The Dean of Pocket Billiards: Memories of Onofrio Lauri

From left: Willie Mosconi, Onofrio Lauri, Irving Crane. Erling Hammarstrom, the son of Norwegian parents, wrote me a few years back to recount stories of his poolroom hero, the famous Onofrio Lauri. I’ve reproduced his letter,  shortened somewhat for space. My sister and our parents settled in Brooklyn, in a neighborhood called Bay Ridge. The year was 1953 and I had just graduated...

Interview Excerpt: Weenie Beenie talks about Cleo Vaughn

Here’s an excerpt of an interview I conducted around 2007 with Bill “Weenie Beenie” Staton. Some of this, as I recall, ended up in Hustler Days. Staton references in this interview his hot dog stand. That’s a picture of the last of his hot dog stands at the top of this post. “Earl Shriver, Squirrel (Marshall Carpenter), Daddy Warbucks – they were all out in...
Sociologist Recalls Jersey Red and 1960s Hustler Culture

Sociologist Recalls Jersey Red and 1960s Hustler Culture

A little more than 20 years ago I interviewed Ned Polsky, the late author of Hustlers, Beats and Others. We spoke about the 7-11 pool hall and Jersey Red and where pool’s been and where it was then going. Polksy himself had met Red at the 7-11 in Manhattan, and the two became fast friends. The 7-11, as you many New Yorkers may recall, was then one of the city’s premier action rooms....