Calvin Edmunds, 69, a-rab, crossing guard, expert at pool

September 10, 1997|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Calvin Edmunds, a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. employee who worked as a house painter and school crossing guard, sold produce as an a-rab, and was a self-proclaimed "pool player supreme," died of heart failure Sept. 3 at his West Baltimore home.

Though he had many occupations during his 40 years in Baltimore, Mr. Edmunds, 69, most enjoyed selling produce from a horse-drawn cart as an a-rab, and his work as a crossing guard for schoolchildren near his Upton home.

But he perhaps earned the most money with his pool cue.

"He was a real talented man with a pool stick in his hand," said Rey Spradley, a friend and opponent. "When he was sharp, he couldn't be beat. Even when he wasn't on his game, he could still whip the better players."

Mr. Edmunds played at a pool parlor near his home and in a friend's garage, which was converted into a pool hall of sorts, with two tables, a bench for waiting players and a refrigerator.

Friends said Mr. Edmunds usually played for cash wagers -- but if his opponent did not have money, he'd play for an item that looked valuable.

"Sometimes he'd come home with watches, gold chains, leather belts," said Cheryl Bryant, a longtime companion and roommate. "One time he came home with a [nonelectric] can opener."

A native of Petersburg, Va., Mr. Edmunds served in the Army from 1948 to 1952. He attended Hampton Institute in Virginia and moved to Baltimore in 1956 to work as a welder for Bethlehem Steel at Key Highway. He retired from Bethlehem in the 1970s.

Services were held yesterday in Petersburg.

He married Jacqueline Queen in 1954. She died in 1970. He is survived by two sons, Calvin Edmunds Jr. of New York and Roy Edmunds of New Haven, Conn.; a brother, Charles Edmunds of Petersburg; two sisters, Margaret Troy of Atlanta and Carole Vinton of Petersburg; and a grandson.

Pub Date: 9/10/97

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