Ransom’s Cigar Store in Mason City

I was thinking yesterday about Ransom’s Cigar Store in Mason City, Iowa. There are actually a couple of reasons why it’s on my mind now.

The first thing about Ransom’s is that it’s an old pool hall on 120 North Federal Avenue. It looks like it has been there for a century. Decades ago, probably in the 1970s, I played a game of eight-ball with Bart Curran. Bart was the host of Bart’s Clubhouse, which I found out has a substantial Facebook following. Bart’s Clubhouse was a popular kids TV show back in my day and it aired on station KGLO (later KIMT) in Mason City.

Anyway, Bart and I played eight-ball (or was it nine-ball?) and drank a short beer. He was shorter than I imagined. He was a real nice guy. I think he asked me what my dad’s name was and when I told him it was John, he looked a little doubtful and said something like “Not the actor John Amos?”  I don’t remember who won the pool game. It’s unlikely to have been me.

The second thing is, I searched Ransom’s Cigar Store on the web and found a couple of links to something called Ransom’s Pleazol. I can’t find the word Pleazol in any dictionary, including the Scrabble Dictionary. If anyone knows what that means, please drop a comment.

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