George Brandt - Mosconi's Buddy - Cue & Cushion - Pennsylvania - Los Angeles

thekid77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Does anyone have any pictures of Willie Mosconi's pal George Brandt, who was from Pennsylvania like Mosconi, owned a pool hall in California called the Cue & Cushion in the LA area, was a bodyguard and I believe chief of police in LA, and also taught pool to stars like Fred Astaire and Phil Specter?

Thank you!!
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Does anyone have any pictures of Willie Mosconi's pal George Brandt, who was from Pennsylvania like Mosconi, owned a pool hall in California called the Cue & Cushion in the LA area, was a bodyguard and I believe chief of police in LA, and also taught pool to stars like Fred Astaire and Phil Specter?

Thank you!!

I knew George, actually played pool with him a few times. He was a good man!
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
I knew George, actually played pool with him a few times. He was a good man!

Jay, seems like George Brandt is a bit pre-internet,,,seems like an interesting man.
....give us some more info, please.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
George only liked to play Straight Pool and was an amateur level player, capable of running a rack or two at the most (I'm guessing a high run for him would be anything over 40). He didn't like to play good players because he wanted a chance to shoot too. Playing me he got that opportunity, as 14.1 was not my best game. I played about the same speed as him. :)

If George liked you then he was a great guy. He always treated me well and was friendly at all times. In fact if he was around and someone was giving me a hard time, he would intercede. NO ONE messed with George! Now if he didn't like you (and there were several in The Billiard Den he didn't like) it was best to steer clear of him. He would stare holes through you if you came near him. George did not suffer fools well! Even a bad ass like Brooklyn Butch was very cordial to George. In fact EVERYONE was cordial to George! I never knew him to be a tough guy (never saw him lift a finger to anyone), just that he had that reputation. I got along great with him and he loved to talk with me about pool and pool players.

I'm pretty sure George played with a Balabushka as I recall. He always wore shorts in California and no one made fun of his hefty legs (he had Tyson sized thighs!). He loved to play pool in his spare time and went to all the West Coast tournaments. He was friendly with all the top players, but he could do without the hustlers. George was a serious man, who didn't waste time on idle conversation (except maybe about pool if he liked you). He was kind of a mystery man to me and I never asked him about his job or anything else. I learned early on to keep my mouth shut, just to listen and pay attention. I learned about George from what other people told me.

He never let me pay the time when we played and we never played for money. I may have asked him once and he said no in a way that I realized it wasn't a good idea to ask him again. Like I said I didn't know him that well, only seeing him at the poolroom and at tournaments. I never socialized with him away from the poolroom.

I have a clear picture of George in my head; always clean cut, mid to late 40's, a full head of curly graying hair, maybe 6' or 6'1 and well over 200 lbs (I'd guess 220-230). He was a barrel chested guy, not bad looking, kind of ruggedly handsome. Never saw him with a woman but he was clearly not gay. He didn't have a lot to say but when he did people paid attention because he had a clear strong voice, didn't stutter and didn't need to repeat himself. You got the message the first time! George was a man's man, walked to his own drummer and lived life on his terms.

I have no idea when he passed away. Of course I got away from that scene when I moved up to Bakersfield and opened my first room.

P.S. As I recall the Cue and Cushion was on Pico Blvd. at the corner with La Cienega in West L.A. It was there in the late 70's to late 80's I believe. I went in there a couple of times looking for a game and was told to come back later. Nothing ever came of it. I think George had a partner who ran the room for him.
 
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thekid77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
George only liked to play Straight Pool and was an amateur level player, capable of running a rack or two at the most (I'm guessing a high run for him would be anything over 40). He didn't like to play good players because he wanted a chance to shoot too. Playing me he got that opportunity, as 14.1 was not my best game. I played about the same speed as him. :)

If George liked you then he was a great guy. He always treated me well and was friendly at all times. In fact if he was around and someone was giving me a hard time, he would intercede. NO ONE messed with George! Now if he didn't like you (and there were several in The Billiard Den he didn't like) it was best to steer clear of him. He would stare holes through you if you came near him. Even a bad ass like Brooklyn Butch was very cordial to George. In fact EVERYONE was cordial to George! I never knew him to be a tough guy (never saw him lift a finger to anyone), just that he had that reputation. I got along great with him and he loved to talk with me about pool and pool players.

