Pool Hall Wisdom
Someone once said, “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” or those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
So, I remember from the past when I was a kid our town had a pool hall. It was a great place to play pool or pinball, eat the best hamburger or chili around and socialize. The old (old to me) farmers and businessmen in the area came in for coffee, lunch, supper, play cards and pool. They sat around solving world problems and there was no shortage of wisdom in that Hoosier pool room. I don’t remember even one heated argument getting out of hand. A kid could get a good education of common sense in that old place that is now closed up.
The old school is closed up where we got a good dose of common sense along with the three R’s reading, writing and arithmetic. It wasn’t a nine mile walk in the winter to school but close 🙂 and we did walk. The old personal attention businesses like the barber shop, watch repair, TV repair, dress shop, doctors office are all gone too. There was at one time three gas stations in a town of about 400, now there’s just one gas station.
When I started legally driving and had to pay for my own gas it was between $.19 to $.32 a gallon depending on where or what gas war was going on. I say legally because I had driven a 49 Ford truck (stick shift) since I was about 10 or 11 yrs old and had my first motorcycle at 12 or 13. I got that motorcycle (Honda 50 step through) brand new from my dad who had borrowed the money from me to buy a bull to breed his two cows. He didn’t have the cash to buy the bull and I had saved all my paper route money. My paper route was at the largest probably 50 – 60 customers and the paper was $.35 a week. That’s no bull but did earn enough to buy one. For doing a good job the paper route usually yielded about $90 in cash at Christmas from the customers.
Kids then had chores to do without an allowance, as well as in my case a paper route and working at the IGA or helping granddad mowing his yard. If you wanted something expensive you saved up your money and bought it. We also earned money trapping, hunting ginseng or saved money by eating food we hunted for in the woods or fished in streams or hit with the car. The bull story was another way to get food, money or a motorcycle. By the way, yes, as kids we owned guns but never touched them except to go hunting or clean them. That reminds me we also never had locked doors or windows or cars because we didn’t have a booger man or robber man.
You might say well modern times are better now since we are more civilized, technologically advanced, etc. My reply is really, well, bull cookies. Look around – is it really better? What we need is to remember the past, repeat some of it that was good, and put up another pool hall where we can get world problems solved with common sense socializing face to face. We’ve had enough pussyfooting around teaching kids about drugs, filth and depravity, expanding into big is better mentality, avoiding church & family, minimizing the 3 R’s as school subjects instead of whatever it is being taught between all the holidays and days off.
More Old School Common Sense
My advice to kids, put down the cellphone, you’ll live without it, hang out with old farmers, reputable business owners, or in a pinch your grandparents & parents. They may not be receptive right away thinking you may just want their car when they kick the bucket but be nice, it will be a new experience for both sides. The good old pool room & small school may be gone but there is a wealth of common sense historical information at your nearest old relatives. Don’t roll your eyes if you want to learn history from them because you might get what we got for it deservedly so. The latest rapper or person with rap sheet is not a good source of information to live by even if they do have millions of hits.