Thursday, July 8, 2010

Memories of Fort Worth's Texas Recreation

An old friend of mine, who goes variously by the names of "Big Daddy" and "Lucious Tibideaux," sends in this great recollection of a famous pool hall in Fort Worth, Texas.  Big Daddy also invites others to send in their own testimonials about old time pool halls that no longer exist. I've written a couple over the years, including one about Houston's Cue & Cushion, which was a favored spot for Jersey Red.  There's also Le Cue, which was an action hotbed during the 1960s. I write about Le Cue in Hustler Days

Big Daddy writes here about the old Texas Recreation, which, like so many of the great rooms, was located above a flight of stairs. I'm sure that among the legends trudging up those stairs was none other than U.J. Puckett, who was Fort Worth's most famous old school hustler.  That's a picture of Puckett, above. He later went on to haunt Fort Worth's Fast Freddy's pool hall. Literally.

Here's Big Daddy's note.

When I was a teen-ager in Fort Worth, I had an uncle who introduced me to Texas Recreation in downtown Fort Worth. This was an open-bay pool room with dozens of table where you played for 60 cents an hour. I came back later when I was 16 and 17 and hustled pool there. Ask around, old timers probably remember the pool hall.

It was located in downtown Fort Worth on Houston Street on the second floor over a burlesque house. The burlesque place had photos of dancers in glass frames on the walls in front of the place. These were girls with feather boas wrapped around their waists and chests. I never went upstairs before checking out the photos of the dancers that week. Right next door to the burlesque house was Peters Bros. Hat stores, which has been fitting cowboy hats since 1933 at the same location. It is still there.

- Big Daddy


C. H. Boyd said...

The "Texas Rec" later moved to Main Street above Walter Johnston's Men's Store, where I worked in college for a while in the 60's. Up the stairs was a huge horse racing tote board with odds posted in chalk. On the street side were the money card game of gin rummy aand bridge. Roast beef sandwiches were free and an hour of "golf" on the snooker tables was $1.00. Golf was the favorite game of the serious shooters.

lcbrownz said...

I used to the Texas Recreation (to play pool) on Saturday nights during my lunch breaks at the Star-Telegram in 66-67. They weren't too many people that frequented there except for the occasional hustler looking for an easy mark or several old men playing dominoes. The old man that ran the grill was good when it came to cooking food. I would always order a BLT and a side of potato chips. Pool was still cheap. You either paid by the rack or by the hour.