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  • N.Y. Blackie

    LSJohn mentioned in his journal story that he didn't know what Al "NY Blackie" Bonife looked like. Here is a nice interview, along with pictures, that Steve did with Blackie from 2005. There's also commentary from Buddy Hall and Little Al Romero:

    http://www.onepocket.org/NYBlackie.htm

  • #2
    Blackie

    Blackie lived here with Buddy in his last years. He used to give me a few one pocket pointers but we never played. There is a good picture of them at the pool room. I'll share it when i get down there tomorrow to play. I've been matching up with Eddie Moore there quite a bit lately. Blackie always hated when you kicked at a ball on the short rail towards your hole. He always thought it was a sell out. When somebody shoots it now we always say "Blackie would roll over in his grave if he saw you shoot that shot!" lol
    Last edited by crabbcatjohn; 06-08-2017, 10:59 AM.

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    • #3
      I ran into Blackie quite a bit when he was in CA in the 60's. He lived with a girl for a while who was a family friend in Monterey Park, the town I grew up in right outside of LA.

      She worked at a little bar called The Fairway that had one bar table in it. My mother used to play the piano there and I had been in and out of it since I was a little kid. The owners and lots of the customers were horse players and one wall was completely covered by yellow $2 win tickets, probably thousands of them.

      Blackie had some kind of surgery and when he was feeling better was hanging around the bar knocking the balls around one day when I came in. Let's play some cheap he said, I have to get in stroke and make some money. He would not let up and told me I had to help him and would not give up so I agreed to play some cheap eight ball for a few games. After I won a few games I was now a no good SOB for taking advantage of a guy right out of the hospital. He had won enough of my $$ at different games, mostly payball and liability snooker at Verne Peterson's Billiard Palace in Bellflower, so I was not giving it back.

      I did feel kind of bad and he was a likable guy and a fellow pool player so I agreed to take him to a spot with easy action where he could make some $$. We go that night and sure enough the one table in this joint is covered with quarters and you play for whatever the guy holding the table who had won the last game wants to play for. Sometimes a drink then anywhere from a buck or two on up. You could grind out $2/300 in a night at these places sometimes.

      In those days the bar boxes had the big cue ball that most of the locals could not draw. Blackie's turn finally comes up. He had that east coast sneer on his face at the table and this big long beautiful stroke he could not hide. He was firing balls in and drawing that big ball all around the table. When he won the game all the players rushed to the table and pulled their quarters off it. Blackie had only won a couple bucks and it was then I realized he could not and would not stall.
      JOHN HENDERSON
      Al Romero Cue
      Magic Chalk

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gulfportdoc View Post
        LSJohn mentioned in his journal story that he didn't know what Al "NY Blackie" Bonife looked like. Here is a nice interview, along with pictures, that Steve did with Blackie from 2005. There's also commentary from Buddy Hall and Little Al Romero:

        http://www.onepocket.org/NYBlackie.htm
        Thanks, Doc!

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        • #5
          the oldtimers know this story but i will repeat it for the new members
          when i was at tulane in the 1970's new york blackie was living in new orleans and playing at the sports palace
          i used to watch him practice and match up
          he had a beautiful slip stroke...you dont see that too often anymore
          he was a great player
          one day when he was short on cash he asked me if i wanted to play some $5 onepocket spotting me 10-4.....
          how could i say no ?????
          needless to say i didnt win a game
          i dont remember how much i lost
          but the memory is priceless....
          oddly enough during my time in new orleans i never realized the players i got to see like
          earl heisler/blackie and road players like bugs and st louie luoie
          were among the top players of the day
          i didnt learn about them until the series of articles "legends of the road" came out in the 1990's in pool and billiard magazine or billiard digest i forget which one
          had articles about them

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          • #6
            I saw em a couple times, early 70's in New Orleans when he was traveling with Mary Kenniston, and then at Fatso's in Tampa, a place where Buddy Hall also hung, around 2005-06. He was considered tough action and I didn't go there. I do tho remember him playing some one pocket, on those WET tables at the Sportsmans?? When you could get a lb boiled JUMBO shrimp for $3.95. I did tho win the steak money back that "walked'' in a 14.1 match with Daulton on the top of the hill in San Francisco in 1970. He did make sure I won +++, as it was his steak horses money.
            Horse never saw that comin' that's for sure.
            I will always remember Blackie making a 2 rail cross corner bank in one pocket on those tables. The object ball was about 3 diamonds up from the foot rail. He hit the 2 railer Hard, the object ball hit the second long rail about 4'' above the pocket and went Straight in his hole, I was young had NO clue how he did it or why that happened.

