Freddy the Beard Bentivegna
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December 2018
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Pontificating with The Beard

This is me, Freddy the Beard posting my own blog. I will be pontificating on the sociopathic, political, and philosophical views I garnered and honed during my 50 years in the underworld. Also I will talk about pool, and periodically snitch off some secret tid-bits. Let’s just see where we go with this.


1. Little Richard — when he was really little.
2 Charles Manson Parole Hearing 1996
3 The way it was: The Boogie Woogie –oh yeah! Here’s how they are doing it right now in Switzerland (it’s very popular there). The dance the kids are doing was known as the Jitterbug. Eat your hearts out!
4 Anita O’Day Take The A Train
5 Marciano/Walcott Title Fight
6 Dino’s Fancy Cardician’s Riffle Pass
7 How I rate the Billiard Magazines
8 Michael Vick/ Doggie Style
9 Missive for the day, Ann Coulter
10 Teachers packing in schools?
11 Wher iz dey? WMD’s.
12 Sean Pig Penn
13 My Night Out at the IPT Event
14 My personal pin-up girls
15 The Last Days of Bugs Rucker

Charles Manson Parole Hearing 1996

Saturday, February 23, 2008
How I rate the Billiard Magazines
Billiard Digest = two to three tripper
I rate pool magazines by how many trips to the john they last with me doing number two. Billiards Digest takes from 2 to 3 seatings on the donicker to finally finish. All other pool mags are finished by me in a single sit. Sometimes, George Fels’s column uses up one whole squat all by itself.

Saturday, February 23, 2008
Michael Vick/ Doggie Style
Here’s hoping that Michael Vick lands among some serial-killer dog lovers when he checks into the hoosegow. Then we’ll see how he likes getting it “doggie style.”

Monday, February 11, 2008
Missive for the day, Ann Coulter
While I spent the 60s and 70s as a full blown Hippie, time has mellowed me out and changed my perspectives. I now fantasize having sex with Ann Coulter rather than Gracie Slick.

Friday, February 1, 2008
Teachers packing in schools?
Another incident of a student going on a shooting rampage in Cleveland. A sensible solution to the teachers that want to pack guns in schools would be for the local police depts. to set up special task forces of policeman qualified to teach in high schools. They would serve double duty as cops assigned to the schools as instructors. The high school would be their beat. On the low end they could be gym or shop teachers. On the high side they could be college grads with degrees in education. Their educational bonafides would determine their pay scale on the police force. For example, a college grad could start off as perhaps a sergeant (after completing the normal police training). This idea would serve to temper the understandable resistance from parents not wanting their children to attend classes with teachers who are carrying weapons. Working out the details of who pays what shouldn’t be too hard. The school has to pay a teacher anyway. How much the police dept. would have to add to the salary would be the biggest obstacle, since that type of double duty teacher would deserve to be paid more than an ordinary teacher, and on the other side, more than an ordinary policeman.

Friday, February 1, 2008
Wher iz dey? WMD’s.
When is somebody of some consequence, be they democrat or republican, going to ask the question that has been bugging me personally for 6 yrs, “What happened to the weapons of mass destruction that nobody could find in Iraq?” Ok, we know they weren’t there when we arrived, but where did they go? Saddam sure as hell did have them at one time. He boffed-in a couple hundred thou Kurds and Iranians with ’em. What did he do with ’em? Destroy ’em? Where is any evidence that that happened? Bury ’em? Burn ’em? Dump ’em in the ocean? Give ’em away? If give ’em away, to who? Syria? Iran? Good-Will Charities?
Nobody even speculates on what might have happened. We captured many of the top guys, including Saddam, and not one peep about the dispensation of said items. Apparently that was a question that those guys weren’t even asked. A couple of ’em got hung. You would think to save their necks they would have at least ‘fessed that up. Conspiracy? Cover-up? By both parties, left and right? Could the answer be so horrible that the dems and repubs have both agreed to keep the story under the rug? The answer is certainly above my pay grade, but believe me, somebody sure as shit knows.

