View Full Version : not that you asked. . . .( REALLY LONG)

02-10-2003, 05:14 PM
**Sorry--I don't know if this is "pool related" enough, but I'm posting it here anyway. . . .**

I first "learned" 8-ball from my dad when I was about 10 years old, when he would take my brother and I to the Rec Center, on the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

I was big enough to get the cue on the table, and understood the basic idea of hitting solids or stripes, but certainly never devoted that much time to it. Once in awhile, I might go there and pick up a rack to knock around. I assure you, I wasn't really conscious of trying to get better, but I did have some idea of how to aim/hit. (My method was/is to "make the "outside" (equator) of the CB hit the OB where I want it.) There was never any true "theory-and-practice" going on, and I probably had less than 10 actual sessions like that.

About five years later, I found myself shooting on the 7-foot Valley table at the local bowling alley--relocated to northern GA (Dad had retired after 20 years of service). I still pretty much just worked on aiming and pocketing--never any strategy or position play, although I think I must have started learning some draw and follow. . . .

Fast-forward to age 21. Having moved to SoCal in 1987, I spent a bit of time in bars, playing pool instead of drinking (didn't start that until about a year later). Started learning more english for position, but still hit most things much harder than necessary--I had aim and pocketing pretty much figured out by then.

As I've mentioned, I began my drinking "career" around age 22, and went to a few pubs with my roommate Dave, about 2-7 times a week. Actually, there was some cross-training going on: Dave taught me to drink, and I taught him to play pool! Anyway, I was still a 'bar-banger', but I could fend off the bulk of challengers. (I guess this was the early, "shotmaker" phase.)

Well, about three years, a few hundred drinks, and a few thousand balls later, I wound up in Santa Barbara, California, working on "durable medical equipment"'--which is industry-speak for "wheelchair mechanic". (During the summer of '95 I had become unemployed, Dave died from a motorcycle accident in Canada, and I found the job in SB.)

Santa Barbara--that is, State Street in particular--is blocks of bars and restaurants, with most of the bars providing a home for at least on 7-foot coinop. Playing pool every night gave me a reason to be out, and drinking, every night--among others, I found a family in the barscene, and my (night)life was anchored in pool. It was during my three years in SB that I was invited to play in the BCA league, learned about ball-in-hand rules, and played, and played, and played. Of course, by now, I was able to position fairly well (on a 7-footer), and I was calling the Wildcat (http://www.thewildcat.com/home.htm) the "bar I'm from". I met and befriended many 'regulars'--and the subset of pool-table-regulars in particular. My closest friends and I ruled the table, whenever we were there ("often" would be a gross understatement). We took on each other and all-comers, usually getting well liquored at the same time. This was like living in a bubble, that finally burst, close on the heels of a career change, which brought me to. . .

. . .here, Atlanta, where I found another league, where I now frustrate myself, because I can no longer play at the level I felt I was in Cali--falling-down drunk, or sober. However, my job situation had taken a turn for the better, and I was making more money than I ever had, and have managed to swing a house, with a 9-ft AMF Playmaster in the basement. And, while I don't play as much, or, honestly, have as much fun as I used to, I am glad to have it--for the following reason, which is actually closer to the point of this post!

My dad was in the neighborhood yesterday, and I had the opportunity to play him our first 'real' game--21 years after he introduced me to a pool table! I had never even thought about it, but he, evidently was very good, "back in the day". And, while he has actually played a few times within the last 5-10 years (on my step-brothers 8-footer), he hasn't done it 'seriously' in about aforementioned 21 years! And, his eyeglasses are an issue (they're progressive lenses), and he has the beginnings of Parkinson's to deal with (shaking), I was amazed. Cold, he shot surprisingly well, and even potted a carom-shot, and barely missed a cross-side, combination--something like this:

%AH5E7%BR1O0%CN9V0%DQ7V5%Ej3H3%Fm2N7%Gh6R8%He7G2%I n7T8%KP5U5
%M_2J2%NX9R6%OM1R6%PG3W1%UR5D4%VM7Q5%WK9T0%XH2V9%Y X3P9%ZS0C6

I still won the three games we played, but I was/am still highly impressed. More than that, I got a perspective on my pool "life", and another reason to love my dad. (BTW, he's 62.)


