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sl-prokeys was born April 5, 1995


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total sl-prokeys hits since April, 2003

On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 2:45pm, my wife of 34 years, Rebecca, died in my arms in an emergency room.

The last words we spoke were in perfect synchronization: "I love you with all my heart."

 

The Hammond and Gold Crown Room

COMPLETE GOLD CROWN IV PACKAGE FOR SALE

SOLD

HERE'S WHAT YOU MISSED

OUR GOLD CROWN IV IS IN PRISTINE CONDITION, NOT A SCRATCH ANYWHERE

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

9' BRUNSWICK GOLD CROWN WITH BALL RETURNS

CUSTOM MADE SOLID MAHOGANY LIGHT AND MOUNTING HARDWARE WITH FOUR

EIGHT FOOT FLUORESCENT TUBES AND DIFFUSER PANELS

ONE SET (USED, EXCELLENT+ CONDITION) BRUNSWICK CENTENNIALS

ONE SET (NEW IN BOX, NEVER USED) ARAMITH SUPER PROS

THREE WALL MOUNT CUE RACKS, WALL MOUNT SCOREKEEPER

BRIDGES, RACKS, BRUSHES, ACCESSORIES, ASSORTED CUES

COMMERCIAL 1/2 h.p. BALL CLEANING MACHINE AND POLISH

FOUR BILLIARD ROOM HIGH CHAIRS

EXTRAS - BOOKS, VIDEOS, CUE SILK, CHALK, COVER, ETC.

(NOTE: PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE MOST OF THE CUSTOM CUES SHOWN IN PICTURES)

CLICK FOR THE SLIDESHOW

ALSO SEE PICTURES BELOW FOR DETAILS

Prokeys Site Map

Big Time MAGICMOUTH Humor

There's a crazy person running loose - MAGICMOUTH from Magic Billiards Academy in Newfane, New York. 

MAGICMOUTH'S name is Lawrence Croisdale

 

Croisdale captured (that means STOLE) this whole webpage, with all my pictures, and put it on his own kindergarten garbage website. 

I called the number which was shown on his website to politely ask why he copied my page. 

His wife, or whoever answered, asked for my name and number, and said she'd have the owner call me back. 

 

He called back pretty quickly.  His threats of violence started immediately, so I recorded the call. 

Croisdale is so far off the wall, even the deputy sheriff who listened to the recording was able to tell he wasn't straight.  Drugs, drunk, or both - no question.

 

Croisdale runs off at the mouth - he can't shut up. 

It's too bad somebody doesn't train him to do THAT little "magic trick".  I'd offer to do it, but I'd end up in prison. 

I decline, thank you.

 

He loves the sound of his own voice, and changes his stories from one second to the next, makes up more lies, then can't even keep up with his own lies.  You'll DEFINITELY hear that, below. 

 

I think he's borderline INSANE, too! 

Croisdale asked if I have a COPYRIGHT from Brunswick to put pictures of MY OWN POOL TABLE on MY website! 

The moron wanted to know if it was MY pool table!  Whose table do you think it was? 

(No, moron - it's not my pool table.  I walked into Tampa Police Department one day, saw that nice Gold Crown table, put it in my pocket, and walked right out the door with it.)  

 

Do I need a "copyright" from Ford to put pictures of my Ford van on my website? 

How about a "copyright" from Tad, to put some pictures of my Tad cues on my webpage?         

 

At the end of the first conversation, his threats escalated to "ready to come after you, man".  (No, moron - you come, the deputies take you away.)   

If you want to listen to Croisdale on the phone, 12/06/2008, CLICK CALL 1.

Not content to make a complete asshole of himself once, he called again - CLICK CALL 2.  This is MAGICMOUTH Lawrence Croisdale

 

MAGICMOUTH is becoming a legend in the W. New York world of billiards. 

And - funnier yet - I'm getting plenty of emails and phone calls about "magic" Croisdale.  He's been voted "Moron of the Year" in most of the W. New York pool leagues.  There's no question - MAGICMOUTH is one popular moron.  People love him so much, they're even having shirts made!

The picture above came with this message.  I substituted ? for the person's name.

"? wore this shirt to The "Magic Mouths" weekly Monday night pool league. A bunch of people copied the website down. Everybody thought it was hilarious !! Larry was speechless, and he looked like he was gonna be sick all night. He didn't talk to anybody the whole time we were there...lol. That shut him up for once."

This message came in a few days ago.  I might have to put the whole collection in here soon.

"Hi there Steve!!

Your the big talk of the town here in Western New York!

Thanks so much for putting Larry out on the line!  All of us billiard freaks here are having a ball laughing at Larry!  Its about time someone put him in his place!  I have known Larry for 13 years now, and still trying to figure out why I just can't stand him....LOL.

I feel for ya, sorry he took your site info and put it off as his own....sounds typical of Larry!