I'm pretty sure George played with a Balabushka as I recall. He always wore shorts in California and no one made fun of his hefty legs (he had Tyson sized thighs!). He loved to play pool in his spare time and went to all the West Coast tournaments. He was friendly with all the top players, but he could do without the hustlers. George was a serious man, who didn't waste time on idle conversation (except maybe about pool if he liked you). He was kind of a mystery man to me and I never asked him about his job or anything else. I learned early on to keep my mouth shut, just to listen and pay attention. I learned about George from what other people told me.

He never let me pay the time when we played and we never played for money. I may have asked him once and he said no in a way that I realized it wasn't a good idea to ask him again. Like I said I didn't know him that well, only seeing him at the poolroom and at tournaments. I never socialized with him away from the poolroom.

I have a clear picture of George in my head; always clean cut, mid to late 40's, a full head of curly graying hair, maybe 6' or 6'1 and well over 200 lbs (I'd guess 220-230). He was a barrel chested guy, not bad looking, kind of ruggedly handsome. Never saw him with a woman but he was clearly not gay. He didn't have a lot to say but when he did people paid attention because he had a clear strong voice, didn't stutter and didn't need to repeat himself. You got the message the first time! George was a man's man, walked to his own drummer and lived life on his terms.

I have no idea when he passed away. Of course I got away from that scene when I moved up to Bakersfield and opened my first room.

P.S. As I recall the Cue and Cushion was on Pico Blvd. at the corner with La Cienega in West L.A. It was there in the late 70's to late 80's I believe. I went in there a couple of times looking for a game and was told to come back later. Nothing ever came of it. I think George had a partner who ran the room for him.

Thank you Jay, for sharing!! It's really awesome to hear more details about George!!
 

Kevin Lindstrom

14.1 Addict
Silver Member
Did the Cue and Cushion pool room eventually move to Riverside CA. I worked there back in the late 80's for the woman who owned it. Her name was Nadine and it was a great little room. I sure miss Cali. and the beautiful weather there.

Kevin
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Did the Cue and Cushion pool room eventually move to Riverside CA. I worked there back in the late 80's for the woman who owned it. Her name was Nadine and it was a great little room. I sure miss Cali. and the beautiful weather there.

Kevin

The one in Riverside was a different room, only shared a name. I played in there a couple of times. They had some good players who hung out there. I played Smiley. Do you remember him?
 

Kevin Lindstrom

14.1 Addict
Silver Member
The one in Riverside was a different room, only shared a name. I played in there a couple of times. They had some good players who hung out there. I played Smiley. Do you remember him?

Smiley was one of the first persons to hustle me when I moved to California. I played him at Mr. Cue's though. I forget what his Mexican partners name was but he played well too. I miss Mr. Cue's too although it was pretty smoking in there most of the time. It was open 24 hours so that was nice. I wonder if either of those rooms are still operating?
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Smiley was one of the first persons to hustle me when I moved to California. I played him at Mr. Cue's though. I forget what his Mexican partners name was but he played well too. I miss Mr. Cue's too although it was pretty smoking in there most of the time. It was open 24 hours so that was nice. I wonder if either of those rooms are still operating?

Smiley got me playing 9-Ball but I pounded him pretty good at One Pocket. :wink:
 

mchnhed

I Came, I Shot, I Choked
Silver Member
Did the Cue and Cushion pool room eventually move to Riverside CA.?
I sure miss Cali. and the beautiful weather there.
Kevin
Smiley was one of the first persons to hustle me when I moved to California.
I played him at Mr. Cue's though.
It was open 24 hours so that was nice.
I wonder if either of those rooms are still operating?
The weather is still good.
Pool and people not so much.
The two rooms mentioned are long gone.
Many good rooms have closed. Lease rates are too high.
Recently - Golden Cue, Hollywood Billiards, North Hollywood Billiards.
 
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Kevin Lindstrom

14.1 Addict
Silver Member
Hate to hijack this thread but I wonder how many of my old opponents from my Cali days are still playing pool. Hard to believe I moved back to PA from CA 25 years ago already. Man does time fly.

