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Old 08-23-2018, 01:56 AM
vapros vapros is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: baton rouge, la
Posts: 3,238
Default One more for the road

On Monday morning of this week Lenny Marshall made a post here, advising that San Jose Dick McMorran was gone, and I feel moved to make a few comments and observations – just because. At Dick’s age, such an announcement does not carry much shock impact; he lived his four score and a couple more, which ain’t so bad. Few of us go much farther. I did not know him personally, but I recall he reached out to me in my early years, saying I could call on him and Kathy at any time. Being what I am, I never followed up. I’ve been a member here since May of 2004, so we were early risers, Dick and I.

He beat Cliff Joyner in Baton Rouge in 1998 in one of Grady’s tournaments at the local casino. In the hill-hill match he frustrated Cliff and forced him to take a bad shot in the case game. I have the match on a DVD, and I imagine Cliff would roll his eyes as he recalls it. Can’t find any other visual record of his play. He was sixty-four years old by that time. Those who knew Dick, both here and on AZ Billiards, remember him as one of the old hustlers, traveling and playing in many towns around this country. He told me once that his first wife was from Houma, Louisiana - where I grew up.

Here on One Pocket.Org he was an active and popular member for some years, and we voted him into our Hall of Fame, but he and Freddie the Beard Bentivegna developed a thorny and bitter online relationship that they never patched up and we lost them both. How many stories did they take away with them? Freddie, or course, was an author who has contributed greatly to the history, lore and remembered adventures of the sport. As for Dick, though, we are indebted to Fast Lenny for a couple of interviews, the second of which I have seen just this week. Dick was a fine story teller and in addition to the entertainment value of his recollections I was impressed by his obvious effort to be objective and his reluctance to speak ill of his gambling contemporaries. He was as kind as possible to the villains in the tales, most of whom are gone and unable to speak up and dispute his words.

Dick and Freddie left gaping vacancies in our family and we have to be aware that their generation dwindles too quickly. Let’s hope that these two are finally making peace in whatever venue out there is gobbling up the old pool players. Let me recognize and applaud some good stories posted yesterday by our own John Henderson. I suspect there are more he could share (how about it, jrhendy?), and that there are many more guys who could contribute.

One thing leads to another. Noodling around on YouTube, I watched the finals of a WPBA bowling tournament in 1998 in Ft. Pierce, Florida. I could not help noticing that three of the five finalists were left-handers. Since my own background is in bowling, the balance of lefties and righties is a sore topic that goes back forever. I was immediately reminded of a PBA event in San Jose, maybe fifty or so years ago, and a story that I might burden you with one day soon, but not tonite. I wonder if (San Jose) Dick might have remembered. And while I am about it, I must note and insist that left-handed bowlers, like left-handed baseball pitchers and left-handed pool players have something extra going for them. Don’t try to tell me any different. I just know stuff and I can see.

I have fiddled away most of my evening, typing, deleting and re-typing this short post, trying to get it to read like I wanted it to. A continuing problem, if you write. I don’t intend to write about everyone when he (or she) dies, but I could not quite let this guy slip away without some sort of notice. It would have bothered me, I know. Not everybody was a fan of San Jose Dick McMorran, but I liked him and I’m pretty sure I would have liked Kathy, too. See you guys later.
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Last edited by vapros; 08-23-2018 at 01:03 PM.
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