A Tribute to Harold Danielson

Harold Danielson
Born July 13, 1945
Died September 17, 2004

9 Ball Tournament Director Extraodinaire

Harold, Dan Louie and Paul Potier in Kyoto, Japan with friends. November 1996

Every once in a while someone comes along who, by the extraordinary things they do, make a big difference in other peoples lives. We'd like to tell you about such a person. His name was Harold Danielson. Before getting involved with the Pocket Billiard world Harold was an employee of the Federal Government of Canada in Indian Affairs. He retired on a Disability Pension in the early '90's. Harold had a keen interest in the Rodeo World and had a great passion for cars. This story however, will be about Harold's involvement in the Pocket Billiard World and is told by some of his closest friends.

Paul Potier remembers………
"I moved to Vancouver, Canada in the summer of 1993 and met Harold soon after that. Whenever a tournament or gambling match would happen in town Harold would always show up to check out the action. In 1994 Harold, John Horsfall, Brady Gollan and I developed the "BC Handicap 9 Ball Tour". It quickly became very popular and we soon had a tournament going every day of the week in a different pool room each day. At the beginning, one of us would run the tournament, but later each pool room would run it themselves. In 1995, as president of the Canadian Professional Billiard Association (CPBA) I arranged tournaments in pool rooms all across Canada. Harold became the official tournament director for all of Western Canada. He took great pride in his work. Harold would call literally hundred's of pool players by phone to encourage them to enter any tournament that he was involved in. It was hard to say no to Harold. The truth to that was evident by the turnouts he would most often get. It was not unusual for his tournaments to have over 100 entries. In 1998 Dufferin, Canada's largest Pocket Billiard company, hired Harold to be the National Tournament Director for their newly formed "Dufferin Billiard's Tour". Harold was always a welcome guest at Pool School in Paradise each summer in Vancouver. He joined us on some of our social activities, helped chauffeur our students and acted as our tournament director during our opening night student/instructor matches.

Harold running a Dufferin Tour tournament. 1998 & 1999
Harold was a great story teller and his stories were about real people and real situations. He always made me laugh and I never got tired of hearing the same stories many times over. No one, no matter how good a friend they were of Harold's, was immune from having stories told about them. In fact, I'm sure that Harold has told others a story or two about me and I bet it would sound funnier than it seemed to me at the time. Harold also had many great one-liners. I like to cook and frequently invite friends over for dinner parties. Harold has been a guest at many of those parties. If he really liked the meal he would say, "That was delicious. In fact you made it just the way I would have, if I knew how." If Harold's tournament was full and it looked like it was going to be an exciting event Harold would say, "It just don't get no better than this!"

Harold was a big part of my life and I will miss him very much."

Dan Louie remembers….
"Harold was a special friend to many people and we have all shared special moments with him. I would like to share one or two moments with you. Everyone knows that outside of his car, his special love was pool. He loved to play and watch pool and he also directed pool tournaments; the latter of which he was nationally recognized. Harold and I made many trips together, among them: Reno, Japan, Taiwan, Hawaii, Alaska, Las Vegas and others. No matter how long the trip, Harold always made the traveling time shorter. He could tell stories for two days straight and have stories saved for another two days. I guess Harold in his younger days had a drink or two or more, but I had never seen Harold have anything alcoholic except for this one time. We were in a restaurant in Osaka, Japan, and when Harold was ordering his meal, he usually orders a coke along with it. This coke, around $5.00 in US currency, was in an 8 oz glass full of ice. Another choice was a 16 oz glass of beer also around $5.00 US. Guess which one he chose!

Harold with Dan Louie and John Horsfall watching a match at the Sands Regency 9 Ball tournament in Reno

During these trips we always spent some time sightseeing. We went to temples in Kyoto, a castle in Osaka, Hawaiian beaches, waterfalls, and luaus. He was especially fond of the Hula girls. We took a small plane to an Alaskan glacier and went over the Alaska wilderness. We saw extraordinary animals like whales, puffins and seals. The sights and places we've visited are innumerable and we shared many wonderful times together. These are memories that I will treasure all of my life. Harold, our bond is never ending even after death. You were a wonderful friend and I will never forget our friendship and you will be sorely missed. Every ending is a new beginning."

John Horsfall remembers……
"One of the happiest and enjoyable parts of Harold's life, was being involved in pool. He started off ten years ago, trying to get 9-Ball in the lower mainland to take off. The handicap system was the best way to get new talent into the game. We now see the results. Pool in B.C. has never been stronger. Some of the younger players such as Mike Vidas, Alan Ima, Woody Nielson, Simon Pickering and many others have gotten their start from these tournaments. It made every player, from beginner to professional, get better (although, lately these young guys have been a little tough on us).

If Harold wasn't running a tournament you can bet he was driving us to one so he could help out and watch. Those car trips were unbelievable! He would tell stories that made you feel like it took less time to drive then it would to fly. One of the lasting memories I will have of Harold was how he would walk up to a complete stranger, and in a few minutes, they would feel like they belonged, they'd feel like a friend. After all, fifteen years ago I was one of those strangers.

He will be missed".

Harold and Tara at Brady and Tara's wedding in August 2003

Tara and Brady Gollan remember…..
"Harold was a true friend. He was kind, selfless and genuine. He was a great story teller and often spoke of the many characters he knew from the pool world and from his hometown of Wainwright. Harold was a character too. We had the honor of having Harold MC our wedding. He was the obvious choice for us given that he had such a knack for making people laugh and feel comfortable. He wasn't fealing a hundred percent at our wedding but he never wanted us to know that. He was always more concerned about how others were doing. Having Harold share in our wedding was very special to us and is a memory that we will cherish forever. We will miss you Harold."

Harold was very sick and had been confined to a hospital bed since the middle of March. He died on Friday, September 17th. Many of his closest and oldest friends came to see him during his last few days. He was cremated in Vancouver and a funeral service was held for his family and friends in Wainwright, Alberta on Saturday, September 25th. He was well loved and will be missed by many people.