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Pool/Love/Hate relationship

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  • Pool/Love/Hate relationship

    Before I share this moment, the SSII event at Bogies was the first time in years, I truly enjoyed playing with gentlemen.
    Love hate with pool....I know at times I get under one skin with my statements, but it's because of my background in sports and competition that I act in such a manner. The only reason I even started to play this amazing game is because my father was very strict, and one time grounded me for two months. During that time he thought I'd hit the books and get my grades above a C average. We had a wet bar in the basement, and a 4x8 pool table with clay balls, so instead of reading books, I started hitting balls to pass the time. About a month went by and my dad realized I was NOT studying. I came home from school and the table was gone! He sold it. Shortly after not being grounded I found out there was a pool room in town right next to the bowling alley off Roosevelt Rd in Glen Ellyn IL. I went in there and that's where it started, I was probably 12. My father played for the Chicago Black Hawks farm team before WWII and his father ran a mash unit and then became the team doctor for the Hawks. I was supposed to be a doctor, so my father would not let me play hockey (broken fingers etc) as he knew a surgeon needed dexterity. I started speed skating, and in 1963-64 became the Apollo Ohno of my age group for indoor short track speed skating. Winning the Nationals in West Allis Wisconsin and then flying in a DC 10, I won the North American Championships at the hockey arena in Buffalo NY. Flying to NY was exciting as a young teen, and guess who was sitting next to me as my mentor. Terry McDermott olympic skating gold medal winner, one Jim McCay the tv announce adored because of his attitude and the way he lived life. Another sports figure was also in my life, permanently. My dad graduated from Northwestern University, and was roomed with a young man named Otto Graham who also became part of my inner psyche and such. Otto was and is still considered one of the best QB of all time in pro football before the NFL, then went in to the NFL and played for the Cleveland Browns during it's greatest years. Fast forward to college.
    So I'm playing Varner in the Midwest Collegiate finals 14.1 tourney at IU in the bowling alley on orange cloth with no overhead lights, losing 150-148, he then went on to with the nationals beating Carella. I kept playing and getting better, with very limited instruction or help, just a desire to win and compete and it kept my interest. Oh I also in 68 ended up in college giving the finals in my Badminton class as no teacher or student could compete with this long armed competitor.
    What's happened to me over five + decades is my disgust for how the sport I chose is looked upon, how many players actions diminish the sport, my support of 3 pro tours that ended up a dead end street, and then the pool drool, and how gambling effects and hurts, and plays out within this demographic thru mother time. Me being surrounded by the right people at the right time growing up, has made me lash out at unsportsmanlike actions of adults in competition. I flunked English class in HS and took makeup courses to graduate and also had a good friend of mine take/pass and sign my name to not flunk my history exam, as I hated history and was more concerned about what's going on today or tomorrow.

    So as life played out, I thought working for the BCA would help me get something good going for the sport when they moved to CO and close to the USOTC (Olympic training center) in Colorado Springs, only to realize their pipe dream of getting pool into the Olympics was poorly planned. Soon thereafter the BCA bank account got milked after their move to CO from IA, and in turn the BCA pulled away from supporting the sport like they had in the past, which made them a force within the industry.

    So that's my rant, and since I flunked freshman HS English I'm not the best at putting sentences together, but there's something within me, probably from Otto Graham & Olympic Speed skater Terry McDermott and my sporting background, that makes me ''grind my grits'' when I see childish, selfish, egotistical, me me behavior with no respect for the sport or one's opponent. To those of you that are this way you were raised by someone who knows what's right/wrong, I admire you and know you'll do well in life.
    Sincerely,
    BM
    Bill Meacham
    WBT
    www.worldbilliardtour.com
    no link....

  • #2
    So it musta been 63 or 64 my dad grounded me for two months, and all I did was play pool on our table in the basement. So when I came home one day from school he'd sold the table. Every town in IL had pool rooms or bowling alley with pool tables. I found out in the phone book, there were pool table in my town, so I walked in saw a few friends I knew and somehow I won $24, I was off to the races.
    As kids we always heard about Bensingers in downtown Chicago, and Mexican Johnny and some of the greats from Chi Town, but we as kids knew it was not a place you could visit and walk out with a score, the oldsters were too sharp for us youngin's. Got ta college 67 and soon was the local hot shot. From there I heard about this event in Johnson City at the Showbar and I also heard about the card games and action at Janscos, and the other going's on at the golf course/Action! I watched, listened and was in heaven seeing this before my eyes. I was broke dick college student, but was starting to go to school less, and play more/allot more. 1969 I ended up playing Varner in the Midwest collegiate 14.1 finals at IU in Indiana. He went on too beat Carella in the National collegiate finals. I had a hard cue case at that time, and as most know, the guts were removable, and so I packed it with 20 lids of Jamaican Ganja, before the embargo/mandatory 10 years if you were caught bringing it into the states. Rempe and Eddie Bellamore and most all younger players ''flowered up'' to the moment. Mind you, this was the summer of love time of life, and the hippie chicks were Everywhere, and more sexually aggressive than the men, wonderful time in life. I remember Eddie, who was Jimmy Marinos steakhorse tell me, ''I forgot every bet I placed'' after tokin' up, boy did we have a good laugh. Anyone that knew Eddie, he was such a bright light in life. I remember Lassiter in his classic, sleeping sitting position at times, telling another that if they matched up, he could only play 16hours, then he needed his rest, but would continue play once he got his rest. I remember a 9 ball ring game, with Mex. Johnny, the Springfield rifle, HOF Ed Kelly another and then Boston Shorty stepped in, it was $50 a game, not too bad of a score in the late sixties. Shorty hadn't gotten too the table yet in 5 games....stuck $250 right outta the gate. Finally it was his turn, and he was hooked....''This is the Shits'' were the first words out of his mouth, a roar of laughter engulfed the table. Kelly had already run a 2 or 3, and was pointing out to his constituents, after the cue ball traveled 5 rails for shape, that he was off 2 inches .
    Bill Meacham
    WBT
    www.worldbilliardtour.com
    no link....

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