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trailboss
06-29-2004, 03:05 PM
Hi guys! You are all great and I like all your posts, even the tounge in cheek ones!!! Has anyone ever played Fast Eddie? What is he doing now? I heard he is comming out with a book. I lost the website I read this on. I watched the Color of Money and thought it was cool. Any info you can share I know for sure that this group would really appreciate... Thanks!

Popcorn
06-29-2004, 04:15 PM
I think he died. I saw a few of his exhibitions at the BCA show and they were pretty good. I have no idea how he actually played though.

Sid_Vicious
06-29-2004, 06:33 PM
Eddie Parker did pass away while down in Padre Island some time ago. Anyone promoting any book now is a different guy and probably hoaxing themselves for profit...sid...sid

SecaucusFats
06-29-2004, 09:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote trailboss:</font><hr> Hi guys! You are all great and I like all your posts, even the tounge in cheek ones!!! Has anyone ever played Fast Eddie? What is he doing now? I heard he is comming out with a book. I lost the website I read this on. I watched the Color of Money and thought it was cool. Any info you can share I know for sure that this group would really appreciate... Thanks! <hr /></blockquote>

"The Hustler" and "The Color of Money" were works of fictional literature form the mind of Kentucky-born author Walter Tevis. After the release of the motion picture version of "The Hustler" a NY area hustler named Rudolph Wanderone, who went by the monicker of "New York Fats" started calling himself "Minnesota Fats". Wanderone claimed to be the real "Minnesota Fats" and that Tevis had based the character on him (something that Walter Tevis vehemently denied all his life). Wanderone rode the "Minnesota Fats" gravy train for the rest of his life.

"Fast Eddie" Parker likewise claimed to be the basis for the "Fast Eddie" Felsen character in "The Hustler". "Fast Eddie" Parker made a living teaching and doing trick shot exhibitions, he also made a video titled "How To Master Pocket Billiards". I don't know that Parker ever won any major tournament titles. As in the case of Rudolph Wanderone Tevis denied Parker's claims to be the basis for the "Fast Eddie" character in his books.

You can find out more here:

[url=http://www.thisweeknews.com/thisweek.php?edition=sby&amp;story=thisweeknews/010804/sby/News/010804-News-358140.html]

SF

SecaucusFats
06-29-2004, 09:56 PM
Sorry for the problem with the link.

Cut and paste this into your address bar:

http://www.thisweeknews.com/thisweek.php?edition=sby&amp;story=thisweeknews/010804/sby/News/010804-News-358140.html

SF

cueball1950
06-29-2004, 10:20 PM
Great article Fats... hopefully that will put it to rest.. but probably not.. to bad too....................mike

Popcorn
06-29-2004, 10:24 PM
Tevis always said that, but if you read the original book it is easy to see that the character is suggested from a meeting with Wanderone. Even the variation on the NY Fats moniker in the book. The description in the book of the Minnesota fats character sounds remarkably like Wanderone. You know today Sylvestor Stalone won't admit the story for Rocky was suggested by the Chuck Wepner fight with Ali, although he said so in the beginning. Writers are afraid of being sued I guess. I know a writer and every character she makes up is a composite of people she has known or met.

RailbirdJAM
06-30-2004, 05:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr>Eddie Parker did pass away while down in Padre Island some time ago. Anyone promoting any book now is a different guy and probably hoaxing themselves for profit...sid...sid<hr /></blockquote>

I remember when he passed away, it did make the obituary column in The Washington Post. I cut it out and saved the clipping, but, of course, I can't find it now.

With a Google search, I did find this:

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) - Eddie Parker, a legendary pool player known as "Fast Eddie" and the inspiration for the movie "The Hustler," died at a pool tournament in Texas. He was 69.

Parker, of San Antonio, died of an apparent heart attack Friday night at the U.S. Classic Billiards Eight-ball Showdown and was pronounced dead at a Brownsville hospital.

Woody Woodworth, a friend and partner in a pool cue business, said Parker appeared in good health until Friday night. He was airlifted to the hospital.

Parker was not competing in the tournament but was to play in an exhibition Saturday. He was stricken while talking with Woodworth about a fishing trip.

"He said, 'Man, I don't feel good.' So he sat down and he was leaning over, and I said, 'Put your head back so you can breathe easier,'" Woodworth told the Valley Morning Star of Harlingen. "And he sat back and then his eyes rolled back into his head. And I screamed for help."

Parker was one of the best money players in pocket billiards. He is credited with inspiring Walter Tevis to write the book and screenplay for the 1961 classic, "The Hustler," in which Paul Newman played the role of Parker. In its sequel, "The Color of Money," Newman as an older "Fast Eddie" won an Academy Award.

