> > Hi Swede,
> > Yes, I remember those triangle aprons very well. I used to play at a
> > room in Pittsburgh, PA in the late 50's/early 60's where they were used
> > every table. The aprons were cut from pool cloth, and they did protect
> > foot of the table where the balls were dropped into the rack before
> > scooted up to the footspot. Of course most rooms were charging by the
> > then, so they needed a rack boy to collect the coins after each game,
> > rack the bals for the ensuing game. I played at one room where 8-ball
> > 9-ball were a dime; rotation was 15 cents; and if you played straight
> > it was 60 cents per hour.
> > When rooms started charging by the hour exclusively, the use of rack
> > gradually faded out. Without rack boys, players found the triangle
> > cumbersome, so their use also faded out.
> > I miss those old rooms. Spittoons were still in use for the tobacco
> > chewers. There were no TVs, juke boxes were rare, and there were no
> > There was just pool and billiards. There was always some guy on the pay
> > phone in the corner talking to his bookie, and there were usually guys
> > sitting around sweating games and talking pool. Now the music is so
> > most joints that you couldn't carry on a conversation if you wanted to;
> > cell phones have replaced pay phones.
> > Thanks for the memory!
> > Doc
> >> Hi fellow old-timers!
> >> I was just thinking back to my younger years in pool halls and it came
> >> me that one hall in particular some 40 plus years ago had a flap
> > to
> >> one side of their racks. The flap was made of thin leather(or maybe
> > vinyl).
> >> It was as large as the rack and the rack boy would have the flap under
> >> rack and place the balls in the rack with the flap under them. He would
> > then
> >> pull the rack back toward himself, slightly lift the back edge of the
> >> up off the table, and then push forwrd and the flap would roll out from
> >> underneath the balls and the rack then positioned on the spot for the
> > break.
> >> Has anyone else seen this before? I'm not sure why they did that. Maybe
> >> protect the cloth in that area or to dislodge any grit or dust or
> >> from the balls before the break.
> >> Any ideas?
> >> Swede
> You're welcome Doc...
> I was*** around the same ol' place with the SAME old tables...three
> owners later. A dime a rack is what I remember also for 8 ball. You'd call
> out "rackem" and the rack 'boy' what come running back and rack. Sometimes
> the fulltime bartender would have to come back to rack...they always came
> arunning back though right away. The same old tables are still there with
> probably the same balls!!! They're in very bad shape after these many
> of use since the early 60s.
> No TVs, or video games..a few pinball machines tho. The juke box was not
> loud as today.
> Things weren't quite as strict back then, because the law didn't mind
> minors in the place for playing pool and drinking soda pop.
> Yes-Great memories Doc!!
Hey, I WAS a rack boy. I was eight years old when I started. It was the
first job for pay I ever had, and my grandfather owned the pool hall in
Roodhouse, Illinois. When I started, in 1952, It was ten cents a rack, and
I got a penny. Nearly every player played Rotation then. Pill-pool would be
popular for awhile, then would die out again. An occasional 14.1 game was
played, and a few times a year there would be a couple of guys playing one
pocket. I had a little pocket apron to make change from. I loved it when
players asked for 14.1 racks, and hated the one-hole action. Need I say why?
The straight pool racks went fast, and I could earn more money. One pocket
games were even slower than rotation racks. The one-pocket hustlers were
surely aware that they were hustling the pool hall as well as their fish
because the slow nature of the game made for more pool for their money. By
the time I quit, (in 1958--I could make more money with two paper routes and
mowing lawns on weekends) runaway inflation had raised the price to 25c/rack
with three cents going to the rack boy. By 1960, grandpa bought a time
stamper machine and switched to per-hour rates. I remember making pretty
good money for a kid, but I had to do a lot more work than just racking
balls. I brushed the tables, re-racked cues, swept the floor, emptied and
cleaned spittoons (yuck), washed the front windows, cleaned the bathroom,
and ran "gopher" for the customers. (They'd give me fif*** cents to bring
them a Coke and a pack of potato chips. The tip?...Yeah right--not a
The room had no juke box. Grandpa was inclined to throw you out of the place
just for whistling; he thought silence appropriate for the intellectual
pursuit of the game of billiards. Speaking of which, I was not permitted to
play pool. Or rather, pool was not forbidden, but I was required to pay the
full rate for it, not even discounting myself my own rack fee! You see,
Gramps was a three-cushion man, and thought pool a silly-ass kids game.
So I could play all the carom I wanted on my own time for free, so
straight-rail and three-cushion were the games I learned. The pool hall sold
no ***, and only snack foods. And tobacco. Cigarettes and enough cigar
trade that the place had a walk-in humidor. In fact, the humidor was where
those of us who had "private" cues stored them. I bought my first cue when I
was thir***. I have no idea of who made it, but I remember it well. It had
a single shaft, a piloted brass joint, plain maple forearm, single butterfly
splice with green/red/yellow veneers, rosewood prongs and butt, white/green
linen wrap, rosewood butt, with a white (Delrin?) cap (no bumper). I don't
remember what ever happened to it--if it was lost, sold, or abandoned.
Yeah, thanks for the memories!