Ten years of good times

Like most people I played a bit of pool if there was time to kill and a table in a bar somewhere. I was never particularly great at it, but I enjoyed the game. Until I moved out West I never really had time to play on a regular basis in a league, plus for many years I worked all over the place and seldom would be able to make a regular playing time.

No question that the Okanagan is truly a four season playground and there’s so much to do at every time of the year. Although the winters are mild, it gets dark by four o’clock so most activities like skiing are reserved for the week-ends. I started looking for things to do in the winter. I signed up to play racquetball in a Tuesday night league. Most Thursdays I went to the Corral to dance. The only thing that appealed to me on a Monday was the local pool bar league.

I knew I had a lot to learn so I started off slowly, sparing for my friend Laura’s team. I lost more games than I won but I had a lot of fun and met some great people along the way. There was about fifty teams representing various bars from Winfield (now Lake Country) to Westbank (now West Kelowna).  There were five people on every team, mixed men and women and you each played three games. I don’t remember which team I first played on as a regular member, but over the years I played for a lot of different bars. Eventually I organized my own team, I think for McCulloch’s bar. It was nice to play with the same group of people every week.

One year I spent way too much time building the club’s website and maintaining the stats. Between managing my own team, playing every week and keeping the website up-to-date it sure filled up my time. At one point I got a little tired of playing with lousy bar cues and invested in my own, which did more to improve my game than anything. I started playing a lot better and became more competitive. I still remember the thrill of my first game that I ran all the balls off my first shot. I never did it again.

When I moved to Panama and went to Amigo’s bar I was happy to see a pool table, that is, until I played on it. There were more divots in the table than on a golf course and level is an unknown concept in Panama. I did meet a lot of Expats and locals and we always had fun.

I had hoped to get into a league here in London, but without a car it’s hard to get around, plus the budget is too tight to spend a night in a bar or pay league fees. My ex and I did play once and a while, but she said I was too competitive for her, which actually meant she hated to get beat so often.