Josh Palmer said:
Jay.. you have any more stories about Peter Gunn? I sure liked that guy. His little grandson played pretty sporty before he found football. Peter was a take no shit type of guy. He told me a few stories of playing in the old days. Being black and hustling pool had to be the hardest job out there in the 50's & 60's.
He was an All State fullback and linebacker in high school in Bakersfield. Real name was Len Wesson. He grew up with Bakersfield Bobby Hernandez, one of the greatest "unknown" bar table players, especially with the big ball. He beat Keith the first time out. Bobby and Len battled back and forth for a couple of years as teenagers, and both became great players.
Peter Gunn looked like a tank and was all rock hard muscle. No one in their right mind would tangle with him. There's tough guys and then there's REALLY tough guys. Peter was in the latter category. He had a problem with some bad asses after beating Tacoma Whitey for over 60K in the 70's. They wanted a piece (only half
) and he told them to take it. Four of them from what I heard, carrying too, and they decided to pass. He walked out with all the money.
Never saw him throw a punch. One hard look was usually all it took for his opponent to calm down. He straightened me out the first time we played in my pool room in Bakersfield. I was losing playing One Pocket, but it was close. I asked twice him for a ball and he said no both times. The third time he told me not to ask anymore cause he already said NO. It was the way he looked at me when he said it that made me realize this was one guy not to push on anything.
I played him three or four times in my room and we became friends. I never beat him, but did break even playing Banks one time. A moral victory!