View Full Version : When did your love of POOL start?

05-22-2002, 01:34 PM
Last night I was walking my dog, at my age we call this excercise, the little boy next door walks with me sometime ( 5yr old) and he was showing me his new marbles. This took me back about 50 years to when as a kid I played marbles everyday. The more I revisited those days I started to draw the comparison of marbles to pool. we would barter the number of marbles we each put in the ring ( the bet ), we would lag to a line drawn in the dirt, to see whow would shoot first, now we lag for the break, I had a breaking marble that was heaver than the normal marble. now I use a break stick,I had a "shooter" marble, now I have a $3000 pool cue. You learned how to shoot down on a marble to make it back up, or shoot at a angle for the next marble. and you keep shooting until you missed.
You kept all you knocked out of the ring. Well, I realized several things, I was starting a love affair with pool well before I ever saw a pool table. I gambled at a very earley age ( I played damn good marbles ) But i cannot find anything in pool that equates to " GRABS THE BELL RANG" as each kid dove to the center of the ring to grab as many marbles as he could before running in from recess. Smooth Stroke had a pleasent walk yesterday reliving being 6 years old. Someday I will tell you what happened to the 8year old that stole my marbles when I was 6. Well I'll tell you now, 12 years later in the bowling ally parking lot I wiped his ass and reminded him that he took my marbles away from me and told me " WHAT ARE YOIU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT !" He found out...took me a while...sorry for being so long but I had to share with somebody that understands how i feel about pool.

05-22-2002, 01:57 PM
My love/hate torture pleasure fest has been going on for about 6 years.


05-22-2002, 03:56 PM
When I was a small child, my Father would take me to a local tavern (his idea of a "Father/Son" outing.) He would sit at the end of the bar and send me to one of the two bar boxes to "keep busy." I could barely see the top of the table. He would give me a roll of quarters and I would play for about three hours (about the time it would take for him to get drunk and fall from his now precarious perch.)

I would take a dime from my pocket, call Mom and tell her "He's ready to come home." She would pick us up and take us home.

My love for the game was further nurtured at a local pool hall and has been growing ever since. That was over 30 years ago.

Today, when I need a break from life, I grab the case, kiss the wife and kids and go see my counselor, the reknowned, "Dr. Gold Crown." She takes all of my cares away and sends me home in a better mood and ready to face a new day.



Ralph S.
05-22-2002, 04:13 PM
Rackmup, your's and my introduction to the game is soooooo identical. I learned the exact same way and know exactly what it was like being handed a handful of quarters to keep me occupied while the old man knocked em down. Mom didn't come get us though. Dad had to learn the hard way about drinking and driving. The first and only wreck where I nearly went through the windshield served as a wake-up call. Later, in my early teens I would sneak out of the house with a cheap 2pc cue and jump on my 10 speed and pedal to the bowling alley where they had a pool hall with about 24 or so big Brunswicks. I would get busted by mom, grounded for a week and do it all over again as soon as I got ungrounded. With the exception of the painful one the memories are fond.
Ralph S.

05-22-2002, 04:31 PM
I've played off and on since about 15 yrs. old. A year or two in my 20's I played regularly, and about 10 or 12 yrs ago I played weekly, but really wasn't serious about pool. About 5 years ago, I got divorced. For a while, I lived at the pool hall. That's when I fell in love with the game and I've been hooked every since.

05-22-2002, 06:45 PM
My introduction to pool actually came by way of Horse. I used to ride every day, and made friends with another girl at the stable who lived down the road some from me. One night after the horses had been tucked in she asked me if I would like to go out and shoot some pool with her. To make a long story short, she bought a horse, I bought a cue, and I've (almost) never looked back.

Scott Lee
05-22-2002, 06:53 PM
I can remember the date...October 18, 1971...the day Jack White came to my college for the first time, and did a show that had me spellbound! I was hooked for life after that one day...and remain so, more than 30 yrs. later!

Scott Lee

Voodoo Daddy
05-22-2002, 09:48 PM
<1979> Skippin school once {hahahahahaha} with my buddy Bobby Z.. Walked into a pool room and I sat down and watched Jimmy Matz {a great player from the area} walking around the table with a glass of water. Dippin' his finger in it and dabbibg the table growling at his student Peg {owner of the room} "da ball gotta land on or just above dis water spot, got it?" When she tried it the 3rd time...he jerked the cue from her and preceeded to run the balls one at a time, landing on or just above the water spot saying "like dis Peg, dis way". I looked at Bobby Z. and "I gotta do this"...the rest is history.


