Don Nagle at the Astor Bar

In the mid-70s, two students from Jersey City State would regularly stop at the Astor Bar after classes. Between 3PM and 5PM, the place was very quiet — unlike the boisterous student hangouts.

The college kids would get a pitcher of beer and then play pool for an hour or so. One day, two strangers came over to the pool players.

“Would it be OK if we played, too?”

“Yeah, sure. That’s fine by us.”

After the first game, the newcomer suggested that they play for ten cents a game. After a couple of games, they wanted to up the ante to a dollar.

“Nah, Mack. I’m not working. I’m going to school. Let’s keep it at a dime.”

“Listen, dirtbag, If you aren’t good for a dollar, GET LOST!”

Hey, YOU LISTEN! We were here first. If you’re too good to play for change, then you can get going.”

Karate expert and Jersey City Police Oficer, Don Nagle (who had white hair, was about 5′ 8′ and weighed around 150 lbs) walked over.

“What’s the problem. These guys are alright. I see them here every day.”

“You, listen, too, old man. If you don’t want the same thing that they’ve got comin’, you better leave right now.”

Don Nagle, very quickly, stepped up to the loudmouth, pulled the pool cue out of his hands, and wacked him across the knees. The guy fell down.

“Now YOU LISTEN! This can be the end. Or it can be the beginning. It’s up to you.”

“We were only kidding! We didn’t mean any trouble!”

“Oh, so y’s tune’s changed, has it? GET OUT!”

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