Publication:

Tri-County Vanguard - 2021-11-24

Data:

A little bit of grandpere in my son

OPINION

TINA COMEAU tina.comeau@saltwire.com @SaltWire Network

So I've always had a pool table in my house. When I was a kid living at my parents' house, my dad had a table. He would play on it all of the time. I would play on it occasionally. Sometimes we'd play together. The pool table was a big deal. He even held tournaments in our basement – trophies and all. He won many of those trophies, but not because the tournament was rigged. He was just really good. He also played in tournaments elsewhere, usually with his buddies in Clare. When my friends came over, the pool table was a big draw. A lot of times, as kids, though, we wouldn't use pool sticks. Instead, we'd stand around the table next to “our pocket,” pushing the balls across the table in a race – the aim being to get rid of all of your balls first by putting them in other people's pockets. It was a tad bit different from the game my dad played. When my husband and I built our home, he bought a pool table. My dad helped to set it up. And so, the tradition of a pool table in my basement continued. Again, I played from time to time. When our boys were born, as they got older, they played from time to time too. In their teenage years, they played more when their friends came over. As for me, whenever I played now, it was usually with one of my kids. Unlike my dad, I was never going to win any tournaments. At my parents' house – now ‘grandmere and grandpere's house' to my kids – my sons would play pool with their grandpere, becoming the next generation to use the table. But as the years went on, most of the time – at both my house and mom and dad's house – the pool tables sat idle. No one played that much anymore. The tournaments were a very distant memory. But about a year ago at home, my son Justin started asking me more and more, “Want to play a game of pool?” And so, he and I started using the table again. We often play a best two-out-ofthree series. He usually wins, but I'm usually good enough to at least force a Game 3. Recently, he and I were playing one evening. As we were playing, I was struck by how good he is. He was gently tapping balls into the pockets. He was forcefully sending them down the other end of the table hard, almost always hitting their mark. One shot he made, I still can't figure out how he pulled off. All the while was this was going on, I was thinking to myself, it's like he has some Grandpere Alain (my dad) in him. The other thing I noticed time and time again was the way he was holding his stick. It was quite professional. After a while I told him, “You're a very good pool player.” He held his stick and mimicked taking a shot, telling me, “Grandpere taught me how to hold the stick.” He explained holding it this particular way made your shot more accurate. He would have been taught this by his grandpere many, many years ago. But now here he was, playing pool just like my dad – in a basement of a house he was living in, just like his mom. I thought to myself, “Yes, he does have some grandpere in him.” And it made me smile, as I once again accepted defeat.

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