Lucille Powell proved it’s never too late to take up a new hobby.
Powell’s hobby was playing pool and her billiards home was the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Clovis. She took up the game in 1966, when she was 55 years old.
Powell, a native of House, died Aug. 13 at age 92.
She continued to shoot pool until last April when she broke her foot — ironically, when she was entering the FOE for a couple of games. Her daughter, Ann Johnson, said the injury forced Powell to stay off her feet and that’s when her health began to slip.
“She had a great life and she played right up until the time she went down with that broken foot,” Johnson said. “She really had never been in a hospital — and that’s pretty good at 92.”
Often, Powell’s presence at a pool table meant an initiation into some slang terms keeping with her rural upbringing.
Powell spiced up competition with sayings like, “I can’t shoot to save my gizzard” and “I’m just gonna shoot and holler.”
Powell took up the game after her husband Sam died in the mid-1960s.
In an interview last December, Powell remembered how she caught the pool fever.
“Everybody went to the clubs. And they would holler, ‘Why don’t you play? Why don’t you play?’” Powell said. “And finally somebody got a hold of me and insisted I played.
“And I tried it and I kind of liked it, so I kept it up.”
Friday nights were the time when Powell played regularly with a group from the FOE known as “The Cool Cats.” With the assistance of her son Wayne Powell and granddaughter Becky Powell, she also got into some team tournaments.
Like any other competitor, Powell was excited by the atmosphere when she was able to clinch a contest for her team.
She recounted one such moment when her play brought about a standing ovation.
“I wasn’t making any balls at all. Finally, the last game we played — they had won eight (games), we had won seven — I put the last three balls in the pocket, two of mine and the eight ball,” Powell said. “That whole house stood up and rooted for me. I was just thrilled to death.”
Powell was mother to seven children (two preceded her in death), 17 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Her funeral attracted a large crowd.
“Everybody except three grandsons were there. One was in the service and two in Massachusetts couldn’t make it,” Johnson said. “I had cousins from Mississippi, from Dallas, Moriarty, Las Cruces and El Paso there. She was loved by all of her family.”