Sam Fels on George Fels
"I don't know if I could tell what exactly what the charm was for George and pool. It always felt like he was chasing something. When he would go to the pool room, be it Benzinger's or Chris's or points in between, I know part of it was the camaraderie. His friends were there, he didn't have to call anyone. He just knew he would be there. But he didn't necessarily play with them. He would, he didn't mind, but it didn't excite him. It was the same at home. He loved playing with his sons, but he didn't invite us to the table (unless of course we were in public, where he delighted in crushing us in front of an audience). He would be there, doing his drills or having to run his two racks before he could go to bed. There was something more to it. The perfect leave or the perfect run, which of course isn't attainable. I think that's why he loved writing about the game so much. To write about players who got to where he couldn't, or got there more regularly than he could. Maybe he couldn't find it or get there, but by writing about it he could feel it, at least be next to it.
Or maybe it was just the pursuit, knowing that there was no end goal. And maybe writing about it put him next to people who understood the pursuit, even if they didn't quite know it. It could be as simple as the game, the table was always there for George. No matter what was going on, and there were some rough times here and there, the table and the balls were there. And when they were in movement, nothing else mattered. There was just the pursuit. There was just the game, and it was a shelter. It brought him so much, and could shield him from more. Maybe that was it.
But knowing Dad, it could be something as simple as the sounds. It could be all of it. But that was George."
Bio: Sam Fels is a writer in Chicago, mostly covering the Hawks (Faxesfromuncledale.com) and the Cubs "(TheIvyDrip.com and Baseball Prospectus Wrigleyville). He doesn't get to the table as much as he'd like, and when he does he can constantly hear his father telling him what a piss poor shot that was."