Johnson City

Rico

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I just wondered how many on here went to Jansco,s tournament in Johnson City. And can remember the cue club out back.50 years ago and it is what got my juices going and still does.Anyone have any great old stories (especially gambling ones ) before the raid.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
The event was in Johnston City, Illinois. Johnson City is in Tennessee.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Danny D and Billy were there, young guns

Yes, a few players of that generation are still around. Of course, we lost Marshall "Squirrel" Carpenter earlier this month, but still with us are Ray Martin, Jim Mataya, and Dallas West, as well as Incardona and Diliberto, as you noted.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I went to JC every year from 1963-67. I saw 'em all, both big and small. I watched them play and have to pay. Every gaff and every game, they taught me things that have no name. I got my Masters degree right there, and it paid me dividends for many a year.

In truth, Johnston City was a real learning experience for me. I thought I could play a little but I soon found out what a real pool player looks like. They may have all been hustlers but these were guys who lived by their wits and most of them were very smart. Maybe the best lesson of all was learning how to spot a con. That one thing has held me in good stead all my life and helped me avoid some pretty convincing con games. To this day I can smell a rat pretty quickly, just by the way they talk and present their scam.

I've been able to help a few of my friends avoid a financial disaster after agreeing to take a look at some "deal" that had been offered to them. And a couple of times (Including with Bernie Madoff) a friend did not take my advice to do his due diligence. One of them handed Bernie a couple of Mil, almost all his family savings. To date they've managed to get back about 40% last I heard.
 

Rico

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sorry about the spelling,. I was wondering about az members who were ever there. Many post about the modern players would rob these guys and never seen them play. I remember learning more was of matching up than i can count. How many ever heard of the safe 8?. Jay you remember the guy that did trick shots ,i think he had a nickname like Zorba or somthing?
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I always enjoy seeing this video of Johnston City, Illinois. https://youtu.be/ekyLXFehvvk

That's an excellent video and very representative of American pool during this era. Weenie Beenie speaks about Johnston City days in many of his interviews. The news reel video clip is from Chicago local News 5 with Dick Kay and occurred in 1972, the same year my daughter was born.

They called Ronnie Allen "Fast Eddie" a lot, and I loved the broadcaster's deep voice narrating all the the festivities and the brief snippets of the attendees, showing the cash moving back and forth between hands.

The news anchor speaks about the "man in the python shoes," none other than Minnesota Fats:

Then there's the King of the Hustlers, Minnesota Fats, who helped put the Johnston City tournament together. Fats lives about 12 miles from the show bar, but he never plays in the tournament. He waits for someone to win the $20,000 prize money and then shoots them for the cash. That's his hustle, but according to Fats, everybody's got one.

Then comes Minnesota Fats with his gift of gab:

Ain't Nixon hustling? Ain't he out shaking hands, 24 hours a day, trying to be the President? Hey, ain't everybody hustling? Yeah, everybody's scuffling. You see, there's two different -- there's a scuffler and a hustler. A hustler is one that's always in action and gets it once in a while, see, and a good hustler gets it more often. Then there's a scuffler. He never gets it. Understand? All he ever does is waste his time, gets in everybody's way. You understand? He goes through life, and he's a failure.

The ending to this 3-minute video says it all: Hustling may have been the name of the game, but it was a way of life.

Great video. I wish there were more like this one. It is a real American treasure. I never tire of seeing it.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Sorry about the spelling,. I was wondering about az members who were ever there. Many post about the modern players would rob these guys and never seen them play. I remember learning more was of matching up than i can count. How many ever heard of the safe 8?. Jay you remember the guy that did trick shots ,i think he had a nickname like Zorba or somthing?

Those old time players knew a lot about matching up and if they had to play a better player they knew what to ask for. I think that would still hold true today. I doubt that the modern group of One Pocket players would fare well with Ronnie Allen or Bill Incardona in their prime. They would lose before the game even started. :grin:

There were many trick shot shooters back then. You may be thinking of the guy from South America (Argentina I think) who criss crossed the country booking exhibitions in the early 70's. He was actually an excellent Three Cushion player. He did an exhibition for me in my poolroom in Bakersfield in 1973 or 74.

I'm old enough to have seen Charlie Peterson put on an exhibition in 1963 in Detroit. He was the best trick shot artist of his era, and must have been over 80 when I saw him. I think he died a couple of years later.
 
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jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I always enjoy seeing this video of Johnston City, Illinois. https://youtu.be/ekyLXFehvvk

That's an excellent video and very representative of American pool during this era. Weenie Beenie speaks about Johnston City days in many of his interviews. The news reel video clip is from Chicago local News 5 with Dick Kay and occurred in 1972, the same year my daughter was born.

They called Ronnie Allen "Fast Eddie" a lot, and I loved the broadcaster's deep voice narrating all the the festivities and the brief snippets of the attendees, showing the cash moving back and forth between hands.

The news anchor speaks about the "man in the python shoes," none other than Minnesota Fats:

Then there's the King of the Hustlers, Minnesota Fats, who helped put the Johnston City tournament together. Fats lives about 12 miles from the show bar, but he never plays in the tournament. He waits for someone to win the $20,000 prize money and then shoots them for the cash. That's his hustle, but according to Fats, everybody's got one.

