Friday, March 14, 2003
World-renowned billiards icon Nick Varner sized up the greens at Hood River Billiards on Tuesday, treating the locals to a full day of fun and learning.
Varner, who has won world championships in five disciplines — 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool, bank and one pocket — spent the entire day sharing his experiences and expertise with Gorge-area billiards aficionados.
He taught a three-hour clinic in the afternoon and held an exhibition in the evening, giving Hood River a glimpse of what the world’s most recognizable pool player is all about.
“It’s fun for me because I like to give people an opportunity they don’t get all the time,” said Varner, a Florida resident who is playing in a tournament in Renton, Wash., this weekend.
“The players I have met here are very interested in improving their games, and I’m happy to show them what I know,” he said.
Approximately 65 people turned out to Hood River Billiards Tuesday evening for Varner’s exhibition, and owner Cristy Barsky was ecstatic.
“The exhibition was a tremendous success,” she said. “A lot of people told me it was the most fun they’ve had in a while, and we were all amazed and awed by Nick’s demonstrations.”
Varner took 22 challenge matches — losing just two — and put on an hour-and-a-half trick shot show that Barsky called “truly extraordinary.”
“People were cheering and stomping their feet,” she said. “He was pulling off shots that many of us had never seen before.”
Barsky said Varner was signing autographs until 11:30 p.m. and he felt very welcome in Hood River. Varner said he likes to promote the sport in any way he can, and he may even return in the future.
“I haven’t lost my enthusiasm for the game after all these years,” he said. “I still really enjoy it and I love to share whatever I can with people who are intent on improving their games.”
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"The tangled skirt" opens run at unique venue
Director Judie Hanel presents the Steve Braunstein play “The Tangled Skirt” in an unusual theatrical setting, River Daze Café. Here, Bailey Brice (Bruce Howard) arrives at a small town bus station and has a fateful encounter with Rhonda Claire (Desiree Amyx Mackintosh). Small talk turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse and both seek advantage. The actors present the story as a staged reading in the café, where large windows and street lights lend themselves to the bus station setting, according to Hanel. Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1. (There is no Friday performance.) Tickets available at the door or Waucoma Bookstore: $15 adults, $12 seniors and children under 15. No children under 9. Enlarge