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Ray Dickinson

Billiards ∙ Rochester

 

 

 

 

Ray Dickinson spent much of his working life as a professional billiards player, but he didn’t allow the travel and competition to interfere with normal family life as husband and father. Ray had five children and 27 grandchildren, who he visited as often as possible. Ray credited his wife with holding the family together during his absences in the 1920s and 1930s. When possible he took some of the kids with him on trips to give them a chance to see the country. Although he was never a national billiards champion, Ray appeared in exhibitions with such champs as Ralph Greenleaf, Luther Lassiter, Jimmy Karas, and Don Willis. He also defeated the young Willy Hoppe. His highest run in his long career was 265 straight balls before missing. Ray admits that he did a little hustling in his day, as all pool players did, but he made his living basically as a skilled player and trick shot artist. In his later life he enjoyed good health and still gave occasional exhibitions. “You slow down with age,” he admitted, “but experience helps a lot. I know trick shots so well that I don’t even have to practice. When you’ve played pool for 60 years, it’s easy.” Ray wisely supplemented his income as a pool player by working as a furnace heating salesman.