02-10-2003, 05:32 PM
I had a similar situation while growing up until moving at age 13 just 100 yards from my step grandfather, whom I later found out won new cars in his hay-day. He'd go into town every day the PH was open(didn't formally work, managed a tenant farm) like clockwork, and play, day after day, month after month, year after year. What I missed was his tutoring, for you see I really didn't put any value in his trips to town back then. Now, after I've become addicted to growing into a good player, he's long passed away. if I had the opportunity again I would have tugged at his shirt and asked, "Can I go, CAN I GO!" everytime I had the chance when he was heading out to the PH. I can only imagine where my game would be now had I used such an opportunity back when I was impressionable. I can only imagine that you might have thought the same thing at least once concerning your dad...sid

02-10-2003, 05:41 PM
It's nice to see pool bring you and your father a little closer, my dad and I pretty much base our relationship around pool. Once a week we go downstairs and play for hours on end and although we get pretty competitive (alway playing for $) we enjoy our time together. As for your dad being a surprisingly good shot, lot's of the older guys that haven't played pool for many years played a ton of pool when they were younger, as a result I've been blown out of the water by guys 3 even 4 times my age, never underestimate your opponent!

Fran Crimi
02-11-2003, 01:09 AM
Great story. Strange creatures, those dad's are, aren't they. They're full of surprises sometimes. My dad's still around and we're both very competitive in a fun way. I remember when I was 14, my dad bought me a starter set of golf clubs, took me to the first tee of a crowded course on a Sunday morning, with a gazillion people waiting to tee off...teed up the ball and said, "Go ahead, hit the ball." That's how I learned to play golf. I remember that round like it was yesterday. I picked up the ball and threw it half the times, and the other half you'd think I was digging a ditch with my club. Took me all of 15 years to finally beat him in a round.

That's OK, though, because years later I got even with him when he wanted to know what I was doing all those nights at the pool room. So I took him with me one night, racked up the balls and said, "Go ahead, Dad. Hit the ball." Heh heh...


02-11-2003, 08:00 AM
When I was about 10 also, my dad bought a pool table, which was in the attic. We played together on that pool table for several years. It was a kind of cheap table and my dad could get some balls in. The main thing though is that that was another thing that we did together and it set me up for a love of the game later in life.

My dad has passed on and that time in the attic playing pool is one of the fond memories I have of time together.


02-11-2003, 09:03 AM
My dad did play some pool growing up but we've never played. My cousin and I did play a race to 7 during a family get together in a condo rec room and they were fascinated. My father however was a AA baseball player, Air Force base champion in raquetball, squash, and tennis, an excellent softball player and after completion in the service had a job as a golf pro for a few years (then I came along and he had to get a job /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif) and has several rounds notched in the upper 60's (68, 69). My Dad always worked nights and could have used that for an excuse BUT, he managed to teach me to throw, never missed a baseball game or practice, we always manage to play a few rounds of golf a year and we still play some raquetball though I've got to take it easy on him since he shattered his ankle a few years back. I always manage to make it to my fathers house on New Year's Day while all my friends are sleeping off hangovers to watch a day worth of football on as many T.V.'s as we can cram into the family room.

I'd love for some day for rooms to be smoke free and people in the pool room to use good language because I think my Dad would love to watch me play.

Allen, my Dad is the greatest man walking the earth, my hero and I can't think of any more reasons to love him.

Kato~~~forgot to mention that my Mom's Dad is the 2nd greatest man walking the earth.

PS. Please realize I'm not dissing anyones interpretation of the greatest men walking. I just happen to think myself lucky.

9 Ball Girl
02-11-2003, 10:37 AM
My Dad started teaching me when I was about 7-8 years old. I used to play in his softball league's social club which had a 9 footer. I used to have to play with the shaft of his cue 'cause the whole cue was way too long for me to play with. Anyways, he liked the way I took an interest to the game, so he would show me how to play last pocket 8 ball (big with Dominicans). I remember he used to make me stay down 'til the cue ball stopped and I used to get mad 'cause I thought it was some sort of punishment or something. Well, eventually it all stopped 'cause my Mom used to get mad at him and tell him that pool and poolrooms wasn't for ladies. Sigh. Then I picked it up again at 17, stopped again at 23, and picked it up again in December of 2000. My Dad's eyes still light up when he sees me carrying my cuecase around. He can't really come to watch me play 'cause he's an asthmatic and the smoke would kill him! So instead, I figure I borrow my sister's video camera and record myself playing with my buds.

02-11-2003, 11:59 AM
Hey, buy that guy a table for Father's(daughter's day too)Day and play smoke free pool while you still have the chance..sid~~~win-win situation from where I sit