Friday, February 1, 2008
Sean Pig Penn
For this creeps latest, thumb-his-nose at America caper — suck-holding Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez — if there was some way I could be his punishment administrator, I would sentence him to have to win in order to eat, by making pool games in the old Bensingers, or NY’s old 7-11, with a no-bite or walking stick clause after he books a loser. Let Mexican Johnny or Brooklyn Jimmy give him his just desserts. Since that scenario is only a fantasy, I’ll have to take refuge in the delicious thought of how much abuse he received at the hands of Madonna when he was married to her

My Night Out at the IPT Event

I was one of the 50 invitees to the Bustamonte/Deuel Internet match game last night. I would first like to say how amazed I am at all the criticism leveled at last night’s festivities by so many AZ forum contributors. With all the beefing and squawking about the sound, and interruptions caused by a problem with the Internet streaming company in Calif., something that the IPT had absolutely no control over, you would think that the IPT was charging a Pay Per View price to see the show. It was a freebie, fellas, a freebie. Sheez. An ambitious, expensive attempt to get something started again for pool players. I, for one, had a good time. In my view the whole operation was a first class operation. The 50 sweators were treated to a lavish free buffet of food and drink before the match. Pizza from Giordano’s, Italian Beef, Sausage, Poor Boy sandwiches, and salad. They had a sexy waitress bringing in free drinks all during the match. When I asked Grady if the IPT had finished paying off all their old debts to the players, he said the final payment went out and now everybody has gotten their money. Terrific, if true. With so much groaning about the IPT payouts I think back to my Johnston City days whereby you would have to stay 3 weeks and beat the 64 best players in the world to win $2000 for each event and $2000 for the all-around. I was dumb enough back then to think that that was generous. That should give you some idea of how poor other pool payouts were at that time. Those of you who watched the match online surely must have noticed the bevy of lovelies that were flitting around; The score girl, the director, the waitress, Bustamonte’s 3 Filipino girlfriends, Rachel Abbink, and about 8 or 9 more beauties that had my old pal Mike Sigel thinking about getting hair plugs. The best part, however, was the match itself. Bustamonte shot the numbers off the balls. Man, did he play good! Corey didn’t really play badly, but Busty was breaking so good that Corey didn’t get to the table often enough to win. On that slow IPT cloth, Busty was shattering the balls with his break. They’re gonna do it all again on Mar. 5th. Hopefully, they will have the streaming problems ironed out by then. No matter, I’m still looking forward to the next one.

The Beard

(Jeez, I just realized that this post is so IPT positive, maybe Trudeau might give me a job, or at least a couple of free self-help books.)

My personal pin-up girls

The two great porn stars of the 70s, Seka and Juliet Anderson (Better known in the porn world as Aunt Peg) My old backer used to produce x-rated movies and he took me to a porn star convention and introduced me to my childhood idols, Seka and Juliet.

The Last Days of Bugs Rucker
Bugs Rucker,  fact and fiction

When Bugs played Minnesota Fats in Johnston City in the early 60s, Joey “The Cincinnati Kid” Spaeth was staking him. A great player himself, Joey did not often back other players. However, Spaeth had just come from Chicago where he had the misfortune to have played Rucker. While there, Joey instantly became a convert to the Bugs Rucker fan club, when in a game of Onepocket with Spaeth only needing one ball to win, and everything seemingly out of play, Bugs banked all of the remaining balls into his pocket to win the game. He banked eight and out into one pocket! Joey had never seen anything like it before, and I personally have never seen or heard anything like it since.

Also in Johnston City, Illinois, Bugs spotted Hall of Famer, Buddy Hall two balls playing banks, 10 to 8 — and won the money. Perhaps you think maybe Buddy played badly — he didn’t. Buddy made every makeable ball he shot at, played dead-nuts safeties, never dogged anything, and still lost every game. That was the kind of bank speed the mighty Bugs had.

During the filming of The Color Of Money, Leonard “Bugs” Rucker, was originally slated to play the black guy that hustles and beats Paul Newman. Bugs was absolutely helpless as an actor, and couldn’t do a single line. They finally gave up on him and installed Forest Whitaker to do the part. The rest is history. Whitaker is an oscar winning actor today.

