Guest Essay: Observations of a Pool Room Junkie

Guest Essay: Observations of a Pool Room Junkie

Novelist Harmon Rangell shares memories of some of New York’s most famous poolrooms. By Harmon Rangell Harmon Rangell The first pool room I walked into was in Queens Village, New York, across from the LIRR railroad station on Springfield Boulevard just south of Jamaica Avenue. It was up a long flight of stairs and I think the reason I went there in the first place was because I heard they...
Ruth McGinnis – America’s First Queen of Pocket Billiards

Ruth McGinnis – America’s First Queen of Pocket Billiards

Ruth McGinnis was America’s first great female pool professional. Rebecca Batley/Guest Contributor In her skirt, blouse and smart midi heels, Ruth McGinnis did not look like your typical pool shark. Playing pool in a skirt is not the easiest of things to do — it does not allow the player to ‘sprawl’ over the table, nor to lean too far over.  Neither was the early twentieth...
Guest Post: Fast-Shooting Lou Butera Gunned ’em Down

Guest Post: Fast-Shooting Lou Butera Gunned ’em Down

Lou Butera got his “Machine Gun” nickname for his quick shooting style. By Jack Smiles/Guest Contributor Lou Butera photo courtesy of the Greater Pittston Historical Society Sam Butera opened a billiard parlor on South Main Street in Pittston, Pennsylvania, in 1937 the same year his son Lou Butera, later to be known as Machine Gun, was born. At 10 Lou was famous around the...