Today we have story number 2 in my ‘Tell me your story” collection. It’s the story of Kat and Carl. A story that reminds us all that life is short, but love is forever. Thank you Kat I know it was not easy to share this story with us. Kat blogs at redsoxlady35
Kat and Carl met at a pool tournament in the autumn of 1992 when both of then was with other people but that’s okay they couldn’t stand each other anyway. He thought women should stay at home or work, but not go hang out at the tavern’s and play pool and have a few beers and she thought he was a blow hard man who hated women.
But they soon learned they were both very wrong.
Kat knew Carl’s wife Annmarie, everyone called her Marie, who worked out on the base where Kat had a job teaching the Air Force guys a class they needed to graduate from school. Marie was very nice. She and Kat became friends who went to lunch and took in a movie sometimes. All in all it was nice, even if Carl was involved on occasions. Kat and Carl still saw each other playing pool, for different teams, and then Marie and Carl moved to Atlanta where Carl had a job remodeling some homes and a big motel there.
In 1996 Carl and Marie moved back to town, and Kat isn’t working at the base anymore, but at a small grocery store near base, and Marie calls into the store to see if we can cash her payroll check that afternoon. She comes in to the store and Kat is on duty and they are both happy to see each other again. Four days later Carl comes into the store to get his cigars and Kat is on duty again. They talk but not like with Marie. She tells him that she is glad that him and Marie are back and he said Thanks. Later that evening Kat is sitting at the tavern and she hears Marie. She looks up through the mirror and there is Marie and Carl walking in the door and he has his pool stick and she has to play him tonight and he is running his mouth as usual about being better than anybody in there in pool.
My friend who I’m sitting with puts his hand on my arm and tells me save it for tonight, and make the 8 on the break that will shut him up quick. So when we got ready for the game that night it was my job to get the line up and collect the money from the visiting team (even though the team was from the same place, they were playing away) I got their line up, got their money and started to walk off and Carl said to me “I bet you a beer I beat you tonight.” I looked at my friend sitting at the bar and he smiled at me and shook his head, and my reply was “You’re on.” Marie asked Carl “what are you doing, don’t you know she won the shoot-out this last year and there were 500 people playing and she got first.” So he replied.
So we started playing by the time it was mine and Carl’s turn to play I had already won 3 for 3 of my games and he had too. So going into the game we were even 3 to 3, so someone had to lose, and one had to win. I got to flip for the break and I won the break, that meant he had to rack the balls. So he racked, told me good luck and I broke the balls. The cue ball hit the first ball, broke the balls apart and the balls start falling into the pockets….the cue hit the left side of the table slowly rolling toward the side pocket on the right side and the 8 ball was sitting just a little off of the center of the pocket but the cue hit the ball on the side it needed to and knocked it in and I WON!!!!! I shook his hand, told him good game, and headed for my teams table to high five everyone…and to talk with my friend sitting at the bar..I told him it was what he said at the beginning that made me make the 8 on the break. Carl was mad cause I won all 5 of my games and he only won 4 that night, because I beat him, but he did buy me a beer.
After that when he saw that I was playing pool he never got mouthing at the beginning of the game, and he was a lot more pleasant to me too. I think between making the 8 on the break, and his wife Marie, he learned a new respect for women on the pool table, and learned that we can play pool or darts or anything else that men can do…not always better just the same.
In 1997 his wife Marie died of problems due to her diabetes and he was really broken up. I didn’t know cause I hadn’t seen either one of them in a while, because my shift at work changed, so I didn’t see them a lot because of it. But I had moved closer to some friends, in fact I was staying in their garage apartment for a while, and Carl wasn’t living to far from me, but I didn’t know that.
Anyway when I got off of work one night I went to the Missile Club to have a cold one before I went home and get on the internet and write for the night. So I took my pool stick out of my truck and went in, ordered a beer, and sat at the table in the corner near the pool table. Dave brought me my beer, I paid him, got quarters from him, walked over put my quarters on the table and started watching the game. I don’t know how long I was there before I felt someone starring at me so I started looking around and Carl was sitting across from me at another table.
I said “you can join me if you want, I’m waiting for my turn to play pool.”
He asked me “Do they know how you play…
“I said “yeah most of them have played against me in pool tournaments so yeah they do.”
So he got up, walked over toward the table, put his quarters on the table and brought his beer to sit with me at my table. Then in a short while we had a whole table with people sitting there visiting with us. People I hadn’t seen in a while. When I asked Carl how Marie was, cause like I said I hadn’t seen him or her in awhile, you could have heard a pin drop, because the whole place got quiet even the jukebox stop playing..
He told me she had died and been gone for about 3 months…
“I’m so sorry I didn’t know.”
He just shook it off but I could tell that I upset him. We started playing pool again. When last call was called I knew I needed to go home, but a few of them was going out to breakfast. I said that I don’t know, I have already put my foot in my mouth tonight, I don’t really want to do anything crazy or stupid again. I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned and it’s Carl.
He said “Please go I want to eat cause I’m hungry and I really want you to go too.”
I said “but you don’t even like me..”
He started laughing and said “What makes you say that?”
“Because of the way you act around me…Mr I know it all better than Women..”
He said, “No I really think you are alright.”
I turn to tell Terry I guess I will be going. Two weeks later we were dating and then we got married in August of 2000.
On May 30, 2012 he passed into the day at 6.45 AM and it was the hardest thing I had to do beside bury my Mom and 2 of my babies that were born still born.
Kat’s blog is Redsoxlady35