Your site is amazing, looks like you know your stuff  =]  Wishing you many years of Billiard Happiness!!

Thanks again, from MANY pool leaguers here in WNY!

?"

As Keith McCready said in 'The Color Of Money' - "It's like a nightmare, isn't it?  It just keeps getting worse and worse."

 

HERE'S A CUSTOM TAD CUE FOR SALE

SOLD

HERE'S WHAT YOU MISSED

Original TAD (Tad Kohara) custom cue from 1976.  The story:

In 1975, I bought 5 cues from Tad within a few weeks.  His shop, in Stanton or Garden Grove, (they're basically the same place) was about two miles from my home in Anaheim.  All the early cues I bought were Tad's basic, plain design, (shown below in the Tad advertisement picture as #8), but they all had inlaid rings above and below the joint.  (Just like the custom cue below.)  I gave one away as a gift to a close friend, sold three over the years, and still have one left - this is the cue I've always played with.  If I ever play again, it's the cue I'll use.   

Back then, Tad was a cranky craftsman, and didn't like people hanging around.  He tolerated me in his shop, asking questions, watching, maybe because he knew I was playing / recording music, he heard me on the radio sometimes, and saw me on TV once or twice.  He even came up to my recording studio a few times, and tape playback almost deafened him, but he seemed to like the music. 

I made him laugh, telling him I had TWO jobs: I was the keyboard player and the military advisor for Ike and Tina.  We weren't counting off songs - we were calling out bomb coordinates for the next explosions.  You had to work at it to make Tad laugh - he probably thought I was crazy.

I bought my first real custom cue in 1976.  It was the same design, same weight, colors, and shafts as the one I'm now selling, (shown below in the Tad advertisement picture as #1).  The one I'm selling has some slight differences: on the first one, the pearl diamond inlays had notches, and the dots were inlaid one above and one below the diamond in the points.

That first custom cue was stolen in Los Angeles within a few weeks.  Immediately, I went to Tad to order another one just like it, but with a very subtle difference.  I wanted to be able to recognize my cue anywhere if it was ever stolen again.  We discussed this and concluded: no notched diamonds, and both dots above the diamond in the points.  (refer to the photos and you'll see this)  He had to make the solid diamonds specifically for me - eight of them.  I believe this is really a TAD "one of one", because of this subtle design change.   

As you can see, ebony four point, four windows.  Black, blue, purple, and maple inlays around the points and windows.  No CNC milling, no computers.  All hand made - I sat right there and watched him with the Xacto knife in the points and windows.  I even indexed the lathe tool for him.

The shafts are 12.75 mm, with ivory ferrules.  Everything is absolutely straight and solid.  This cue has never been refinished or rewrapped.  It's barely been used, although some lacquer has come off of the pearl inlays, stainless joint, and the butt piece.  I suppose that's expected after this time, lacquer didn't stick very well back then, except over wood.  I took the worst pictures intentionally, which show the missing lacquer.  No dents or dings anywhere.  It's spent the majority of its life in the embossed maroon Fellini case, which is in excellent condition and included in the sale.

MAKE A FAIR OFFER - IT'S READY TO SHIP

 


Some of the world's luckiest Hammonds and Leslies lived in a 25' x 20' room with a

9' Brunswick Gold Crown IV

The Gold Crown is world known as the de facto standard tournament table.  It's the only table in the Brunswick line that is assembled at the factory, milled perfectly flat, then numbered and disassembled for boxing and shipment.  To assemble it properly, you must match up the numbers at all the frame intersections.  And you better have a BIG rubber mallet.

The fun started with 11 cardboard shipping boxes and 3 slates - total weight, around 1000 lbs.  Later, another 4 or 5 cartons, containing the ball returns, new pockets, and ball collection box arrived.  Surprisingly, the cartons and slates fit easily in a standard, full size van - a huge truck wasn't necessary at all.  Using a really neat "slate dolly", even those heavy slates moved easily enough. 

Once the boxes were unpacked, the real fun began.  I'd been anticipating building this table for weeks.  

I laid out all the components, and couldn't find assembly instructions anywhere!   But it became perfectly clear, after moving the parts around for awhile, that instructions weren't really needed at all.  The assembly of the frame and other components is really self-explanatory.  

The assembly hardware is massive.  Most of the frame bolts are 3/4".  The weight and dimensions of the frame components are amazing - this is one SOLID table! 

As you'll see in the pictures below, dowels are also used in the frame construction, and they're the biggest diameter I've ever seen in my life.  They resemble broom handles.     

I did all the construction, and hired a professional table mechanic to help me set and align the slates properly, and cover it in Simonis 860 cloth.  I wanted to participate in each step of the alignment and covering.

With only a few exceptions: the ball return tracks, small brackets to help support the ball collection box, corner skirt brackets, and the bridge holders under the table, there are no wood screws used in a Gold Crown IV.  All connections are done with machine bolts, metal to metal connections that can really be tightened.

