I'm a one finger typist so don't hold it against me.First of all I want to thank Mary K. for the great tribute to Ed.Kelly.I met Eddie in 1958 at Kleins Poolroom I was 15 and he was 20 years old. He was teaching dancing lessons downstairs at Arthur Murrays Dance studio. He was also the house man at the poolroom. His Backers were Fat Earl Magid and Jerry Everhart.I remember going to Virginia on weekends and watching Ed. Taylor give lessons on Bank Pool to Eddie.What knowledge I learned from watching.I never saw anybody beat Ed.in Pool but I know he lost at least once. I think Ed. was from Connecticut.I know quite a few stories about Ed.He was a beautiful Pool Player, What great Form and the smoothest stroke I ever saw.I went to the Hall of Fame Dinner for him and Elfren Reyes in Las Vegas the year was 2003. what great memories I have from watching him shooting pool.He lived in Baltimore for 5 years.When I saw Eddie in Las Vegas he didn't recognize me .It was the first time seeing him in over 40 years. I was one of the lucky guys who knew him. A true LEGEND. R.I.P. Eddie Kelly
Beautiful read, Mary! I enjoyed it, though it is sad to wake up to this news.I'm so sorry to hear this. The following is a tribute I wrote & posted on Facebook:
The pool world has lost another legend - BCA & One Pocket Hall of Famer, Ed Kelly, at the age of 80.
Inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame in '03 & into the One Pocket Hall of Fame in '05, Kelly was known for his expertise in all games & his acerbic wit. "Champagne Eddie" stood tall among his peers - no one liked to walk up to a tournament chart & see that Kelly was their next match.
Starting with his runner-up finish to Luther Lassiter in the '63 Johnson City All-Round, he followed up with the '65 World 9 ball & the '67 World 9 Ball & One Pocket titles. In '69, he was crowned the L.A. Open World Pocket Billiard (14.1) Champion & in '71, he again won the One Pocket title and the elusive All-Around World Championship title at Johnston City.
I didn't know him until I moved to Las Vegas & opened my pool room,Cue-Topia. By that time, he was pretty much retired from competive pool & was dealing blackjack at the old Las Vegas Hilton. He'd stop by every day, grab a cup of coffee & hold court until it was time to head to work.
It was always a treat to hear him tell about his road days with Eddie Taylor, Ronnie Allen, Billy Incardona, Richie Florence & so many others.
In '93, when Grady Matthews announced his Legends of One Pocket event in Reno, we all tried to get Kelly to enter. He resisted but we insisted. Finally, he gave in & dusted off his cue a few days before the tournament was to begin.
Working his way through the field, he found himself in the finals with Billy Burge - the legendary Cornbread Red. It went down to the case ball in the case game & Eddie took it down. What a bookend to an illustrious forty year career - another legend from a by-gone area...
RIP, Kel, RIP...
Photos below are courtesy of OnePocket.org, Mary Kenniston & Robert Ross.