The Pool Hustler's Daughter meets David Mamet!
Last week in Chicago I had the great pleasure of watching David Mamet be interviewed while on tour for his new novel, Chicago. For most of us, we know David Mamet as the Pulitzer prize winning playwright known for "hustling" culture classics such as "Mind Games" and "The Spanish Prisoner."
You've had to have heard the line "Coffee is for closers" or "Always be Closing!" from the Alec Baldwin starring film "Glengarry Glen Ross."
Well, David Mamet was a Chicago taxi driver and writer who hung out at Bensinger's Billiard Academy on Broadway and Diversey in Chicago. He wrote an essay called, "Pool Halls" about Bensinger's. I firmly believe his experiences at Bensinger's helped influence some of his stories.
He was gracious when we met and asked me if the movie "First Blood" was written after the famous cue maker Herman Rambo! That question had been on his mind for 40 years!
Mamet gladly received a copy of my father's "Encyclopedia of Pool Hustlers" and a copy of thee Billiards Digest article, "The Epitome of Cool" on my father, Mamet and the late Helaine Garren's gorgeous photo series, "Bensinger's."
The culture of old school pool halls in America is a great piece of American folklore and history and writers like David Mamet help elevate it to an artistic level.