No announcement yet.

My Bluegrass Report

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • My Bluegrass Report

    I went in to the office in the morning but came home around lunch time and worked from home the rest of the day, so that I could start the drive as soon as possible. My wife started out driving in the rain and drove about halfway, and I closed it out...still in the rain. We arrived to her sister's in Coatesville about 11. Mitch organized a golf outing for us at Broad Run, so once I got unpacked enough I started planning out my morning. I organized a breakfast meetup for the golf group at a place a few miles from the corse.

    I woke up early, around 6:45AM, to the sound of a crying child, just like I had done several times throughout the night. However, this allowed me to get up early and go hit up the driving range. On my way to the course I realized I forgot my hat and sunglasses. I always forget something when I travel. As I browed through the Broad Run Pro Shop I found a shirt I liked. I also found a pair of sunglasses and a visor. Total with greens fees came to about $140.

    I went and hit balls at the range and despite a few early chunky irons I felt pretty good about things despite my lack of recent practice. The guys ended up running late so cancelled our breakfast plans, but after hitting balls I left to go to the Green Street Grill anyway because the menu I found on Yelp the night before looked impressive. Turns out the food was as good as it looked and there was a lot of other scenery to look at as well.

    I got back to the course and still no sign of the guys so I went to the putting green and started trying to get the local speed down. The putting green was on a big slope so it was hard to get the speed was either crazy fast downhill or slow up hill. Anything you putt from the side breaks a ton.

    After the guys arrived it was game on. Except we didn't get a game going. Oh well because I apparently forgot my game at home anyway. It was still a lot of fun hanging with John, Mitch, and Nick. John impressed me with his swing and how well he played despite not playing much golf for years, and I impressed him with how far I could hit my ball into the woods. Mitch is always good company no mater what he's doing or how he's doing it. He played better on the front than the back, but you'd never know the difference from his demeanor. I have gotten to know him pretty well in the last couple years as I often visit Philly. In the 4 hours that I was riding with Nick, I got to know him a little better as well. I love hearing stories and he shared a few of his.

    (I ended up losing 5 balls and finished last scoring-wise in our foursome. I literally lost all the balls that I had in my bag, so i finished with an X on the last hole, which I didn't really mind because this way I didn't have to add up my score.)

    Afterwards, Mitch and Nick said they were going straight to the pool room to tell the suckers to line up. I went back to the room, showered, and laid down in a quiet house for a few minutes which turned into a two hours nap until my wife and kids got back to the house. I got a couple hugs from my littles (Ashton and Ace) grabbed my cue cases and made the 75 minute commute to the pool room. I had to park a long way away, which showed me right away how busy the place was. It wasn't much to look at from the outside, just a converted warehouse. However, the moment I stepped through the doors I was pleasantly surprised. They really put some thought and money into this place. There was a triangular bar to the left, which I later told the bartender that they should name it The Rack, which had a nice looking dark colored hardwood floor. I didn't actually walk more than a few steps into the bar, but it looked nice. There was new carpet and pool tables just about as far as the eye could see. A few minutes after I walked in I started recognizing some faces and one of those (belonging to Dave Gross) arrived just a minute or two after me. I had never actually met Dave in person, but knew his face from the fourm and/or Facebook. We ended up playing on table 23 the rest of the night. At the end we had a couple bad games and it seemed like a good time to stop so we did. We were both pretty spent. I didn't realize how long we had been playing until it was time to pay my time, lol. I definitely needed the practice though, as that was the first time since January 26th (Yes, I had to look it up on my phone to see when it actually was) since I had played One Pocket against another human being. I had read on the forum about Dave Gross being an accomplished 3C player and it showed every time he had to kick or carom something. I enjoyed hearing about some of his stories as well. It was awesome getting to spend some time playing and chatting and getting to know another brother.

    While Dave and I were playing, Larry came over and introduced himself. We had spoken on the phone a handful of times about OnePocket and about cues, but we had never met which is always cool and funny when it works out that way. He said that I looked different than he imagined, and as he was saying it I was thinking the same thing about him. I suppose that's normal.

    Robert also stopped by to pick up a long-awaited piece of wood. Last year in Memphis he convinced me to sell him that cue. He knew just how to butter me up apparently because I'm not sure anybody else could have gotten me to sell it. I could go on and on about that cue, it but I won't do it here. I really wanted to get a picture of him with it though, but I forgot to ask.

    I think two or three people asked me to see Mitch's cue before Mitch was able to come and claim it. Mitch was so excited from the moment he decided he wanted it months ago, and it was a lot of fun sharing the progress with him. I was actually very excited to hand it to him to complete the process. Again, I forgot to get a picture of him with it, which was something I intended to do, just to make it a thing of mine to do.

