To those of you that this does not apply, please indulge me for a moment.
I would like to thank all of my friends and pool-playing partners here in Phoenix. Today will be my last "8 & Under" 9-ball tournament at "Kolby's Corner Pocket" (the best damned poolroom in Arizona).
I want to thank Tracey, the T.D. for welcoming me back home a year ago and making me feel like I never left. Thanks to James and the rest of the staff for the Kolby's t-shirts, the over-stuffed ham & cheese sandwiches and for treating me like "one of the family." I will be lucky if I can find a room in Texas that makes me feel so welcomed.
Goodbye to Amy & Carl, my friends and friendly opponents every Saturday and Sunday. You are wonderful people and I will miss both of you.
To Brian and his beautiful wife; congrats on the new baby girl. I hope my game improves so that I might give you more competition the next time we meet.
To Mossimo, his beautiful fiance', Carlton, Sam, Rami, Bill, Charles, Jeremy and the rest (too many for me to remember) of the Kolby's "regulars", thanks for the friendly matches and your friendships.
To Glenn Bond; thank you for the pointers, the drills and the only match we have played against each other in the 13 plus years I have known you. Even though you smoked me 10-2, it was the cheapest pool lesson I have ever had. You are a class gentleman.
To the staff at Phoenix Custom Cues...Andy, Matt and the crew; thanks for keeping my 18 year-old McDermott in top shape. Best of luck in the coming years with PCC and the tour.
Thanks to my friends at "Shoot the Bull"...you have been wonderful to do business with.
Thanks to Brian, Patty, Mike, Ken, Madge, Jaime, Frank, Jesse, Randy, Jim, Jerry, Darryl, Josh, Rick, Cathy, Leon and the rest of the Groggy's team. Thanks to all of the others that I have had the pleasure to play league with. Special thanks to Patty...you "saved my life" and will be repaid for your generosity. Best of luck with your future...you are a classy woman.
Heart-felt thanks to Felita. You did a wonderful thing for me and I failed you in reciprocating but will make it up to you ten-fold...I promise. Perhaps then we can "patch the holes" in our friendship.
"See you soon" to my Mom (I love you), my brothers Jimmy and Gary, my sisters Cindy and Lori. Larry, I didn't get the chance to know you very well but you seem like a great guy and I am happy my sister found you. I will miss the Sunday "coffee and dominoes" with my brothers.
To my daughters, Briana and Jessica; no matter where I am or the mileage between us...I will love you the most and always. My heart is filled with thoughts of each of you, every minute of every day. I love you both more than I have shown and more than you will ever know.
Best of luck to Cyndi and Candi. You still hold a special place in my heart as the mothers of my beautiful children.
That takes care of the goodbyes. If I failed to mention someone, it wasn't intentional.
Now for the "Hellos":
"Howdy" to my new home in the Lone Star state of Texas. Hello to my wonderful fiance', Laura. March 17th cannot come soon enough. Hello to Maggie and Eric...I'm looking forward to being a "second Dad" to each of you. Hello to my future In-Laws, Donna and Gene. I'm hoping for to lots of time at the lake, fishing and being a part of your wonderful family. Donna and Gene, I will be in your debt forever for the wonderful act of love that you did for me in my final months here in Arizona.
And finally, hello to my future friends that I hope to meet in Texas. I can only hope you are going to be as wonderful as those that I am leaving here.
Regards and thanks to all of you for making my short year here at home, a wonderful one. I hope to see all of you again. My home in Texas is your home.