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  #11  
Old 05-15-2006, 01:09 PM
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Terry Ardeno Terry Ardeno is offline
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Default Thanks!

Freddie,
Thanks for taking the time to post those pics! You're a very cool dude!
Terry
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2006, 04:00 PM
I1PL I1PL is offline
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Default A ball

Great Thread...Thanks!
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2006, 08:34 PM
glee glee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred bentivegna
He had another nickname. Cryin Sam Crotcher. Aptly named because when he was stuck, he would groan and cry like banshee. Played good banks. One of the first "name" guys I ever beat playing banks.
the Beard
I witnessed one crying (RANTING) session at Cocoran's in 58 or 59. Sam missed a shot and off he went, he marched clear across the room waving his cue cursing God and every thing else on the planet. He went to west wall over by the billiard tables got his face right up to wall and RANTED, I don't rember how long. The billiard players were terrified. Sams almost a foot taller than every one else in the room, not a sound could be heard just Sam ranting and raving, if they gave awards for sharking Sam had to get an Oscar.
The other day Bucktooth told me Sam beat Johnny Vivis after he came back to Cocorens from Johnson City, playing even on a 5 x 10 A year or so earlier he played Clem same table heads up Sam wins. I didn't see the sessions. too bad for me. Sams best game was banks never saw it played at Cocorans
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2006, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee
...if they gave awards for sharking Sam had to get an Oscar.
Speaking of acting, did I hear that Sam actually had some bit work as a stand in for Robert Ryan, with whom he had an uncanny resemblance?

I have even heard rumour that the photo in either Winning One Pocket or Shots, Moves & Strategies is a shot of Robert Ryan, not Sam Crotzer -- or maybe it says that in the book?
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  #15  
Old 05-15-2006, 10:39 PM
glee glee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grady
Cochran’s was anything and everything, simply the greatest pool room ever. 1028 Market St. was the actual address. I worked there in 1963. I got paid two dollars an hour and often I’d pay someone five bucks an hour to work for me so I could be in action. Public transportation was $.15. I didn’t own a car and neither did my friends.
Ronnie Allen won the One Pocket tournament there in 1962. When it was over nobody hustled him to play for money. Ronnie gave Earl Whitehead 8 to 5 and the break and won easily. Denny Searcy played Cliff Thorburn to a virtual draw on the 6’ X 12’ snooker table. That was a 40 hour match.
Here is an incomplete list of the regulars, as I remember them, with some assorted shorts:
“Trees”, worked for the post office for a while but liked pool and the race track too much to continue. A warm, honest human being who played decent Banks.
“Legs”, Gerald was his name, a good hustler and better than average shortstop.
“Ears”, smart and clever, a real good game maker.
100 Ball Blackie, still played a nice game in his dotage. We used to kid him and call him 10 Ball Blackie but he used to run 100’s on the 5’ X 10”.
“Kansas City Whitey”, a real rascal, his parents sent him $2,000 a month to stay away from home.
Jesse, “The Go Away Kid”, a flashy young black player with much gamble.
“King of the open table”, so called because on the “open Table” ( a 6’ X 12’ snooker table) anyone could play for the time. The King would go months without losing a single game but wouldn’t play for money.



















“One Eyed Hank”, a brilliant but troubled player, spent half of every year at sea, killed himself with an overdose of LSD, or so it was said. I loved Hank and I still miss him.
“Mexican Phil”…A really good One Pocket player, moved like a ghost, was a terrific gambler, but couldn’t leave the bottle alone.
“Okie Sam”…Very good all round player and scuffler. He came from the Eddie Taylor school of pool. He died of cancer, broke and lonely.
Ronnie Allen displayed his power One Pocket game to everybody. He was aggressive and fearless and really unbeatable.
Frank “Bananas” Rodriguez…One of the sharpest gamblers I ever knew. He was a perfect gentleman and a very fine One Pocket player.
Canadian Dick…The resident philosopher. On the 6x12 table by the counter, there was a daily “out hole only” game. To give you an idea how good Dick played, one day in that game, 11 times in a row, he one railed his ball into the out hole. He moved to Burlingame and managed a pet store until he passed away.
“San Jose Dick”…He liked action so much that he would sometimes rent two tables next to each other and play two opponents at once. For awhile, Dick played about as good a One Pocket as anybody in the world.
Jack Perkins…A flashy young and sharp gambler who played One Pocket about a ball under Ronnie.
“Harry the Russian”…Used to hang around with “Bananas”. Harry was a good game maker and took care of himself.
“Hawaiian Paul”…Worked at the Palace down the street. Paul played as good a Nine Ball as anybody in the world but only against weak players and for small money. ($3 to $10 a game) Paul also played very good golf.
Rusty Jones, a high roller and one of the classiest gamblers I ever knew.
Denny Searcy, the best stroke of any player ever. It’s too bad scientists didn’t examine it when he was maybe the best player in the world.
Philipino Gene, a good card player and hustler.
“Oakland Blackie”, Bucktooth’s uncle and a top shortstop.
Earl Phillips, a venerable older player who never said a word but was tough to beat for the dough.
“Sleepy Bob”, a very fine player.
Johnny Vivas, played everything good, too bad he was a heroin addict.
Tugboat Whaley, grand old-timer who was one of the few willing to share knowledge.
While I was there, notable visitors included: Clem, Boston Shorty, Artie from Chicago, Jack Stamper, Eddie Taylor, Richie Florence, Weldon Rogers, Jack Coony, Al the Plumber, Portland Don, Cole Dickson, and Joe Salazar (Tracy Joe then.).
Quite a crew, wouldn't you say?
Oakland Blackie, born 1900, ownedseveral pool rooms in the East Bay
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  #16  
Old 05-17-2006, 10:01 PM
titanic jerry titanic jerry is offline
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Default you named almost all of them

