Trouble, ya got trouble right here in River City Santa Rosa with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool.'

...And all week long, your River City youth'll be fritterin' away
I say, your young men'll be fritterin'
Fritterin' away their noontime, suppertime, choretime, too
Hit the ball in the pocket
Never mind gettin' dandelions pulled or the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded
Never mind pumpin' any water 'til your parents are caught with a cistern empty on a Saturday night and that's trouble
Oh, ya got lots and lots o' trouble

I'm thinkin' of the kids in the knickerbockers shirttails, young ones peekin' in the pool hall window after school
Ya got trouble, folks, right here in River City
with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool'

Now I know all you folks are the right kind of parents
I'm gonna be perfectly frank
Would you like to know what kind of conversation goes on
while they're loafin' around that hall
They'll be tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out Cubebs, tryin' out tailor-mades like cigarette fiends
And braggin' all about how they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen
Now one fine night they leave the pool hall headin' for the dance at the Armory
Libertine men and scarlet women and ragtime
Shameless music that'll grab your son, your daughter into the arms of a jungle animal instinct- massteria!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground, trouble!

- The Music Man, Meredith Wilson © Frank Music Corp. and Meredith Wilson Music

And just like in the famous lyrics from The Music Man, billiards were blamed for young people cussin' and thievin'. Never mind that boys were welcomed at the gambling tables in Fourth St. saloon back rooms during horse racing season, or that kids were sometimes caught in opium joints on Second street. No, the pool hall is the problem, for sure. Won't someone (partially) save the children?

Chief of Police Rushmore Suggests Ordinance Barring Lads From Entering Pool Room

Chief of Police Fred Rushmore attributes a number of cases of petty thieving in which boys have figured in this city recently to the fact that they are allowed to lounge around billiard and pool rooms.

He suggested at last night's Council meeting that an ordinance should be passed forbidding boys under eighteen years of age entrance into pool rooms. Boys twelve and thirteen years of age are frequently found, he said, about such places, particularly, a room on Fourth street, near the corner of Fourth and Davis streets, and at times their language is objectionable.

Mayor Overton and other members of the Council suggested that the matter receive the attention asked and an ordinance will undoubtedly be drafted. Chief Rushmore, when seen after the meeting, said there was no doubt but that the young boys hanging around the places mentioned could not learn anything that would benefit them.

- Press Democrat, January 23, 1907


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