By Cindy Laughlin

Special to the Arizona Daily Wildcat

Clack. Another colored ball joins its fellows in a dark pocket.

Clack. Another ball down. Clack. Clack.

This Family Weekend, Mom and Dad should know that not all students use pool as a way to get into smoking, drinking and drugs.

Tom M. Henry, a creative writing freshman, uses pool to get away from those influences.

"When the rest of the crowd is being partyish, it's an easy way to get away from the mentality that says you have to drink to have a good time," he says.

There's a pool hall on campus, Sam's, on the bottom floor of the Student Union Building. There are 16 pool tables, two snooker tables, and one card room table. These tables are $2.75 per hour. And there's no smoking or drinking of alcoholic beverages allowed. Sam's is a place for undergraduate students to blend mind, body, and spirit into oneness with the green felt and colored balls.

Jason C. Herkimer, a history sophomore, hangs out at Sam's because it's entertainment that's not expensive. Herkimer, like Henry, uses pool to get away.

"There's no privacy in the dorms. I come here to loosen up, just to be alone," he said.

Most of the pool halls in Tucson are for the 21-and-over crowd.

Click's, located near Fort Lowell Rd on First Avenue, is one of them. Monday and Tuesday are student nights where pool is free. Other nights, groups of three or more could pay up to $7 an hour.

The Billiard Cafe, which opened six months ago, at 6221 E. Speedway only has eight tables, but it does have a 70s-era lounge area attached.

Troy Billiards, 1062 S. Wilmot, has 11 nine-foot tables. Troy also boasts five chess boards. At $3 per person per hour, you can't go wrong. The clientele is a mix between those who have played pool for years and those who have only just begun.

Pink-E's, 8640 E. Broadway, has 49 pink felt pool tables and five green ones. It screams out "Viva Las Vegas." Lights, neon and color are everywhere. But the sounds remain the same wherever you go.

Clack. Clack.

Tucson resident Sean A. D'Addamio, 20, said if children are going to turn to doing drugs, it isn't going to be because of pool halls.

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