Ordered my first custom cues from Judd Fuller (RIP) when he was living and telling stories in Riverside

Mr Cue opponents.

Alex ???
Russ ???
Smiley
Rick Maddot
Thad Duckett
Neal and Verla ???
Ernie Derhough (RIP)
 

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
Hate to hijack this thread but I wonder how many of my old opponents from my Cali days are still playing pool. Hard to believe I moved back to PA from CA 25 years ago already. Man does time fly.

Ordered my first custom cues from Judd Fuller (RIP) when he was living and telling stories in Riverside

Mr Cue opponents.

Alex ???
Russ ???
Smiley
Rick Maddot
Thad Duckett
Neal and Verla ???
Ernie Derhough (RIP)

Not sure if you caught post #11 but Smiley still plays, and still plays pretty sporty, but he doesn't play as much or as well as he did then. I don't have any info on the others.
 

Kevin Lindstrom

14.1 Addict
Silver Member
Not sure if you caught post #11 but Smiley still plays, and still plays pretty sporty, but he doesn't play as much or as well as he did then. I don't have any info on the others.

Where are people playing in the Inland Empire these days?

Thanks

Kevin
 

thekid77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
George only liked to play Straight Pool and was an amateur level player, capable of running a rack or two at the most (I'm guessing a high run for him would be anything over 40). He didn't like to play good players because he wanted a chance to shoot too. Playing me he got that opportunity, as 14.1 was not my best game. I played about the same speed as him. :)

If George liked you then he was a great guy. He always treated me well and was friendly at all times. In fact if he was around and someone was giving me a hard time, he would intercede. NO ONE messed with George! Now if he didn't like you (and there were several in The Billiard Den he didn't like) it was best to steer clear of him. He would stare holes through you if you came near him. George did not suffer fools well! Even a bad ass like Brooklyn Butch was very cordial to George. In fact EVERYONE was cordial to George! I never knew him to be a tough guy (never saw him lift a finger to anyone), just that he had that reputation. I got along great with him and he loved to talk with me about pool and pool players.

I'm pretty sure George played with a Balabushka as I recall. He always wore shorts in California and no one made fun of his hefty legs (he had Tyson sized thighs!). He loved to play pool in his spare time and went to all the West Coast tournaments. He was friendly with all the top players, but he could do without the hustlers. George was a serious man, who didn't waste time on idle conversation (except maybe about pool if he liked you). He was kind of a mystery man to me and I never asked him about his job or anything else. I learned early on to keep my mouth shut, just to listen and pay attention. I learned about George from what other people told me.

He never let me pay the time when we played and we never played for money. I may have asked him once and he said no in a way that I realized it wasn't a good idea to ask him again. Like I said I didn't know him that well, only seeing him at the poolroom and at tournaments. I never socialized with him away from the poolroom.

I have a clear picture of George in my head; always clean cut, mid to late 40's, a full head of curly graying hair, maybe 6' or 6'1 and well over 200 lbs (I'd guess 220-230). He was a barrel chested guy, not bad looking, kind of ruggedly handsome. Never saw him with a woman but he was clearly not gay. He didn't have a lot to say but when he did people paid attention because he had a clear strong voice, didn't stutter and didn't need to repeat himself. You got the message the first time! George was a man's man, walked to his own drummer and lived life on his terms.

I have no idea when he passed away. Of course I got away from that scene when I moved up to Bakersfield and opened my first room.

P.S. As I recall the Cue and Cushion was on Pico Blvd. at the corner with La Cienega in West L.A. It was there in the late 70's to late 80's I believe. I went in there a couple of times looking for a game and was told to come back later. Nothing ever came of it. I think George had a partner who ran the room for him.


Hi Jay, it has been a while since this post but I wanted to share with you some things that I learned about George from the man that taught me pool...

My teacher said that you were spot-on in describing George's personality...

He also said that the pool hall that George owned and ran was called the Cue & Cushion, located at the intersection of Chapman and State College Boulevard near Cal State Fullerton. The establishment was in business in 1964 for sure, and George was the sole proprietor...

He also mentioned that at that time (1964-1965), George was far better than an amateur level player and was able to run 100+ balls in 14.1...

