Note: Thanks, Marian Fuchs, for this great piece.
It’s a fairly sure bet that there are some residents who do not know about a little gem of a room nestled behind some glass cases, behind the library. The room has a good carpet, some rather inappropriate autumn-leaf wallpaper, and, as of 18 August 2017, a new piece of equipment as lovely in its way as our new grand piano in the auditorium.
What’s the place and what’s the new addition?
The place is the Billiards Room, and the new addition is a magnificent pool table that has to be seen to be believed. Go see for yourself!
The table replaces an old one, purchased a decade and a half ago with funds from the woodshop and the hill top garden. Curtis Langford coordinated choosing and purchasing the table. After 14 years of use, the table needed refurbishing as the rubber on the banks hardened and the cloth wore in ways that the balls no longer rolled true. The regular players, both from the men’s games and the women’s games, got together to identify and fund a replacement. The Woodshop provided the bulk of the funds; a handful of residents added to the total, and the old table got a $700 trade in.
The installation was a critical element, according to Bill Colby. Two highly skilled men worked for five hours to put the table together. Two hours alone were required to level the three pieces of slate that form the table’s surface. The level the technician used was so sensitive that it detected a dollar bill under one end. The felt, railings, and pockets were added at the end.
There’s another surprise: the felt is blue. Research shows that blue is the best color for ‘old eyes’, and people with any vision problems. The table has carved legs, and its pockets are little works of art, replete with fringes and a patterned basket to catch the balls.
At the same time as getting a new table, the company who did the restoration included new balls (resin this time, instead of lighter plastic). Everything is in place for better games and matches!
.The table inauguration
Regular players and some friends gathered in the Pool Room at lunchtime on August 18 to inaugurate the new table. Marvell Adams was invited to make the first break at the table. He told the group that he was really nervous. Who wouldn’t be, when inaugurating something that cost almost $1700 after the trade in? Marvell made a good, hard shot, and the balls scattered all over the table.
Denny Klass, who arranged the inauguration, asked different people to speak about the evolution of billiards at Collington. Some of the old timers (Herb Anderson and Curtis Langford) remembered the struggles to keep the little room secure for pool. But now, Denny pointed out, playing was becoming more and more popular. About a dozen men play regularly, and in recent months a group of women (six to ten of them) have started playing. You can see some of the current players in the people line-up at the end of the article.
Denny also said that the table is a ‘magnet for grandchildren’, and explained that the players were putting together some rules for play by teenagers. The group is looking for more growth; you are invited to visit, look, and stay to play! Most of the current players had not played for many years before they came to Collington, and several are learning the game for the first time.
Who are the current players?
Here are just some of them, and they’re waiting to welcome you.