    I didn't get a chance to talk to everyone I wanted Thursday night, as some were in action, and at least one in serious action, so I didn't want to disturb anyone. I left around 12:30 and made it back to my sister in laws house around 2. I couldn't believe how much traffic there was in Philly that late.

    Woke up a little later, around 8:30, got ready, ate some breakfast that my wife or maybe sister in law had made for me, and made it to the pool room about 10:30 maybe, i don't remember exactly. I do remember wanting to get some alone time on one of the tables because despite not playing much One Pocket, I still felt like i was shooting somewhat sharp and I thought if I could at least shoot well enough maybe it would make up for other areas. I got some practice time in like I wanted, and then I started playing some with Dustin and John.

    We had our players meeting, which was comprised of some voting, which was kind of funny but appropriate because there were some details that some of us weren't sure of, then we got things moving right along. I started out playing Nick B and he beat me 3-1. I saw Steve Booth with some food and I went over to the kitchen bar/counter to copy his order, which was a Chicken Caesar Sandwich with Provolone cheese. That immediate became my best move of the day. The food at Bluegrass was much better than I expected from a pool hall. After hanging around a while I learned that I wouldn't be playing until the next day. I ended up hanging around and trying to watch some matches but really I was more focused on chatting with as many members as possible. I'm pretty sure I was talking with Larry when, suddenly we saw ChicagoFats's tip fly off his cue. He was able to find someone with superglue to slap his two layers of tip back on. I tried my best to cut off the part hanging over the edge of the ferrule, but after some cutting and sanding, I'm afraid I was not able to do my best work using the dull razor blade, and some worn sandpaper tip tool thing that he supplied me with. After I was done, he proudly showed one of the locals, and I did my very best to make sure the local knew that I did not install that tip. Shortly after that some locals were negotiating a game of 9 or 10 ball with ChicagoFats, and I cut in and we played some cheap One Pocket instead. We couldn't have been playing for very long when his tip flew off again, to no one's surprise. Instead of quitting though, he ended up playing with his backup kielwood shaft that had a full sized tip, which he very much enjoyed and verbally praised. Dan is a very funny guy and is always cracking jokes. Things took a bad turn again, as he was not used to the deflection of his backup shaft and it affected him quite a bit. I was expecting him to call it a night any game, but that just didn't happen. He doesn't have any quit in him. I'm sure that if that shaft would have split in half and given him splinters in every finger, and if there wasn't a bar cue on the rack he'd have found one in the kitchen closet or something and wanted to keep playing. Eventually I think he felt bad for me because of the commute that I had, and the midnight oil that I didn't have, so we ended it around midnight or shortly after. I got home around 2am again.

    I woke up a bit later than i wanted, but was still staggering around tired from being out late two nights in a row. I don't remember what I had for breakfast if anything, but I do remember getting to the pool room about 10:40 or so, and made my way over to Cory on table 7. I met Cory two years ago in Chicago and then last year he messaged me that he wanted me to make him a cue. We texted back and forth and he decided he liked the Cocobolo and Bocote one, so after our match he ended up with a new cue. After our match he decided to head back home to get back to work because he felt bad that his team was working the weekend and he wasn't in the trenches with them. Very noble.

    My next match was against John Smith, who I felt outplayed me, but I outbroke him and that might have been the difference. His one bad break where he scratched might have cost him the match. There was maybe one other ball he missed, but other than that I was impressed with how well both of us shot. John banked very well, and had a stroke when he needed it. Afterwards I learned a lot about their family history from his brother, and was very impressed again, as his brother is still an avid basketball player. I was also nearly brought to tears hearing about how they found out that their grandfather coached the original team that eventually became known as the Boston Celtics. I am not doing the story any justice at all. If you get a chance you need to hear it from his brother Richard.

    My next match was against Nick B again. At this point, I had already played Nick a few times. The first time was in Chicago where we gambled the first night. Then in the Chicago tourney he knocked me into the losers bracket. I played Nick in Memphis where he knocked me out of tourney. So you'd think I'd know how his game by now and would know how to play him. Well it didn't matter, because he shot me full of holes again, so now I'm 0-4 against him. See you in Memphis next year, Nick. I'm coming for you and I mean it, lol.

    After being knocked out Ben and I went to Steve's Price of Steaks and we both ordered the same Chicken Cheese Steak sandwich. Ben seems like he could have been my lost lost older brother, if I had such a thing. I wish Ben would move nearby so we could be best pals. I'm convinced I'd become a better golfer and pool player and would have another like minded old school soul to vent to about anything. When we got back to the pool room, he played a local for a bit and I was talking to another local about buying my last unsold cue. Afterwards we tried to get a partner game going, but settled for a Captain's game with Nick P. I probably played my best pool of the weekend, but still managed to make some good blunders here and there, which was pretty much normal for me. I really feel like I'm on the verge of cleaning up my game, if I could just get out and play a little more. Someday.

