Last Chance Tour Revived
December 31, 2022

It was raining, rained all night, rained all morning, it was wet. But, being the intrepid T driver that I am, I was determined to take a T on the Last Chance Tour. Hanging on to my umbrella, I opened the doors to our barn where we keep our '26 truck (the logical choice because it has glass windows and a windshield wiper). The truck looks ready to go but as I glance down at my feet, I am sinking into the mud just outside the door. This begs the question: It is downhill out of the barn, but uphill into the barn, once out of the barn, do I think I can get back in? Mud slipperier than cat poo, and a young stream to cross to get on the driveway. I must be getting old, I closed the door and went in and got the Bronco keys. I like the Bronco on rainy days, got a lot of metal around me and it is a Ford.

And so we gathered at the appointed meeting place, 5 modern cars, all snug with heaters, windshield wipers, ABS braking, and good headlights. It was a very uneventful tour down to the Last Chance Restaurant in Santa Clara where we merged with eight more modern cars and one Model A (kudos to Dan Smith for driving a vintage Model A truck). This restaurant is interesting, the interior décor never changes, it has a couple Corsairs painted on one wall with big rotating propellers, and two pool tables. I don't think they ever close. The owner/cook was happy to see us, we were last there pre-pandemic in 2019, and he thought we might cancel because of the rain. He did have a little problem though, two helpers called in sick, and so he recruited his wife to cover the counter. We all placed our orders and proceeded to kibitz while he worked on them. We had 28 people who braved the elements, lots of chitchat. As we munched on lunch, I recruited four teams for Pool: the Meneely/Bhirdo Mashers, the Young Beach/Younger Beach Beach Boys, the Alens/Blaze Hotsticks, and Madam Pres/Thomas Mercurio (guest ringer).

In the Semi-final matches, at the first table, the Mashers were on the verge of winning, easy shot to sink the eight ball, and the eight ball was sunk, followed by the cue ball, awarding the win to Madam Pres and Co. At the second table, the Beach Boys outshot the Hotsticks to advance to an all Beach final. As the Championship game began, a botched break by the Beach Boys gave Madam Pres and Co a chance to do the break at close range. I won't say who took the shot, but the break was made (by her), and one ball went into the corner pocket followed by the cue ball. Game over after only two shots!! The Championship Buttons were awarded to the Beach Boys. We have a dynasty here, Justin Beach has been on the winning team in 2018, 2019 and 2022 (no Last Chance Tour in 2020 or 2021).

Last Chance Tour was fun as usual, we should do it again next year. (Says the losers at Pool).

Bob Meneely

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Photos provided by Bob Meneely