Re­mem­ber­ing Roger’s Rec Hall the way it was

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Sev­eral years ago my hus­band, Mar­shall Carlisle, wrote a let­ter (which was printed) about the life of Roger Koet­ter and a bit of his­tory about Roger’s Rec Hall. It re­minded me of my first visit to the Rec over 30 years ago.

My sis­ter, Liz, who was an ex­cel­lent pool player, was vis­it­ing and asked me if there was a real pool hall in town — not a cheesy quar­ter ta­ble. I said yes, but women don’t gen­er­ally go in there. It wasn’t for­bid­den or any­thing like that. Heck, there wasn’t even a women’s re­stroom.

This did not de­ter her one iota. So, in we go. You could have heard a pin drop. We played and she beat me like a yard dog. I de­clared de­feat and went to pay. Roger shook his head and did this hand mo­tion that meant “no charge.” From then on and un­til Roger passed away, I never had to pay.

I did have to pay for the beer.

A women’s re­stroom was even­tu­ally in­stalled and women be­came a com­mon and wel­come sight. I don’t know if any­one else got the deal I got, but as long as Roger was there I never paid a dime.

Roger was a kind, gen­tle giant. I feel hon­ored and grate­ful to have known him. He is missed by so many of us. Yes, I still visit the Rec from time to time. It’s changed a lot, but you (or at least, I) can feel his pres­ence. JOY LONG Fayetteville

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