Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Bill "Weenie Beenie" Staton and Norma Jean
Originally uploaded by jakedyer.
Here's a picture of the great Bill "Weenie Beenie" Staton and his wife, Norma Jean. Bill passed away passed on Feb. 18, 2006 at Grand Strand Regional Hospital near his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was 77.
"One day while working in Joe's pool room, Weenie and Al were shooting the game of one pocket and as usual Al tried to lock up Beenie in a sucker game. The rules for that particular game, Weenie had to make two balls in a side pocket while Al had to make eight balls in the lower two pockets. The game went in Al favor for quite a while. Then the stakes were raised quite a bit. At that point Weenie won six expensive games in a row. (Seems as tho Weenie knew a thing or two about locking up a sucker). During the seventh game, Al accused Weenie of cheating and demanded all his money back. Weenie told him where to go and Al came at him with a cue stick. Al, still with the cue in hand, chased Beenie from 7th & "D" streets, to "G" Street, "G" to 8th Street and back to 7th &"D streets. At that point Weenie jumped into his car and waved BYE-BYE to Al. Not only was Beenie a smarter and better pool shooter, he was also a faster runner than Al."
At our house, he was the Master of Ceremonies.
He challenged us with a new vocabulary word daily. He was the consummate entertainer. He loved to entertain all of us kids, and our children. He loved to tell jokes and anecdotes, showed us card tricks and magic tricks. He loved to baffle us. He would turn $1 dollar bills into $5s and $20s, and sometimes a $100 bill. Whenever we would visit from Seattle, my son Sean always asked me to bring a lot of $1 dollar bills so granddad could turn them into $100 bills.
Dad loved Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and then Biloxi, Miss. He loved to travel, but most importantly, he loved his family and friends, of which he had so many. That dad affected so many lives is amazing. He was everyone's friend, a gentleman, and a real Class Act.
He started several successful businesses, including the Weenie Beenie restaurants with our Uncle Carl, and the Jack and Jill Family cue clubs. He was a true entrepreneur. After I was born, he never worked a 9 to 5 job, which was an example to us to, as he said, â€œbeat our own pathâ€ in life.
Dad and Mom had three children and encouraged each of us to follow our dreams and our hearts, to be our best, and to contribute to the world. He raised me as the first born boy, giving me, and Vik and Scott, every opportunity for a broad and varied education and life experience; to travel, to explore, to aspire to do anything, and everything, which was unusual for the 50s. He was a visionary.
Dad instilled in me and my brother and sister our values. He was our inspiration and role model. He always rooted for the underdog. He loved people and animals, including his menagerie of cats, raccoons, all named "Rocky", birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, a red fox, and even the possums that he fed nightly in Myrtle Beach.
He was a true free spirit and his values and beliefs and traditions live on
He taught us to be the best we can be,
and to live life with
Integrity, Honesty, Morality, Diligence and Perseverance,
Courage and Strength, Compassion, a Sense of Humor, Spontaneity
And, most importantly, Love and Respect.
He was the most worldly and widely respected man I ever knew. Despite his accomplishments, he was always humble; very proud of Mom and us. When we kids were around, there was not a day that he didn't tell Mom he loved her.
That is the character of my father. We are truly blessed.
Dad, Thank you for guiding us in life, and for your love, support and devotion. You will be remembered and loved by us all, always.
This is not the end; it is a new and rejoiceful beginning."
"What attracted them was this guy. Everybody went out there to play him. He was a bookmaker, and he had a lot of money, and he spread it around. He was a winner. I started playing him. He was the one who attracted people there. Daddy Warbucks, Hubert Cokes. Squirrel was there. And Earl Shriver was there. They all congregated there. There was action galore.
"I like to say I made over a million dollars. (That’s because) I won $27,000, and I went home and wanted to invest it. I told my lawyer that I won this money, and I wanted to invest it. He said, ‘Bill, you have to declare that on income tax.’ So, I declared it on my income tax, and then built a little hotdog stand. It was 12 foot wide and 20 foot long. It’s still located in Alexandria, Virginia. The way I figure I made $1 million is from the rent I’ve been collecting all these years"
"I said something like, ‘is there somebody in here that has any money.’ And Cleo Vaughn said, ‘I bet you there are at least four guys in here with $10,000 in their pocket.’ Remember: this was a small, ratty poolroom in this little town. I came in the next day with $10,000 and I said ‘I want to make it five people with $10,000!'
"(Cleo) heard ... about guys beating me. “I beat beanie” or “I gave him 8 to 5.” He was getting a picture of how I played, and it was a bad picture. And anyway, I started playing. One time I played him (Cleo) for 56 consecutive hours.
"We played 56 consecutive hours, and I beat him pretty good. I was on a high. Pool made me high. I didn’t’ take drugs or anything. I said: ‘Who’s next?' after 56 consecutive hours.
"We were in a tough place. The action was so high, the chief of police said ‘you got to take this somewhere else.’ The kids were coming in after school, and the money was exchanging hands.
"There was a little place at the edge of town, out behind the gas station. The building was out behind gas station: it was a car port. They had a pool table and a card table. ... So we started playing there. It was around-the-clock action. That was where I played for 56 consecutive hours. I won good money.
"I stayed for 30 days. I was married and had three kids, so I had to get home.
"It happened every year, during the race season. There was a race track, and the players came, and it was west Memphis. And they came during that time. Hot Springs was where the racing was. It was in February, or early March. They had the racing season, and it attracted a lot of people.
"I heard about it a number of years before I ever went there. There was a lot of action at that time. It was wide open.
"That was the first time out there. … I won a little off Cokes, and a little of Fats, and most of from Cleo Vaughn. ... He died in Mobile, Alabama."
gwyn staton (gweenie beenie) said...
It would be interesting to get everyone's stories about Cleo as there are a lot! My dad had quite a few!