Joe Bill Priff, was the guy who lit the way for me. One of the best One Pocket players to have ever come through the Ozarks.
We called him Big Joe, on account of his weight. Some say he tipped the scales at over four hundred pounds, but I think it was closer to five. In any event, he was an imposing figure around a pool table.
One afternoon, while playing some cheap One Pocket with a fellow from down near Granby, Joe reached out for a shot, when he should have used a crutch, and got stuck on the head rail with his quarter ton body teetering half on, and half, off the table.
In only a few seconds time John's face began turning red, and in a few seconds more he was turning blue. All stretched out like that he was evidently not getting enough air to breath. Well, we all went into a panic.
One guy yelled out: "Call and ambulance!"
Another one hollered: "What's the phone number for the Fire Department?"
A guy in the back said: "Dial 911".
The other guy shouted: "I can't find nine-hundred and eleven on the damn telephone."
Finally, the manager came over, sized up the situation, and told two of the boys to crawl up on the table and push up on Joe's chin and shoulders. He instructed three others to push down, as hard as they could, on Joe's legs. "And", he said, "be quick about boys. He's a turning gray!"
Back and forth they pushed, and I swear I've never heard such grunting and groaning in all my life, until finally he came unstuck and dropped to the floor.
When he came too, Joe's eyes were as big as saucers. "Whew!", he said, after catching his breath. "I thought I was a goner."
After a couple of minutes. "So tell me. Did I make the shot?"