“Bob and I went all through school together. I had always known he was an avid pool player, but since he worked a regular job; I never considered that pool would have such an impact on our lives.”

-----Shirley Huddleston


Bob Huddleston was born on October 5, 1939 to Richard and Jeanette Huddleston in the Peabody housing projects in St Louis, Missouri. This humble beginning inspired Bob to work hard always looking for opportunity. His companion on this adventure was his high school sweetheart, Shirley. They were married in 1959. Bob Huddleston started playing pool at a young age. Hanging out at local pool rooms in the 50’s such as Kelly’s pool room. He even paid for his first car with $900 money won in a game. That was a fortune back then. After that, he played 7 days a week. His hang out in 1964 was a new room opened by Lou Schreiber at 2425 Woodson Road in Overland. It was called Cue & Cushion.

Bob was his best customer. At the age of 27, while still working at General Motors full time as a forklift driver, raising a four year old son (Craig), Shirley working a full time job at Gocke Real Estate Co; they took a leap and purchased Cue & Cushion in 1966. Shirley had never even been in a pool room until now. Two full time jobs each were not enough for bills so Bob started buying closeout merchandise from the warehouse district downtown. This included jewelry, appliances, and bicycles. Old timers remember the days when lawn mowers and bicycles hung from the ceiling at Cue & Cushion to supplement the business. Two more children (Chris and Cary) had joined the Huddleston family by the time Bob decided to purchase the building instead of renting it.

This was 1972. Bob’s entrepreneurial spirit was strong and determined to make it at a low point in pool’s popularity. He worked 100 hour work weeks just to be able to make enough money to pay the bills. Since Shirley was raising 3 kids she only had to work 60 hour work weeks. Shirley was running errands and picking up merchandise for resale. She wore a beeper in the 70s. Only doctors had beepers in the 70s! Eventually business was strong enough for Bob to quit General Motors in the mid-70s to devote all his attention to the pool room. By this time it was becoming more than just a billiard parlor. The sport of pool was moving into everyday family life. No longer was it a seedy game played only by old men in smoke filled backrooms. Pool was becoming a family game now.

Cue & Cushion set aside a small area in the front of the store to set up some pool tables for the home. Cue & Cushion started selling pool tables that were good enough for the best of pool players. We never sold or stocked imitation slate or low quality tables. We wanted to sell tables we would love to play on. No inferior balls or sticks either. While some companies were trying to sell aluminum cues and plastic balls, we didn’t. Bob was very proud of the company he had built with his family and friends and respected it enough to keep those high standards in everything he sold. We sold high quality jewelry, bicycles, blenders, toasters, lawn mowers, and too many things to mention. This tradition of excellence Bob created is reflected in the store even today. Only cues or pool tables, which any person who plays pool seriously, would be proud to have in their home.

Bob’s hard work ethic and relentless hours finally caught up with him later in life. Bob was diagnosed as a young adult with diabetes. The doctor’s told him to take it easy and work like a normal guy. Bob had many famous quotes in his life. The one that comes to mind now is this; “Guys that only work 40 hours… are the guys that don’t want to have anything in their life”. Bob never slowed down. He had kidney failure in 1991 which put him on dialysis three times a week. He then was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993 and fought it back into remission. He then received a kidney transplant in 1994. Bob would check himself out of the hospital at numerous times to go to work or finish a project that was left undone. He was still pushing himself after all these years. In January of 1997, Bob had a massive stroke which left him on life support until he passed away on May 14, 1997. He worked hard till the very end. He even gave business advice while on a respirator in his final days. His work ethic and dedication to his family and his family’s livelihood will be remembered forever.
Bob’s greatest joy was seeing all three of his sons join the family business. He had shown them the rewards of working hard by his example. He was able to give them things he never had as a child growing up in the Peabody housing projects. As his health worsened, more and more responsibility went to each son and to his wife Shirley. Shirley worked on sales and accounting. Chris worked on daily managing of the business and pool table sales. Cary worked on jewelry sales. Craig split his time between repairing and making jewelry with working at the billiard parlor. Bob’s spirit of hard work and delivering quality products to the public is still alive today. The entire family works hard to maintain the ethics and standards that we believe every retail store should have. We have a 40 year history of working hard to make our customers happy and making friends along the way. Our greatest compliment comes when someone brings their best friend in to introduce us.

We hope you visit Cue & Cushion soon when you are ready to play pool, buy a cue stick, maybe even a pool table. We really don’t want to be one of those big box stores that can’t remember your name. Bob Huddleston taught us better than that. Thanks Dad

Edited by Shirley, Craig, Chris and Cary Huddleston, 2007

Support your local small business or family owned business by "liking" them on Facebook or your favorite networking site. Review them on Yelp, Citysearch, YP.com or Google Places to give them much needed exposure.

Cue & Cushion - 2425 Woodson Road - St. Louis MO - 63114  
(314) 427-9267