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Story by Jonathan Saxon
Photos by Sarah Ann Jump
It’s Monday night in Huntingburg, and while most business choose to shutter at this time, Ron’s Place has a barroom full of folks gathered around its three pool tables. Jamie Smock walks up to one of the tables to start his night.
Smock sets up his shot, sinks the solid yellow 1-ball and follows with four more balls in quick succession. He pauses for a second to figure out how to deal with the solid purple 4-ball, which he knocks into the corner pocket. He goes right back to the same corner pocket to sink the solid blue 2-ball. Now only the 8-ball is left. He lines up his shot and banks the 8-ball off a cushion before it lands in the opposite side pocket. It looks like a cool shot, but unfortunately it didn’t go into the pocket he called, which lost him the game. Smock walks over and shakes his opponent’s hand, who jokes that he didn’t even have to shoot this game.
The players gathered at Ron’s are not a bunch of random barflies who decided to pick up pool cues on a whim. They are, instead, members of the Dubois County Pool League, and gather at Ron’s, JR’s Bar in Jasper and Oasis Bar & Grill in Ferdinand on Monday nights for competition and fellowship that only a cue ball can provide. The league’s teams rotate among the three venues depending on the schedule, which runs from September to March. The league also has a summer session that runs from May through July.