05-22-2002, 09:51 PM
My grandfather managed a cigar/candy/convenience-type store when I was a child. He and his friends had a poker table and a pool table in the back room and played both all day long. I would stop there as I was walking home from school. Later he got a table in his basement and we played a lot. He was running racks when he was 80 years old. I often think how nice it would be to play him again since I have 20 years more experience under my belt.

05-23-2002, 12:19 AM
Well I first began playing pool when I was about 11 years old at the local pool hall, which in fact was the same pool hall that Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter played at.(We're from the same town) Unfortunately he died in 1988 which was a few years before I started playing so I never got the pleasure of meeting him although I've heard many great stories from the locals. Anyways, by the time I was 15 I could beat anyone in my town and was going to be, at the time, the youngest player to enter the U.S. Open,( I think Charlie Williams was 16 when he entered it.) My attention quickly went from chasing 9 balls to chasing girls and I never did get to play in the open, in fact I quit playing pool altogether. I am now 24 years old and I just began playing again about 4 months ago, and I wish I had never stopped, I might've been world champion by now. One things for sure though, I'll be at the Open this year and if I draw Earls name, I'm gonna whip his ass..........

05-23-2002, 12:36 AM
I was a loaner when I was a kid (well maybe not that much has really changed!), but my parents had a pool table in the basement, and I would play on it for hours on end. I have never stopped playing since then. My love for pool has not taken on a new meaning. Ever since my lesson with the renowned Scott Lee, all I can think about is playing excellent pool. Well, actually its finishing his drill set that many of you are now familiar with.

I knew it was love when I brought home my pool table. Deana is her name. Sure, she may not be the flattest table in the world, she may have a tear or two, a beer stain or two, but she knows that when she grows up she's going to be a Gold Crown IV.

smoothstroke thanks for starting such a great string. I was ready to throw my cue away after my play this week, but now Im going to log off, and just enjoy playing.

05-23-2002, 04:45 AM
Good morning:

December 29th, 2000!

After being declared "MIA", due to starting my own practice and working a Six (6) day schedule, several of my girl friends took me out to dinner and then to a local tavern for drinks. Their objective, to get me drunk and for me to have some fun. No work, all play. Well, the tavern had Three (3) pool tables and we ended up playing pool all night. Having no plans for New Year's Eve, I returned to the tavern for thie holiday party and ended up shooting pool with the tavern owner all night.

After midnight, as the festivities began to wind down, the tavern owner asked me to compete on one of his in-house league teams, he has 18 APA teams from the tavern, and so it all began. January 19th, 2001 I had my first lesson with Gerda Hofstatter and the rest, as some like to say, is history. This gal is HOOKED big time on the game of pool and the new friends she has made along the way.


Dr. D.

Rich R.
05-23-2002, 05:14 AM
I first played pool at a friend's house. His name was Mike.
He had a 2'x4' table with legs that folded like a card table. We would set it up in the kitchen and play. I loved the game from that time on.
Eventually, Mike became a priest and I spent more time in pool halls. I think I am better off.
Rich R.~~~not the priestly type.

05-23-2002, 05:19 AM
Good morning:

Amen !!!

Dr. D.

Rich R.
05-23-2002, 05:59 AM
Before December 29, 2000, your girl friends never saw you because you were working. Now they don't see you because you are playing pool. LOL.
I hope some of them are pool players also.
Rich R.~~~wonders of the friends are sorry about creating the monster. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

05-23-2002, 06:22 AM
Good morning:

Now, when the girls want to catch up with me, they come to the Billiard Room.


Dr. D.

05-23-2002, 06:57 AM
1956, age 13, first year of Jr. Hi. downtown. I'd seen Blackboard Jungle over the summer, heard Rock and Roll ala Bill Haley & The Comets doing Rock Around the Clock, started smoking, got kicked off the Little League team, and I was a changed kid!

Roy Rogers, Lash LaRue and Stan Musial were displaced as my pop heroes by Elvis, Vic Morrow, Sal Mineo and Gene Krupa. I grew longish hair combed into a DA, got myself a switchblade knife, a set of brass knuckles, and a set of drums and became a wildman.

The pool hall was a block from school and I'd go there on lunch hour and after a couple of weeks the last they'd see of me at school was 11:45am and then school was held at Jackson's for the rest of the day.