A great feature of the Gold Crown IV is the slate leveling system.  There are 22 slate levelers built into the frame.  Adjusting the 3 pieces of slate to perfectly match each other is unbelievably simple to do, especially with 2 people - one on top with the straight edge, the other underneath with a screwdriver. 

Previously, table mechanics had to use shims, such as playing cards, to bring the three pieces of slate into level alignment with each other.  "Level" may be the wrong word to use here - I'm actually referring to flatness or straightness, relative to the adjacent piece of slate. 

The slate levelers require very little adjustment to move the slate a couple thousandths of an inch.  Because the frame is milled so accurately flat, the slates are almost perfectly flat when they're laid on the frame.  Most of the adjusters on my own table weren't even needed.

Once all three slates are truly straight and flat with each other, melted wax is poured into the two seams, and allowed to harden.  Then the excess is scraped off with a razor knife and the whole area is smoothed.  After this process, all three slates are perfectly aligned with each other, with no seams to affect ball travel.  The table isn't level at this point, but the three slates are now as straight and flat as one piece.  

Covering is a very interesting art in itself.  Some table mechanics use contact cement, others use an electric stapler, some use both, and they all swear their way is the right way.  In any event, the cloth must be pulled tightly and evenly across the slates.  Small cuts are made at the pockets, and the cloth is folded and laid so the end results are smooth.  Tiny wrinkles sometimes show up, usually right near pockets, and these must be pulled out and stapled.  Simonis cloth really tends to show small wrinkles, where other types of cloth seem to hide them. 

Covering cushions is an art in itself.  It begins by "locking" the cloth to the the rails with precisely tapered wooden strips, known as "feather strips".  Then the excess cloth is trimmed carefully.  Next, the cloth is folded over the feather strips, stretched around the rubber cushions, and stapled to the bottom of the rails.  This really requires an experienced hand, since the tightness of the cloth is directly relative to how "fast" the cushions will play, and the mechanic must be sure that all six cushions react the same way. 

Leveling the entire table comes after covering.  Leveling begins with long bubble levels, but the final level is done by rolling balls to observe by eye if they come to rest correctly.  After the table "settles" for a few weeks, some minor adjustments will almost always be required for level, especially on a carpeted floor.

It was very enjoyable to measure out the room, and find the exact center for the base of the table.  I knew precisely where the light would have to be hung, and tried to get the table perfectly located underneath it.  After assembling the table and suspending the light, it appears I'm about 1/8" out of perfect lineup - or the wall is.

That's the reason I miss so many shots - it has nothing to do with my skill.  Really.  I could easily beat Keith McCready - with one hand - if that corner of the table was just 1/8" closer to the wall.  Ask Buddy Hall if you don't believe me.  (This is a joke, y'all.)   

The new Gold Crown IV has an exceptional feature: "lazy susan" style levelers.  The feet are actually heavy castings, threaded to huge bolts which are turned to raise or lower the table.  With the Gold Crown IV, there is a shallow "cup" under each foot which contains ball bearings.  They're practically invisible, unless you're looking for them.   

It only requires a simple twist of the wrist to level the table.  It's so easy, a five year old child could raise or lower it effortlessly.  Previously, one had to physically raise the table off the floor to adjust a foot.  The pool table mechanic actually went out to his truck to bring in a car jack to level the table!  He was amazed when I showed him the "lazy susan" leveling feet - he had never seen them before.

Every pool table needs a light, so I designed one and had it made of solid mahogany, with angles to exactly match the table skirts, and corner radius.   It uses four 8' tubes, and really illuminates the playing surface.  I ran into one problem with the plastic diffuser pieces - I needed pieces more than 24" wide, and had to have them specially cut.  But they were inexpensive, and the problem was solved in an hour.   

I also designed and built a wall mounted scorekeeper, so I can easily keep track of just how far behind I am.  It's always good to know when you can't possibly catch up.  Why delude yourself? 

Balls get chalk dust and hand oils on them.  I found and rebuilt a commercial ball cleaner.  This thing works just great - it spins the balls at about 500 mph, and times out automatically after about 5 minutes.  It can be used with window washer fluid, ball cleaning liquid, or dry, depending on the condition of the balls.  I replaced all the felt in the ball cleaner with an old felt generator pad from an X-77.  The felt is very dense - about 1/4" thick, and I cut it up in strips to fit each of the holes for the balls. 

Brunswick Centennials are the world standard, and the set that I use regularly.  I also bought a set of Aramith Super Pros as spares.  They're identical to the Centennials with a slightly different style of number.

The Hammonds, Leslies, and Gold Crown IV seem to get along fine in their own humidity controlled room.

click any picture for a larger view or

CLICK FOR THE SLIDESHOW

 

Gold Crown package - sold

Tad cue and Fellini case - sold

 

Prokeys Site Map

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