Memories of Grandfather’s Billiard Room

Memories of Grandfather’s Billiard Room

I always loved that my Grandfather had a billiard room in his home. I used to spend a lot of time with him when I was young. He taught me to “shoot stick”, as he called it, when I was maybe 8 years old.

My Grandparents would entertain quite frequently, and they would regularly invite some of their closest friends over for a banquet and cocktails. Their gatherings would often run into the wee hours, by which time I was expected to be sleeping. I would usually spend an hour or so reading each night, but nights like those were too exciting to miss out on. Honestly, how could they expect me to sleep with all that activity going on downstairs?

After dinner, Grandmother would be in the parlor room having tea and chatting with the other ladies. Grandfather and his guests would retire to the billiard room or the “lounge” as he liked to call it. The odd time I would sneak out of bed, and sit on the staircase just listening to all the activity and laughter. The gents smoked cigars, sipped brandy, and talked about whatever older men talked about back then. Snooker was the game of choice.

The “lounge” was a gorgeous and stately room. It had sixteen foot ceilings with stunning plaster moldings. The walls were covered with some of the finest oak I have ever seen, and there were vast bookcases built into them. Along one wall was a beautifully carved bar, and behind that a seemingly endless supply of spirits. Grandfather kept his phonograph in there, along with his prized collection of jazz records.

One night it was rather late and, again, I was unable to sleep. So I got out of bed and got dressed in my Sunday best. I ventured downstairs and made my way into the “lounge” as though I were one of the guests. When he finally noticed me, Grandfather seemed so completely bemused by the sight before him. He welcomed me into the lounge as though I were his long lost friend, and asked if I would be interested in “shooting some stick”. “Aye! Rack ‘em up, Pops!” I exclaimed.

We played a quick game, which I am sure he let me win, and when I finished my tea I went back up to bed. That is truly one of the fondest memories of my youth. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of that dear, sweet man. Not a day goes by that I don’t “shoot some stick”.

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