I was pissed off at life and especially adults and ESPECIALLY at adults in positions of authority and I wasn't going to cooperate in anything THEY wanted me to do. They even thought I should do homework in the evening and earn my allowance! Not the Kid!

I started stealing to support my pool jones, refused to go to school in the afternoon and it wasn't long before the juvenile authorites were having a talk with my folks and they were all having a talk wit me. Threats of being sent to St. Charles, the juve prison in upstate Illinois, got my attention and I chilled a bit but never lost the love for pool and DID NOT stop going to Jackson's despite the orders and threats from above.

I didn't give up my anger or contempt for "systems" and those who devised and ran those systems either. I just learned that I was way too open and obvious in my hatred for "them". The way to do things was to go ahead and do what you pleased but you got to be cool about it....you got to stay invisible or THEY will know you are the enemy and they will get your ass 'cause THEY got the hammer!

It wasn't until my late 30's that I learned that integrity is what's important. It was then that I figured out that good intentions don't mean squat and that a person's actions mirrored his/her values. That revelation changed my behavior right dammed now! Slow learner.

Took a 40 yr hiatus from pool starting at age 16...cars and girls, then marriage etc took precedence but the jones is back worse than ever....without the bad ass crap.

Good grief, it's a wonder I survived that year or two. Stupid dammed kid anyway. It was the drums that saved me. I had to go to school to play in the jazz band. I'm really fortunate there were not any drugs around here in those days. I'd have never made it through those years.

#### leonard
05-23-2002, 08:03 AM
My next door neighbor Joe Canton was playing in the 1946 Worlds Tournament I called the newspaper everynight to get the scores from Chicago. Then he gave me a small pool table and I was off and running playing pool.####

05-24-2002, 05:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: JimS:</font><hr> I'm really fortunate there were not any drugs around here in those days. I'd have never made it through those years. <hr></blockquote>

Sure you would have made it. After all....I did /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Great story Jim,

05-24-2002, 06:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: stickman:</font><hr> I've played off and on since about 15 yrs. old. A year or two in my 20's I played regularly, and about 10 or 12 yrs ago I played weekly, but really wasn't serious about pool. About 5 years ago, I got divorced. For a while, I lived at the pool hall. That's when I fell in love with the game and I've been hooked every since. <hr></blockquote>

Hey Stickman,

My story is very similar. After I got divorced in 1986 I would head to Bob's Cafe every Friday after work and play until 2:30 a.m.

Got divorced again in 1995 and slowly began becoming addicted to pool again. Joined a league in 1998 and since then it's become pretty much of an obsession. LOL!

05-24-2002, 09:33 PM
I think a lot of us here probably did Wally. I can think of several who didn't though.....

05-24-2002, 09:53 PM
my real love for pool did not really start until i saw #### leonard play 2 exhibitions with the great WILIE MOSCONI. since then i have been hooked.. thanks butch...lol.....mike

05-24-2002, 10:01 PM
Well, when your parents make you take accordion lessons for 9 years...a kid's gotta find something else to do. So I bargained with the folks. I told them if they wanted me to keep playing the accordion they had to get me a pool table. I got the table.

I guess what sealed my fate was years later when I was 18, my boyfriend took me to the Golden Q and there happened to be an exhibition match going on. We peeked through the curtain and saw two players looking very intense. The people in the stands were deadly silent. One player had a beard and was smoking a pipe and the other was clean-shaven and looked kind of movie starish...and neither of them missed. Ever. We asked who they were. I had never heard of them, but then again I had only heard of Willie Mosconi and Minesotta Fats. They were Gene Nagy and Ray Martin.

Who would've known that the girl peeking through the curtain would come to know both of them years later as her good friends and teachers?

Life is strange.

Fran ~~~ reacts violently to "Lady of Spain."

05-25-2002, 10:16 AM
Wow Ken, your problems run deeper than I thought! I have the same memories from when I was a "toddler", my cruddy stepfather would take me along to the local "VFW" (against his wishes of course), he would go to the bar to toss back some of that smelly stuff (which I grew to love), while I was to entertain myself at either the pool table or shuffle board. Well need less to say shuffle board was rather boring, and the mystry of the bar box had me always searching for new ideas on "what will happen if I do this?". About 2 years later at the age of 10 I think, my "wonderfull" role model was kindly asked (in a rather rude manner), that my presence was no longer wanted and he should take me elsewhere. It turns out that alot of people where rather upset to be beatin by a boy who could barley see over the rails.
Years later I think back about those days and think although he was a dick, he did turn me onto pool.

