When I was in my early 30’s, I was stationed in a New Hampshire. I’ve told of my love of the game of pool back then. One of the best things that came from that was meeting D and LF. I’ve never been one of those people that became a bar regular. However, when I was stationed in N.H. I used to go to the NCO club every now and then. There were many areas to the club, but the one I would go to was called the dirt bar. It was basically just a bar with tables and a room off the bar that had one pool table. Pool had been my passion as a teenager, but I had not picked up a stick to play in years. A friend and I went to the dirt bar one night and the room with the pool table was packed. I looked inside and saw a man that was smartly dressed and his wife who could have walked into any dress occasion as she was. The man and his wife looked to be in their 50’s/40’s, and I figured the man was retired military. The man was on the table shooting a game against someone and I asked my friend who they were. He told me they were regulars in the club and that D was probably the best pool shooter in the place. I wasn’t really looking to shot any pool, but I had told my friend before how much I used to play, so he talked me into putting my name on the board.
My time came up and I said hello to both of them and started the game. To cut things short, I ran the table on him. I could tell D was mad that he lost the game, but he was very polite and congratulated me. His wife (LF) came over and started talking to me. Between the next games I was playing, D, LF and I were talking. I found out that D had met LF in London when he was stationed there. However, LF had the most amazing history. Her father was a Chinese diplomat to Russia before WWII. He met and married a Russian girl while there. LF said her father saw how things were going when WWII started and got his family out of there to England. Years later she met and married D in London. LF was a beautiful woman in her late 40’s. She had such a lovely English accent and she dressed all the time like she was going to some sort of high society thing. It was really something to see someone so refined and dressed in an NCO club in the dirt bar. However, LF had fallen in love with the game of pool. She always wanted to learn and play.
Over time D, LF and I became very good friends. As I said before, I’ve never been one for going to bars, but for one time in my life that dirt bar was like a second home. I would usually come in and go straight to the sign up board and put my name down. By the time I got back to the bar the bartenders would already have my drink ready without me ever saying a word to them. I got to know everyone that frequented the place by first name, and when D and I would be on the pool table I can remember always having a crowd watching us play.
Anyway, D, LF and I spent a lot of time together. I was living in the dorm back then, and they would have me over to their house all the time. Matter of fact, the first time I learned to water ski was when they took me up to a cabin on a big lake in Maine. We used to go up there with their other friends and have a blast. But mostly I remember that dirt bar and the pool table where we three had so much fun.
One of the things I noticed while in the military was that from all the moving around, you make good friends, but a lot of times after you’re gone to a new base, you loose them. When I was transferred back to Germany and over time, D, LF and I lost contact. However, I look back at that place and time and think of how wonderful it was. Not only because of where I was, but because even though it was short and fleeting, there were two such good people that had counted me as their friend.