Retired from the road but still greatly admired by the billiards community, Parker spent time giving exhibitions, <font color="red">working on a novel and other ventures</font color>.

At the tournament on the Texas coast, Parker reflected on his adventures and how the game has changed.

"Pool has cleaned up its act," he said Friday. "When I was a kid, there were two places you weren't supposed to go. Don't go to a bowling alley and don't go into a pool hall. Pool is (now) a very reputable sport."

Parker was born in Springfield, Missouri. He started playing at age 9 and was primarily self-taught. In Kansas City, Missouri, six-time world champion Benny Allen saw something special in the teen-ager.

"I never had any idea I was going to turn professional and shoot for money until I started studying with Benny Allen," Parker said. "He didn't like to teach, but every once in a while he would find somebody that had potential."

Parker said he earned the nickname "Fast Eddie" in high school but insisted he wasn't a hustler because he was always up front when gambling.

"A hustler will let the other guy win and then up the bet. He's fooling his opponent," he said. "Whereas, a money player freezes up the money in advance and you play your best right from the start."

Parker said he never got rich from pool, with his biggest jackpot a $30,000 bet in the 1950's.

"He was a wonderful man who made days much brighter," said Parker's wife, Peg. "I'm sorry I wasn't there with him."

Besides his wife, Parker is survived by a son and seven grandchildren.

Tournament organizers said cue balls autographed by Parker on Friday for $10 were auctioned for $1,000 on Saturday, and the proceeds were earmarked to help defray funeral expenses. Services probably will be in San Antonio, where Parker lived for about 15 years."
______________________

Does anybody know who "Benny Allen" is?

RailbirdJAM

RailbirdJAM
06-30-2004, 06:00 AM
And then I found this via Google, looking to find out who Benny Allen was, dated November 2, 1998:

Sportlight: "Fast Eddie" Still Moving

The way "Fast Eddie" Parker made his arrival in San Angelo a few weeks ago, two hours late to be exact, it doesn't seem he's "Fast Eddie" anymore.

But when it comes to playing pool, he's still got that fast pace, a recipe that made him one of the best of his time with the likes of Minnesota Fats.

And you wonder why the man portrayed by Paul Newman in the 1961 movie classic "The Hustler" would come to a bar in San Angelo to play the winner of the bar's pool tournament?

"It was in small towns like this one where the origins of pool took place," Parker said. "A lot of money players like to promote the game in the big cities and don't like to come out and do shows in the smaller cities."

Fast Eddie, who was born in 1931 in Missouri, started playing pool at the age of 9. As a teen-ager, he moved to Kansas City, <font color="red">where he was tutored by the late Benny Allen, a three-time world pool champion</font color>. It was during that time that Fast Eddie became a money player.

In 1952, Fast Eddie joined the Navy and moved to California. After he completed his naval service, he continued playing pool throughout the country in the 1950s and '60s and taught pool to hundreds of students. Although Fast Eddie was a money player instead of a tournament player, he won a number of tournaments, including the California 8-ball, 9-ball, and straight pool championships in the '50s.

"I retired from money playing in 1980 and came out of retirement just recently," Parker said. "I've played and made shows in places like Japan, Mexico, Germany, China, England, France and other numerous places."

It was when Fast Eddie was playing pool in Kentucky that his nickname and two exploits out of his life made their way into the mind and pen of a young author, who had worked in a pool hall to help pay his way through school.

That young author, Walter Tevis, wrote a book in 1959 entitled "The Hustler," which was made into a movie two years later, starring Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie.

Fast Eddie holds the yet unbroken record of pocketing 22 balls in one legal shot. The old record of 21 was held by Paul Gerni. A newspaper reporter in the 1960s called Fast Eddie "one of the last of a vanishing breed."

In the movie, Fast Eddie was depicted to have had his thumbs broken. The events depicted in the three-cushion billiards match between himself and a wealthy Kentuckian were described accurately, except that the match was played near Lexington, Ky., not Louisville as depicted.

Fast Eddie said pool has now become the No. 1 participant sport in the country, surpassing bowling. It is estimated that 40 million people in this country are participating, and a major part of it has to do with the increasing number of women playing pool and increasing television coverage.

"I came out of retirement mostly to promote the game of pool to the world," he said.

Promotion is not the only thing he has done. He is the author of a pocket billiards instructional course, which was used by Paul Newman before filming the movie "The Color of Money."

Most people in Fast Eddie's age range (he's 67) spend their twilight years traveling and doing things they didn't get to at a younger age. Fast Eddie's twilight years are spent doing something he has always excelled in and will always love - playing pool.