            Question #2 how come LS john is not coming, and he's got two pics LOL.
            Bill Meacham
            WBT
            www.worldbilliardtour.com
            no link....

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            • #7
              I hung around some with Blackie in the late 60's and early 70's probably cause I knew of some Bars and Pool Rooms off the radar where you could pump up. He was very funny to be around and was knowledgable about the game. He loved to play poker and the horses to his downfall much like the rest of us pool players. One interesting fact is that what I call the "East Coast Invasion" which consisted of Blackie, Alibi Al, Joe Veasey, Johnny Ervelino, Jersey Red and Danny Di Liberto were all here about the same time. What a crew. The funniest of the group had to be Blackie and there was never a dull moment with those guys around. They all played very close to each other but Red was probably the best of the group with Blackie being right up there in speed. When the action faded off, they all went their respective ways. But I enjoyed my time hanging around with that crew.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LSJohn View Post
                Thanks, Doc!
                Enjoyed your story, LS.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Island Drive View Post

                  Question #2 how come LS john is not coming, and he's got two pics LOL.
                  Two questions deserve two answers:

                  1-- Ghost begged me not to come because he had a bunch of soft action lined up, but if I came everyone would want to play me instead;

                  2 -- I'm pretty.

                  You're welcome.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LSJohn View Post
                    Two questions deserve two answers:

                    1-- Ghost begged me not to come because he had a bunch of soft action lined up, but if I came everyone would want to play me instead;

                    2 -- I'm pretty.

                    You're welcome.
                    .................................
                    Bill Meacham
                    WBT
                    www.worldbilliardtour.com
                    no link....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Blackie was a straight shooter on the pool table and a hell of a 9ball player.
                      Playing one pocket he was a hacker like many of us on this site.
                      Rod.

                      Rodney Stephens.
                      (e-mail) rod.stephens0105@att.net(e-mail) #713-973-0503 is now working

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by androd View Post
                        Blackie was a straight shooter on the pool table and a hell of a 9ball player.
                        Playing one pocket he was a hacker like many of us on this site.
                        A couple of lurkers and a couple of members that were there, encouraged me to tell the Blackie story. It's not really my style but I'll post it in the journal.
                        Rod.

                        Rodney Stephens.
                        (e-mail) rod.stephens0105@att.net(e-mail) #713-973-0503 is now working

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by androd View Post
                          A couple of lurkers and a couple of members that were there, encouraged me to tell the Blackie story. It's not really my style but I'll post it in the journal.
                          just read your journal entry rod
                          thanks for the story
                          i enjoyed the read
                          seems you were "gofer " even back then......
                          (it did win you the cheese tho...)
                          as you know i have fond memories of watching blackie play in NEW Orleans from my days as an impressionable college kid
                          if you have any other stories you wish to share about him in the journal or pm i would really enjoy reading them
                          p.s.no wonder you always seem to come up with a great shot
                          you have been playing at a high level for a long time.....
                          Last edited by lll; 06-28-2017, 12:30 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lll View Post
                            just read your journal entry rod
                            thanks for the story
                            i enjoyed the read
                            seems you were "gofer " even back then......
                            (it did win you the cheese tho...)
                            as you know i have fond memories of watching blackie play in NEW Orleans from my days as an impressionable college kid
                            if you have any other stories you wish to share about him in the journal or pm i would really enjoy reading them
                            p.s.no wonder you always seem to come up with the a great shot
                            you have been playing at a high level for a long time.....
                            Not a high level Larry, I'm just a hacker like Blackie was and most here.
                            Rod.

                            Rodney Stephens.
                            (e-mail) rod.stephens0105@att.net(e-mail) #713-973-0503 is now working

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