Buddy died in his sleep last night. Heart related, I assume. From his page on The Basement Diaries:
Buddy (did we call him Shive?) always seemed more grown-up than everyone else. Sure, confident, directed. Buddy helped me get my first job in high school (at Liberty Supermarket). While the rest of us were farting away our lives during the Basement years, Buddy was building a career. He played with us but I always felt like it was the way an adult plays with a child. Another very good poker player. Here’s his first entry in The Basement Diaries:
“I remember when we first started playing poker it was for real money and for some pretty big money (for the time, at least) and then the markers started, and got worse and worse (for some reason I blame Larry Miller for starting the markers) and after a while, every time you lost some money, you dug into your wallet and picked out an appropriate IOU and used it like money. I remember once piling up all my IOU notes out of my wallet and having 50 or 60 IOU’s totaling more than two hundred dollars! Occasionally (not often) we declared an “actual cash” game and didn’t allow the IOU’s. Someone discovered that whenever Mullen was bluffing, he’d say “up a buck,” and when he had it, he’d say “up a dollar”. He lost lots of IOU’s before we told him.
What history can be complete without mention of THE BROWN DERBY. I’m talking about the original Derby across the street from the Cotton Bowl Hotel. It was run by an old man named Kirk who made a great bowl of stew and grilled delicious hamburgers. Kirk had a cute little trick where he pretended to flatten the burger patty by squeezing it in his armpit. I’ll bet no one knows his last name or what ever happened to him.
Mullen was the best at snooker… Miller was a wannabe. The best shooters at the Brown Derby were “Sudsy” Southern and Steve Reagan’s older, left-handed, red-headed brother, shooting those $5 games of nine-ball on the back table.”
Buddy correctly points out that most of the early poker games and snooker/ nine-ball games at the Brown Derby took place while we were still in high school and predate The Basement Years. These events are, however, very much in the spirit of the The Basement Diaries.