PDA

View Full Version : Thought I'd Share This w/ you all



DiabloViejo
07-03-2012, 02:39 PM
<span style="color: #000099">Wrote this a a few years ago.</span>

Friday Afternoon Services At the Pub (R.I.P. Frankie)


Every Friday afternoon at precisely 12:00 noon a group of interesting characters begins to filter into the local pub. They are there to begin their usual Friday afternoon “Last Pocket 8 Ball” marathon.

The men are, by and large, older blue collar Latinos. Their faces tell the story of hard lives. Some of these men served and fought in rice paddies and jungles, others scraped by back home. Their individual character is etched deeply in their faces as are also the telltale signs of years of hard drinking.

One guy stands out from the rest because he's younger (late forties), wears a lot of gold, likes to dress all in black, and drives a newer Japanese luxo-car. This individual speaks perfect Spanish, with a Dominican accent..but he is an American Jew. His wife is Dominican and he grew up in the Bronx. His family stayed in their Grand Concourse digs long after all the other Jews had left for other parts.

The game is last pocket 8 ball on a bar table, with as close to perfect conditions as possible. The men make sure it is so. One of them grabs the brush that's used to clean under the rails, while another lovingly brushes the cool green Simonis from head to foot. Only when the ritual has been completed will the men begin to play.

Meanwhile, the knowledge that the games will soon commence has triggered the sharking that will continue relentlessly into early evening, when the last ball, of the last game, has taken the subway. For them, it seems as much a part of the game as the table and balls.

Over the last couple of years, I have often watched these guys play, played with them now and again, and have come to respect their game.. the creativity and flair with which they craft incredible, and sometimes mind-blowing, kicks. The banks that would be the envy of many a banks, or one-pocket player. There is beauty, grace, and intellect in these endeavors and it is what draws these men together for their weekly devotional to the pantheon of pool gods.

One of these men, an aged Puerto Rican, perhaps the best player of the bunch, and a man who is now facing death from his years of drinking told me this: "You know what? I had a hard life and I was drafted. Did my time in 'Nam, and then I got out and busted my ass working. One thing I know, I was good at last pocket, and drinking. Damned good..one of the best. And I don't feel bad about it. Hell, some guys go through life and never find something they love."

(Frankie passed away a few years ago from cirrhosis of the liver brought on by alcoholism. Despite his problems with alcohol, Frankie was a good guy and always seemed happy. He was a real character and someone I'll always miss.)

Harold Acosta
07-03-2012, 07:20 PM
Last pocket 8 ball is the preferred game in Puerto Rico amongst the true 8 ball players.

Sid_Vicious
07-03-2012, 07:42 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Harold Acosta</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Last pocket 8 ball is the preferred game in Puerto Rico amongst the true 8 ball players. </div></div>

How the heck have you been Harold?

Harold Acosta
07-04-2012, 09:18 AM
Sid, just keeping a low profile....went to the Open last year and had a good time with the guys....don't know if I'll make it this year since I just visited my daughter in May (BTW she lives in Virginia).

dg-in-centralpa
07-04-2012, 10:31 AM
Harold,
If you can make this year, you won't have to worry about hotel rooms, you'll get better meals, except when we go out for dinner, and you'll have fun again, like last year.

Duane

Rich R.
07-05-2012, 04:13 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Harold Acosta</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Sid, just keeping a low profile....went to the Open last year and had a good time with the guys....don't know if I'll make it this year since I just visited my daughter in May (BTW she lives in Virginia). </div></div>
Harold, I think it will be time for another visit in October. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Hope you and your family are well.