Requiem to a Champion

After visiting my dying pal yesterday, Bank pool and One pocket champion, the once mighty, Leonard “Bugs” Rucker, and seeing him in such a fragile emaciated state, I couldn’t help but think back to more glorious times for the man. Times when he would sweep into a poolroom with an entourage rivaling Muhammed Ali, confidently looking for the big-time action. Back then, Bugs was tall, broad-shouldered, powerfully built and nattily attired. No relation whatsoever to the skinny pile of bones deteriorating in that hospital bed. I guess it’s true, life can sometimes be all too cruel.But overall his life was a glorious one. He was afforded legendary status, feared and respected by his pool peers.
We had always been friends, but we were also bitter adversaries. We played each other on sight. Because he was so great, I wanted badly to beat him. He was the supreme target and goal, and I would do anything in my power to win over him, and that shamelessly included everything in my hustler’s bag of tricks. If I could, I would cheat, shark, and steal balls. For me to invent personal justification for such larcenous chicanery is testimony to the level of competition I thought I would need to summon in order to beat him. Sharking was a waste of time, however. He was totally unflappable, and was oblivious to even the great sharkers like Ronnie Allen, Alphonse Daniels, and Preacher Red Jones. While I would commit almost any crime to win, Bugs played on the up and up. In a contradiction of terms, Bugs was a totally honest pool hustler. He never cheated, took any cheap shots or put in any false claims. I guess he didn’t need to do any of that stuff, because on the table and in the game, he was a deadly killer. If you were dumb enough to give him an honest gamble he would bury you. He doesn’t have much time left, but I just can’t bring myself to go back to the hospital anymore. Age and disease can make cowards of us all.

I visited Bugs at St Margaret’s Hosp. monday. I brought him another 1k (grand) collected from the good folks who participated in Steve Booth’s charity raffle. I have another 1k to give to his daughter Sondrea tomorrow. That makes about 5k so far with more to come. Later, for a real revelation regarding how tuned in Bug’s family was to his profession.

You might never see another champion the likes of the mighty Bugs Rucker. He could play anywhere, on any table, for any bet. He didn’t even have his own cue stick. Even if someone gave him one, he would usually sell it within a week. He could play with one directly out of the wall racks. He ducked no champions, but many champions ducked him. If you were dumb enough to play him a short set, like two out of three for all of it, nobody outside of Cornbread Red or Ronnie Allen could handle that kind of pressure like he could. Let’s celebrate him a little while he is still with us.

Bug’s daughter Sondrea and I were visiting him at the same time, whereupon I discovered that she didn’t have a clue as to what her daddy did for a living for all those years. Finding out he was the world’s bank pool champion for 20 yrs. and a member of the Bank Pool, and One Pocket Hall of Fame was a complete surprise to her. All she could relate to what he did was that he would leave town for a few weeks and return home flush with money. It turns out nobody in the immediate family knew anything about his pool career including his son, his mother and his wife! “They thought I was just a bum.” was Bug’s reply to me. Why he never told them anything remains a mystery. I can only guess that his family was probably very religious and strait-laced. (This later proved to be the case)

Bug’s Birthday
Today, Aug 18, is Leonard “Bugs” Rucker’s 69th birthday. He is spending the day in St Margaret’s hospital with a bad case of diabetes and a missing leg. He asked me to bring him a special birthday lunch, king crab legs and baby-back ribs. I dont know if that’s a healthy thing to do, but I’m gonna do it anyway. The meal cost pretty good too, so I put him to work autographing balls. I brought my son, Dino with me. Bugs hadn’t seen Dino in about 15 years, but his mind is still sharp and he recognized and acknowledged Dino immediately. That made my son feel good and glad that he had come with me. Happy birthday to a great champion.

Memorial Service Program & pics from Bug’s Wake

More Pics from Bug’s wake

The service was wonderful, many of Chicago’s finest players attended, mostly the old school guys, however. We had a little gospel singing and a little evangelistic preaching, it was great and uplifting. The guy who sang a solo gospel tune played as good as Lou Rawls. After the service about 16 of us went to Chinatown and had a feast at The House of Fortune. Ed Young, the famous cuemaker did the ordering. The champ had a really nice send-off.