Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Memories From Karen Fox, widow of Bankshot author

Tom Fox, the late husband of Karen Fox, co-wrote the Bank Shot and other Great Robberies, the autobiography of Minnesota Fats. Much of that work was based on interviews with Fats' wife, Evelyn. Karen remembers the difficult interviews with Fats leading up to the writing of that book, which was published in 1967.

"They (Fats and Evelyn) were an odd couple. They had a great affection for each other, and took very good care of each other in a crazy kind of way. She was very consistent. Pool players, when they were making a lot of money, when the hustling was good, buy expensive cars and shoes. But even when times were bad, she (still) had an incredible wardrobe.

When Tom wrote the book, I spent a lot of time with Evelyn. Fats would get to the point -- you know, he was such an ego maniac -- where it was hard to fill in the glue between the gems. We had just moved to Philadelphia. I had to take a bus to Dowell, Illinois to finish up the research with Evelyn. He (Fats) would go into rages. They were funny -- he would have these ego attacks. And so Evelyn had to fill in the blanks, so Tom could get the book out.

It was a freak fluke that the book was ever sold. It happened on a street in New York. I remember how it went down: Tom got out of a taxi and just ran into somebody and they got to talking about pool. It was Roy Chanell, president of World Publishing, and he was a pool nut. And so the book was sold (from that conversation). He (Tom) had to provide and outline, and then it was a done deal."

No comments: