THE EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT
THE EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT
After a terrible financial year Christmas is once more just around the corner. The decision was made to
go for a joint present …. and of course after all Brenda’s research it has to be the pool table! NO more
the token female competitor, she is moving into the league BIG TIME !
A very wet drive through Utah
With negotiations completed on the phone on a bleak and dreary Friday November 13th we set off on
the 420 miles round trip to Grand Junction. It rains, perhaps pours would be a better description, as we
cross the border into Utah and head north via Moab to I70. They have almost completed the road works
at Monticello, well done everybody! Only two years to resurface the T junction. Well at least we can get a
move on down the freeway but then amid the slashing rain there is a lane closure with “Be prepared to
Stop” signs. Flashing lights everywhere and the entire force of Utah State Troopers with at least 40
police cars with all their lights on. Yes, they are stopping everybody with big trucks re-routed through a
rest area and the rest of us stopped on the freeway itself. Our turn comes and a very wet Trooper wants
to see my driving licence, not entirely sure what they, or who, they are looking for but after asking me if I
had been drinking we are waved on our way. A little early for me as its only 1130 !
By 1 o’clock we meet up with the table owner and the table in its golf club setting. Seems the club has
been sold and everything must go so that is why we got a good deal. 2 hours of dismantling and by 3
we have it all in pieces and loaded in the back of the Cadi.
Rails off, whats next ?
No power in the “sold” golf course 19th hole
The quest for lunch is next and we partake of a less than perfect Chinky in Delta. Another 20 miles
down the road and time to stop at Russel Stover’s chocie factory again and stock up on more goodies.
Getting dark now the journey continues in the rain and of course its getting colder! As we leave
Ridgeway and set off up the hill the snow starts and in no time we are in blizzard conditions and the
white stuff is settling on the roads. By the time we get to the top of the pass its a complete whiteout and
I’m crawling along at 20 mph handling all the controls like eggs. Eventually the long twisting 10 mile
downhill is over and we are back in rain again and the roads are clear.
A brief respite as we climb out of Placerville and wind our way through Sawpit and the long climb up to
Telluride. The snow has passed through and its pretty but exceedingly treachorous. Up through
Mountain Village and the crawl up and down the hills and over the Lizard. A nice glaze in the headlights
as we creep down into Rico and stop for a quickie “splash & dash” as fuel is on the low side. Temps
are down at 27F but soon start rising topping out at 35F as we pass through Stoner and then its back
to rain again for the last 20 miles.
Saturday morning and between showers I manage to get most of the hardware into the downstairs
lodge room prior to humping it all upstairs. Survey of the route means taking down my Lancaster oil
painting as a precaution before shoving the 7 foot frame through the canvas on the staircase. Upstairs
furniture is on the move, yet more dog hair vaccummed up and the table’s final resting place decided
on. Now its starting to snow and the forecast is 4-12 inches. The frame and legs make it upstairs
without too much effort and we didn’t hit the wall plaster once!
32 carriage bolts all located and tightened and time to do a “walkaround” with a cue and see how
the freedom to play will be. Don’t want any precious ornaments and keepsakes getting the “whooops!”
The 3 pieces of slate are carefully brought in and wend their way upstairs and once the jig saw has
been solved they are screwed in and we are done for today. Time to go drinking and play some pool
on the Hollywood tables as its Saturday afternoon and competition time!
Waxing and levelling
It snows all afternoon and as we slither our way home its now settling and we could see quite a bit by
morning. Sunday, and now time to finish the task. Brenda drips candle wax in all the bolt holes and
seams and scrapes off all the residue while I collect spirit levels and squares prior to putting the cloth
and rails back on. Lifting the table to adjust the level pops the wax and we have to go through the whole
process again! This time we are level and on goes the felt. Little bit of a puzzle getting the pockets and
rails squared up but eventually all the technical bits are sorted and the last 18 rail bolts are secured,
now some back breaking misery under the table rivetting the pocket leathers securely into the base.
Drrrruuuuum! ready to play
Out with the balls from their o’night cleaning in the dish washer………….? well these are novel!……. don’t
wash billiard balls in the dish washer unless you want some strange colored eggs!
NEVER wash your balls in the dishwasher!!!
A used billiard ball man lives in town and 20 mins later we have another set and play begins. It works
and will provide many hours of pleasure and hopefully our games will improve with the extra free
practice, and for every 10 games we play we have saved $7.50 so there is some mileage in the
As they say at Wimbledon…… “New Balls Please”
Finally a little helmet moouse to clean the felt and put up the cue rack for all the house cues, spider
and the shortie pokers for the difficult shots.