Who is Harley Bryant and What He Means To Me
I saw Harley the other day and spent an hour or so talking with him, it was time well spent. Harley is a legendary player from back in the day, he was probably past his prime the first time I ever saw him play and he played in another dimension then. I can't imagine what his money game was like back when it mattered, and btw, he can and does still play real well.
Harley grew up in pool room on 3rd and Main St. in Jacksonville, it was a tough place. I drove by it a couple times, but never went in. They played world class snooker in there and by all accounts Harley was right in the middle of it. Anyway in the 1980's he opened “the” and I mean “the” pool room in Jacksonville, it was called Harley's Rack and Cue. I played a lot in there, won some and lost some as is always the case I suppose.
When I started making cues I figured that Harley's was the place to be seen, but, I had enough sense to ask Harley first. So one Saturday in the middle of the afternoon,when I figured he would have time to talk I went in and showed him my work. This was my very earliest work, but I guess it was good enough. Harley looked me up and down and then at my work and told me I would could do whatever I wanted in his place. I offered him a percentage, I offered him a flat fee, I offered whatever I could think of, he wouldn't hear of it. He wouldn't and never did take a dime, nice guy.
In the late 80's no one in Jacksonville had a cue lathe except me, no one did cue repair except me. So on Saturday nights Kathie and I would show up at Harley's and get mobbed. We would take over a table in the middle of the room on the busiest night of the week, for free, and return last weeks repairs and take in another week's worth of repair work. Some nights it took and hour to get everything returned and the new work written up. It was amazing then and still is, Harley and I laughed about it again the other night. And yes I did sell more than a few cues in Harley's too.
What does Harley Bryant mean to me....well... without Harley's help I probably wouldn't be a full time cuemaker today, that means a lot !! DP
A few of my current cues http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772