Then comes Minnesota Fats with his gift of gab:

Ain't Nixon hustling? Ain't he out shaking hands, 24 hours a day, trying to be the President? Hey, ain't everybody hustling? Yeah, everybody's scuffling. You see, there's two different -- there's a scuffler and a hustler. A hustler is one that's always in action and gets it once in a while, see, and a good hustler gets it more often. Then there's a scuffler. He never gets it. Understand? All he ever does is waste his time, gets in everybody's way. You understand? He goes through life, and he's a failure.

The ending to this 3-minute video says it all: Hustling may have been the name of the game, but it was a way of life.

Great video. I wish there were more like this one. It is a real American treasure. I never tire of seeing it.


That is a little gem of a video. :thumbup:
 

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... I'm old enough to have seen Charlie Peterson put on an exhibition in 1963 in Detroit. He was the best trick shot artist of his era, and must have been over 80 when I saw him. I think he died a couple of years later.

Jay, Peterson's BCA Hall of Fame listing has him living from 1880-1962 and dying "at the age of 83... ." :shrug:
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Jay, Peterson's BCA Hall of Fame listing has him living from 1880-1962 and dying "at the age of 83... ." :shrug:

I've seen that before, but I will have to contest that. He was at the Detroit event in 1963. He may have died later that year.
 

Ratamon

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Jay you remember the guy that did trick shots ,i think he had a nickname like Zorba or somthing?

It could have been Tom Cosmo? A “cosmo out - do people remember what it means? Same as a Mickey Mouse out. He was in Johnston City. I’m pretty sure I read an article about him in The National Billiard News. Will try to dig out and post later


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ratamon

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Yes, a few players of that generation are still around. Of course, we lost Marshall "Squirrel" Carpenter earlier this month, but still with us are Ray Martin, Jim Mataya, and Dallas West, as well as Incardona and Diliberto, as you noted.


and Jim Rempe, of course. I think he won the one pocket division in 1971. The field must have been fairly weak that year or Jim just got very lucky. Watching him play Jimmy Fusco at the 1991 Legends, I must say that one pocket clearly wasn’t his forte

Edit. Keith Thompson is also alive and well. As a matter of fact, he posts regularly on onepocket.org


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I went to JC every year from 1963-67. I saw 'em all, both big and small. I watched them play and have to pay. Every gaff and every game, they taught me things that have no name. I got my Masters degree right there, and it paid me dividends for many a year.

In truth, Johnston City was a real learning experience for me. I thought I could play a little but I soon found out what a real pool player looks like. They may have all been hustlers but these were guys who lived by their wits and most of them were very smart. Maybe the best lesson of all was learning how to spot a con. That one thing has held me in good stead all my life and helped me avoid some pretty convincing con games. To this day I can smell a rat pretty quickly, just by the way they talk and present their scam.

I've been able to help a few of my friends avoid a financial disaster after agreeing to take a look at some "deal" that had been offered to them. And a couple of times (Including with Bernie Madoff) a friend did not take my advice to do his due diligence. One of them handed Bernie a couple of Mil, almost all his family savings. To date they've managed to get back about 40% last I heard.

My advice to ANYONE ever wanting to invest money for the long haul- NEVER give it to ANYONE but VANGUARD or FIDELITY- there are no independent middlemen to steal your hard earned money along the way- ever. Invest only in the index funds for money you don't need to tap for 10 years or more. For the best possible combination of low cost, safety, security, and steady growth; there is and never has been any better bet than this. If either of these two firms fold; our country would no longer exist and whatever money you had would not matter anyhow.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
and Jim Rempe, of course. I think he won the one pocket division in 1971. The field must have been fairly weak that year or Jim just got very lucky. Watching him play Jimmy Fusco at the 1991 Legends, I must say that one pocket clearly wasn’t his forte


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Rempe's win was at the Stardust, which was the reincarnation of the Johnston city event. The last Johnston City event was in 1970.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
Rempe's win was at the Stardust, which was the reincarnation of the Johnston city event. The last Johnston City event was in 1970.


Johnson City has not happening in 50 years, did not realize last one was 1970. This is an example of what I like to call, in GO.D.[/], good old days. Must be something to that, as people are still talking about pool history.:thumbup:
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of the funnies episodes was when the FBI raided the place they found dozens of discarded firearms. Then when Fats testified at the hearing he dazzled them with his bs and they dropped the whole thing - but the raid did end the Johnston City event.

I believe Pauli Jansco may have tried to move it to Vegas - not sure about that.
 

Rico

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks no z ,it was Cosmo .He was the first i seen shot were the cue ball went into a paper bag ,flipped over and came out.I talked about spots and matching up,heres one i learned if it sounds to good. I was sleeping on the bleachers out back in the cue club a guy wakes me up and wants to play.I knew i had to be careful but after turning down everything he offered he tried to outrun the nuts. He says i,ll give you the hand span . what i say? I got him what a stupid game no one can give me that .I also learned what a snap was. He gave me gas money.
 
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