Those of us who experienced Cochrans should consider ourselves very fortunate. You were afraid to go home because you might miss something. Living on the other side of the bay at that time was being in the mecca of pooldom.

There are two guys from that era. One was "SAILOR HANK" aka "HO_MULE".
Talked to him on the phone a year or so ago. He did not remember me even when I told him about the one-handed three cushion game he and New York Rex played.

I cannot remember this guys name and maybe someone will remember this guy. Dressed like a pool hustler. White shirt, black slacks and alligator shoes.
Always had a beauty on his arm. Was some kind of American Indian. One night him and Rusty Jones were playing a one pocket proposition and his lady said Rusty had moved two pegs instead of one. Rusty stood up and walked over and with his cue corrected the error { if there was one } and immediately after sunday punched this guy and knocked him down.

If after this life I am given the chance to re-live ten years of my life it would definitely contain my times at Cochrans.
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  #17  
Old 05-18-2006, 07:20 PM
suki suki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Ardeno
Are there any photos that you know of that would show the inside of Cochrane's (or Bennsinger's, St Elmo's, the 7/11, etc?) These stories are very enlightening and I try to imagine what the inside scene looked like. Thanks.
In Cochran's
I would guess it would have been way too smokey to take a decent picture in those days. lol Especially on Friday nights when everyone was gathered around the t.v.'s watching the Gilette Friday night fights. All action stopped during those broadcasts.
I am an alumni daily from 1956-1959
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  #18  
Old 05-19-2006, 06:01 PM
glee glee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suki
In Cochran's
I would guess it would have been way too smokey to take a decent picture in those days. lol Especially on Friday nights when everyone was gathered around the t.v.'s watching the Gilette Friday night fights. All action stopped during those broadcasts.
I am an alumni daily from 1956-1959
Great school wasn't it! My first trip there was in 55 or 56, my buddy and I took the Keystone train over the Bay Bridge from East Oakland. It was a Sunday morning, we hiked up Market St. to Golden Gate asked for directions from an old guy, he pointed us to the back entrance on Golden Gate. At the top of the stairs, what a sight it looked like acres of tables. Nobody there but the houseman he told us we wern't old enough and we had to leave. Do you rember a friend of One Eyed Hanks named Paul Cisneros? I hope thats the right spelling.
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  #19  
Old 05-19-2006, 06:38 PM
suki suki is offline
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Default We must have run into each other

Quote:
Originally Posted by glee
Great school wasn't it! My first trip there was in 55 or 56, my buddy and I took the Keystone train over the Bay Bridge from East Oakland. It was a Sunday morning, we hiked up Market St. to Golden Gate asked for directions from an old guy, he pointed us to the back entrance on Golden Gate. At the top of the stairs, what a sight it looked like acres of tables. Nobody there but the houseman he told us we wern't old enough and we had to leave. Do you rember a friend of One Eyed Hanks named Paul Cisneros? I hope thats the right spelling.
One Eye Hank was my best friend. I met him when he came to Watsonville in about 1955 with some older guy who brought Hank to hustle. I played him and broke even and we became friends right away. I moved to the City in 1956 and we continued our friendship. We were inseparable in those years and we hustled anyone we could together, including Ronnie Allen, Richie Florence, Bucktooth and whoever. We won a lot and lost not too much. I left for the Air Force in 1959 and never got to see Hank again as I guess he shot himself in the head in the desert a year or so later. I always felt I abandoned him and maybe I had a little to do with his depression. I remember a Paul Cisneros,, at least the name but cannot picture him. The only Paul I rememer was Silva, and Poker Paul. My name is Dick Cady and incidentally two names not mentioned in this thread were Ronnie Barber and Rich Marquez. I introduced them to Cochran's just before I left and I guess they loved it as they both became good players. I talked to Rich last year and suppose to go see him in S.F. soon, He owns a bar at 9th and Mission I think and Ronnie is in the East Bay somewhere. Hope to see or hear from him soon too. Isn't reminising old times fun?
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  #20  
Old 05-19-2006, 09:27 PM
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I'm pretty sure I have heard Grady mention the idea of a 'Cochran's reunion' -- it sure sounds like you have the makings of the beginning of one right here! Too bad Denny Searcy will not be making it

If a reunion materializes, I would seriously consider coming out myself for something like that!

---> as an interloper; I was never in Cochran's myself
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