Sometimes it takes having dinner with a friend to remind you of something so amazing it's hard to believe you could ever forget. I don't particularly like TVs in restaurants, but in this particular restaurant, on this particular night, my friend looked up and made a comment about what was on the TV screen. The fact that a women's billiard competition was on made me remember a very wonderful day.
My parent's house is cool. My mother designed it and my uncles built it in '66. It has some very dramtic features like a brick charcoal grill in the kitchen. But what makes the house particularly cool is the split level den. The 'lower' half of the den has a huge stone fire place. The 'upper' half of the den has a pool table. And that's where this story begins.
Boy do I remember when we first got the pool table. I would spend hours playing. It took time to learn the rules of eight-ball and nine ball. Perfecting my bank shot was a direct result of a man my Uncle Roland once brought to the house.
This guy was the most amazing pool player I had ever seen. I remember he had his own pool cue in a case - like El Mariachi carrying around his guitar. He was a large man and was very entertaining. He did tricks that seemed to defy the laws of physics. I had never seen anyone hit the balls so hard and then watch every single one of them roll into a pocket. I was just tall enough to see over the pool table to watch his magic. I also remember giggling when he introduced himself - Minnesota Fats. What a funny name, I thought.
My father was giddy the entire time 'Mr. Fats' wowed us with his talent. And my Uncle Roland was so pleased that he met this man and could share him with us. How my Uncle met him and why he was in 'Burque is a lost story. But a night having barbeque with a friend brought a small part of the story back to life.