A Pictorial Summary of The IBC's 35-year History

A Pictorial Summary of The IBC's 35-year History

By Jim Parker

Part one: The Formative Years


       What my wife Bonnie and I first began in the basement of our home over 35 years ago had been founded on friendship and human integrity ... and has remained so ever since.

       Then, during my absence when servicing our electrical contracting business we gave our friends keys to our little billiard room that they might use and care for things as they would their own, and without need of clerks and baby sitters. They did. And while today so very many of those friends have passed on, Bonnie and I continue maintaining the same concept some 35 years later. That's a wonderful thing about life, with a little love, care and attention … good things, like good people; never seem to change very much ... do they?


      Lower images: The Illinois Billiard Club over 35 Years Ago ...1973: Our home and one carom table within one of two basements located at 2422 West 64th Street, Chicago IL. Lower photos: Bonnie and our boys posing with our new 70 year old carom table, and a few photos of some of our three-cushion friends who began stopping in to play each week.

64th St - 1986 2 - 64th and Artesian and one Arcade carom table.jpg 3 - Bonnie and the boys.jpg 4 -The IBC's begining and friends.png


       Lower image: The IBC all started with a dream and what most people called a pile of "old junk" ... I called it "Fort Knox, in need of serious rehab." ... Nine, 1945 Brunswick Anniversary tables rescued from Chicago's south side "Beverly Bowl."

        Some twelve months after purchasing the old tables and totally rebuilding and re-laminating each, and, more than 20 years before actor Kevin Costner starred in his "Field of Dreams," my wife Bonnie and I had long since built ours ... and, "they came" ... and for the past 35 years have never stopped coming.

Pile of old Anniversary tables we bought from the Beverly Bowl


      Lower images: The first IBC storefront location: 10329 South Pulaski Ave. Chicago IL Four 10' carom and two 9' pocket billiard tables.

      Bonnie and I first began lifting billiards (all cue games) from its dark alleyways and downtrodden taverns and pool halls to higher levels of social recognition. We launched a series of upscale events that included everything from our member’s birthday parties, intercollegiate tournaments and “School of Pool,” local amateur and semi professional tournaments. And finally, moved up to professional national tournaments and exhibitions where three-cushion champions sent billiard balls spinning at the IBC's first major three-cushion carom (billiards "Father Game" of all cue sports) tournament in then Chicago's past thirty year history. Can you name a few of these pioneers and billiards "shooting stars" and their titles?

       Mexico's own Ampilio Gonzalez transfixed his audiences with artistic carom billiards. Later Gonzalez scored American billiards record breaking 22 consecutive three-cushion points during competition on one of the IBC's traditional "unheated" carom tables.

The IBC's first storefront location at 10329 S Pulaski Chicago IL 7 - Rear view of firsts storefront IBC.jpg 8 - First storefront interiof 4 carom and two 1945 Anniversary pocket billiard tables.jpg 9 - Stanley Bjork's 90th birthday party.jpg 10 - 103rd street College events.jpg 11 - Three-cushion national finalists.jpg 12 -Ampilio Gonzalez runs 22 at IBC.jpg 13 - Ampilio Gonzalez who scored 22 consecutive points in three-cushion.jpg


      Lower image: The Illinois Billiard Club's 1975 Slogan and accompanying Photo … "Show me any of God's creatures who can't learn three-cushion and pocket billiards ... and I'll show you one who's never studied nor competed at the Illinois Billiard Club."   Jim Parker

Our IBC's greatest fur-friendly three-cushion member

  Design and Copyright by the Illinois Billiard Club