Throwback Thursday!  

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.


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Comment by Diego on December 26, 2007 at 10:44am
Ok once again ther memories come flooding in...Guess where I learned how to play pool? NO not some pool hall or sleazy bar, it was at your house. My brother's and I would play against each other while your dad was making one of his famous gourmet steak dinners. It was always a lot of fun, later, when we were a lot older we would drink coctails or beer, shoot pool, relax, laugh and joke. The stereo was right next to the pool table and you were always playing the latest music while we played pool, the first time I heard Heart and Fleetwood Mac Rumors was playing pool at your house. The most memorable of sayings I remember is "close but no cigar" when the ball would not make it into the pocket. There was always the issue if it was close enough, could you blow on the ball to make it in the pocket? I remember aunt Sandy doing that one time and your dad and my dad saying NO NO NO thats cheating!!!!!!! I was never really good at pool but I still used to play and enjoy myself. People would ask me later on in life where I learned how to play 8-ball and the answer was always the same, my Uncle Al's house.
Comment by Dr Dan on December 26, 2007 at 2:39pm
You tell such wonderful stories, you've had quite a memorable life. This is the first Minnesota Fats story I've heard from a non-famous person
Comment by chantal on December 26, 2007 at 2:51pm
What an epitaph:

"Beat everybody living on Earth. Now, St. Peter, rack ’em up"
Comment by Girlmarie on December 26, 2007 at 3:00pm
That den set up sounds amazing. And the rest of the story too.
Comment by norman p on December 27, 2007 at 7:30am
ah yes, pool. billards. driven by pure physics. mass, momentum, velocity. it defines our universe. i hate math. good thing i dont have to use it much, what with aviation being a math sparse field of endevor..........
Comment by Johnny_Mango on January 9, 2014 at 3:25pm

Good times, Lita!  You've got a whole life of amazing stories.  Thanks for sharing this one.


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