    Anyway after our Captains game it was time to pay more table time, say some goodbyes, and make my last commute. On the way home I almost had my first high speed accident as someone decided to fly (doing approx 100mph) up the right side of my brother in law's truck that I was driving, and cut me off when i was doing 75 in the left lane and about a half second away from passing up a car in the right lane. I have never had anyone do something to stupid and dangerous before. I had to slam on my breaks and the guy in the right lane started to slam on his breaks and then he quickly realized if he did he'd get hit harder, and he swerved right instead giving the guy just enough room to fit between our cars. I'm still astounded. But I made it home by about 3AM or just before.

    Family day. We went to a park, some some guys playing frisbee football or something, which was kind of neat to watch because they seemed really good at it, and they were taking it pretty serious. We went over our nieces house and sat outside by the fire table until about 11:30 and went back to where we were staying.

    I woke up early and went to Hearne Hardwood to scout some wood. After I got back, I packed my wood in the van, then went in for my other things, and we went to pick up our older two boys, or Bigs as we call then, who were staying at my niece's house. Then we made the trip home. I drove the whole way, but it was stressful drive. One of our younger two boys, or the Littles as wel call then, was crying or being loud while the other was sleeping, then they swapped roles. It rained nearly the entire trip. I was tired most of the way, so I was trying to constantly eat something to keep me alert enough to drive safely. Mission accomplished. Over and out.

  • #2
    My Bluegrass Report

    I almost forget to write about going to dinner with Jason and Nick at Las Margaritas. Jason and I got to play two games then our tummies started growling, so we got Nick to come to dinner. Anyway I was a pain in the rear end and made everyone bring their cues in the restaurant to avoid heat damage, lol, so Nick had to sit next to 4 cue cases. Coincidence would have it that our waiter would have been the go to guy if any of us needed a shaft treatment.


    • #3
      Really nice work on your cues Mark!! You obviously have that perfectionist drive that seems to be necessary as a cue maker. It is very neat that we get to "accompany" you on your cue making journey!

      And yes I got that story about John's family history too from his brother -- which as long as I have known John, he never talked about that before. The Celtics connection was very cool, but those Smith brothers sure had it tough in their early years, its no wonder I didn't hear that from John.
      "One Pocket, it's an epidemic and there ain't no cure."
      -- Strawberry Brooks


      • #4
        My Bluegrass Report

        Mark your memory is impressive. Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you had a good trip here. And yes I was loving our golf outing. Seeing you drive the ball over 300 yards was a highlight of the weekend. Lol. Just awesome. Plus shooting a 37 after 8 was a new low for me. At least until that 8 on 9 😂. You should be proud of your cues. Mine is gorgeous! I am looking forward to shooting with it some more, so thank you again! See you soon hopefully.
        Mitch needs to remember to play the score and that it's better to win than to look like a hero.


        • #5
          mark it was great to meet you and you dont look anything like your avatar. LOL
          your cues are gorgeous and play great.
          look forward to getting mine....
          great report


          • #6
            Nice write up Mark, thanks for sharing!


            • #7
              Lol, Mark if we lived close to each other our better half’s would not be happy with all the golf and pool that we would be playing. I am going to try and resurrect my account in Youngstown so I can come up play.


              • #8
                Great write up, Mark. I enjoyed sparing with you very much, you are an excellent player who thinks and executes well every shot. And, I cannot say enough praise about your cue building, your cues are beatiful and I wish you the best moving forward w/everything.



                • #9
                  Good to see you Mark. I like the cue and my wife said it's the best looking one out of the way-too-many cues that I have!

                  You are shooting well these days, too! Next time I'll have to get a game or 3 off of you.
                  "LOL ... judging by your shot selections you play good" -- Hacker, September 29, 2015.


                  • #10
                    My Bluegrass Report

                    Thanks guys. I forgot to mention that Kentucky let me commentate with him during one of the matches. I always enjoy discussing shots live like that. I didn’t get to watch any of the streams. Are the matches saved or no?


                    • #11
                      My Bluegrass Report

                      Originally posted by youngstownkid View Post
                      Thanks guys. I forgot to mention that Kentucky let me commentate with him during one of the matches. I always enjoy discussing shots live like that. I didn’t get to watch any of the streams. Are the matches saved or no?

                      Yes I believe they are on YouTube for posterity.
                      Mitch needs to remember to play the score and that it's better to win than to look like a hero.