Area pool players headed to Vegas |

Area pool players headed to Vegas

“Well, ya got trouble, my friend. Right here, I say trouble right here in River City. With a capital “T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stands for ‘pool'” – with apologies to The Music Man.

To say billiards is a passion for many local people would be an understatement. It may be closer to the truth to say it is a way of life.

Bruce Bauldridge of Aspen Amusement Services has been operating his retail coin machine business which includes billiard tables for 25 years. He has been a longtime member, supporter and president of the Valley National Eight-ball Association (VNEA).

The OH-Shoot women’s team and the Homeboys men’s team competed in the Rocky Mountain VNEA team tournament Feb. 13-15 at Crown Plaza Motel in Denver. Both teams came home with first-place trophies. Most of the team members will head to the International Championships in Las Vegas in May.

Homeboy member Michael O’Connor of New Castle says, “It’s enjoyable, it’s a feeling of accomplishment. The greatest thing is when you can teach what you know and have somebody succeed you, that’s the goal of being an instructor. There’s lots of talent out there. I’m too old to be good, the young eyes win out usually.”

To become a certified billiard instructor, O’Connor attended a school in Las Vegas. One of his pieces f advice is to not go out and purchase a $500 cue, but to sign up for lessons.

O’Connor owns OC Billiards, which sells, repairs and installs billiard tables. He estimates perfect installations are usually done in two stages, and generally take about eight hours to install.

The league always needs players, so people interested in joining a league may call Bruce Bauldridge at 963-1299 or O’Connor at 984-2070.

Patti’s Main Street Coffeehouse in New Castle is featuring “Dream~Story Collage” art work by Kelley Cox for the month of March. The 20 pieces which are hanging are named “Poetic Chaos.”

Patti’s Coffeehouse is open every day except Mondays, and closes at 2 p.m.

Stop by from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, and get to know Kelley.

The next Burning Mountain Festival and New Castle Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at Patti’s Main Street Coffee House. Anyone with ideas and who would like to volunteer may attend. Call 963-4882 with questions.

Kay Vasilakis’ “New Castle News ” column appears every other Thursday. To contact her with local news tips and inspirations, call 384-9118 or e-mail

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