Pool hustling trip on my BMW

Hustling pool to pay the bills

by Duane Ausherman

In 1963, Marty Steward and I took a ride around the eastern USA on my R69.  The trip was funded by hustling pool almost daily.

Marty was already a decent pool player.  So he was a quick study on how to appraise pool players after watching them for only a couple of minutes.  Back then, pool halls were everywhere, so it was easy to find marks.

Once a pool hall was found, I would drop Marty off a couple of blocks away, and he would walk in.  This was to prevent anyone from seeing us together.

He would stay if the pool hall was promising.  If it wasn’t, he would return to where I was parked, and we would move on to the next one.  That was rare.

Marty would play a couple of people a game or two.  Then I would show up and play him.  Players should have been slightly suspicious of a strange player and especially of two unknown people.  They weren’t.

I would lose a few small money games to Marty, and he would then leave with my money.  The rubes would swoop in to take their share of my money.  It never ended up as they expected.  Most of my winning was by “accident,” as I was good enough to make it seem that way.  Losing due to my accidental good luck kept them playing.

We never took much, as that would certainly get us in trouble.  We just needed enough for a tank of fuel, food, and sometimes a camping fee.  We could survive well on $10 a day.  Of course, we had reserves that we seldom touched.

Marty, Sherry, and Duane on BMW motorcycles

This photo shows (l. to r.) Marty, Sherry, and myself on two BMWs.  It seems that Marty never owned a BMW, so I guess that both were mine.  I usually owned several.  The photo was taken in 1965, and none of us has any memory of any details.

I am still in contact with both of them, especially Sherry, as she recently found this photo while clearing out her recently deceased mother’s belongings.

Sherry informed me that Marty died in early 2019.  RIP Marty.

Update 30 March 2023