05-25-2002, 12:51 PM
When I was 10 yrs old my pop was cleaning at the local fire house and when saw the giant
5x10 brunswick, I threw a few balls on the table grabbed a stick and was hooked for life.
Having my own pool room at 44 yrs old was a dream come true.

05-25-2002, 12:55 PM
When I was a teenager I once played a gig with me on drums, 3 accordians and an amplified violin. I too know what REAL torture is! I learned that money ain't everything.

05-25-2002, 02:35 PM
Howdy folks,
LIFEY bar on Broadway close to subway station( 84th street?)in Elmhurst,Newyork was the place where I learned the basics in pool.In the past Elmhurst was a nice neighborhood.It was an Irish pub.Subsequently I played everywhere in the mainland USA except in montana,Idaho,North dakota and Maine.Played in peurterico too.From Jan 1989 I started playing 9 ball and said good bye to bar room brawls.

05-25-2002, 03:48 PM
The first time I walked into a pool table I fell in love. Something about the style or art of the game and the people that play it that continues to draws me to it.

05-25-2002, 08:29 PM

I would like to relate a story to you all (many of you have already read it) written by the late Richard "the Big Dipper" Blount from Hazard, Kentucky...He past away Aug. 26, 2001 playing pool in Pikeville, Ky...For those of you who didn't know Richard...I can tell you that you missed knowing a big (Richard weighed close to 300 lbs.) wonderful person and great storyteller...His love of pool knew no bounds and beating Tang Ho in the 9-ball Banks in the 2001 Derby City Classic was the highlight of his life...

RG Chapiesky in SC (one of Richard's many friends)

Richard's Story

This story is true. It tells how current day Publisher/WSGS Broadcaster Richard Blount from Hazard came to learn and love the game of pool.
The year was 1958. The date was March 3rd and the reason I remember it so well it was my 13th birthday. I had finally become a teenager. It was on a Saturday, this birthday of mine and there were at least 6 or 7 inches of snow on the ground and it was very cold as I remember.

Now Saturday's were "town days" back then. Everyone always came to town, especially the kids. We went to the "Show" (movies) to see the Saturday western double features and then to the Drug Stores for a 5 cent cherry Pepsi. That was about it. What I didn't know was that day would be burned into my mind and heart forever as this was the day I would embark on something totally new and exciting to me.

I had a friend who was quite a bit older than me, Larry. He had his driver's license and worked part time for the Firestone Store in town. I ran into Larry on the street and he asked me to go with him on a delivery that afternoon. The delivery was in town so I knew it wasn't going to take very long so I agreed to go. We got back to the store around 4:00 in the afternoon and I still had no idea what was in store for me. I was soon to find out, however.

Finally, I mustered the courage to go in, not knowing how much that step into the Eight Ball Pool Room would change my life.

I looked at Larry and said " I can't go in there, my mom and dad will kill me." Larry just smiled and told me to come on in, it would be okay. He opened the door to the eight Ball and held it for me, waiting for me to go on in. I just stood there, scared stiff and then finally, I mustered the courage to go in, not knowing how much that step into the Eight Ball Pool Room would change my life.

Dark and smoky was a mild description of this place. I had a hard time seeing where I was going let alone what was going on. I found a chair along the wall and as my eyes roamed the room, I suddenly was in awe, to say the least. My heart was pumping so fast and the excitement I felt was like none felt before.

After sitting there a few minutes my eyes started to focus and I could see the six Brunswick pool tables, two pinball machines, the jukebox and pop machine. Every table was in action and I just sat there, watching, taking in as much as I could as fast as I could. It was the most exciting day of my young life and the best birthday I had ever had. But, as excited as I was I was just as scared, fearing my mom and dad would find out I was in there.

Now I had been in Pool Rooms before, the Royal Bar and Main Street Lunch were both located on Main street and both served food and beer. Four pool tables were in each place. I was allowed to go in and eat but that's all. No pinball or loafing in there. The Eight Ball was different. It was located below street level and didn't serve food or beer so the kids could play there (with their parent's permission). Some of the old-timers in town called the Eight Ball "The Underworld" because of its location.