RailbirdJAM

Sid_Vicious
06-30-2004, 07:24 AM
Thanks Jam, I had the pleasure of meeting Eddie in Sherman Tx during one of his shows, ol'Fast nearly clipped my passenger door with his Pontiac when he whizzed into his park at the PH. A friend and I helped him carry his stuff inside and that encounter continued into an evening of a newly made friendship. He was a very interesting man, if that one meet was any indication.

I enjoyed the reads you posted! sid

Fred Agnir
06-30-2004, 07:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Tevis always said that, but if you read the original book it is easy to see that the character is suggested from a meeting with Wanderone. Even the variation on the NY Fats moniker in the book. The description in the book of the Minnesota fats character sounds remarkably like Wanderone. <hr /></blockquote>I never read The Hustler, but after reading The Color of Money, there are several things that seem to suggest that Wanderone is at least in part an inspiration for the character. However, my timing may be off for The Color of Money. It's certainly possible that Wanderone was already doing his TV show when Tevis wrote The Color of Money.

I guess I need to read The Hustler. The movie version, Minnesota Fats didn't resemble Wanderone in the least.

Fred

catscradle
06-30-2004, 08:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr>
I guess I need to read The Hustler. The movie version, Minnesota Fats didn't resemble Wanderone in the least.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>

It's a quick read and mildly entertaining. It is also very different from the movie as are most books. The details are fuzzy now, but as I recall, though the Fats character was different in the book than the movie, I didn't think he really resembled Fatty. Maybe he stole the name and body type, but that's about all.

Frank_Glenn
06-30-2004, 09:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Tevis always said that, but if you read the original book it is easy to see that the character is suggested from a meeting with Wanderone. Even the variation on the NY Fats moniker in the book. The description in the book of the Minnesota fats character sounds remarkably like Wanderone. <hr /></blockquote>I never read The Hustler, but after reading The Color of Money, there are several things that seem to suggest that Wanderone is at least in part an inspiration for the character. However, my timing may be off for The Color of Money. It's certainly possible that Wanderone was already doing his TV show when Tevis wrote The Color of Money.

I guess I need to read The Hustler. The movie version, Minnesota Fats didn't resemble Wanderone in the least.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>

Wanderone was a mouthy hustler. The book and the movie character "Fats" was not like that at all, IMO. He was just a strong player who waited for the action to come to him. Very polished, very quiet and reserved, nothing at all like Wanderone. The two were actually almost complete opposites except for the size issue. BTW, the "mouthy hustler" comment is descriptive and not meant as a slam against Wanderone. I think he did do a lot for pool, but he was what he was. I meant no disrepect. You really should read the book, Fred. I really enjoyed both. "The Color of Money" book was much better than the movie, IMO.

Popcorn
06-30-2004, 11:33 AM
It only takes a rough sketch for a writer to form a character. If I remember right there is a detailed description of the player in the book, right down to a tick in the neck that made kind of a jerk when he talked. as well as the name. Of course the actual character is completely made up and the story in the book requires that the fats character fit the story. He met fats and fats as I am sure made an impression on him that stuck with him when he was inventing what was to be the final character. Very few writers would ever admit that, so it make sense that he denied it. As for Fats taking the name of a fictional character he invented, today I think he could probably have made him stop using the name. In fact for the movie COM. they only paid him for the story because thet wanted to revive the Paul Newman character. I am not sure there is one thing in the movie from the book COM . They had no need for the rights to the book since they wrote their own story anyway. It is not like it was a best seller or something, no one ever heard of the book.

Frank_Glenn
06-30-2004, 12:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> It only takes a rough sketch for a writer to form a character. If I remember right there is a detailed description of the player in the book, right down to a tick in the neck that made kind of a jerk when he talked. as well as the name. Of course the actual character is completely made up and the story in the book requires that the fats character fit the story. He met fats and fats as I am sure made an impression on him that stuck with him when he was inventing what was to be the final character. Very few writers would ever admit that, so it make sense that he denied it. As for Fats taking the name of a fictional character he invented, today I think he could probably have made him stop using the name. In fact for the movie COM. they only paid him for the story because thet wanted to revive the Paul Newman character. I am not sure there is one thing in the movie from the book COM . They had no need for the rights to the book since they wrote their own story anyway. It is not like it was a best seller or something, no one ever heard of the book. <hr /></blockquote>

I think you are correct about the movie and the book. As far as the character, it may be based on anyone he met, like you said. Wanderone was known by many names before the move came out. In the book "Hustler Days" there is an explantion on how Fats came to take the name "Minnasota Fats" that is as believable as anything I have heard.