He asked me to ask you if you remember Daisy May and Moonglow (after hour bars)?

Thanks for sharing Jay :)
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hi Jay, it has been a while since this post but I wanted to share with you some things that I learned about George from the man that taught me pool...

My teacher said that you were spot-on in describing George's personality...

He also said that the pool hall that George owned and ran was called the Cue & Cushion, located at the intersection of Chapman and State College Boulevard near Cal State Fullerton. The establishment was in business in 1964 for sure, and George was the sole proprietor...

He also mentioned that at that time (1964-1965), George was far better than an amateur level player and was able to run 100+ balls in 14.1...

He asked me to ask you if you remember Daisy May and Moonglow (after hour bars)?

Thanks for sharing Jay :)

Of course I remember them, two big action spots. Everyone went to Daisy Mae's for bar table action! All the top Mexican players hung out there and would take on anyone, including the big table champions. Sigel, Hubbart, Hopkins and Diliberto are just a few I saw try and fail to beat Big Sergio and Mario. I made my first big score in California there, teaming up with Navy Gary when he played Charlie the Ape, a notorious drug dealer. We won a few thousand and had to make a run for it to get out with the money. I didn't go back there for a long time after that. :)

The Moonglow was another all night action spot where I met Little Al and got hustled by Mario (he gave me the 7,8 & 9 and took the break on a bar table and robbed me). That was my introduction to bar table pool and I learned how much the break was worth. He couldn't have given me that game on a big table.

As for George, I may have played him 9-Ball as well as Straight Pool and I could beat him pretty easily at that game (I could play a little back then). I don't think I ever saw him run more than a couple of racks at Ye Billiard Den, maybe three racks at the most. I know he liked to play 14.1, but I'm not sure I played him much of that. I just remember playing with him a few times and he was very nice to this little hustler. Of course I was on my best behavior too. He might have been one of the only guys I ever played in there for no money. The poolroom I was talking about was in West L.A. in the 80's and I think George was a part owner. I'm not 100% sure about the name.
 
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thekid77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Of course I remember them, two big action spots. Everyone went to Daisy Mae's for bar table action! All the top Mexican players hung out there and would take on anyone, including the big table champions. Sigel, Hubbart, Hopkins and Diliberto are just a few I saw try and fail to beat Big Sergio and Mario. I made my first big score in California there, teaming up with Navy Gary when he played Charlie the Ape, a notorious drug dealer. We won a few thousand and had to make a run for it to get out with the money. I didn't go back there for a long time after that. :)

The Moonglow was another all night action spot where I met Little Al and got hustled by Mario (he gave me the 7,8 & 9 and took the break on a bar table and robbed me). That was my introduction to bar table pool and I learned how much the break was worth. He couldn't have given me that game on a big table.

As for George, I may have played him 9-Ball as well as Straight Pool and I could beat him pretty easily at that game (I could play a little back then). I don't think I ever saw him run more than a couple of racks at Ye Billiard Den, maybe three racks at the most. I know he liked to play 14.1, but I'm not sure I played him much of that. I just remember playing with him a few times and he was very nice to this little hustler. Of course I was on my best behavior too. He might have been one of the only guys I ever played in there for no money. The poolroom I was talking about was in West L.A. in the 80's and I think George was a part owner. I'm not 100% sure about the name.

It's really interesting to hear about what pool was like in the 60s and 70s (long before my time lol)...thanks again for sharing your experience!

I will have to purchase your book one of these days :)
 

jrhendy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I met George in the early sixties when they had a straight pool tournament at The Sportsman Show in Los Angels. The tournament lasted a week and we played inside a big tent. One of the pool table manufactures in LA that later moved to Oregon sponsored the tournament and the tables were brutally tight. I had high run in the tournament with a 29.

I was not a straight pool player, but played quite a bit of snooker in those days and that table was right up my alley. Rags Woods won the tournament. I can’t remember who was second and I came in 3rd. George was a very slow deliberate player who was hard to play when you were a young gun that liked to shoot. I knocked him out of the tournament in a close match.

George and his good friend Bob Berrier, another LA Sheriff, came around to the Golden Cue in Rosemead once and a while to play some straight pool. I know they both played in an annual law enforcement olympics every year.
 
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