Mose Duane (Baker) I was introduced to the world of pool at the local Boy's Club in Columbus, Indiana at an impressionable age of ten or so. They had one 9-foot table that was always in desperate need of repairs because no one seemed willing or capable of doing the work. Imagine a ten-year-old even considering the lack of maintenance on anything, let alone a game he was just introduced to. But there I was, learning to play on a table with more ruts and valleys than a golf course. In spite of that, I learned enough about playing during those early years to later hustle the game when I was in the army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and then in College at Indiana University. After three years in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne division (1962-1965) jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and working on Huey helicopters, I married, had two daughters then attended Indiana University's School of Business in Bloomington, Indiana. In 1972, my then partner and lifelong friend "Indy" and I opened a twenty-five-table poolroom we called The Velvet Rail in Columbus, Indiana. With the guidance of old timers like Art Schmidt of A.E. Schmidt Billiards, Paul Huebler of Huebler Cues, Gordon Hart of Viking Cues, BCA hall of fame inductee Minnesota Fats, and a local pool player named Fred Perry, Indy and I were quickly educated on the important phases of the pool industry: playing, table maintenance, self-control of being self-employed, and of course hustling the game. It was a crash course of on-the-job-training. I later earned a degree from Scottsdale College which included several courses in creative and article writing. I stayed with pool, though, first in Indiana and then over twenty-five years in Arizona. I have made or refurbished hundreds of tables, and have moved, re-covered, re-cushioned, and refinished literally thousands of others in those years. I can look at a table and tell its general history including how many nuts, bolts, and screws it takes to hold it together. Pool is a game of which I have made a profession. It has been good to me, and I remain in the service and repair business in Arizona, and continue to play. Now that I had twenty-five (plus) years of pool and pool table knowledge, I felt obligated to give something back. When I entered the business, there were no instruction manuals of any kind available, so my contribution then are my books. They can cut, if not hours, days, or months, then certainly years, off the learning curve of anyone inclined to follow their instructions. Enjoy.
Connelly 9' Pool Table As for the pool table in the desert. Craig Connelly (founder of Connelly Billiard Manufacturing) was kind enough to lend me the table and an employee, Blaine Martin. Blaine and I hauled the pieces to the desert and set up the table for the picture on the cover of Playing Winning Pool. Sadly, no games were played on it.