|Carl Schulte 7/15/57-4/14/2018|
Last Friday was the second day of the Super Billiard Expo an event I attend every second year. This week of pool is something I look forward to more that a child waiting to open their presents on Christmas morning. Once I know for certain that I will be attending I start marking the days off the calendar and even stay awake at night thinking about all the great times I have had in the past and wondering what awaits me in the future.
For pool enthusiast such as myself the Super Billiard Expo which takes place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo in Oaks Pennsylvania, this is the Mecca. There is a 1000 player Open Amateur tournament, as well as events right from Junior to Super Senior. TAP leagues hold their playoffs at the same time and there are Professional Women's and Men's tournaments. All this before I mention the countless vendors from the industry and the "Action Pit" where it is not uncommon to see matches played for thousands of dollars. For the average person they might not understand, however for us pool players that have the bug deeply ingrained in us, this might be the closest thing to heaven on earth.
Being Canadian and all my sponsors are local supporters I often spend most of my time, sometimes admittedly too much of my time watching and covering Canadian players. Last Friday at approximately 4:45 PM I was in the bleachers in the Pro Arena watching my friend Martin Daigle play against Mike Dechaine second round on the winners side of the Diamond 10 Ball Pro Players Championships.
I happen to look to the right at one point where you can see people outside the front doors through a blue curtain having their smoke breaks. As soon as I look over I see a middle aged man slump against the outside window and then collapse to the ground. I remember my first reaction being of concern but also realizing how we are all sleep deprived and having some beverages at this event and I was hopeful it was not as serious as it ended up being.
Quickly my concern turned into panic as I could see the people close to him frantically trying to revive him. Within a few seconds you could see someone performing CPR. The Match between Daigle and Dechaine was the closest to the window and to the credit of Dechaine he was the first player to noticed the man in distress and yelled into the crowd several times, "we need a doctor!"
Players attempted to carry on, but most players and the entire crowd were focused on the man outside, as we watched the EMT's try everything in their power to revive him. The whole scenario played out over what might have been 20 minutes however it felt like an eternity, as we collectively held our breaths and watched as the EMT use a combination of CPR and a defibrillator which brought him back several times. While this was going on I made a brief post explaining the situation on the Cue Sport Nation Facebook page, I saw him get loaded into the Ambulance and throughout the rest of the event I wondered what happened to this man.
It was not until yesterday where his son Carl Schulte Jr. reached out to me to express his gratitude for the post I made wishing his father to pull through. He informed me that his Father held on for 9 more hours in which time he was able to have one last conversation him, a lifetime pool player and league operator for both VNEA and BCA.
Medical staff later informed Schulte Jr, that his father was most likely suffering from this for nearly 24 hrs and it went unnoticed. As he said, "He fought through it, drank beers and played a damn good match." A match that Schulte ended up winning, in fact the picture above was taken during this match less than 2 hours before the heart attack.
Schulte Jr, is a fourth generation pool player who described his father as a loving man who never pressured him to play pool and the best teacher he could ask for. It was just something he saw his father doing and wanted to follow in his footsteps. Pool was an activity that father and son frequently enjoyed together and was a lifetime source of bonding. The duo just a few weeks back won the Pennsylvania State Tournament, a memory that will undoubtedly live on in his son forever.
Just a week prior to his death, Schulte celebrated his 34th anniversary to his wife Rita. Carl Schultes will be sadly missed by his daughter Nicole Marie (Jason) Blosser of Canfield, his son Carl E. Schulte Jr. of Hubbard, and three grandchildren Easton, Camden, and Karina.He also leaves his brother John A. (Lynn) Schulte, and his sister Sharon L. (Albert) Chiaberta both of Hubbard.
I would like to personally send my condolences to the entire Schulte family. His loved ones and the Hubbard, Ohio pool community will feel this loss for sometime. I would like to thank his son for reaching out and informing me of what happened, let it be known that the pool community is a small tight nit one and we are all with you and your family in this difficult time.
RIP Carl Schulte
|Carl Schulte had his own table but when he wanted to play at pool hall he chose Ice breakers|