As I sat watching all the action a short, very fat man smoking a huge cigar came and sat down beside me, grinning and blowing smoke in my face as he watched my reaction. I didn't know who he was but soon found out. Paul "Dog Head" McIntyre. He and his brother Don "Banjer Belly" McIntyre ran the Eight Ball. The rack man was Charlie "eye" Robinson whose brother "Hardwater" who was one of the best pool players around at the young age of 16.

Dog Head asked me what my name was (he knew) and I told him but asked him not to tell anyone (meaning my parents) that I had been in there. Dog Head just grinned, blew more cigar smoke my way and said nothing.

Larry came over and between the two of them they gave me a really hard time about being in there and what my parents were going to do to me. I was still excited but even more scared when Larry looked at me and said, " come on, let's shoot a game of pool." My eyes got big as saucers and I said, " I don't know how!" Dog Head looked at me and said, "go ahead, Larry will show you how. It's not that hard. Thus, my pool-playing career was about to begin.

When I went home later on that evening I was still as excited as I could be about the Eight Ball and the fact that I had just played pool for the first time. But I was also worried. Worried that my parents would find out. I had never done anything in my life that I enjoyed any more than playing pool but I knew my mom and dad would never give me their permission to go to the Eight Ball and play.

Dog Head had given me a card to have my dad sign, giving me permission to play. You had to have a picture of yourself on the card also. I knew it was no use to ask my parents but I wanted to play so badly I was desperate. I called my best buddy Jerry and ask him to come over to my house, that it was an emergency. We lived on the same street and by coming the back way Jerry was there in less than five minutes. Jerry and I grew up together with only six months (March - October) separating us in age. We were just about inseparable in those days and there wasn't anything we wouldn't do for each other.

When I told Jerry what I wanted him to do he looked at me and said, " why do you want to go down there and knock those stupid balls around? That can't be any fun!"

I had already set the wheels in motion for Jerry's part in my plan to get into the Eight Ball. I had a copy of my dad's signature ready and waiting for Jerry to practice coping so he could forge it onto the pool permission card. After a few minutes of practicing Jerry said he was ready. I handed him the card and showed him where to sign my dad's name, my heart in my throat with fear Jerry would mess up and I knew I couldn't get another card as Dog Head would know something was up. But, my old buddy was steady as a rock and when he finished signing my dad's name it looked good enough to take to the bank. I breathed a sigh of relief and said " now, for step number two," which was pasting my picture on the card.

Jerry and I talked for awhile and then he went home, our actions sworn to secrecy. As I lay on my bed staring at the ceiling I was counting the hours, minutes and seconds until school was out on Monday so I could head back to the Eight Ball.

When the bell rang that next Monday afternoon I made a "b" line for the Eight Ball. Now I didn't have enough nerve to go down the front steps (for fear of being seen) so I went to the back door where Larry and I had first went in. I forgot that my mom's office was right in back of the Eight Ball. As a matter of fact, I was so excited that I never gave it a thought.

I gave Dog Head the permission card and he looked at it real good and then said, "okay, you can shoot some pool, fat boy." (I was a rather portly youngster in those days).

I was in hog heaven so to speak but it didn't last long. When I finally got home (long after dark) the first thing my mom and dad asked me was "what were you doing in the Eight Ball Pool Room today?" My heart sank. My first instinct was to lie so I did, saying, "I wasn't! I've never been in there, I added." My dad gave me a very stern look and I knew he was mad. "Don't tell me you weren't in there today," he said. "I know damn well you were and it wasn't the first time so don't lie to me!", he roared. I just stood there, crushed and heartbroken, as I knew the thrill of my life was history. "You won't be going back there," my dad said, his lips drawn tight with a grimace on his face that I had seen many times before (like every time I screwed up and I did that a bunch of times in my young life). My dad's two favorite words were "by hell" and that night he seemed to say them quite often.

The next morning my dad went to the Eight Ball, got my card and told Dog and Don not to let me back in. My life was shattered and there was only one thing I could do to save face. Run away! I didn't want to face all the guys at the Eight Ball, as I was too ashamed. Not of lying to my parents or Jerry forging my dad's name but ashamed that my dad barred me out of the Eight Ball. So the next day I left for school but didn't go. I hid out until both my parents were gone from the house and then I went home, put some clothes in an old brown paper sack and hit the road. I didn't have a clue as to where I was going, only that I was gone. I made it about 2 miles from home, walking all the way and figured it was time to take a rest. I sat down on a rock wall beside a red light hoping to catch a ride out of town.

