last Pocket 8 Ball" marathon.

The men are by and large, older blue collar Latinos. Their faces tell the story of hard lives. Some of these men served and fought in rice paddies and jungles, others scraped by back home. Their individual character is etched deeply in their faces as are also the telltale signs of years of hard drinking.

One guy stands out from the rest because he's younger (late forties), wears a lot of gold, likes to dress all in black, and drives a newer Japanese luxo-car. This individual speaks perfect Spanish, with a Dominican accent..but he is an American Jew. His wife is Dominican and he grew up in the Bronx. His family stayed in their Grand Concourse digs long after all the other Jews had left for other parts.

The game is last pocket 8 ball on a bar table, with as close to perfect conditions as possible. The men make sure it is so. One of them grabs the brush that's used to clean under the rails, while another lovingly brushes the cool green Simonis from head to foot. Only when the ritual has been completed will the men begin play.

Meanwhile, the knowledge that the games will soon commence has triggered the sharking that will continue relentlessly into early evening, when the last ball, of the last game, has taken the subway. For them, it seems as much a part of the game as the table and balls.

Over the last couple of years, I have often watched these guys play, played with them now and again and have come to respect their game.. the creativity and flair with which they craft incredible, and sometimes mind-blowing, kicks. The banks that would be the envy of many a banks, or one-pocket player. There is beauty, grace, and intellect in these endeavors and it is what draws these men together for their weekly devotional to the pantheon of pool gods.

One of these men, an aged Puerto Rican, perhaps the best player of the bunch, and a man who is now facing death from his years of drinking told me this: "You know what? I had a hard life and I was drafted, and then I got out and busted my ass. One thing I know. I was good at last pocket, and drinking. Damned good, one of the best. And I don't feel bad about it. Hell, some guys go through life and never find something they love."
Sorry to hear about your friend. It sounds like some off him will live with you forever. RIP Frankie.


Joe G

"I am old enough to know my limits, and I am young enough to exceed them" Dick Vermeil

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12-01-2007, 12:54 PM

Oh, man, the tears are rolling down my face. God bless Frankie! Deepest sympathies to his friends and family!

JAM
  
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12-01-2007, 02:31 PM

Thank you Joe G, and thank you Jam, for the kind words.

Fats
  
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12-01-2007, 08:46 PM

One of these men, an aged Puerto Rican, perhaps the best player of the bunch, and a man who is now facing death from his years of drinking told me this: "You know what? I had a hard life and I was drafted, and then I got out and busted my ass. One thing I know. I was good at last pocket, and drinking. Damned good, one of the best. And I don't feel bad about it. Hell, some guys go through life and never find something they love."[/QUOTE]


This reminds of a excerpt from Byrne's book on McGoorty.

One afternoon McGoorty woke up, hung over, in a dingy hotel room. He sat up in bed and had the following moment of clarity,
"I realized I was a drunken no good pool hustler. I didn't mind, at least I had a profession."
  
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12-01-2007, 08:49 PM

Trust me..........God is racking the balls for him right now!


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Sounds ok
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Sounds ok - 12-01-2007, 09:22 PM

Sounds like he checked out with few regrets. That is about all any of us can hope for.

Sorry for your loss and the loss to others close to him though.

Hu





Quote:
Originally Posted by Secaucus Fats
Yesterday I received a phone call from a friend who informed me that my friend Frankie had just passed away.

Frankie was a 67 year old Puerto Rican gent. He was a wizard at last pocket eight ball on a bar box. Although he knew how to play all the games, it was last pocket eight that was his favorite. He was a rough around the edges sort of guy, and never had much of an education beyond high school but he was a really nice guy once you got to know him.

Over the years I'd seen Frankie do things on a pool table that were nothing short of amazing...banks and kicks that would be right up there with the best, one pocket type shots that were beautiful to behold, and lock down safes that would torture any opponent.

He was never famous, but to those who knew him he will never be forgotten both as a player and a friend. RIP old friend, you will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew you.

Here is a repost of something I wrote a while back. Frankie is the player who was dying...

Friday Afternoon Services At the Pub

Every Friday afternoon at precisely 12:00 noon a group of interesting characters begins to filter into the local pub. They are there to begin their usual Friday afternoon "Last Pocket 8 Ball" marathon.

The men are by and large, older blue collar Latinos. Their faces tell the story of hard lives. Some of these men served and fought in rice paddies and jungles, others scraped by back home. Their individual character is etched deeply in their faces as are also the telltale signs of years of hard drinking.

One guy stands out from the rest because he's younger (late forties), wears a lot of gold, likes to dress all in black, and drives a newer Japanese luxo-car. This individual speaks perfect Spanish, with a Dominican accent..but he is an American Jew. His wife is Dominican and he grew up in the Bronx. His family stayed in their Grand Concourse digs long after all the other Jews had left for other parts.

The game is last pocket 8 ball on a bar table, with as close to perfect conditions as possible. The men make sure it is so. One of them grabs the brush that's used to clean under the rails, while another lovingly brushes the cool green Simonis from head to foot. Only when the ritual has been completed will the men begin play.

Meanwhile, the knowledge that the games will soon commence has triggered the sharking that will continue relentlessly into early evening, when the last ball, of the last game, has taken the subway. For them, it seems as much a part of the game as the table and balls.

Over the last couple of years, I have often watched these guys play, played with them now and again and have come to respect their game.. the creativity and flair with which they craft incredible, and sometimes mind-blowing, kicks. The banks that would be the envy of many a banks, or one-pocket player. There is beauty, grace, and intellect in these endeavors and it is what draws these men together for their weekly devotional to the pantheon of pool gods.

One of these men, an aged Puerto Rican, perhaps the best player of the bunch, and a man who is now facing death from his years of drinking told me this: "You know what? I had a hard life and I was drafted, and then I got out and busted my ass. One thing I know. I was good at last pocket, and drinking. Damned good, one of the best. And I don't feel bad about it. Hell, some guys go through life and never find something they love."
  
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12-01-2007, 10:14 PM

What a beautiful story and wonderful sentiments. I think that you just made a bunch of new friends for Frankie he sounds like he was a special
person. Thanks for sharing that with us. Philw
  
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we all leave a trail of accomplishments!the method is differen'tt
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Post we all leave a trail of accomplishments!the method is differen'tt - 12-02-2007, 12:55 AM

The love of the sport has inspired people in many differen't ways. -like nothing else more than having a beer in one hand,poolcue in the other,money on the table and their friends surrounding them. I have always enjoyed 8-ball last pocket or straight in. Sounds like you have a clear image of this individual, sounds like you were a true friend. Sorry to hear of his passing- bet the table time and a beer is cheaper now. Thanks for sharing. mark
  
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