Sixty-four players competed in the shootout that’s named after a Texas Pool Hall-of-Famer.
Todd Deatherage remembers when he met Junior Norris 25 years ago.
“I was playing pool and he came over, and I shot one-handed and I asked him, ‘Do I need to learn to play one handed or two handed?’ And the best advice he gave me was to shoot what I can shoot comfortably,” Deatherage said. “And I’ve taken that advice with me all the way to now.”
But on Saturday, Todd wasn’t there to play pool–he was there to honor his friend.
“I told him that I was proud that he served our country and just thanked him for his service.”
Norris, and his two brothers, Robert and Durwood–who’s since passed– fought in World War II and never received their diplomas or their medals.
“Oh man, I didn’t believe it was going to happen really,” James ‘Junior’ Norris said. “I was inside all day, too, and I didn’t know this was even happening out here.”
The Norris men received a long list of medals they earned while fighting for their country.
“I had just turned 18 and got drafted into the Navy,” ‘Junior’ said. “It was very special. I couldn’t believe daughter done all of this.”
Norris, however, got another surprise.
“That’s a beautiful ring isn’t it?” Norris exclaims.
Junior was given a class ring to wear with pride.
“It’s really special–all of the stuff they brought, isn’t it?” Norris asks.
Seventy year later….the brothers Norris received the accolades and celebration fitting for the greatest generation.
Junior, the youngest of the three brothers, turns 90 years-old on June 30th.
Robert and Junior both received World War II Victory Medals.
Durwood, the oldest brother, received a Purple Heart. His medals were presented to his daughter in his honor.