I did catch a ride but it was one I didn't want. I heard a voice say, " you get in this car right now!" It was my grandmother and grandfather Pokey and Big Ike. Now Pokey was a tough old bird who ran the family like a "Godfather" would and I was too scared not to mind her. She asked where I was going and when I told her she was furious. "You don't have any business in that old Pool Room", she said. I was doomed. How could I live? How could I face everyone? Most important to me was not being able to shoot pool at the Eight Ball. I was sick to death. I stayed in my room the rest of the week, going to school and coming out for meals (we didn't have TV in those days) not knowing that the worse was yet to come.

Saturday morning rolled around and my mom, Pokey and my Aunt Chris (one of my mom's sisters) went to the A &amp; P to trade (buy groceries). When they returned I helped carry all their groceries home as we all lived real close together. When I got through carrying the groceries I looked up and there stood Jerry, grinning ear to ear. My Mom really liked Jerry and most of my other friends, especially Mike (Red). She asked Jerry " what are you two up to today?" Jerry looked at her and said "I'm going to the Eight Ball to shoot some pool and wanted to see if Richard wanted to go with me." I almost died when Jerry told us that his dad had signed his card without any argument at all. I looked at Jerry and told him I couldn't go and ran into my bedroom, tears filling my young eyes.

It wasn't but a few minutes after Jerry had left that my dad came home. The house was real quite and I knew he and mom were talking but I couldn't hear what they were saying. I thought maybe they were thinking about sending me to "Greendale," which was a reformatory for bad kids. I was hoping they would but knew I couldn't be that lucky. (Greendale was a horrible place)

My mom finally came to the door of my room and said "Richard, come out here. Your dad wants to talk to you." Oh boy! Here it comes again. More of the "By Hell" stuff. So with a very heavy heart I went into the living room. There was my dad, sitting in his favorite chair with his lips drawn tight and that stern look on his face. What now, I thought. What is he going to jump me about now?

"Son, I want you to listen and listen good," he said. "I'm going to let you go to the Eight Ball." I couldn't believe my ears! I was jumping for joy! I was so happy! "Now By Hell, wait a damn minute," he said. "I'm going to go with you and sign your permission card but here are the ground rules." First of all, no gambling and you can only go in there on Saturdays and after school. You have to pass in school and be home on time. I didn't even hear or care about the rules. I was back in and that's all that mattered. So here we went, down town to the Eight Ball. I was so thrilled I didn't know how to act. When I got there Jerry said "Let's play a game of pool," and that we did. That we did!

It came fast to me, faster than anything ever had in my entire life. First it was rotation (61 or slop) whichever you wanted to call it. Then came 9 Ball, 8 ball and double check. 9 ball and check were gambling games but we played them for loser pays unless one of us played with "Mark" who never had any money and always wanted someone to "buy us a game."

Dog and Don wouldn't let beginners play on the front two tables much but Jerry and I both improved so fast that soon the front two tables were ours to master.

Bank pool was a fun game but to expensive for us starting out as it was $1.20 per hour per player. The guys would could play bank were only charged 15 cents a game and sometimes we would play four handed partner bank with Dog and Don (1 &amp; 9 buddies) so we would only have to pay 15 cents. Don and Dog always won in the early days. 61 and 8 ball were 10 cents or 3 for a quarter. 9 ball and check were a nickel for two players. It was so much fun it didn't matter about the prices.

And thus, at the beginning of my 13th year of life I had embarked upon an endeavor that would be a part of me forever. Over the 40 plus years I have played pool (except for the 15 or so when I stopped playing) I have seen a lot of changes in the game, most of them for the good.

I enjoy the game today, much more than I ever thought I would at this stage of my life.

From the backdoor of the old Eight Ball Poolroom on my 13th birthday in 1958 and from this time on I will continue to "Love" this game of pool. I have been truly fortunate to have my bride of almost 30 years and also my "love affair" with the game of pool. "Brown eyes," the green felt with the six pockets is the only mistress I will ever have

