Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pool exhibition program

Pool exhibition program
Originally uploaded by jakedyer.

Here's a photo from Dale R. LeMieux of a flyer for an exhibition he saw with Minnesota Fats at the Pontiac Silverdome, then home of the Detroit Lions. The event was in the 1970s. Note: the top and side of the paper has Fats' autograph.

Dale writes: "The event was called The Billiard Bash and it was a benefit of the TRI-COUNTY EASTER SEAL SOCIETIES. This event featured Minnesota Fats as the one to beat. For a contribution of fifty dollars you were able to play him. I took my father there just to see Minnesota Fats ... (and) we were sitting in the audience watching, (and) I told my father that I was going to go down and talk to Fats. My father encouraged me to do so and said I probably would never get another chance.

As he was still standing there alone I went up to him and asked him about the movie THE HUSTLER. (Fats) talked to anyone who would listen. He talked for a while just like he had known me forever and I really enjoyed it because I had always really liked him (one of the few that liked him more than Mosconi). Then as another person started he continued to talk to me as the person ran some balls in their game of eightball.

Now it was Fats turn to shoot and when he got to the eightball a heckler starts in on Fats telling him he was no good at playing pool and that anyone can beat him. Fats says to the man "I'll tell you what I'll dooo. I'll bet you a thousand dollars that I will bank the eight three in the side." The man said no more. With no hesitation Fats banked the eight three rails into the side pocket. I think he said: "I'll just send old Elsie home anyway" and then he shot it in.

After the exhibition we were still sitting in our seats when Fats and a few big guys he had around him came back (to where we were) and ... as he was walking by he reached down and tapped me on the shoulder and said to me: "I will see you later Dale." That was the last time I saw Rudolph Wanderone in person.

Personal note... I have always disliked the way people (pool players) at least in this area after Fats got older and sicker tell of how they beat him. It also happened in this area with a great player I knew Cornbread Red ( Billy Burge). Now that he is gone it seems that everyone beat him. I know that I never beat him and he was one of the greats, He was colorful and liked to talk as well. I for one will miss both players."

1 comment:

Rose said...

Excellent written article!! What a memorable day in ones life!!!!!