By George Reed
Yes, folks, just like River City, Iowa – we had a pool room back in the day. And just like the No Name Restaurant in Boston, you had to know through someone where it was. Bunny was a most dignified host (he reminded one of an old-school Methodist minister, sans bible). He always wore a white starched shirt with properly creased trousers. Every strata of East Greenwich society patronized Bunny’s. It was indeed a night course in sociology and psychology, if one cared to look and listen.
You could ask your father to write a permission note – my younger brother tried that, forging our father’s signature, but he misspelled the word “permission.” Bunny, knowing our dad, let him in anyway. Then there was the time girls stormed the barricades. Not such a big deal after all, if still an event for the record books (see #6).
In the late ‘60s, most every Friday afternoon a number of us high school lads would breath a sigh of relief knowing we had two full, unadulterated nights at Bunny’s. When an evening was quiet (not very often – perhaps on a snowy night), Bunny would take cue in hand and entertain the few of us there with his incredibly smooth, yet lilting stroke. It was such a pleasure to watch “Bun” lift a pool game to an art form.
In 1972 – I think it was ’72 – Bunny passed away, with sadness and some joy. With no one to take over, Bunny’s closed.
“We make do with … lesser Gods.”
Now, are you ready to test your knowledge? Here’s a quiz about Bunny’s Pool Room:
1. Where was Bunny’s Pool Room?
2. Where was Bunny’s original location? Hint, it was on the second floor of a building on Main Street.
3. What was Bunny’s real name?
4. Bunny and his wife resided in a fine residence on _______ Street, at the corner of ______ Street.
5. How old would a lad have to be to take the rite of passage across Bunny’s threshold and play pool?
6. Who were the four high school lassies who, in 1967, walked in – much to Bunny’s amusement – and shot pool? Hint: here are the first letters of their last names: ______ R____, _____ J______, _____ D____, and ______ C_____.
7. What six quick steps would Bunny do to any table in order to play three-cushion billiards?
8. How many regulation-size tables did Bunny have (no ridiculous-size tables here)?
9. How much was it to shoot a rack? __¢
10. Who was Bunny’s right-hand man, the man who would substitute for Bun occasionally? Hint: his initials are G_____ T_____ and the last letter of his last name was “s”.
11. Bunny’s Pool Room was open from around 1930 to until when? What a run, Bun!
Find the answers next Saturday, April 18. If you have any Bunny stories to tell – and if you have any photos! – send an email to [email protected]
Author George Reed grew up in East Greenwich and was one of those lucky high schoolers who spent many a weekend night at Benny’s Pool Room.