2002 Big Dipper Sports

05-25-2002, 10:15 PM

In the late summer of 1961 I was 15 years old. Clifford Jones, a buddy of mine and who was much smarter than me. I knew he was smarter because he showed me all the constellations and told me there names. Well anyway, he said "I've been in the Avenue Arcade and I played pool". I thought he was fibbing because that was one scary place, it was a pool hall where all the hoods hungout. In our town of 12 thousand that was a lot of hoods and anyway you had to be 16 to go in there. "Cliff your so full of [censored] I don't believe you" I told him.
He pulled out his pheasant hunting license and showed me where he had changed his birth date so he looked 16 and the guy, Shory Loben, who owned the place said that was OK but he, Clifford, could only come in the back entrance and could only play on the back two tables. Needless to say I had my hunting license out and scratched out the six in 1946 and change it to a five. The very next day I got my allowance and Cliff and I headed for the alley entrance which I had never noticed in all the years of peddling my bike all over this town. It was one of those storm cellar doors that almost lay flat but not quite. We layed out bikes down next to it and lifted one side of the door. My heart was pounding but bigshot Cliff was pretty cool and I followed him down the rickety steps into what looked to me like the entrance to hell itself. There was a narrow corridor with one light bulb halfway down and the floor was just compacted dirt and had board planks to walk on and it was dark. We walked the thirty or forty feet to where the hallway turned left, at the turn there was a dirty window and I saw for the first time into the poolhall and heard the clicking of the balls. I think it happened right then the beginning of my love of pool. The sound of those balls clicking together and the voices in the backgroud. I hadn't taken a breath since we opened that celler door and my heartbeat was crashing in my chest. If Cliff would have turned to me and said "this is all a joke" it would have been fine with me. I wanted my mommy to tell the truth but that didn't happen and my buddy opened the back door to the pool hall. The sound got louder and then the smell of the place hit me. It was an old smell but new to me and I liked it.
Shory was the 'rackboy' that day and when Cliff yelled out "rack in the back" my impulse was to run but I couldn't move. This little round man with an unlite cigar in one side of his mouth walked up to the very back table where we stood. He looked at me and in a very gruff gravely voice said "how old are you?" Somehow I sqeaked out "16" over the lump in my throat.
"I suppose you have someway to prove that kid" he said. I fumbled for my billfold, I dropped it on the floor. I showed him my pheasant hunting license. "It looks to me like you changed your birth date on this thing" My eyes had lost there ability to blink and I thought I heard the police sirens in the background. I could not speak but thankfully he handed it back to me and said "your good for today but you gotta do a better job on those numbers or I'll have to kick you out, do you hear". "Yes sir Mr Shory. Yes sir".
"Just so you know" Shory said as he pulled an ice pick from the change apron "if there is any shananigans you get this right in your young ass, do you understand?"
"Yes sir Mr Shory" I exhausted.
"You call me Mr Shory one more time and I'll stick it in your ass now, you hear?" He racked the balls and walked up the row of six tables.
It took me ten minutes to figure out that I was a left hander at pool. It took me one hour to figure out that I was going to love this place and this game of pool. It took me six months to realize that Shory was one of the nicest men I would ever meet.
Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

05-26-2002, 07:41 AM
Not unlike this town of 30K. You were supposed to be 16 to get into the ph and I got kicked out time after time but I just kept going back and eventually the owner told me to use only the back door and play only on the back table and he'd not notice I was 13.

Grumpy as hell but good hearted. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Good memories. Brings a smile.

05-28-2002, 03:33 AM
Smooth, I was riding down the street on my cushman motor scooter. My brother and a friend was on a motorcycle, that went faster. Trying to keep up with them, my motor locked up. It so happens that the YMCA was where it hapened, and I was 13 at the time. Our friend suggested we go in and play pool. Well what did I know about pool, but sure ok. I remember making a few balls, but was not really overly excited about the game as I recall. Later years at 17 a friend said lets skip class that afternoon and go to the pool hall. I was paranoid about being caught but we went there. I can honestly say that was when my love of the game started. I was on a journey to eventually beat everyone in that pool room. I wish I still had that desire.

#### leonard
05-28-2002, 07:15 AM
I have a picture of Mike watching Willie Mosconi practice on the day he got hooked. ####

05-29-2002, 04:26 AM
My love for pool started approximately July or August of 2001. Yes, less than a year ago. I don't remember exactly what sparked the interest but it has stayed with me. I try to practice, practice, practice as much as I can, I bought a new table, watch all the pool on TV, and read, read, read. To me it is a very exciting experience, and believe or not God has used it in my Christian life.

Jim :-)

05-29-2002, 04:30 AM
Wow, your a relatively new player. What do you attribute to the success you have had up to now? What disciplines do you use to continue your upward climb as a player?

Keep it up!

Jim (Preacherman)
I may be reached at: GoProclaim@aol.com